I used to always travel to Children’s Hospital for the ER. Then Bridget was a little more stable so I began using South Shore Hospital (they are a Children’s affiliate). Bridget became more stable and began having normal kindergarten ailments.
You know and fear them: conjunctivitis, viral colds, etc…
I made the mistake of using our local hospital and urgicare centers. I should have learned my lesson after the first visit.
I came home from work, took one look at Bridget’s eyes and thought conjunctivitis. She asked me to cut her eyes out. Sigh. Okay off to the Urgi-Care. Seriously, she had conjunctivitis, how difficult could this be?
Oh my gosh, it was beyond.
First, they asked me her entire medical history. I mean, sure it’s important. But I’m here for her eyes. You do not need to know about her corpus callosum or laryngomalacia. Believe me, if it was about her throat I would have told you (see later paragraph). It was beyond obvious that she had an eye infection.
Here is a clue to any doctor or nurse reading this, that does not normally deal in pediatrics or a child with an intellectual disability:
You never, and I mean NEVER, tell the parent: you need to hold her head still and have her focus on the red box.
Here’s the thing: my child A) doesn’t know what the hell you mean by red box (fire alarm), B) a parent is never meant to hold a child down for an examination (see lower paragraph), the child needs a tech or nurse they will never see again and C) (and this is important) do NOT under any circumstances lose your temper with the child who has no freaking clue about what you are doing.
We got thru it. We got the antibiotic (after twice telling the nurse and nurse practioner that Bridget was allergic to X med, please prescribe Y med).
Then last weekend Bridget woke with a fever for no known reason. I knew it was strep. A lot of the kindergarten (and staff) had it. Any parent who has had a child with strep knows there is a “smell” involved. It’s the weekend, I thought. It’s just strep, I thought. How hard can this be, I thought.
I thought wrong.
We arrive to the local ER. The check-in nurse doesn’t even acknowledge Bridget, just wants her to stand for her weight. We go into the ER/Urgi-Care unit. Go into cubicle X, we are told. We wait for 25 minutes (and they were not busy). The tech arrives for vitals. Loses her temper because Bridget cannot keep the Pulse-Ox on. Gets frustrated because Bridget doesn’t understand how to take an oral temp. Gives a rectal temp because the hospital higher-ups won’t allow them a temporal thermometer (ARE YOU KIDDING ME?).
The doctor arrives. Doesn’t listen to the mom. Wants to check Bridget’s lungs (okay, sounds reasonable). Until she tells this mom, you need to tell he to breathe deeply. Sure, I also need to tell her to how to add 2 + 2, aka not happening. She doesn’t understand, I try to explain. Finally does the strep swab, after making the MOM and not the tech/nurse hold my child down. Here’s the thing, had the doctor just kept Bridget on my lap she could have done the swab without issue. But because Bridget had already proven a problem, the doctor went right into Commando mode.
We then waited 45 minutes for a 5 minute result.
The nurse came in with Motrin and promptly tried to leave. I explained I needed a syringe because Bridget wouldn’t drink from the cup (I heard her audible sigh). Got the syringe but the nurse promptly left the cubicle. I had to administer the medication without help (or a sponge to clean up the inevitable mess). 45 minutes later the results were in (surprise!) Strep.
The nurse comes back with the antibiotic. She tried to leave. I explained that I needed a towel to mummy-wrap Bridget and assistance in administrating the medication (she was surprised). As I (yes, me not the medical professional) administered the med the nurse said oh you’re breaking my hear as she rubbed Bridget’s shoulder.
The final insult? The hospital will not fax Bridget antibiotic because we do not use the hospital pharmacy (that was closed).
This is why I will travel 45 minutes (rather than 10) to a Children’s ER that knows how to deal with a disabled child.
I hope Bridget never again needs the ER. Based on History I know we will need one. We will travel to South Shore Hospital every freaking time.
Because a child deserves the best care possible.