Tuesday, November 14, 2006

The Pediatric Ward

I slept late this morning, raindrops drumming on the roof. These days that are so cold and wet and gloomy, practically dark at midday: my inner caveman doesn’t like them. Deep in my reptilian brain, the voice says, go back to sleep, can’t you see, today is a lousy day for hunting and gathering, go back to sleep. Good day for it or not, I must go foraging later, with a run to the supermarket, but the inner caveman’s not listening.

I do have a good reason to be so exhausted. Last night I spent 8.5 hours in the pediatric emergency ward with my friend T and her baby R. Apparently, shortly after we left their house on Saturday, R became violently ill: vomiting, diarrhea, high fever. He had refused all food and drink since then, and the family pediatrician said if he wasn’t drinking again by 5 pm, he’d need to go to the hospital for rehydration.

After checking in with reception, and then meeting with the pediatric triage nurse, we settled in for a long wait. The emergency room was packed. After several hours in the waiting room, we were finally shown to a room, only to wait some more. The place was so full that several families were stationed on beds in the hallways. The nurse told us that Monday nights are the absolute busiest time on the pediatric emergency ward, but the trend is different for adult patients, who come in Fridays and Saturdays.

Even after several hours of intravenous drip, R was still dehydrated enough so as to be admitted to the hospital. It was 1:30 am before the room was ready for him. See why I’m tired now?

Update: D just called, and R hasn’t been discharged yet. D was up at the hospital this morning, but cannot stay because their older son A is also sick, and the doctors don’t want him there. So I’m on my way back up now to keep T company and help her out with whatever I can. My guess is she was too worried about R pulling out the IV to sleep for even a minute last night, so I’ll stop whining about being tired now.


Erin said...

Oh no! Poor Ryan! And Teresa and you. So good of you to help out.

Mary Stebbins Taitt said...

Ai-yi-yi! Poor everyone! I hope he's OK, did they say what was wrong? What caused it?

Hope you get some sleep and that they all are doing better!