For those of you pressed for time, I have included both a short and long version of last night's events:
2 Reasons I should have suspected an unwelcome adventure was brewing:
(1) My good friend had to take her 9 month old to the ER the other week and after reading her e-mail about it, I thought to myself, "Boy, we sure have been lucky that we've never had to take any of our kids to the ER yet."
(2) Yesterday David said more than once, "We have no plans tonight, what should we do??".
Oh, come on, the shorter version intriqued you to keep reading whether you really have the time or not....
As you may have gathered, this tale is about my first trip to the ER with one of our children. And from the title, you probably also deduced it was with our middle child, Drue.
Calm down. It's not a scary tale of a mad dash to the hospital with me playing the role of the hysterical mother carrying her screeching child who made an unsuccessful attempt to jump off the roof. (Although I'm sure that day is coming...). Rather, it's simply a cute little tale about a 2 year old girl and her first real hospital experience. (Besides her actual birth experience of course. No way am I a bathtub- birthin'-from- home kinda gal...)
Now where was I? Oh, alright, I suppose you may be a tad interested about her mystery ailment. When all was said and done, they diagnosed it as an allergic reaction to something she ate on Thursday. It started as a small rash near her little hips and grew and grew and grew until large red welts covered her entire torso, thighs, and face, including her eyelids! Everytime we changed her diaper or got her up from a nap, it had spread even more. So the nurse who answered our doctor's call service said she needed to be seen. Before Monday.
For some reason, Drue is always in denial when she's sick. A few weeks ago when her temp spiked at 104 she furrowed her little eyebrows and adamantly contended, "I'm NOT SICK!!". So when I announced I was taking her to see the doctor for her rash....the eyebrows furrowed...and she stated rather seriously, "I don't have a rash!!". The only way she would come with me willingly was if I let her wear a "pretty" aka "dress".
We walked hand in hand out the front door with Drue looking as though she were heading to a ballet instead of a hospital. I must say, for our first trip to the ER, it was a very relaxing visit, of which I'm glad. A smooth "practice run", if you will. I must have been slightly unsettled deep down, however, because I signed her in using my middle initial, not hers. I didn't even catch it until I began reading to her what was typed on her little hospital bracelet.
While she was perched on my lap in a rocking chair in the exam room jabbering away, I began lamenting the fact that we hadn't brushed her teeth before we left the house! Why is it we mothers become so concerned with personal hygiene during these types of emergency situations? If we're not worrying about the state of our children's undergarments in a car wreck, we're worrying about the state of their breath when a rash is covering 75% of their body.
When she got tired of sitting on my lap, she hopped down and lay on the floor. "Sweetie, get up please. There's germies on the floor." She instantly sat up and started looking around. Confused, she said, "What did you say Mommy?". "I said there are germs. Germs on the floor." "Ohhhhhh....germs," she restated. "I thought you said Jeremy's on the floor!". (He's one of our good friends whom the girls adore).
I fished a piece of gum out of my purse and tried to pop it into my mouth before Drue saw me. I got caught...mid-pop. She wanted some. I hesitantly broke off a little piece for her and kept repeating, "You can't swallow it honey. Just chew it for a bit, then spit it in the trash".
Chew. Chew. Chew. Gulp. No mouth movement.
"Drue!?!? Where's your gum?".
"It's in my throat. I can't spit it in the trash."
Oh well...on the plus side, maybe it had helped her breath situtation during the 5.2 seconds it was actually in her mouth.
It's a bit challenging to keep coming up with appropriate conversation topics on a toddler's level in an exam room equipped with just one book....the shortest version of Beauty & the Beast known to man. "What do you want to eat for supper when we're finished here sweetie?", I asked. "Jellybeans!" was her decided meal of choice.
As the doctor was finishing up her exam, she asked Drue if she liked popsicles. Drue quickly nodded. I called David while the doctor left to write her presctiption and discharge orders. "...we just have to get her meds first and then we'll head home" I finished. "And get my popsicle!" Drue interjected.
Something told me the doctor might forget the promised item so I prepared Drue for the fact that they may have "run out" and if that was the case, we would go by the grocery store on the way home and pick some up. Sure enough, in came the doctor with no popsicle nor mention of one. "She can't find one" Drue observed.
In conclusion (you're probably kicking yourself for not having stuck with the short version) I was able to spend 3 quality hours with just Drue. My middle child, who, in the grand scheme of things, will never have her Mommy all to herself the way Reese did for a bit, and the way Tate will once both the girls are in school. She was a perfect little angel. Nary a fit was pitched. It was neat to sit back and watch her unique little personality shine, without the audience of her brother and sister, tempting her to act a bit crazy.
Perhaps our next chance at quality time together could be spent shopping, or playing at the park, rather than sitting in a stark, unwelcoming ER room. One can only hope.