What an unexpected place to find quality time with your daughter, right!? But honestly, after going to Urgent Care yesterday, missing school, trying desperately to figure out what’s going on with Cammy breaking out ALL over the place in itching welts and red patches..we ended up having a pretty good time in the Outer Banks Hospital Emergency Department.
If you know our history, we’re not strangers to emergency visits. In the past five years we’ve been in more times than we can count. We’ve been in and out left and right but that’s kind of the package that comes with having children for some people – it’s really unpredictable! From Cammy being six months old and getting violently sick over sweet potatoes to Ellie our first Christmas here in the Outer Banks and her record fever spiking twice in a month, to me overnight and pregnant with reflux that sent me into unmanageable episodes of nausea….we’re kind of over it. They put Cammy in the little hospital bed last night and I just started tearing up before anything happened because we’re burned out on it but last night ended up not actually being so bad.
First of all, the staff was so nice to us and I can’t say that’s something we are used to in emergency departments. I know from friends that it’s a tough and thankless job sometimes but we are always polite, generally calm and a little scared when we’re there so we’re bummed when we get a stoic or impatient nurse or EMT. We know the bottom line is getting us treated, but sometimes it’s hard to want to be helped by someone who doesn’t at all seem like they even want to help you, or be there.
It made such a difference how nice the nurse and P.A. were and they kept Cammy feeling really protected and confident. She’s like me and generally a huge wimp so I didn’t know what to expect with her reaction to being poked and prodded…but they were SO wonderful with her! Off the bat, our entire perspective changed and we were able to smile and get through it so well together.
While we waited for some test results, we watched Jurassic Park and I braided her hair. We talked about school, life and I held her like she was a baby again and it cracked us up laughing. She told the nurse (just like she recently told our hairdresser) that she can’t wait to be a Princess Doctor someday, and also, drink beer with her mommy when she grows up….HAHAHAHA! We have no idea how that became a part of her plan, I rarely get to have a beer so she’s probably seen me drink them twice but it’s on her “grown up plan” radar, lol!!
Some things to consider with a kid in the ER (if you have time to scrounge this up before running out the door):
1. A (full) change of clothes…for you BOTH! Seriously trust me on this one, you want to be prepared! Don’t forget little kids underwear just in case.
2. Bottles of water and snacks…because yes you could go to vending but you probably don’t want to leave your kid or drag them there, it’s so much easier to have it right with you
3. Wet ones or antibacterial stuff even though it’s there in the hospital most likely, nice to have it on you
4. Pen, paper, book, magazine…something besides iPad or iPhone to keep occupied if you’re like me and aren’t a huge fan of having your kid glued to a glowing screen
5. A jacket or small blanket, like a baby blanket — sometimes they have those there too but we kind of get extra cold
6. Socks!!! Even though you may not be there long, we always are bummed when we don’t have warm socks at hospitals, haha!
7. Phone charger just in case you start to run low but need to keep in touch communication with another parent/family member
8. The pen and notebook/paper also comes in handy for writing down notes from the doctor. In our case, we are baffled still why this happened to her, we got no answers..but we know we need to start figuring it out and rule things out so I should have been writing it down instead of trying to remember everything when I’m already slightly overwhelmed!