Archive for February, 2006

Surfing the ‘net instead of doing weekend work

Sunday, February 5th, 2006

I am supposed to be getting some major league work done from home this weekend. Some big deadlines (and a client meeting) will occur in the coming week.

But Paul has been writing a paper for his legal writing class, and ONE of us has to watch the baby and go buy diapers and formula.

So instead of getting much office work (or tidying around the house) done, (and to Paul’s great irritation, I might add) I’ve been spending too much time surfing the Internet and reading blogs when Emma naps.

May God help me.

Hmmm, maybe She will, since one of the things I accomplished was scoring a 10 out of 10 on this quiz on a website hosted by a friend of a friend…

10 out of 10

I got 9 out of ten right on a Bhuddhism quiz, too. Don’t think I would do too well on one about the Upanishads, though, not that I found one…

Late Night with Dr. Adler

Saturday, February 4th, 2006

Well! We had a big adventure here on Thursday. Miss Emma was looking very healthy for a while there, but things had taken a turn for the less robust after she finally finished her antibiotic-applesauce cocktails a few days ago.

During the day on Thursday, J., who takes care of Emma, called me at work to say that she was concerned about Emma’s coughing and breathing. And Emma just didn’t seem to be feeling well.

When I picked her up that night, she had a temperature of 101.4. She had watery eyes surrounded by pink, weary-looking lids. She had just, let’s say, “expectorated” on J., and looked like she would have told me, if she could talk, that the felt like she’d been hit by a truck. In the car on the way home, I called our pediatrician, after hours. Since Emma’s been sick for about 4 weeks! now and is so young, he agreed to see her at 8:30 the next morning. I gave her some Tylenol at home, and held her in my lap most of the evening and quietly sang little songs to her.

Oma came over for a little while, and was very worried about her little grandaughter.

I put her to bed at the usual time, and woke up a time or two to check on her or feed her when she fussed.

But when Paul took his turn to do a check in response to her fussing, what he found panicked him. He said that she was having a great deal of difficulty breathing: coughing, not breathing for three seconds, and then breathing quickly to “catch up.” Her breathing was labored, and her wheezing was worse than I had heard it before. This is kind of what J. had tried to describe to me on the phone. Paul was suddenly into “we’re taking care of this baby NOW” mode, and before I knew it, we’d run out the door, and were on our way to the ER room just a few blocks from our house. It was the only time we’ve ever not taken the time to clip Emma into her car seat. Instead, I just carried the little wheezing girl on my lap in the passenger seat.

That was at just after 1:00 a.m.

Emma got the full work up: a chest x-ray (disclaimer: the picture here is not her actual x-ray), some blood tests, nebulizer treatments, an IV, and several botched attempts at administering medicines orally to our clamp-jawed gal.

Is it wrong of me to feel some validation in the fact that even Nurse Stacey was unable to penetrate the fortress of my daughter’s decidedly anti-medicine mouth with the likes of a plastic syringe? I suppose I would take more comfort in her failure if it weren’t so clear that Stacey was not generally adept in treating the younger set.

At one point – and I have to credit her resourcfulness on this – she returned to the room with a bottle and some applejuice, as part of a ruse to disguise the bad-tasting stuff. Unfortunately, she had not properly secured the nipple-top to the bottle. This resulted, when the concoction was administered, in the flow of amber-colored juice all over Emma’s cheeks, chin, and neck. Nurse Stacey (who as a nurse, I suppose, takes some pride in her ability to ably comfort) was a bit mortified. We heard her recounting the episode in the hallway to any other nurses that had nothing better to listen to at 3:00 a.m.

The next couple of status checks were performed by Nurse Ben, whom we suspect Stacey recruited so as to avoid having to revisit the scene of her embarrassment.

After some other failed attempts (and gown changes), an executive decision was made to introduce the medicines by IV tube, which Ben inserted like a pro.

And Dr. Adler was the physician over seeing it all. A kindly guy. Late 30’s, maybe; wearing a wedding ring. I found myself wondering about what kind of people choose to work this late night shift – and whether the get paid any more for working at that hour. I also wondered if Dr. Adler had any kids of his own. Didn’t ask him though.

In fact, I started shutting down and missing my opportunity to ask a lot of things. Because we were in the ER for 5 (count ’em, five) hours. Yep. A real restful night. After that, I wanted to run a marathon. Oh, wait. I mean sleep for six days. But instead, on fumes, but not much sleep, I went off to work, and Paul kept the appointment with the Pediatrician, as coordinated between that Dr. and Dr. Adler at sometime around 5:00a.m.

Emma is doing better now. Just on a new course of steroids for a few days to help with breathing. And just fighting off this new round of bronchiolitis that she was lucky enough to catch.

And how does our Pediatrician know that it’s a new round? It’s music to him, that’s how. According to that doc, the wheezes she presented with a few weeks back were “musical,” while those she has now are “rough.” Who knew there different ways to describe audible breathing? I guess he did.

But still, despite some lost sleep and extra comforting duties of late, we’re sure she’ll pull through, and we feel so lucky about Emma’s health status generally. A coworker of mine has a daughter Emma’s age that was hospitalized last week with pneumonia. And Paul’s cousin recently had a premature baby, who is struggling with some health issues, not the least of which is that he weighs 4.5 pounds. I hadn’t realized how small that was until we visited the little guy in his incubator in a baby intensive care unit. He is expected to stay there for 4 – 6 weeks! That baby is so precious, and so tiny. We wish all the best to him and his family, and can’t wait for him to grow up to be big and strong so that he can cause mischief with Emma when the family gets together on holidays.