Sunday, January 11, 2015

An ER Trip and Disney on Ice...

Yup, that might be the craziest title I've ever had for a post.  I almost added in there "all in less than 12 hours."

We recovered well from Christmas Day and spent the 26th playing with lots of new toys, visiting with family, etc.  Georgia refused to get out of her new "Frozen" pajamas, which was fine by us.  

Opening presents from Auntie Polly and Carrie

For dinner, we went back to Auntie's house to gorge ourselves on all the yummy leftovers from Christmas dinner.  Georgia ran around like a maniac playing with her cousins and having fun while the adults caught up and chatted the night away.

We had noticed that Georgia was starting to get a runny nose, but she was still acting like her normal self.  As we left Auntie's house, we realized that she was starting to wheeze and cough.  We called ahead to Mimi and told her to fire up the humidifier at home.  We tucked her in and hoped for the best while kicking ourselves for not bringing the nebulizer/albuterol from home with us - I flew the darn thing to the Bahamas years ago!  We gave her a dose of benadryl and hoped it might help to dry her up.  Eventually she fell asleep and we were hopeful our kid would stay that way.  

Around 2am, I woke up to Georgia screaming bloody murder.  I went up to check on her and was not pleased with her breathing.  Her screaming was because she was so frustrated that she couldn't stay asleep with all the coughing.  Her wheezing had increased and she was really struggling to breathe.  I decided to lay down with her, but after a few minutes, I went and woke up Nick so he could assess the situation.  We decided that I'd just "sleep" with her for the night to keep an eye on things.  That lasted about 2 minutes before she had another coughing event and couldn't catch her breath.  Another parental pow-wow commenced (because no rational parenting conversation ever occurs at 2am) and we debated our next step.  If we had been at home in Maryland, we would have gone to a 24 hour pediatric site.  Unfortunately, those didn't seem to exist in suburban Massachusetts after some quick googling.  So, off we went to the closest emergency room at Lowell General Hospital.  I recall being rushed there as a toddler myself after falling and smacking my mouth on my little red wagon.  Those teeth didn't grow back for several years!

When we walked into Lowell General's Emergency Room, the situation didn't look so bad.  There were only a few other people in the waiting room and we went through triage fairly quickly.  We tried to sit away from anyone else so as to keep our germs to ourselves and to avoid their germs!  And then the wait began... and we waited... and waited.  A janitor walked by and made a comment to us about how crazy the place had been earlier in the night.  I believe his exact words were, "There wasn't a seat to be had!"  A nurse told us that they hoped to see us soon, but they were waiting to admit about 15 people from earlier in the night and still waiting for beds to become available.  In the meanwhile, Georgia entertained herself with "Paw Patrol" episodes on the iPad.  Thank goodness for the iPad.  It gets my award for "best babysitter" ever!  About 90 minutes after we arrived, a gentleman with his 3 year old son (and iPad!) arrived.  We chatted with him and found out they were also visiting the area from DC and his little guy had a similar cough/respiratory issue.  Small world.  

"Paw Patrol" videos, "Frozen pajamas" and a happy kid

Note the empty chairs all around us in the picture above.  Also, note the happy kid.  You think she was going to sleep in the middle of the night in the ER?!  No way!  About 4 hours into our adventure, Georgia sat up and declared, "Hey, my cough is gone!"  If looks could kill, she would have been flat on the ground.  A short time later, the DC guy called his wife with similar news about their kid.  Amazing how several hours of sitting up in the ER playing iPad can cure kids!  All the parents in the ER decided they just needed to set up a nebulizer in the traige area and we all could have gone home and back to bed hours ago.

Eventually around 7am, we were finally called back.  They managed to call all of us back at the same time (aka - the next shift of staff arrived), and Nick declared, "It's like a party."  Georgia stopped in the middle of the ER and screamed, "I LOVE PARTIES!!"  Flash forward 14 years and I'm already picturing this kid dancing on tables as a college freshman.  I'm going to need a prescription for that.  Lord help me.

Speaking of prescriptions, the lovely ER doctor wrote enough prescriptions to last us a year - nebulizer, steroids, albuterol, pinkeye meds (????), etc.  Our official diagnosis - "upper respiratory infection."  The discharge paperwork was a tad condescending as it stated that our child had... THE COMMON COLD.

6 hours in the ER and the kid has a cold.  Fabulous.

We drove the 5 minutes back to Mimi's house.  She also had a productive night cleaning, paying bills and pacing the halls waiting for us to return.  As we waited for the pharmacy to open, Georgia and I took a shower so I could scrub the hospital germs off the both of us.  Minor miracle that none of us developed the flu after that side trip - I'd like to think that was partially due to the sandpaper technique I used to scrub us clean in the shower!  Nick went to CVS to fill scripts.  It wasn't long before he texted that they were out of nebulizers, so he was directed to another medical supply company for that gadget.  Of course, that place didn't open for several more hours.  Happy Saturday morning to us!  Good thing our kid's cough was gone at that point.  

Our next discussion was that we were due at Boston University for Disney on Ice at 11am, which had been planned out for months.  We asked Georgia what she wanted to do and like a true party girl, she was up for the adventure!  She was already running around the house like a maniac and we knew she wasn't going to crash anytime soon (or so we thought).  So, we called Auntie,  Auntie Lisa, and Auntie Sherrie to let them know that the plan for the day was still on.  I may have needed a coffee IV drip, but I rallied like the true party girl that I once was back in the day!!  As I got ready, Nick and G "relaxed" (aka - passed out) for a few minutes.  Auntie and Auntie Lisa arrived at the house and I carried Georgia out to the car thinking that maybe she would sleep during the ride into the city.  Nope, she immediately perked up at the sight of her aunties and was ready to go.

Off Nick went to hunt down the nebulizer at a medical supply company, while all the girls headed into the city for the show.  Thank goodness I know the Boston streets around BU like the back of my hand.  I lived downtown for 2 years while I was in graduate school and working at Boston Children's Hospital, so my mind and the car was on cruise control as I pulled into my old stomping grounds.

I wouldn't say that Georgia was "perky" at the show.  She was happy to see her cousin, Abby, and was happy to have her Mimi and Aunties around to buy her whatever she wanted (aka - the $873 light up toy).  She was pretty quiet, which we've learned is normal for her during shows.  She likes to just sort of take it all in and then tell you everything about it later.  Auntie might have been the most excited since it was her first Disney on Ice show EVER!!!  Gasp.

Auntie Sherrie, Abby, Nana Marsha, Auntie Lisa, Grumpy G, Auntie and Mimi

G and her aunties

Abby and Georgia

So, we all survived.  Back to Mimi's house we went.  Nick had obtained the nebulizer and managed to squeeze in a quick lunch/indoor golfing man-date with his brother.  After a quick dose of albuterol for Georgia, it was nap time for absolutely everyone in the house!  It's amazing how 2 hours of shut-eye can make you feel like a brand new person.  Even this goon...

I guess we're just lucky that our first ER trip took us 3 1/2+ years!

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