Last night marked a milestone every parent is familiar with, although ours was relatively mild compared to some stories I’ve heard. Yesterday in the late afternoon/early evening Besh woke up from his nap and came downstairs. After some juice (his “juice moomoo” as he calls it since it’s one of those Naked juice smoothies–hey, don’t blame me, I didn’t name it) he went upstairs to put on pants so we could go on an adventure.
But when he came down he started screaming and crying about his head and neck. The pain wasn’t getting better, and even when we gave him so Motrin he was still crying in a way we hadn’t seen before. He said he wanted to see a doctor, a direction we were already heading, so we loaded into the car and drove off to Dell Children’s Hospital.
Upon arrival, the triage nurse took one look at the way Besh was holding his shoulder and confidently told us he’d broken his collarbone. I can only imagine the look on Sara’s face matched my own–shock, confusion, broke his what what?
Naturally, the wait at the ER was very long. It was pretty packed when we arrived, and it was interesting trying to keep a still-in-pain and inquisitive 3-year-old entertained/distracted while simultaneously not touching anything in his vicinity. We took a few walks, went looking for the elevators, etc. as we waited for the admitting nurse to take a look and potentially order X-rays.
After that wait, the admitting nurse said it was likely just a muscle issue and not meningitis since he could touch his chin to his chest (he just couldn’t look to his left or up). Meningitis was something that hadn’t even occurred to me, which may be a testament to the fact I’m way behind on House episodes.
More waiting in a less crowded but equally germ infested waiting room, then we finally got into an exam room around 10 pm, about 3 hours after arriving. Besh was in better spirits by then, either in less pain or having found a way not to make it worse. We watched some horrible Disney tweener sitcoms until the doctor came and checked out the neck. Besh bargained for the ability to turn on the nearby surgical light in exchange for the exam–thus negotiated, he was examined and gladly switched the light on and off while the doctor told us about Torticollis. Not much can be done, but there are some things to look out for it. And no X-rays since nothing appeared to be broken.
More waiting to be discharged, which happened about 11:30. But Besh was in great spirits. As I paid, one of the techs from the admitting area saw Besh and said hello. Besh told him, “Hey–you go back in your room and stay there! Okay?” The man laughed and went back in. Then Besh came to the pay area and said hi to the woman running my credit card. She asked if he was feeling better and he said, “Oh yes, of course. I’m going home. I will miss you very much.”
Then off to home–he stayed awake the entire ride but went down fairly easily when we arrived. All in all, probably the best we could hope for from a first ER trip.
One final note, and a piece of advice for parents out there. Sara had the incredible foresight to pack a backpack while I was pulling on jeans. In it–his jacket, a blanket, some toys and a book and his pajamas/overnight diaper. So when we were waiting to be discharged we were able to put him in his pajamas–if he had fallen asleep in the car it would have been an easy transfer. Brilliant. Anyone who has an ER trip after 2pm, bring that bag! She also had the great idea to ask me to bring some food, but unfortunately she asked me and all I grabbed was a few cereal bars and a 100-calorie pack of chocolate covered pretzels. Yup, that’s a Daddy dinner alright. He ate that all over the course of the night, but never complained about being hungry. Neither did Sara, come to think of it, even though all we had last night was a bottle of water.