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My right now might be different than your right now.

December 19th, 2011 · 20 Comments · Daily

On Friday afternoon, Harper came home sick with a fever of 103.3.

On Saturday, we took her to the emergency room, where her temperature was so high that they “lacked the equipment to measure it.” In an ER. Their thermometers go up to 104.8, and she blasted through that in seconds. Twice.

When the nurse went to the desk and told the other nurses how she had never seen THAT before, one of the other nurses said, “She needs meds RIGHT NOW.” They continued to talk about how she needs meds RIGHT NOW. Talk, talk, talk. RIGHT NOW. Nearly fifteen minutes passed before she was given anything. (I know it takes a while to get medication at a hospital. I know everything has to be approved and measured. BUT, when you’re me and you’re listening to people raise their voices about the importance of immediate medication, yet no one is actually moving? And your kid is all high-energy and cooking from the inside out? Yep. That’s hard.)

I won’t bore you with details. Just know that we were released two hours later with a laugh and a big “All that for NOTHING, huh?!” as Jeff signed the credit card statement and Harper finished her popsicle. (We weren’t the ones laughing.) Actually, we left the hospital not knowing what her temperature was. We knew that sixty minutes after taking the Tylenol (the same kind we have at home, but with a dash of FabergĂ© egg extract for added $$$), she was down to 103. (I had to ask them to take her temperature an hour after the meds were given, and they seemed a little upset that I asked.) They didn’t take a temperature at the time of discharge.

We were there at the change of shift. Bad timing. I heard two separate nurses talk about parties for which they were running late. I also heard our admitting nurse when she stepped into our room and gave Harper an enthusiastic, “Hey, Sophie! How are you feeling?” (There were three other patients in the triage area. Apparently, one of them was named Sophie.)

Harper wasn’t feeling like a Sophie. And that’s good, because Sophie was actually puking with a fever. (Nathan sprained something while playing hockey. HIPAA what?)

(Please know that I know how stressful it is to work with parents like me who are nervous and rattled. I’m trying hard to not be a total jerk about the whole thing. I experienced only one side of the story! Joy to the World!)

Harper has now been fever-free (without medication) for over twelve hours. I’m taking her to the doctor this afternoon for a follow-up.

On my calendar for today was “Lunch with Mom and Tempe.” Now it says, “25 trees. Sugar & Glitter Bowls. Red velvet. Cards. Lydia!”

(The only thing on the calendar for Wednesday is “Volunteer 1140 and WRAP.” I’m looking forward to that one.)

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20 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Cindy // Dec 19, 2011 at 11:59 am

    Reason number 527 of why I don’t have kids. I just don’t think I could handle the sick. I was the sickly one in the family. Also the one prone to danger. I’ve broken both arms. I’ve seen my parents turn white and thin lipped with terror. Oh, how I aged them.

    So glad Harper-Sophie is feeling better.

  • 2 T // Dec 19, 2011 at 12:00 pm

    I am really sorry — hope she stays fever-free. I don’t care what time it was, you were there for a reason, and they needed to be sensitive to that.

  • 3 Nichole // Dec 19, 2011 at 12:03 pm

    I’m glad the fever’s gone! Fevers always terrify me. And yes, to what T said.

  • 4 CrazyMomTats! // Dec 19, 2011 at 12:07 pm

    104+ – holy shit! This is why you HAVE to stay on top of the staff while at the hospital. Every patient needs an advocate.

    I’ve spent my share of time in the ER with kids – I’ll bet Curly was there 20 times. So I know…

    Hang in there!

  • 5 Heather // Dec 19, 2011 at 12:41 pm

    Bel once spiked a temp of 105. Scared me so bad, I was calling the drs office with the phone in one hand and yanking jeans on with the other, all while watching her lie on the bed, hoping she wouldn’t start seizing. I took her into our peds office and they double-dosed her with Tylenol, which brought the fever down (so did the antibiotics after the positive strep test). Fun times.

    Oddly enough, I find ER is not the best place to go for medical care. Hope you don’t have to go again anytime soon!

  • 6 Lisa // Dec 19, 2011 at 12:49 pm

    So sorry about Harper being sick and the “fun” at the E.R. Please let me know if you need anything. I’d be happy to go on a grocery run or drop something by.

  • 7 Ani // Dec 19, 2011 at 1:14 pm

    I am glad Harper is better. And I hate the ER. Hospitals in general. I am sorry it was an bad experience one I hope you don’t have to experience any time soon.

  • 8 Amy in StL // Dec 19, 2011 at 1:18 pm

    Yuck, some ER’s are better than others (says my boyfriend who was in EMT) but you’re definitely right about shift change being bad timing. I once showed up in my dad’s hospital room at shift change and the lack of attention to his needs was rather spectacular! Here’s hoping your holiday is fever and puking (just as a precaution) free from now on!

