Tuesday, December 29, 2009

First...or second ER trip?

It really depends on how you count it...but I am counting this as Peter's official ER trip. You might consider his trip to the minor emergency as his first trip....but this was his first trip to the BIG ER.

Around 6:00 PM the evening Peter started wheezing. It grew worse through the evening. I became concerned when he was short of breath, so I called the after hours number to see if I could just give him some of Rebekah's medicine (on hand) and go to the doctor the next day.

The nurse informed me she could not tell me about the dosage, but advised I go to the ER. Suuuuweeeet! My first ER trip, every moms dream. I was not excited about spending $100 on a breathing treatment when I had it on hand. (I was fairly certain it was the same dose and that Rebekah's dosage had not changed since she was that age.)

My impressions of the ER were...dirt, grime and creepy. It was one of few times in my life where I wished for pepper spray. I think the highlight was when a woman came out of a bathroom with a pee cup (thankfully IN A BAG) slinging it around carelessly. I was also thankful I was not in sling range.

After about an hour, they called us back to a little room. They took his weight and took his temp...rectally. Rebekah has not even had this pleasure. This woke him up and he was NOT happy about it. (Can you really blame him?)

They then sent us back to the waiting room...to wait. Again. Why they couldn't do this when we actually got to a real room, I have no idea. This is my largest complaint about the evening. They don't even take temps of newborns this way, I really saw it as pointless.

Another hour later, we were finally called back.

Peter sitting on the bed. This was the only time he sat on it and just for this picture. :-)
This was taken by my new Droid phone, by the way!


The nurse requested a toe. I wasn't thinking. I'll be honest, I was exhausted. I slipped of his shoe and sock.

Peter is particular about his shoes. Very particular. Ensue whaling here. And yes, he kicked the nurse. I didn't feel particularly bad about it. I just saw it as revenge for the temp reading earlier.

The nurse was great and worked his sock/shoe back on. He finally calmed down.

To make a super long story short (only super long because we were there for 3 hours and when I get to story telling, I certainly can be long winded)...Peter had improved. If he had sounded like that when I listened to him before entering the ER, I would have turned around and went home. The Nurse Practitioner couldn't hear anything, but honestly I'm not sure she really tried. A doctor finally came in later, listened for about 45 sec and was able to hear the wheezing. Everything he said made sense. (She was talking chest XRay? I texted William that they must want to get their monies worth!)

I made two newbie mistakes. I see that now.

Firstly - I did not get his actual O2 stat number. They just said "they were good". I should have completely known better. I always ask numbers, so that I can either look them up later (and confirm the doctor was right), or if a condition I'm already familiar with I know instantly whether it is OK or not. No harm came, but this was definitely something I kicked myself for after I got home.

Secondly - I left without a breathing treatment. I was exhausted. I'm a 10:00 sort of girl. So at 12:30, I was pretty orange from turning into a pumpkin. They gave me a prescription, and in the end it is probably just as well. The medication was different than what our doctor normally prescribes. We found out later, that the difference between the two is that Abuterol (ER prescription) has more side effects than Xopenex (Ped prescription). Both medications have the same base, they just strip part of it to make the Xopenex (as explained in laymen terms to me from the doc via William).

So there you have it. Peter is fine, he's getting his breathing treatments. He saw the doc the next day. His initial is diagnosis is asthma.

I will say - I'm not ready to "accept" this. Will I treat him? Absolutely. Every time. But I'm not going to walking around saying "My kid has asthma." It is just too early to label him. And in the mean time, my prayer will be he outgrows it!

1 comment:

Ashley said...

When I took Alina to the ER-- they did do the rectal temp reading. Although it's "old school" it really is the most accurate. And, it's my understanding that, the label of "asthma" isn't really that much of a label. Technically Elseigh has it, but (IMHO) it is good to know since (it's my understanding) it can flair up and ADD to any illnesses during childhood, and often presents itself as unnecessary coughing. And finally, it is also my understanding that they do commonly outgrow it.

So, just my unneeded two cents. But, I didn't want you to think that they never do rectal temps. (But there is a BIG difference b/t a toddler and a 2 month old!!!)