Since i now have first hand knowledge of a trip to the ER, i thought i’d post on the essentials needed for a emergency trip to the ER. Please know i’m not wishing anyone, ever have to go to the ER, as i have. But let’s face it, things happen, kids get sick, kids break arms & legs, kids fall down and get little cuts and most of these things end up happening on the weekends, when you can’t just take your child to the doctors office.
My Er trip truly began(although i didn’t know) with a fun trip to the splash pad, on Friday. I met a few fellow twin mommies and we decided to hang out with our kidos for a few hours. As i was putting one of my twins back in the car, i noticed she had a bite on the back of her ankle that looked like a mosquito bite. IF you live in TX, you know all about our Texas size mosquito’s(better known as skeeters to us)! I got all the kidos loaded up and headed home. The one twin that had the bite never made a squeak when she was bitten, so i didn’t think much of the whole ordeal. Fast Foward to Saturday morning, i pulled off her footie pj’s and there is a gigantic bruise like bump on her ankle but not where the actual bite was located. I called my hubby in to check it out and he also thought it looked pretty bad, considering it had been almost 24 hours since the unknown bug actually bit her. We decided to keep an eye on it. I called our local drug store to get the measurements for bendaryl, as i thought maybe that would help pretty quickly. She has never had an allergic reaction to anything and had been bitten not to long ago, by a sick bee that somehow managed to get into our house and into the girls bedroom. So, as time went by yesterday, i checked it and it seemed to get bigger and bigger by the hour. After a bit of conversation with my hubby i decided it was time to call the doctor. I was able to get a hold of the dr. immediately and was on my way to the ER by myself within 20 minutes of time. She told me that chances are, it was a staph infection, if the bite didn’t seem to be going down with the benadryl. Doctors are always a bit anti-Er because of the chance that your child can end up picking up more in the Er than what you were going for, in the first place. But, this time, my doctor sounded differently. She sounded more concerned, which in turn really had me worried!
Rushing through the house i packed as much as i thought we’d need for a few hour trip. I grabbed the diaper bag, added some snacks, a jacket for the baby, sanitizer wipes, a sippy cup, checked my purse for insurance card, credit card, cash for parking, cell phone and my saving grace was: the dollar book i had just bought the day before at target full of pictures of animals(since my twins are major animal lovers).
We rushed off to the hospital for our first run at the ER. I was scared out of my mind. I have been one time before this and that was when my oldest daughter was 20 months and we were on the way to a wedding in MO. We had stopped for a day of enjoyment in AR and on our way to the hot springs my big girl began to vomit in the car. She kept on and on and on. We sped back to the hotel as fast as we could that day and finally by about 7p we decided the vomiting hadn’t stopped and we needed to go in to the ER in AR. That was scary, but that day i was with my hubby so it wasn’t soo scary. On the contrary, this time, i was on my own. Someone had to stay home with our other two kidos, and I, being the mommy that cares for our children on a day to day basis, we both agreed it’d be better if i took her to the ER. My twins had NEVER been apart until yesterday. Luckily, the other twin was sleeping because we were really worried she’d have a break down if she saw her sister leaving and she couldn’t go along with her. The rest of the trip is not all that important. Luckily, the ER was actually not packed on a Saturday afternoon and i was able to get checked in, vitals taken and into a room within a good 45 minutes. The dr. came in almost immediately and we were done with the actual visit in about one hour. The hard part was waiting afterwards. The back office people must have had many more important things to do yesterday, because we sat in that room for a good hour to hour and a half after the actual doctor came in, just waiting for the paperwork lady to come in and give me our discharge papers. UGH…what a waste of time. That time was when my handy dandy bag o tricks really paid off. I think my daughter and i went through my entire purse a couple of times. She probably had ten to twenty conversations on my powered down cell phone, turned into toy phone. We had water for her to drink, a book we read a good twenty or maybe thirty times and snacks to keep her calm.
All in all, my Er visit wasn’t as bad as i had thought.
My few suggestions to every mom out there would be:
1. always have your diaper bag packed(diapers, snacks, toys, diaper wipes, an empty bottle or sippy cup and maybe even a bottle of water & formula if your child is still under one)
2. Always keep your insurance cards, credit cards, and a few dollars in your wallet. I’m bad at getting out my cc to purchase something on line and forgetting to put the card back in my purse right away. I’m also really bad at not carrying cash in my wallet.
3. Be prepared and stay as calm as you can(now make note, if you are calling 911 and it’s a MAJOR emergency you don’t worry about any of these things as they won’t be of a concern if you child is that sick). I’m writing this for those, who are driving to the emergency room and have a second or two to grab things as you are headed out the door and your taking your baby in the car with YOU.
4. Keep the number to your pedi’s office in your wallet somewhere. I even keep the “emergency/after hours number” written down on the back of the dr’s card so i don’t have to call the pedi’s office and wait for the darn answering machine to pick up and then have to write down the Emergency number. Writing the emergency number down ahead of time will save you a few steps.
5. Also, call your Pedi ahead of time, if you can, so she/he can call the hospital to let them know you are on your way. My dr. was great and they knew who i was when i walked in the door.
6. Plan ahead and have someone that can babysit if need be. Luckily i haven’t had to deal with that yet. But there may be a time when my hubby is at work or out of town and i have no idea what i’d to with my other children. I still need to work on a backup plan on what to do if i don’t have anyone in home to watch my kids. Maybe talk to a neighbor or nearby relative or just have some sort of back up sitter, just in case.
7. Always have a hospital in the back of your mind. It’s kinda like being prepared for labor. Maybe figure out what hospital you’ll go to and take a quick drive to that hospital and do a dry run. Yesterday i had NO IDEA where i was going. I had to do a few circles to find the right parking garage. Then i didn’t know where to go in and what elevator to take. Then i had to find the ER. I guess i could have valet parked in the case of a true emergency, but it’s still good to know where to go and where the actual emergency room is so your not walking around in a daze with a sick child.
I know this is kinda a debbie downer for a post. But i feel that everyone with children that has not made a trip to the ER, can and maybe will benefit from my first experience to the ER. We all know that sometimes things happen and you just never know if or when you may need to make a trip to the ER. Being prepared ahead of time saves a few extra minutes if indeed you ever do(hopefully not) have to make a ER run.
I have to say, now that i have been once, i’m not SOO scared. The first time is always very frightening because you don’t know what to do. Now, i know, if the need every arises again i’ll know where to go, what to do and what to take with me. Having three kids for me, means i’m three times as likely to end up taking a child to the ER…i made it through my first trip. Now, hopefully i’ll never have to do it again!