Sunday, March 9, 2008

Ben Details: The ER.

Please bear with me as I chronicle the events of this past week. You probably aren't all that interested in the play-by-play but I need to get it down now so I can remember it in the future. There's a lot I don't want to forget so this will probably be long and not very witty or interesting.

About 2 or 3 months ago Ben had an episode of quite a bit of blood in a series of bowel movements fairly late at night. We called our pedi. and he said to wait and see if it happened again the next day. If it did, to bring him in to the office. The next day Ben was back to his usual self. No pain, no blood, just regular Ben. Through out this time every once in a while, maybe once every couple of weeks he'd have a tiny bit of blood on his poop but not enough to concern me. I just chalked it up as straining during the bowel movement.

Then Tuesday the same kind of episode happened again. Around noon he had a small poop with a little blood. After lunch he voluntarily pooped in the potty (Oh, Happy Day!!!). When I checked on him it was quite a bit of poop with quite a bit of blood. Ben kept telling me, "Look, momma, the water is red." But since it was in the potty it was hard to tell just how much blood there really had been. I put him down for a nap (in a pull-up) and about 20 minutes later he got up with a dirty diaper. This time there was more poop and a lot of blood, including a blood clot about the size of a nickel! This time I knew it was more than just straining and called the pediatrician. It was about 1:45 PM and I was able to get an appointment for 5 PM. The nurse I spoke with said to bring in the diaper if possible so they could take a look at how much blood there was. I called Joel and he came home around 3:30 PM. About the same time Ben got up from his nap and had pooped a little more in his pull-up with a little more blood.

Ben & I took off for the pediatrician's office for our appointment. We go to a group of about 5 doctors. Dr. Silversmith is "our" doctor (he's great and even has 2 boys close to the ages of mine so he doesn't get freaked out by my guys' bruises and crazy stunts!) but he wasn't in the office. We saw Dr. Zinck even though Dr. Noel (both women) was the doctor on-call for the day for sick patients.

Dr. Zinck started asking questions and seemed ready to write it off as strain during bowel movement until she looked at the two diapers. Then she got serious about us. She sent us to Hasbro Children's Hospital (Yes, it's named after the toy company which is based in RI. I'm guessing at some point they donated a lot of money to the hospital.) in Providence. She sent us there because she wouldn't be able to get us in to see a GI doctor for a few days and going to the ER should expedite matters.

So, Ben and I stopped at home, packed an overnight bag, and grabbed a small supper to eat. Then we took off for the ER. (Unfortunately, Joel and I were not able to vote in our state's primary as a result. Not that our 2 votes would have helped our candidate any. Sigh. Oh, the pain of living in a blue state!) We arrived at the ER around 7 PM. We finally made it into a room after 9 PM. Talk about being tired! It was all I could do to stay awake sitting in the waiting room bored to tears. Also, I kept thinking, "We came in without the flu, please let us go out without the flu!" I had my travel sized GermX with me and kept cleaning our hands. = )

We finally got into an exam room and they whisked us off to X-Ray Ben's stomach. He was a trooper and barely whimpered, though the whole thing was a little scary for him. We got back into our exam room and the nurse put an iv into his arm. The poor guy! One nurse held him down while the other one DUG around in his arm. His lip pooched out and his eyes filled up with tears and he whimpered. He tried to hold back the tears and not cry. I told him he was very brave and that it was ok to cry. Then I asked him if momma could cry. He quickly responded "nooo." Let me tell ya, it was all I could do NOT to cry. Another half-hour or so later a doctor examined him.

A pretty girl doctor who, I swear, could NOT have been more than 25 years-old! She asked all the same questions our pedi had asked and the nurses had asked. Did I mention she was pretty? With long full auburn hair that she had to flip (I PROMISE, she flipped it just like only a pretty girl knows how to do!) out of the way so she could examine my son. I really wanted to tell her that she's working in the ER. No one cares how pretty her hair is. PULL IT BACK, for Pete's sake so you can do your job!

I explained all my answers to her and offered her the diapers with the blood so she could see for herself how much it was. "I don't need to see them," she responded with a wave of her hand. I could see she was dismissing us as "strain or constipation." Argh! Then she left and after another half-hour or so ANOTHER doctor came in. This one was a little older, probably 30s, definitely more experienced. And not doing the pretty girl hair flip. I think she was the boss of the other girl. So I explained everything to her all over again. If you are counting, that's 3 doctors and 3 nurses I've explained the situation to in about 4 hours. She also didn't feel the need to see the diapers.

I could tell they were not taking me seriously about the amount of blood and were going to send us home. They explained all the possibilities that could cause the blood (including straining, constipation, and just random-never-going-to-know causes) and implied they were sending us home and we should see a GI doctor for further diagnosis. I started praying. On one hand I wanted to go home. I was tired and emotional and nobody wants to stay in the hospital with their little boy. On the other hand, I knew this was serious and the longer we waited to look inside him where the bleeding was occurring the harder it would be to diagnose him.

FINALLY, one of the doctors came back and said they had called my on-call pedi. (Dr. Noel) to release us and she informed them she was not comfortable with us going home and wanted us admitted. Yeah!!! for a doctor who believed me!!

And thus began the LONG wait to be moved upstairs into a patient room. We nearly went to sleep in the ER. Both of us were so tired. And hungry. And thirsty. Though Ben did score a grape popsicle which caused us to have to change his shirt and left a purple stain around his mouth that the nurses upstairs mistook for bruises.

Finally around 1 AM Tuesday Night/Wednesday Morning they moved us up to a patient room for "observation." That's SIX hours in the ER. 2 ER doctors and 2 ER nurses. 1 set of X-rays. And 1 IV installed.


Alicia said...

Oh, it's awful-to sit through an ER experience AND not be listened to or dealt with seriously. I hate it!! You handled it so well, and I'm so glad this didn't continue to go undiagnosed. I'm praying so much for you, Ben, and the results.

Amy said...

Seems like a concerned parent should ALWAYS be taken seriously! Is there anything you would suggest if I were ever in your situation (in dealing with Hasbro specifically)?

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...