If you read yesterday’s post, you saw that sweet girl #1 fainted at the hospital, right in my arms. Extremely scary, but I must’ve picked up my big girl undies on the way in, because I did NOT freak out. Her soccer coach leaped over me and grabbed a nurse who immediately began getting her vitals. As providence would have it, the operating neurosurgeon was just around the corner and she gave Anna-Laura a quick look-see.
It’s at this point I’m thinking: This is not happening.
Everyone decided she needed to be seen in the ER. In hindsight, I wish I would’ve said ‘no’ and just taken her home for rest and fluids. But, not wanting to cause a scene I deferred to the ER. As we left the room, I spotted Scott and the kids in the courtyard happily enjoying the NICU reunion. I asked the nurse if she could hang with Anna-Laura for a moment while I broke the news to Scott via the upper balcony.
It was quite comical, actually. I call from the balcony, “Scott. Scott! SCOTT!” He looks up and says, “seriously?” “Yup.”
“I’ll text you with any news. Y’all have fun,” I shout. “Oh and save a sandwich for me.”
He waves and I head to the ER. Because of some bit of miraculousness, they ushered us right into triage and assessed ALG. Her vitals were strong (I believe the nurse actually said, “perfect”) and her blood sugar normal. She still looked a little spooked and drained of color, though. We went to a second waiting room where Scott and did the handoff. By this time, nearly an hour has passed. I head to the reunion and he stayed with Anna-Laura. Oh, and did I mention the ER wait was averaging eight hours. EIGHT?
I took photos, wrangled the kids and enjoyed a few conversations with doctors and nurses. Each one gave us reassurance that Anna-Laura was probably fine and they hoped to see the whole family next year.
Another hour passed and I texted Scott.
When we met them in the ER, Anna-Laura was hanging out, eating crackers, smiling, watching TV and looked 100% normal. The doctor had ordered an EKG. I know how much those things cost when done in the ER. And, I also know the circumstances surrounding her fainting spell. She hadn’t been sick or on meds and I was 100% positive it was the surroundings and nothing more serious. We signed the paperwork, left AMA and made a follow-up appointment with her pediatrician. She did miss her soccer game, but after a big dinner and a good night’s rest, she played in her game the next day, scoring the team winning goal.
It wasn’t until the drive home, when the reality of what just happened sunk in,that my sweet husband said this: “Perhaps we underestimated the PTSD our children suffered because of Luke’s premature birth.”
I think he might be on to something. Yeah, I’ve never been one for hospitals. I’ve had my share of “get me out of here” moments in way too many hospitals. Shoot, I was that way during Luke’s entire NICU stay. But, I think my body has permanently adapted. It’s my defense mechanism. I cannot be woozy in a hospital ever again. It’s how I coped. I blocked out whatever sickness I felt because my children needed me.
Now, I think we’re starting to see the effects of multiple hospitals stays on each of our children. Parenthood is about learning lessons and we stockpiled a few last weekend. Namely? Don’t take your child to the hospital without first explaining what’s going to happen AND what to do if you feel uncomfortable.
I am extraordinarily grateful for a medical staff who quickly acted, my calm head, a super sweet soccer coach who was equally concerned about our sweet girl and for a husband who reminded me how to be a better parent.