Wednesday, October 26, 2011

This time yesterday (our ER visit)

At this time yesterday (6.35pm), Clara had just slipped getting into the bath, fallen backwards and knocked herself into a seizure.

Whatever delusions I had about being calm under pressure were unfounded: I vaguely recollect being so panicked that the air seemed to be green, as did Clara's face, and her eyes as they rolled upwards.  My reaction had Winton shrieking in fear, and continuing to shriek as Clara, confused, came back to herself and said to me accusingly "Mummy, why did you take me out of the bath?" clearly recollecting nothing of the intervening 15 seconds or so of her flailing.


What followed, thankfully, was Husband's arrival on the scene, and my bundling Clara into the car to head for an emergency room.  We went to Sinai, reputed to have pediatric intensive care, had trouble finding the right entrance to ER and then had to park so awkwardly I bushwhacked in the dark up a hill to get to the absolutely packed lobby.

All while Clara behaved completely normally: "Mummy, it's dark out!  Why are you driving so fast?  I've never been here before.  Why are we in the bushes? Why is that man wearing a red towel on his leg?"

Appalled by the population density at Sinai and the wait to simply get to the front desk, I ran carrying Clara back to the car and drove up to GBMC--parking directly across from the ER and a much less daunting waiting room.

We spent 40 minutes getting to an ER, which is ridiculous.  Next time--godforbid--I'm calling 911.  And then we spent 7 hours in ER, having a consult, waiting, having a CAT scan, waiting, having another consult, waiting, having a pediatrics consult, waiting, and finally giving up on the radiologist (also called for a consult but unresponsive) and leaving with a sheaf of paperwork just shy of 3 AM.

Those night hours also featured: endless games of "I Spy," numerous efforts to count to 100 (I am slightly more proficient than Clara . . . but perhaps only slightly when stressed, tired and distracted) and a joint effort to "rest" spooned on a narrow hospital bed in a freezing examination room under fluorescent lights.  For me, impatient by nature and hyped-up on adrenaline, it was an instructive set of hours, schooling me in the art of letting my time be in someone else's hands (perhaps as an academic, used to aggressively shaping my time, this is an especially unpracticed skill).

It was far easier to spend quiet moments thinking about time than thinking about the moment in which I realised my daughter was not flailing to annoy me, and in fact was flailing only as a body, with nothing of my daughter's self about those movements or rolling eyes, as if she had already left.

Today: CAT Scan sent to neurologist at Hopkins for follow-up.

No comments:

Post a Comment