Tuesday 13 December 2011

Kiddy ER visits, do not a jolly season make.

Well another fun night in an ER. What would the festive season be without sitting next to a guy who's chopped his finger off, an old guy with urinary retention, and an old lady who kept telling the ward she needed to wee at every opportunity. 

Wasn't me for a change. Mind you I could have quite easily requested my own trolley and IV. Actually after this past few weeks a medically induced coma for a couple of weeks wouldn't go astray. I'm pretty sure even Mr Grumpy would go one. I wonder if you can get some sort of couples spa coma package? 

No, this time it was my youngest. 

Watching your 13-year-old child sobbing with excruciating chest pain is not fun. Trying to stop the panic you're feeling, from showing on your face, is damn hard. But you're Mum, and according to the brochure, that's what mum's do. So you suck it back down. Put on your calm face. Tell jokes, and rub foreheads. You exude calm and peace till the cows come home, and then some.


So off to the ER we went. Singing our own special Christmas tunes of, "you'll be fine", "almost there", "the doctors will sort you out", "try to keep breathing". Whilst simultaneously, the tune, of "Fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck" played over an over in my mind.

Big shout out to the lovely and friendly ER staff. Makes a big difference in the whole proceedings. After all the waiting and the panicking, it turns out that it is pleurisy (an inflammation between the lining of the lungs and the ribs). Wasn't my first hypothesis, or second, or even 28th. Who get's pleurisy these days? Apparently "more people than you think" according to our Dr Carl. Poor kid. It's not like he hasn't had enough of a rough trot healthwise over the past year. But given the options we'll take pleurisy, and we'll like it.

It was educational for him though. especially listening through the flimsy curtain to the nurse explaining catheterisation to the old guy in the next bed. 'Lidocaine', 'lubricant' and 'penis' are now indelibly inked into his shocked kiddy brain. The look on his face was priceless and it definitely took his mind off his own troubles. Luckily, we made it out of there before old 'Stan' had the actually procedure. 

His main concern was that he was going to miss out on fishing today. Because that's what 13-year-old boys are concerned about. Health shmelth. Don't get between a boy and his fishing rod. He wasn't too happy when the good Dr Carl ruled it out. So now to stealthily find a fishing place locally, that we can take him to when the inflammation settles.

So after 4hrs of tests, worry and a few hundred new grey hairs, we got to drag our exhausted family home. I don't think my pillow has ever looked so good.

Today he's lying on the couch with a heat pad, reindeer antlers, nachos, and his ipod. I'll take that as a good sign. To see him so calm now, it makes last night seem like a bad dream. 
Damn, this motherhood gig is exhausting. 

Finger's crossed there'll be no more ER or doctor visits between now and Christmas, because frankly I'm over it. All of it. Time for a break please.

A totally exhausted and probably incoherent Mum.


  1. And now I can breathe. I didn't actually realise I was holding my breath until the end of your post. Have you spoken to Veronica about EDS? I can't remember ( I think you have) because if you have EDS as well, the onset of puberty is the time the children start show proper symptoms :(

    I have pent more time in ER than I care to remember and that OhfuckohfuckOhfuckohfuck litany is very familiar.

    love to you xx and a fervent hope for an ER and Doctor free Christmas and new year

  2. Huge hugs. I feel your pain, though with my little man we usually get sent home without a diagnosis, other than "growing pains"!!!

    I hope your guy is feeling better very soon & able to get out fishing & there are no more festive ER visits for you.

  3. So relieved it's "just pleurisy" - sounds like a nightmare... I hope and pray the entire situation is over soon... poor kid, and poor mama!!

    Hugs and prayers from this side of the Pacific!


  4. Ouch pleurisy hurts heaps. Hope he gets finishing soon. The things you over hear in hospitals sure do make for funny stories. Go the reindeer antlers.

  5. IT IS surprisingly common! I know two people who have had it this year... I was all 'isn't that like consumption that they had in the black and white days?' and surprisingly no.

    Lets see if we can get a group discount on that spa coma package.

  6. Kim - I have spoken briefly to Veronica about EDS, but don't want to bug her at the moment with all she has going on. We actually saw a rheumy about 2weeks ago and are off to the geneticist for a family outing to try and figure out exactly what is going on. I just hope he has some answers. Now just to get through Chrissy and New Years. Already exhausted and it's still a week away. Love to you too and hope you have a good Chrissy yourself. Looking forward to seeing your how your eggs end up.

    Melissa - thanks babe. It's hard to hear 'growing pains' and the like. What are you supposed to do with that. when your child is in pain you want answers and relief for them. I must say the ER took us seriously and were great, which was a really nice surprise because you hear so many horror stories. He's a bit better now at least. Not completely gone but no where near as bad as it was. :)

  7. Nonna - thanks for the hugs. He's on the mend which is the main thing. I think your mum genes kick into overdrive when your kid is in pain, especially chest pain. Exhausting and stressful.

    Arrythmic - I was an education for him! Can laugh now but must admit at the time I was holding my breath and just hoping it was something simple. Thankfully, although it is really painful, pleurisy will pass. Now to sleep for a month.

  8. Kelley - see we thought it was all up there with consumption too, but the ER doc just looked at us like we were idiots when we said that. Mind you I could do with some laudanum at the moment. Those were the good old days.

    I'll look into that group discount on the whole coma spa thing. It's sounding mighty fine at the moment.


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