Tag Archives: hospital

Hospital: the first

Dear Moms,

I am sorry I was such a sick kid. I am sorry I got whooping cough at three weeks old. I am sorry my appendix nearly burst at three years old. I am sorry about the whole diabetes diagnosis at nine years old that caused a tumult of ER runs and hospital stays. I am sorry I threw my lunches into the bushes and gave your plants my insulin doses and gorged out on chocolate under the covers of my bed, which no doubt added to those aforementioned sick-induced adventures. I am sorry I got jaundice at 11, and a near concussion at 17. I am sorry your mother’s intuition was forced to work over time for so many years just to ensure I made it through the night.

Never in my 38 years did I imagine the anguish I put you through until now.

170118sickwatch

NYE: The Sickness part 1

It is an anguish all parents go through, I am sure, but one I had yet to truly experience until recently.

On Christmas Eve Little Ring woke up with a cold. He’s had colds before, but this one was a doozy. He was lethargic; his head seemed to be in a thick fog for most of the day. Still, not a huge deal. Just a cold. On New Years Eve, he started puking. He is not a puker; I think he has puked once, maybe twice, prior. He was scared. He started screaming to scare the “fire in his belly” away. That was hard. It was the flu. Every parent has handled the flu. We could handle the flu. Two days later, his spirits were back up, his appetite was regaining steam. We thought we were in the clear. We took him sledding.

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If only the squeals had stayed joyful

I will forever feel guilt for that decision.

Oh he laughed and squealed with glee. Every ride down was better than the previous. We were out for about an hour. I was getting cold. I suggested we head for hot chocolate. His steps up the hill slowed; his body slouched. It was as though he were lugging an elephant up the hill with him. I had seen this before. It was classic Little Ring style. He was tired. He was dramatic. He wanted mama to carry him the rest of the way.

We got to our hot chocolate haunt. He and Big Ring sat down with their mugs, while I talked to my favourite tea lady at the tea counter. He came over to me and declared he wanted to go home. I thought it was exhaustion. He grabbed his head and started crying.

We got home. He laid on the couch, tossing and turning, writhing in pain. He had a fever. His ear was hurting. We gave him baby Advil. I was on hold with the nurses line for over an hour. By the end of the call, his fever had dissipated and he was chewing dried apricots, which seemed to help.

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With “fire in the belly” lying down was the go-to position

It was just an ear ache; parents deal with ear aches all the time. We were sure it would go away.

Mild fevers came and went for another week, but nothing too extraneous. On Jan. 7, he was nauseous, and feared the red bucket, again screaming to scare the pukes away. The next day he seemed fine. The fevers were on and off, but he generally runs hot. During the day he was eating, energetic, playing, building Lego, fighting superhero crime, cracking perfect Little Ring jokes. But at night, the ear pain continued to present itself.

We gave him baby Advil to make him comfortable. By Monday, we took him to see our bow-tie loving family doc. Dr. Nick looked in his ear, said there was some redness, but nothing overly concerning. He was loathe to prescribe antibiotics, which we were in agreement with, advising that it would likely clear up on its own and to continue prescribing baby Tylenol and Advil for comfort.

I had a long day at school Tuesdaay; I was out of the loft by 6:18 a.m. and didn’t get home until 8:15 p.m. meaning I didn’t see the boy at all. Big Ring texted that Little Ring had swelling around his ear, but wasn’t complaining of pain. He woke up at 10 p.m., crying out, his blanket over his head. His ear hurt. The swelling was significant. Behind his ear, his head was so swollen, his ear was pushing forward as thought it were Spock’s ear. It was red and tender. His lymph nodes were also swollen.

That was it.

Off to the ER we went. The first for the boy.

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Dear kid, PLEASE don’t become a regular like your mama.

Nearly three hours later, we had a diagnosis. The infection was in the early stages of attacking the bone. It was mastoiditis. If left untreated, it could be serious. I didn’t know the implications. All I knew is that the doctor, who I think might very well be Royal Columbian’s version of McSteamy (and he knows it!) caused my child to cry out in pain. I know he had to do it. I know they needed to see his pain level. With my fists clenched in my pockets, the nails of my fingers digging into my hands, the feeling of wanting to jump out of my skin, it took every piece of strength I had not to attack.

