Friday, August 16, 2013
Maybe I don't speak the language
1Peter 5:7 Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.
The Lord is always with us, even in the emergency room!
The emergency room is an interesting place. You just never know what you are going to get. There are all kinds of people there from all walks of life. Some are there for lesser injuries like cuts, broken bones, and bruises. While others are there with some very scary injuries and illnesses that may alter the course of their lives, or in fact end their lives.
I have found that in the emergency room emotions are on high, and patience is in very short supply. After all, you are there for an emergency, your emergency. You need help, and you need it right now! Sometimes you get right in to see the doctor because it's a slow night, and other times you may have to wait for hours. We have been to the emergency room dozens of times. There have been times when we have been taken right back to see the doctor, and then there have been other times where we have literally had to wait 6 hours or more. You just never know.
365 days a year and 24 hours a day the emergency room is open for business and ready to help those who need it, so time seems to take on a different meaning when you are there. There is no such thing as a "quick trip" to the emergency room (even if you do get seen right away), so you always need to be prepared to wait, and then wait some more.
This proved to be especially true the night we returned from our so-called relaxing (but very short)vacation. Upon entering the hospital we went up to the front desk to check in. I don't remember having to wait very long in the waiting area. We were taken right back to a room where we explained what had been going on with Christopher since he had been born. They examined Christopher, and it was obvious that he was dehydrated. Then in came the nurse to insert that awful looking IV in order to get some much needed fluids into his tiny little body.
At this point I was feeling pretty good about the way things were going. We were seen right away, got an IV going "pronto", and not one person had mentioned anything about him having the flu. They seemed genuinely concerned and ordered some blood work. Okay, I thought to myself. These people are getting right on this, and they are going to be able to help.
I think I spoke (sorry, I mean thought) too soon. The hours started to tick by. One hour became two and then three. Then a strange thing started happening. They must call it "ping pong doctoring" or "tag your it" because a series of doctors stopped into the room to see what was going on, ask questions, and leave. I began to think (sometimes out loud) to myself, who is in charge here? Why do we have to keep explaining things over and over again to so many different people in white lab coats? Is this a team sport or something? If so, who is "gonna call the ball"? I think I'm starting to feel that familiar old frustration creep back in.
At about the third or fourth hour another "white lab coat" appeared. This doctor told us that Christopher's lab work was back. The results showed that he was definitely dehydrated. He explained that the plan was to "beef him up" on IV fluids and send him home since the blood work didn't show any other abnormal levels.
Then I remembered that I was supposed to ask to have a Pediatric Gastrointerologist (GI doctor) look at Christopher. I was stunned by the response I got from this request. Believe it or not, this doctor actually told me that since it was Memorial Day weekend, there just wasn't anybody around. Everybody was on vacation. I'm thinking to myself... don't people get sick on weekends and holidays? Surely they already know this. The doctor then tells us to just take Christopher home and call back on Tuesday (it's a 3 day weekend). Then he said it. Yes, that's right. He told us, don't worry. He probably just has the flu!
After I picked my jaw up off the floor, I kind of lost it for a moment. I had such high hopes that somebody was going to help us, and yet here we were again. We were right back at the same old place, same old (wrong!!!) diagnosis.
For the next two or three hours my husband and I lobbied hard for Christopher. We went over everything since his birth in great detail. We even fed Christopher in front of the doctors, and when he projectile vomited the entire feeding across the room for them, they seemed unimpressed. We reminded them of his previous GI problem and surgery, but that too left them just shrugging their shoulders.
Since this was not the first time I had received this kind of response, I'm not sure why I was so surprised. I began to think that I must be speaking in some kind of foreign language that they couldn't understand. Maybe I just wasn't using the right "doctor" words to describe what was going on.
Then we demanded to be admitted. I told them that I wanted to make sure that Christopher remained hydrated over the long weekend, and that due to his obvious feeding issues I was unable to do that at home. I said that when all the doctors come back from vacation on Tuesday, they can examine Christopher then in the hospital. We basically refused to leave!
However, they basically refused to budge, and decided to "wait" us out hoping we would get frustrated and leave. More time passed, and then some more.
My sister who was 6 months pregnant, tired, and hungry had been waiting out in the waiting room for us. She can be a particularly "loud" and "persuasive" person when the moment demands it. My husband and I were completely exhausted, so we decided to unleash her on them. That seemed to do the trick. Maybe they were worried that if she continued to yell like that her blood pressure would go through the roof, and they'd have another patient on their hands. Maybe they were concerned that her anger would send her into premature labor. Whatever it was, it worked. They "blinked" and Christopher was admitted.
Needless to say, we were relieved! We had won the battle, but....not the war!
If you have never accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, you can pray like this: