Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Things I pondered during The Great Wait of 08.

Yesterday, you'll recall, I spent sitting in the ER with Ann...

The 'hurry up my baby is bleeding from her head' portion of the emergency has passed and we have reached the 'now wait for a long, long, long time' time.

My baby, who is holding a wet, bloody cloth to her head and leaning on me and whimpering, is tired and just wants to go home. I, being eternally optimistic, tell her it will be over soon.

I begin to look around the Emergency Room waiting area, and notice something; a shocking lack of actual emergency. In fact there was great calmness. People were laughing and watching one of the 5 million TVs playing on every wall. I begin to think that perhaps if people did not use the ER for their own personal general health doctor, perhaps my baby, who is BLEEDING FROM HER HEAD could get seen by a doctor sometime before the Second Coming.

I also notice that there are a lot of TVs. It is one waiting room with all the chairs faced one general direction, and yet there are TVs on all the walls spaced approximately 5 feet apart. I start to think that perhaps if they did not invest so heavily in our entertainment, they could afford more doctors and nurses and we would not have to spend so much time waiting. Then I realize it is perhaps not so much our entertainment they are after, as much as it is our pacification. If we just stare mindlessly at the sparkly boxes on the wall we won't realize we have been waiting here for a sweet forever.

Finally, mercifully, they call us back to the inner sanctum. We are taken to a small room where a nice lady checks Ann's pulse and other vitals. It is deemed that she is in no danger of imminent expiration (a good thing since we've been here for hours by now) and we are told to take the file and follow the yellow brick road green line. Where the green line ends we find a desk, unmanned. There is a sign next to the unmanned desk at the end of the green line that tells us to leave our file on the desk and go wait in the green waiting room to the right.

We do as we are told and go sit in the next waiting room. In the first waiting area of the Emergency room there are many people. In the next phase of waiting there are no people, you begin to wonder of you have descended into some unknown area, a hospital purgatory if you will. The ever present TV is blaring on the wall. It is on a cartoon show, unlike the TVs in the other waiting room. Those were on things like The Tyra Banks Show and Entertainment Tonight. I can only imagine the new vocabulary my daughter has learned, but I digress.

We sit in the green waiting room for a while listening to the most obnoxious cartoon imaginable. I do not exaggerate here, as evidenced by the fact that my 9 year old daughter asked if we could just turn it off and read. Yeah, it was that bad. I turned of the TV and we read several chapters in her book. (I am a seasoned ER mom. I don't care how much blood you have lost, I am taking that extra second to grab a book.)

Finally, at long and merry last, we are taken into a room where the very kind male nurse informed me that she has a laceration in her forehead that will require stitches. Ya think?

We are seen, pretty quickly actually, by the lady doctor who sticks needles into the laceration to numb it. It was at this point that the mama just about hit the deck, but I took a deep breath and decided if my 9 year old baby had to experience it, I could at lease be in the room while they did it.

Once her head was put back together, the lady doctor and I discussed the need for a CT scan. After an extensive amount of poking and prodding it was determined that no she did not need a CT scan, but she did have a mild concussion and should be watched.

We were done. It was time to go. And only a mere 4 hours! But wait, not so fast. My paperwork was incorrect. It had gotten mixed up with someone else's and needed to be reworked. If I could just wait a minute, they'd fix it and we'd be on our way.

This was true...45 minutes later.

Well, at least we finished the book. (SEE! Eternally Optimistic!)

1 comment:

Laura O said...

Tricia,

We've gone through the long waits at an ER as well. Last fall was the shovel to the head gash on my then 4 year old. Head wounds bleed a lot, but I wasn't worried with it. The only regret I had was that I didn't have him sedated before they started. The last stitch had him jumping for the ceiling (the injection there might not have worked well PLUS is was in his eyebrow and probably had pulled hairs. Then, just last week same child (now 5) injested a quarter. We did get taken back quickly for that since it was hanging out in his throat, but after 1 1/5 hours at the local hospital they told me he had to be transferred to the children's hospital for removal. Another hour spent waiting for the ambulance to come for transport and then about 45 minutes to get to the other hospital's ER. We then spent just over 2 hours in their overflow room before they admitted him. It was about 11 a.m. the next morning when they finally scoped it out. So, that's almost 20 hours after he accidentally got it stuck. I'm sure it would have moved faster had he been experiencing true breathing problems. But, it still seemed like a long time.

And, I did make fabulous headway on the November book club book I was reading. My other boys were too fascinated by all the hospital stuff to read.

Laura ~ also on the TOS crew