Challenges of Parenting


Today has been a challenging day to be a parent.  Rose still wasn't feeling better.  She slept on my lap as I posted a question about her recent behavior to the Ethiopian Adoptive Families forum that our agency has.  Someone replied with a name of a parasite that their son came home with that produced similar symptoms.  I called our pediatrician's office to find out if that was part of the stuff they had screened Rose for, only to find that they had never received the results of the fecal labs that we had done weeks ago at Children's Hospital.  So the nurse called to get the lab results (normal, but they hadn't tested for that specific parasite) and then called me right back.  

I talked to one of the doctors in the office a bit more on the phone, explained that I was really concerned with how different Rose looked today, she just really wasn't herself.  The pediatrician I spoke with told us to start making our way to the Emergency Room at Children's Hospital.  There was a slight dilemma there, as I had Dillon as well, and also his first soccer practice with his new team, the Astros, was tonight.

We worked out that we would drop D with Nic, who (if we weren't back by 5:30, would take Dillon to soccer practice).  Then Chuck left work early for the day so he could come to the ER with me and Rose.  I know this was especially tough for him as they had some big disaster yesterday and he had warned me already he'd have to work all night tonight.

We get to the ER around 4pm and aren't seen by a doctor until around 5:45.  They seemed really busy, so I didn't mind except for missing D's practice.  But we finally get into an exam room, where we hang out forever, then they x-ray Rose's tummy & chest (all normal and good news, rules out pneumonia) then they try to put in an IV.

One nurse holds her while another pokes.   I am right next to her for comforting purposes.  It takes an interminable amount of time as they try one arm, dig around, try her hand, blood spurts, a vein collapses, then they poke her in the other arm.  The other nurse takes a turn and at this point they have to hold her stomach-down on the table, with Chuck and I helping to hold her down.  She screams, “mommy, mommy!” repeatedly at the top of her lungs.  It was terrible..  But after they got it in and I could pick her up she calmed down right away.

Then we hang around, waiting for her labs to come back.  During this time someone mentions to us that they will most likely admit her, and this is the first time this thought even occurs to me.  We call my mom, who will watch D for the night, talk to him and find out that he's #4 on the Astros, he got his jersey and the colors are black, red, and white.  He's excited to sleep over at Grandma's house.  

When the labs come back (around 9pm) they tell us that they are going to admit her because her AST and ALT counts (something to do with liver output) are seriously elevated, over 100 times what they should be.  Then we have to wait for a room.  

It's around 11pm when we get taken to our room, which is shared with another child.  Rose pretty much falls right asleep on top of me in the hospital bed, and manages to sleep through what seems like an endless stream of nurses and doctors poking her belly, taking her temperature, doing her blood pressure, and listening to various parts of her with their stethescopes.

I start watching “Harry Potter & The Goblet of Fire” which is on one of the channels and then a resident comes in to talk to us about how Rose's doing.  He tells us a couple of possibilities, all of which sound particularly horrible and scary.  He asks me a bunch of questions that basically boil down to “did you poison your kid and are you just not telling us something?”   Which I try very hard not to take offense at, but I sort of decide I don't like this guy when he comes back an hour later at 2am and asks me again if I let her drink a couple bottles of children's tylenol.  Chuck sort of sleeps through a bunch of this on the couch in our room.  After the 2am visit I throw pennies at his head to wake him up (it doesn't) and then I just wait for a nurse to come back in and wake him, because I am pinned under Rose but we have been told that if we don't move our car tonight it will be towed out of the ER parking lot.  This sort of sucks, but as we had to circle around forever (and eventually Chuck dropped us off and parked in a driveway) I appreciate the need to keep that lot clear.  The nurse comes back in as I am weighing the repercussions of throwing a phone at Chuck (I decide it will probably be too noisy and potentially painful) as it is the only item I can reach since I ran out of pocket change.  Chuck wakes up and moves the car to another lot.  Then I am finally able to fall asleep at about 3am, but still wake every hour as the nurse comes to check on Rose. 

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