Thursday, June 6, 2013
Hospitals, Doctors, & Waiting Rooms...Oh My!
Hospitals, doctors, and waiting rooms...we've had more than enough of these over the last few days.
It started last week when I finally went in for my glucose test. Yes, I should have had it done almost 2 months ago, but I've been putting it off...not because I was nervous to do it, but because I was just lazy and never got around to it. Also, to be honest, it felt a little pointless to me because I've passed them just fine with all of my other pregnancies. But I promised my doctor I would do it so the day before my next visit with her I finally made the time. And it seemed to go just fine.
Until the next day when my doctor's appointment didn't go as smoothly as I was hoping. As you have probably guessed I failed my glucose test. Uggghhh...that was just frustrating and annoying. I also found out that I am anemic. This is also a bummer, but not all together surprising since I'm borderline in my everyday non-pregnant life and I was anemic when I was pregnant with Lily. It also probably explains why I have been so exhausted and weak and sometimes shaky feeling and why my blood pressure has been so low. The doctor went on to tell me that they still want to do another ultrasound at the end of June. Everything with baby boy's bowel looked good, but they just want to keep an eye on him...especially to watch his size (which is just nothing short of big)!:) This isn't really a big deal...just one more thing to do (and pay for)- not to mention that ultrasounds still make me a little nervous. And finally I learned that at every appointment from now on my doctor wants to do a stress test and monitor the baby...she says they like to do this with most women like me who are of "advanced maternal age." Yep, that's right...I'm old and while baby boy seems well I seem to be going downhill! So that was my bummer of a doctor's appointment.
Then a few days later we were having a nice, normal day playing outside. Lily was learning to ride her bike without training wheels (more on that later) and Joe was pushing Eli on the swing in our front yard. Only instead of going back and forth on the swing the boys thought it would be fun to go in circles. And I think it was fun until Eli lost his grip and fell off and landed directly on one of the paving stones surrounding the tree. It was just one of those things...because there was no way if he was just swinging back and forth that he could have hit anything other than grass and ground, but because he was going in a circle he hit the stone with the back of his head. The thunk was loud and awful...the kind where you just know immediately that the result isn't going to be good.
I was (and am) thankful for many things in the those following moments. I am thankful that Eli never lost consciousness (he was screaming from the moment his head hit). I am thankful that Joe was right there to scoop him up. And I am thankful that my husband is an EMT and that not only does he have a pretty good idea of what to do in these situations, but he is able to think calmly and clearly. I'm not awful in these situations either (I'm generally able to stay pretty calm) but it's so good having someone who just knows what to do.
Head wounds bleed a lot and Joe had it under control all pretty quickly and before I could really even think it through we had thrown the dog in her kennel and all of us loaded in the van, with Joe sitting behind Eli's car seat to try and keep the bleeding under control, and we were off to urgent care. Eli was fairly upset and really, really didn't want to go to the hospital or the doctor. As much as we tried to reassure him that the doctor would help to make him feel better, I think he just knew that what he was in for wouldn't be all that pleasant.
We got there and urgent care didn't really act all that urgently!:) We were there for 3 very long, intense hours! After about 45 minutes Joe had to leave...ironically to take an entrance exam for his EMT intermediate class. We only had one car and we were still waiting to be seen so Joe had to take a taxi. Thankfully the bleeding had stopped for the most part and the kids were fairly content in the waiting room watching cartoons. Until, after an hour and a half of waiting, they took us to an adjacent office. As soon as we stepped into the office Eli lost it. He just LOST IT. He thrashed and cried and we couldn't even get him to put his finger in the device that monitors his heart rate. Then one of the nurses put some cream on his head wound to numb it and it was all over from there. He went into total, utter meltdown mode. The numbing cream also made the wound puff up and start bleeding all over again. And then...well then they sent us back into the waiting room. Seriously. They sent me with my very large pregnant belly and my two children (one who was screaming bloody murder and dripping blood down the back of his head and all over the both of us) back into the crowded waiting room. I think I was just in shock and if looks could kill those nurses probably would have been bleeding too (my mama bear instincts were in full affect). Thankfully the other patients were incredibly understanding and helpful (getting me tissues and trying to encourage all of us).
