Monday, August 24, 2009

Add another one to the list

Having Fun with Honey at the beach.

Too bad reality set in.

Rolo woke up at 4:00 am on the day we were supposed to be leaving and was screaming in pain. His ear hurt. Rolo has had multiple ear infections and tubes in his ears, so off to the ER we went, a Saturday sickness in another city leaves us with very little choice of where to go. Since he didn't have a fever and the ER docs didn't "see" that much (a slight irritation), they gave him a topical pain reliever for his ear. A few hours later he had a fever and was no longer in pain, but was certainly a sick little boy. Then a few more hours later and at our home, I see that his eardrum has obviously ruptured (no need for gory details here). Ughhh! A trip to our pediatrician confirms the rupture. Some meds for the ear and the infection and my little boy is feeling much better.
This got me thinking of how many ER's I've been to with my kids. Here's the list for the past 10 years.
  1. Tripler Army Hospital Honolulu Hawaii
  2. Bon Secours DePaul Medical Center Norfolk Virginia
  3. Portsmouth Naval Hospital-Portsmouth Virginia
  4. Children's Hospital of the King's Daughters-Norfolk Virginia
  5. INOVA Fairfax Hospital-Fairfax Virginia
  6. INOVA Emergency Healthplex Center-Alexandria Virginia
  7. Howard County General Hospital- Columbia Maryland
  8. Erlanger Hospital-Chattanooga Tennessee
  9. Chatuge Regional Hospital-Hiawassee Georgia
  10. Dewitt Army Hospital-Fort Belvior Virginia
  11. Sentara Virginia Beach Hospital-Virginia Beach Virginia
Wow, that's a lot once I started to think about it. And that is just the ER's I've been to!

Thankfully we have been lucky that most trips have been for simple things and the two times I've had bad experiences, I've had the nerve to leave one ER and go to another. Word of advice... NEVER go to #2 DePaul Medical Center, unless you just want an autopsy. Horrible does not begin to describe their ER. I would always go to #5 INOVA Fairfax and #4 Children's Hospital of the King's Daughters. CHKD saved Elizabeth from extreme dehydration when she was having a bad Reflux & stomach flu combo. The memories of my little girl being so sick still scare me. I wish I had some words of wisdom to gleam from all this time in the ER's, but my advice is the same as you read elsewhere.
  1. Make sure the staff cleans their hands. There is nothing more disgusting than an ER.
  2. Go with your gut. Remember the old joke "what do they call the person that graduates last in their class from medical school" Answer: Doctor. They are human after all.
  3. If a doctor is acting all high and mighty, start calling him/her by his/her first name. Nothing brings them down to your level so fast as the familiarity of a first name.
On to a simpler life for a month (I can only hope!)

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