Thursday, March 18, 2010

What Day Is It, Again?

Ugh. I feel like I've lost a day instead of just an hour. Not only am I dealing with the aftermath of the $)A#*#&!!!! time change, but somewhere along the line, I lost an entire day. I think it's from spending all Sunday night in the ER with the kid, getting home at 3 AM on Monday and then sleeping until noon that day.

But I'm not sure.

Also, I think there was an earthquake in there somewhere.

Perhaps the space-time continuum has been disrupted?

I dunno...except to say that if there is any place on earth where you can go to get your continuum disrupted...the ER on a Sunday night is IT!

And so here follows the kooky story of our ER adventures (warning - there is grossness involved so if you are squeamish, stop reading now).

Around 8 PM on Sunday night, Ryan came to me and told me his big toe on his right foot was hurting. This is nothing unusual at our house since the kid is OBSESSED with chewing on all his nails - fingers AND toes - and messes them up quite frequently.

(Note: if you are, at this moment, about to tell me (as did the well-meaning, but misguided doctor at the ER) that I should stop "allowing" this to happen, I can tell you I have done everything except put his feet in cement casts in order to prevent it and have had no luck. So, don't EVEN go there.)

Normally, I just soak his foot in a warm Epsom salt bath and give him some medicine for the pain and that takes care of it. So, that's what we did and off he went to bed.

He came in my room about an hour later crying and saying that his foot was hurting really badly. I took a look at it and it was much worse - a bubble of pus had started to form under the skin around the outside of the cuticle and it was actually getting bigger as I watched.

I tried an ice pack to get the swelling down to no avail. I briefly considered trying to pop it myself to relieve the pressure, but not only was the kid having NONE of it and I couldn't hold him down AND undertake the operation, but I wasn't really convinced it was a bright idea anyway. I could end up spreading the infection or making it worse.

So, off I went to call the after-hour Kid's Doc phone line.

Only to find it had been disconnected - no forwarding number.

Called the pediatrician's office to get the new phone number and/or leave a message for the doctor on call.

Get told that they no longer HAVE a doctor on call at night. She can take my info and FAX it to an advice nurse who will then call me back (supposedly). So, I leave my information AND get the correct number for the Kid's Doc line.

Call them and get voicemail - they will call me back (supposedly).

I leave a message.

By the way, Ryan has now reached the point where he is screaming in pain at the top of his lungs. I've already given him the max dose of pain reliever so can't do anything more there.

I wait 30 minutes and get no response so I call back both numbers and leave messages again.

Wait another 15 minutes and decide that I'm going to have to take Ryan to the ER because there doesn't seem to be any other choice. So, I start getting myself dressed and ready to go and I call my mom (on my cell so I don't block the home phone line) to tell her what's going on.

She offers up the helpful information that this is all my fault because I let Ryan wear the same pair of shoes more than one day in a row.

Thanks, mom.

Just as we are getting ready to run out the door, the phone rings and it's the advice nurse calling back (it's now been more than an hour since I first started calling). After discussing the issue, she agrees that yes, I have to take the kid to the ER, especially since the last Urgent Care clinic closed 15 minutes ago (gee, thanks, you couldn't have called me back SOONER?)

So, off we go to the ER. Only good thing about that is that I was so ill with my own issues during my pregnancy and a few months afterwards that I totally have the drill down on where to park and how to sign in, etc.

Except back then I didn't have to tote a 50 lb. kid up a flight of stairs BY MYSELF (insert rant about loser guys who abandon their families and are not around to assist during emergencies, but that's a whole 'nother week's worth of blog entries).

Get up to the waiting room and realize it's FULL.


Ryan has continued to scream non-stop through all of this...for which I can't really blame him. Except that as soon as we sit down in the waiting room, he gets kinda quiet and switches over to whimpering. Now, it's not that I WANT him to be in pain, but I was kinda hoping that continued kid screaming would get us seen faster (probably it wouldn't have, but it was worth a shot).

We wait around an hour and finally get called back where the admitting nurse tells me that he definitely needs to have his toe lanced and drained so I did right to bring him, but at the same time, she doesn't have a bed or a nurse to assign us to so we'll have to wait until she does.

We sit in her office for another hour or so. Ryan has now resumed screaming.

She finally finds us a bed and there we sit for another 45 minutes or so. Ryan is still screaming and I am so hungry I'm about to start gnawing on the rails of his bed. I go to the desk and ask if there's anywhere I can grab a granola bar out of a machine or something and find out that yep, sure there is...if I want to leave a screaming 7-year-old alone in the ER while I go back out through the waiting room and down the hall to the next building and up an elevator to another floor.

Ummmm...noooooooo...I don't think so. (Again, this is why there are supposed to be TWO parents...just sayin').

It's at this point that I realize that the ER is not just "busy", but it's actually exploding with craziness. Literal craziness. You can hear some wacko screaming his head off and a doctor calling for restraints and a psych consult. I also picked up snatches of conversation about a DOA coming in via ambulance and someone else who attempted suicide. There are sherriff's deputies milling around the corridors interviewing witnesses about some other awful occurrence.

The only upside is that Ryan is screaming so loudly that he can't hear all of this lovely stuff.

FINALLY, a nurse comes over and asks me "do you think we should give him something for the pain at least until the doctor can get to him?"

Hmmm...gee...let me think about that...


She finally brings him some prescription strength Motrin and 30 minutes after he takes it, he's fine and wants to watch Disney channel on the TV in the cubicle.