After about 15 minutes we were finally were taken to a room and thankfully my looks couldn't kill because once inside those doctors and nurses could not have been more helpful and patient and understanding.
Because what happened there was nothing short of total panic from my boy. I had to hold him on the scale just to get weighed, it took two of us to hold him just to make him take some pain medicine, and putting more "magic numbing medicine" on his head was awful.
I left the room to use the bathroom and I nearly broke down in tears because I had NO IDEA how I was going to handle the rest of it myself. They hadn't even cleaned his wound yet, much less anything else, and I felt just felt awful for my baby. Thankfully a few minutes later I got a message from Joe saying he was done with his test and immediately I called him and told him that he needed to get another taxi back to the clinic because Eli was in such a state of panic. And no, that wasn't just my assessment...as soon as the doctors and nurses found out that Joe was on his way back they told me that they wanted to wait for him because they knew that I needed help (that we all needed help)! Apparently they doubted my ability to hold my screaming, thrashing 3 year old with my very large baby belly!:)
And boy were they right. Despite the doctors and nurses best efforts ( and boy did they try) to win over Eli's trust there was just no reasoning with him. And once Joe got there is took four of us (four adults) to restrain him enough just simply to begin cleaning the cut in his head. I was on the ground looking up at him, holding his arms and legs and looking him in the eyes while Joe had him in a lock down and the doctor and nurse were doing everything they could to clean his head. IT WAS AWFUL.
Thankfully the bleeding had mostly stopped at that point and the wound had sort of sealed itself (it had been nearly 3 hours after all) and because of that we were given some options. Because of Eli's response the doctor told us that there was no way he could do stitches or staples there...that we would need to go to the hospital where they would have to sedate Eli and re-open the wound, clean it, and stitch it. That sounded like more pure torture for everyone involved (especially Eli) so we opted just to leave the gash as it was. That means of course that Eli will have a scar because we choose not to stitch it, but it's on the back of his head and in the end it just felt like the right decision.
So after 3 hours, a lot of blood, tears and hysteria we were able to go home...and I had just enough time to eat some McDonalds before starting my fast for my 3 hour glucose test the next morning. Not exactly the meal I had hoped for, but it was my only real option.
Thankfully Eli was exhausted and slept well that night. And the next day I headed out early to spend 4 hours at the hospital having my glucose test done (it's called a 3 hour test, but really takes closer to 4 hours). After having my blood drawn 4 times I was feeling a bit like a pin cushion but with lots of work to do on my computer the time actually went pretty fast.
But it didn't end there because that afternoon Eli had to go in for a follow up appointment to get his head looked at. And I kid you not...after waiting for an hour at our doctor's office (15 minutes in the lobby and 45 minutes in the exam room) the nurse came in to tell me that the doctor had been called out to the hospital and I could either continue to wait or come back the next morning. I, as politely as I could, explained that we had spent an incredible amount of time in hospitals and waiting rooms in the last 24 hours and that I would probably just go home and not come back (because we were pretty sure that Eli was doing just fine). But just as I was gathering up our things to leave the doctor arrived back in the office and came right away (lucky for him). And he was very nice and reassuring that Eli was doing just fine. He was a little surprised at first that Eli didn't have stitches, but when I explained the whole thing to him he confirmed (multiple times actually) that we had made a good decision for Eli and that while he will indeed have a good scar that his hair will likely cover it and it will be nothing but a crazy story in a couple of weeks.
Sheeessshhh....I am so very DONE with hospitals and doctors and waiting rooms! Except that I can't be done because I have another baby boy to give birth to and because with two boys and one active little girl I KNOW that we are far from being done with doctors and hospitals and waiting rooms. But if we could have a break for just a few days that would be nice!
And that's my story for this week!
Eli just a little bit before his swing accident.
And here he is a couple of days later beginning to heal.
P.S. And in case you are wondering Joe did an incredible job on his test despite all of the craziness (I guess he works well under pressure) and no, they don't give bonus points for being covered in blood (even though it is an EMT test)! And though Eli still doesn't want anybody to touch his head or his cut or his boo boo he did have a wonderful time the next day picking out a special treat (a stomp rocket) from the toy store!
And while he is not afraid of going on the swing, he does not want to go in circles anymore!:)