The waiting room was packed at seven in the evening, but not to worry: when you tell the triage nurse you have a two year old experiencing shortness of breath you get bumped to the head of the line. Quickly. They sent someone out within ten minutes to look at Thomas in the waiting room, and when she saw his chest retracting (pulling in tight at every breath so his ribs popped out) she said, ‘Yup, I need to see him. Bring him back.’
He was an amazing little guy, letting the nurse put a ‘sticker’ on his toe to read his oxygen level, sitting quietly as she checked his heart rate, and not even flinching when he had his temperature read rectally. He sat patiently in his stroller while I held a wand in his face that blew Albuterol up his nose – three rounds of it – and then tolerated a large plastic mask when the nurse finally found one. The nurse warned me ahead of time that kids don’t like nebulizer treatments, and that he’ll probably fuss with all that steam in his face. But no. He sat there sucking his thumb. Who DOES this? I know adults who aren’t that compliant.
Ruthie was a big girl. She was in charge of the Spiderman bag and charming all the staff. In her cuteness she managed to score stickers, graham crackers, teddy bears, paper and crayons, and special trips to help the nurses get supplies. She never once darted out the door or pushed big red buttons or pulled on emergency cords. She danced, she colored, she sang songs, she twirled, she said hello to sick and injured people as they were wheeled past our room… she was the poster child for Pleasantness.
Honestly, and I know this may sound crazy, but I think I may have had more fun in the emergency room than if we’d been at home all alone.
As usual, photos.