Saturday, July 14, 2012

vERgins no more

That's right, Carrie and I finally made our first trip as parents to our local emergency room. The story isn't nearly as glamorous or dramatic as the countless events I imagined would one day compel us there - a freakishly awkward fall from the monkey bars, an unexpected tumble down the stairs, a mouth full of table corner, and so on - but in that moment a screaming child's agony makes the how inconsequential. 

Amari has had a cold for the past three weeks. She had had a great run of health until one day I cavalierly decided to say aloud to a friend something along the lines of, "She's had a great run of health." Then, I'm pretty sure it was just moments later, she started coughing. Then sniffling. Then oozing liquids out of seemingly everywhere. The cold, much like the tide, ebbed and flowed, then mostly flowed. Combine its stamina with Amari's propensity towards the dramatic, and I was starting to lose it a bit. I'm not saying she wasn't in pain, but for some reason coughing hurt a lot more when she had to put on pajamas or wipe her nose and a lot less when she was watching Dora or eating a popsicles.

Carrie's Guilt

Late last week I suggested we take Amari in to see Carla, to find out if there was something more going on than her cold. Carrie brushed off the idea, reminding me that our friend's daughter had survived much longer colds and that  there probably wasn't much that could be done. 

My guilt 

Amari continued to struggle with sleep, often needing to be driven around before she would eventually pass out. Two nights ago, Amari woke up at around two-thirty in the morning, crying and wanting to go downstairs. I took the first shift, and for a moment Dora, her cousin Diego, and a strawberry lemonade popsicle worked their magic, only this time it was fleeting. Carrie joined us downstairs, so I tried to get some sleep. No chance. I was back in a hurry and greeted with the news that Carrie had decided it was time to go to the ER, spurred by Amari's proclamation that she had an "Ouchie in her ear." 

I admit it. I balked. It seemed too sudden. Plus I'm pretty sure our medical plan doesn't cover ER visits. Selfish? Yes, but I wanted to be sure, because she was  also complaining about ouchies in her tummy, throat, knee, and elbow earlier that evening. "I'll drive her around again," thinking she might just be wound up and overtired. It took about three minutes of her screaming in the car seat for me to turn around, pick Carrie up, and drive the eleven more it took to get to the hospital. 

The next half an hour played out like that children's book "Fortunately":

Fortunately, when we arrived the ER was quiet. Unfortunately, a freaky puppet-looking, bald, male nurse with no bedside manner or experience with kids took Amari's temp and pulse, which amplified her screams echoing down the empty, sterile hallways. Fortunately, Carrie arrived with a young, attractive, part Asian doctor came with a teddy bear and the experience of two kids of her own. Unfortunately, she checked Amari's ears, and found infection on the right side. Fortunately, she sent in some magic ear drops that were supposed to anesthetize Amari's ear. Unfortunately, the nurse-puppet sucked at administering them. Fortunately, enough made it to the infected area to soothe Amari, and within 10 minutes she went from screaming to sleeping. 

Ahhh...Nothing sounds better than that silence.

Now she is on antibiotics and on the mend. She looks better, she's oozing less, her appetite is back, and best of all Fishmanor is once again sleeping through the night.