  • 9 Mallory // Dec 19, 2011 at 1:42 pm

    Hope she’s feeling better!

    Make sure you tell the hospital about your experience so that they can improve!

  • 10 Sarah // Dec 19, 2011 at 1:49 pm

    Holy Cannoli! (I’m trying to branch out from my current swear alternative of Holy Guacamole, maybe it is too many syllables all around.) My daughter spiked a 105 fever when we were visiting my parents, luckily my dad is an ER doc. He gave her tylenol and had us take her to Urgent Care for a throat culture. No strep throat, but the antibiotics they gave her caused a rash which they were able to identify as what happens when you give a kid with mono that particular antibiotic. At least that solved the question of what was going on and what our 2 month old was also suffering from. Good, good parenting times.

    I hope Harper is doing better and the remaining Puddings have not come down with anything. Though I grew up hanging out in the ER, I hate the sight of them now and I hope you are all getting the rest you need after your experience there. Here’s to a lovely Merry Christmas and a very healthy New Year.

  • 11 Dooley // Dec 19, 2011 at 4:25 pm

    I know hospitals are not really that good for parents with sick kids, even those high-falutin’ child-designed ERs. They put fancy kid-centric decor and fun-filled media in, but the kids are less nervous than the parents. What about a little suh-en suh-en for the parents over here? Where’s my freakin’ soy latte?

    I’m really sorry about Harper’s illness and the ass-hattery of the triage. Here, have some of my cookies.

  • 12 Amy in KC // Dec 19, 2011 at 4:38 pm

    Earlier this year I was a juror on a medical malpractice case for nine days (Nine. Days.). I learned many things, one of which was that there are a lot of things happening while you wait, including authorizations and research of symptoms vs. potential viral outbreaks in your area, and which medications would be most helpful.

    So glad she is better!

  • 13 Mitzi // Dec 19, 2011 at 5:57 pm

    Sounds like a typical ER visit. Medical time is not the same as real people time. I’m sure you felt like you were going to go all Terms of Endearment on the nurse. It’s not as easy as one would think to administer medications. There is alot of behind the scenes stuff going on, even while the nurses are talking.

    I hope Harper stays fever free! Fevers are so scary. I remember riding out some 104-105 degree fevers with Eli. We did alot of lukewarm baths, ibuprofen & tylenol rotations and praying. Fevers serve a purpose and as long as Eli wasn’t convulsing, we stayed home and waited them out. Very stressful on top of stressful holiday crap.

  • 14 Kait // Dec 19, 2011 at 5:59 pm

    Ugh. I would have lost my ever loving mind. I’m so glad Harper is okay.

  • 15 Lori // Dec 19, 2011 at 8:31 pm

    If you get a survey in the mail about the care you received (or, more specifically, your perception of the care you received), you should complete it. I worked in health care (PR, not patient care) for four years, and this kind of feedback is important. It allows management to give concrete examples of ways to improve the patient experience. And if you don’t get a survey, you could write a helpful letter. Or you could hug Harper and forget the whole thing.

  • 16 Louise // Dec 19, 2011 at 8:44 pm

    That sounds horribly scary. Hope she’s feeling MUCH better by now.

  • 17 Jenn // Dec 19, 2011 at 10:51 pm

    Look. I don’t have kids. I don’t want kids. But holy hell, that shit is unacceptable. I’ll be right over with my pitchfork and then we can storm the castle. I mean hospital. Whatever.

    Then we can do some spinning because I suddenly find myself in posession of a Bosworth drop spindle and a fiber stash. Whee!

  • 18 Ami // Dec 20, 2011 at 11:04 am

    Oh my goodness. You deserve a nice venti latte of your choice, my friend.

    You should never feel bad about politely and firmly advocating for you child. That’s your job. I have never met you, but I have a hard time believing you weren’t polite. I’ve had to raise some hell in a hospital once or twice (politely and firmly of course) and it’s important to get everything on record.

  • 19 kathy // Dec 20, 2011 at 5:43 pm

    I hate the ER and we’ve been several times. Every time I go, I vow never to return, but things happen, right?

    My son had a whole fever thing when he was a baby, he’s hit 105 many, many times. He hit 106.2. It’s so scary. But kind of liberating in that I rarely even take his temperature anymore – the number doesn’t matter that much. Plus he hasn’t gotten a fever that high in a long time.

    I hope that was the storm before the calm for the Pudding family and a peaceful Christmas awaits you!

  • 20 kelli // Dec 21, 2011 at 5:24 pm

    I’m glad Harper is feeling better!

    My first was born during the shift change. DH had to run out into the hall to ask for help as DS was crowning…