There are days when I wish I could just run away – escape even for an hour. To drink a cup of coffee without being interrupted, or to close my eyes and hear nothing but the snow falling.
It’s both a blessing and a curse having a child who enjoys going to the hospital. Obviously it’s nice not to have to fight with Alex every time he gets sick – he gets sick a lot. He enjoys the attention he gets there; he loves to charm nurses and doctors alike, and to him, it’s an adventure. The downside is, he’ll pretend to be sicker than he is and then beg me to take him to see a doctor. And what better way, at this time of year, to actually catch something nasty, than sitting for hours in an emergency waiting room?
Last night he almost managed to convince me that he’d aspirated food into his lungs again. He complained of pain in his chest, that he was feverish, (he wasn’t) and he was just plain miserable, the same as he was on Christmas Eve. I suspected he might have been exhibiting symptoms from the flu shot he received the day before yesterday, so I decided to call Telehealth Ontario, a service we have here so that we can talk to a nurse, so see if our symptoms are worth taking to the emergency room.
The nurse asked me all the protocol questions before she would talk to me about Alex – is he responsive, is he in pain etc etc. I answered as honestly as I could. Yes, he was complaining of chest pain, yes he was turning blue around his lips (I explained he always does whenever he’s upset – it’s due to his heart condition) but no, he doesn’t have a fever. Finally she asked me a question that was relevant. When did he last eat? It was three hours ago. She told me that if he’d aspirated, the symptoms of that would have shown up earlier.
So while I was relieved, she was telling me to call 911 and have an ambulance take him to the hospital because of his blueness and his chest pain.
Why didn’t I? It was the sparkle in his eye that told me all he really wanted to do was visit his beloved nurses. Today there’s not a thing wrong with him.