For the record, until this December I have never said something out loud in regards to Benjamin’s health that could “jinx” it. I refuse to even celebrate his birthday early; if it falls mid-week, his party is the weekend after. One year, his mylar balloons got loose… one flew away but the number 4 got stuck in the tree and Uncle Jimmy climbed up it for me because I was so freaked out by it.
But I jinxed it this time… Mom and I looked back a couple of weeks but couldn’t find a Facebook post about it so I must have said it out loud that Ben managed to go all of 2016 without going to The Stollery Emergency Room but on Boxing Day, guess where we were!
A four day temperature is cause to bring him in to see Dr. McGonigle and when the office is closed, the emergency room we go!
They checked his ears and lungs and gtube site but nothing. It was a resident (very kind one!) and a doctor I had never met before. As they were leaving after checking him out, they gave each other the looks of “what should we do?” And “I have no idea” and told my mom and I that they were thinking about running some x-rays on his gtube in case it was dislodged or his lungs just to “make sure.” While they were very nice about it, I had a sense that they were playing a guessing game and while being helpful, had no idea where to go with Ben’s care.
After they left the room, I looked at my mom and she shrugged so I went out to the desk; I asked the doctors if they felt my son’s condition was an emergency or if he would need to be admitted to which they replied “no”. I told them that I would much rather take him home them and call his regular pediatricians office tomorrow and come in a second time, then to have them run tests unnncessarily. I also told him that I was faily certain Ben’s tube is fine on the inside; I assured him that we would bring Ben back in if his condition worsened and that we had 24hr care in place.
And the truth is, If Dr. McGonigle or Dr. Chatur want us to run a hundred tests and were just guessing, I would do so without question!!
But they know my son and I know them.
The resident stated that he understood (again, very nice about it!) and asked me to give him a few minutes.
Then I closed our room door and burst into tears. Overwhelmed. It’s so hard to make decisions about your child like that, especially when they are already so fragile. My poor baby is sick and all I wanted was to make him feel better, not worse.
I called my husband to make sure he was alright with my call… that he was okay if we left the hospital and head back in tomorrow to see our regular doctors but mid-conversation, the resident returned and told me that our doctor was actually in the hospital and that they had paged him for us.
Dr. McGonigle came a while later and checked Ben out. I explained what was going on and that Ben had not been his usual happy, easy going, playful self and that he had been lethargic and unwilling to eat. He asked how long the fever had been running; I told him four days and that’s why we came in to which he replied “that’s right then.!” (Relief on this mama’s part to hear your doctor acknowledge that you should have brought him into emerge. I always feel bad if we’re taking up space unnecessarily.)
He told us that Ben has a viral infection and will need to run its course. Hydration and Tylenol/Advil. That’s it. No testing necessary. He also checked out his gtube site and asked that I bring him in next week to have his site “fixed” and for a follow up.
And then I hugged him and kissed his cheek because there is no one in the world like him. And I would say the same about Dr. Chatur. We are so lucky and fortunate and grateful to be under their care. Even Ben cracked a little smile when Dr. McGonigle came over. Those doctors are a part of our extended family.
My Ben is still down today but did play in his jumperoo for an hour, watching PJ Masks (his new favourite!) and that is a bright sign of better things to come.
And a reminder to never say things out loud before they actually happen (or so they don’t!). Xo