I am about to faint from starvation, I guess, because I have this vague question in my mind about why Disney is ON at 2 AM, but I'm glad it is.

Doctor finally comes literally running in, throws his card at me, tells me the ER is having its worst night in 10 years and is now closed to ambulance traffic. He pauses long enough to tell Ryan (who has finally calmed down) that he's going to get a big shot in his toe and then he LEAVES again.

I endure another 20 minutes of the poor kid screaming "no needles! NO NEEDLES!" at the top of his lungs before the doctor comes back and tells me that *I* get to help by holding Ryan down while he injects his inflamed toe with numbing agent.

I won't describe that part in detail because I'm still traumatized by it.

Then the doctor leaves again for awhile.

He finally comes back, drains the toe and tells me to stop "letting" Ryan chew his toenails. The only reason I didn't beat the living crap out of him right then and there is that I know he was totally run off his feet by the craziness in the ER (well, and the fact that there are sherriff's deputies everywhere so I'm not likely to get away with it, am I?)

We finally got out of there around 3 AM and at least this time, someone offered to wheel Ryan outside in a chair for me while I got the car.

We got home and I got him to bed.

Then I went in the kitchen and made myself a huge pile of toaster waffles and finally went to sleep around 4:30 AM.

I woke up at noon.

I think it was Monday.

And don't even get me started on what happened that afternoon when I went to get the prescription filled at the pharmacy.



Winchell Clayworks said...

Be glad you didn't need to pick up anything for him at the deli counter. They'd be ordering that psych consult for you, instead.

And stop letting that kid chew his toenails! Geesh!

Barbara Bechtel said...

maybe that was mother nature teaching him a lesson? next time remind him of the giant needle and lancing that await him...then if you want to get really graphic you could tell him he's lucky you caught it in time because his toe could fallen clean off! nothing like a little fear as a motivator. can tell i'm not a mother, huh??

TesoriTrovati said...

Well if that whole experience doesn't get him to stop I don't know what will!
I am so sorry that you went through such hell. That is awful. And I know just what you speak of with ER docs and holding kids down... there was the big gob of fossilized ear wax incident with my daughter and the fact that she was GOING DEAF becuase of it. I have never seen a rock that huge come out of someone's ear with a long tweezers.

Enjoy the day!
(And we all feel like we lost a day this week...must be that time-space continuum thing!)

mairedodd said...

huge hug - been there, done that, too many times... and it never fails that you have to go at night, right? hospitals have a different time element going on and it drains all of your energy in addition... so that when you get home, you cannot function even if you want to... probably the adrenaline rush and let down... it is traumatizing... and how awful that you had to end up there on such a crazy night... maybe this weekend you can kind of catch up...

hello gorgeous said...

oh hon, what a nightmare....for everyone!

There's nothing like a bit of ER to put you off your stride for the rest of the week! Hope he's not too traumatised by the whole experience - he may think twice about chomping on his nails tho'! lol!

Have a chilled day today.....


hello gorgeous xxx

EmandaJ said...

Oy, what a night! Take deep breaths!


Cynthia said...

Sounds like an episode or "ER", except there's no hunky doctors to flirt with. He'll eventually stop chewing his toenails when he's no longer flexible enough to do it! Or, when he tells someone at school about it and they ridicule him. Peers have way more influence than Moms.

My Word verification is "Whincier" = what I felt as I read your story. Or, a person that cries after he's chewed his toes off.

dochoamom said...

Poor Kelly poor Ryan... Hope that he is better now... Michael used to chew his toenails too. But it never came to that, it took the first time he made it bleed to put a stop to it...

Ok now I'm going to look at bead porn... :)

Love, Deb

Meghann LittleStudio said...

Oh you poor woman. I can't even imagine. My mom was a single mother to me for the first 8 years of my life and from the ER visits I can remember, I know she would totally relate (side note - this is probably why I am terrified of having kids and would rather chew my own toes right off than have kids as I couldn't deal with that stress). I was almost in tears thinking of that night as you described it. I am so sorry you had to go through that and yeah, deadbeat dads have a whole lot of *expletive deleted* coming for them :)
GIANT hugs, you survived and it will get better.

SummersStudio said...

Ah, Kelly, you poor things. I did read that Ryan is better. But still this is an awful experience. Why does this sort of thing always happen in the middle of the night? I sympathize with childhood habits that you have no way to stop. I had a nail biter and and the other a thumb sucker. Good lord did I get tired of hearing that I needed to stop the behaviours. Eventually, Ryan will grow out of this.

Gaea said...

Don't you just love advice? I've decided that parenting through fear has become the way to get things done! My friend was telling me about the time her 6 year old son threw himself on the floor at the airport for the 3rd or 4th time, in hysterics about wanting something she couldn't give him at that moment and decided parenting through fear was the way to go. She leaned over amid the hustle and bustle and whispered "I saw a kid get run over by an airport trolley once. Ripped his arm clean off." You've never seen a tantrum end so fast and I've never laughed so hard! I'm guessing the memory of that evening was scare therapy enough! Good luck with the fingers and toes! Glad you made it out in one piece!

SueBeads said...

I just read this, I am so sorry!

Yep, there should be two parents. I know about that. And yep - stop "letting" the kid chew on his nails, like I can stop "letting" my girl do crazy things...Oh yeah, I got to actually push the x-ray machine button when my son got hurt in the pool (neck) because the hospital was so short staffed - sorry you had to hold him down.