February 6, 2008 by Marj Hatzell
We’re frequent flyers at Dupont Hospital for Children. By that I mean that both boys see a bevy of specialists for their multiple needs. We are there a few times a month and have had the best care, better than I could have asked for. The thing is, we are quite intimate with the inside of the hospital. I’m sorry, but when folks are lost and I can tell them where to find the lab/radiology/MRI/Cafeteria better than the volunteers at the desk I’ve been there too often. And my boys do not have chronic illness (per se, technically their diagnoses include the word chronic) that are devestating their little bodies. I’m just tired of going there, no matter how impecable the care. And, believe me, they are FAB-U-LOUS there. I chose to go there with emergencies because they “get” autism better than the five local ERs within a half hour drive from our home.
Speaking of ERs (were we?) Bugaboo decided today that since it has been over a year since the last time we paced the ER at Dupont for HOURS ON END that today we were due. He picked the day from hell, too. In fact, today the ER saw 96 cases of the flu. Yes, you read that correctly. We checked into the front desk at 11:30am, paced for over five hours, were brought back to a room, paced for four more hours (thank heavens they were smart enough to purchase hundreds of wagons for transporting cranky children, it keeps ’em busy forever) and when discharged at 9 they had seen 96 cases, nearly all of them the flu. We saw newborns with RSV, toddlers with rotovirus, school kids with influenza, and so on, and so on, and when we left there were upwards of thirty families waiting. The funniest part is that we were in the same room as the last time he was dehydrated and needed fluids and the same bed space as his last concussion. Some of the staff remembered me, that’s how often we are there. And our Neuro? Our absosmurfly awesome Neuro, the one I LOVE and think is pretty freaking hot? He came to the hospital to check on Bugaboo (since he has privileges there) and to make sure they did the blood work he requested. We originally thought that Bugaboo’s meds were all out of whack. Then they decided he was dehydrated due to puking so many times Monday and Tuesday, and that the meds were kinda making him funky, since he didn’t have enough fluids. Then they did an x-ray of his bowel (how many people can say they have polaroids of their kids intestine? THE INSIDE?) and discovered he has poo issues ( no shiat. Literally.) and needed to go to the bathroom as soon as possible, but the dehydration wasn’t helping.
Nine hours. Wagon. Bugaboo in it. Pacing, back and forth, back and forth. Yeah, my legs are tired. At one point I called the husband at work and asked him to leave so I could take a break and he was all, “Leave? Like, stop working? Ummmm…” and I was all, “Dood. I haven’t eaten in twelve hours and I am starving and I’ve been pacing for eight hours.” And he was all, “Ummmm….” So I did what any mature, rational, self-respecting woman would do. I threw a hissy fit on the phone to guilt him into coming to the hospital and bringing me food. It worked. Mommy was fed and happy, Daddy walked Bugaboo for a while, Daddy got to sit through the worst of the tests (Bloodwork? Like bathing a cat. X-ray? Try holding down a chinchilla.) while Mommy smirked at Daddy and everybody was happy. And there was much rejoicing (yea).
So, we’re good for a while. This year is done for ER visits (hear that Bug Boy? Hear that Darling?) so no bees, no broken bones, mmkay? Momma is finished. Done. No more. And next time I end up there, you’d better bring me chocolate, potatoes or tea or else I might rip someone’s head off and it won’t be pretty. Don’t say I didn’t warn you. Potatoes. Tea. Chocolate. You dig?