My eyes shot daggers.

We were prescribed a heavy dose of antibiotics; so heavy even the pharmacist winced. I didn’t ask McSteamy about the side effects, I didn’t ask if there were any other alternatives, I heard “serious implications” and everything stopped. I just wanted my boy better. It wasn’t until I got home that I started questioning the prescription.

It’s taken my control away. It’s taken Little Ring’s control away. Neither of us like losing control.

For the first 20 years of my life, without realizing, I watched as my moms protected me. I watched her advocate for me, press the doctors  and other such medical professionals for the utmost best care, and challenge them if they didn’t give it to her standards. I watched as her face never cracked. She was calm. She was patient. She rubbed my back, never showing weakness – not in my presence, nor the doctors’. She was strong. She was fierce. She had an Elizabethan fire in her not to be stoked.

Last night, I wanted to cry.

My moms never cried.

Neither did I.

170118moms

She will forever be my hero ❤

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Hospitals, the sewers of health

Hospitals, a place of health? I don’t think so; they’re more like the sewers of health!

It had been years since I had had to stay overnight in a hospital prior to Little Ring’s birth day, and I don’t know if I’d forgotten what it was like, or just didn’t care back in the day, but I tell you, I haven’t felt quite so unhealthy as I did there in a long, long time. A three-day stay and my diabetes was on the most rickety roller coaster around.

The reason: The food.

The first nurse I saw was set on putting me on the diabetes meal plan. I knew this was a bad idea. I had learned years ago, on my first plane ride, never to opt for the diabetes-specialty meal over a “regular” person’s meal, because while everyone else was eating hearty sandwiches and Kit Kat bars, I was stuck grazing on carrots. That day, I swore never again. But this nurse, she was relentless, and was not taking my no for an answer. You’re a diabetic, you belong on the diabetes meal plan. And while I could have continued fighting, I figured I had bigger things to focus on (I was having a baby after all!) and so, I let it slide.

BIG MISTAKE!

In total, I had five meals plus snacks delivered. The first meal, dinner, I didn’t open as I was in the throes of labour when it arrived, but by the pitiful look on Big Ring’s face, I knew it wasn’t pretty. The next morning, when breakfast arrived, my belly was growling up a storm, I was ravenous and was ready to sink my teeth into a hearty carb and protein rich meal. But when I opened the container and was presented with two slices of the thinnest pieces of brown toast I’d ever seen and two cups of 2% milk, plus a slab of butter, holy crap, I was flabbergasted.


Are you freaking kidding me, this is what I get after that marathon?

Let’s take a moment here to dissect that sorry state of a meal: First of all, unless it’s chocolate milk, or milk that’s been saturated in Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal, I won’t touch it. I hate milk, always have, so that was not an option. The toast, it was thin, cold, completely unappealing. There was no protein (again, the milk doesn’t count), no cheese, no peanut butter, no egg, no yogurt. So what’s that? One food group!!!

And when I looked at the menu to see if the carb counts for the toast had been supplied, all that was listed was my name, the type of diabetes I had (which, by the way, they got wrong!) and the total calorie count of the meal – no breakdown of carbs whatsoever. Hmm… when diabetics rely on carb counting, that’s not exactly the best breakdown. Sure, I could have guesstimated, but I like perfection, and by golly, a hospital should like it too.

Rather than guess the carbs on these pitiful meals, and feel starved and miserable for my entire stay, I opted to send Big Ring out for more filling feasts, and while they weren’t my preferred breakfast/lunch/dinner, and while they also forced me to guess the carb/insulin ratios, which had my blood sugars soaring and plummeting all day and all night, at least I wasn’t feeling food deprived.


Maybe hospitals should take a cue from running and cycling races!

Lesson learned: If you want to stay healthy, stay out of hospitals!