A Memorable Birthday...at the Emergency Room

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Poor Adele Waiting to be Seen by a Doctor

I just turned 32!  I can't say it's one of the best birthdays I've had, but it'll definitely go down as one of the most memorable.  The last time I wrote, we were in the emergency room at Scarborough Grace Hospital, because Adele had a fever for about 4 days.  It's been 2 days since that and Adele has been getting better.  The doctor couldn't really diagnose what was wrong that night, because Adele kept on crying and so he couldn't hear her breathing very well.  He also couldn't look inside her ear to see if there's any infection because there was too much ear wax.  Because she wasn't very calm and was moving about, he couldn't really clean her ears either.  Anyway, he prescribed some antibiotics just in case it was a bacterial infection.

Since then, she's gotten a lot better.  Before, she was sleeping something like 22 hours a day and wouldn't eat anything.  The past 2 days have been better.  She's been moving about, playing, talking, and eating some solid food.  So, there was definitely progress.  Today, we brought her over to Joanne's (my sister-in-law) mom's place to play with her cousins.  Everything was going swell until we gave her one of grandma's oatmeal cookies.  She probably inhaled bits of it and began to cough every 2-3 seconds.  This continued for about half an hour.  We gave her milk, patted her back...essentially did everything we could think of, but the coughing was still the same.  If you are a parent, you would know how heart wrenching that would be.  So, we left and drove back to my parents' place where we're staying.  We thought maybe we could do something there.  We tried putting her in a steamy bathroom and hope that the humidity would help...nope, didn't work.  We tried giving her more fluids.  We googled for other remedies, but to no avail.  At about 1.5 hours after she started choking (we'll call it that), we decided to bring her to the emergency room.  (Parents, imagine...1.5 hours of non-stop coughing...I want to cry just thinking about it)

So, we went to Grace Hospital again.  A pregnant lady (she claimed 6 weeks) was with the triage nurse, complaining about abdominal pain.  When the nurse saw Adele coughing incessantly, she kicked the pregnant lady out and began admitting Adele.  I was parking the car at this point, so I found this out from Renee afterwards.  No wonder when I walked in, there was this nervous man who kept walking into the triage area. Anyway, the nurse helped us bypass the waiting room outside the emergency room and routed us to the inner waiting room.  Rewind a few minutes and the triage nurse was weighing Adele.  Adele cried at the top of her lungs because she really wanted to be with mommy.  I think that 30 seconds of crying helped her dislodge the cookie from her airways.  So, after sitting down in the waiting area, we suddenly realized that her coughing had stopped completely.  It was like a light switch...cookie in, cough on...cookie out, cough off!

Renee wanted to leave at that point because she thought we were wasting the hospital's resources, but I wasn't going to take any chances.  So, we agreed to have the staff take an x-ray of Adele's lungs.  It must have been terrifying for Adele, because to get her to be still during the x-ray, the technician had to put her in a "fixture". She had to sit on a bicycle seat and then her arms had to be held high.  Then two curved polycarbonate sheets closed around her body.  She was crying her head off at first, but I was there to reassure her.  I was kind of surprised that she stopped crying after about half a minute and was only making whining noises.

The doctor then finally saw her and confirmed that she had pneumonia from the x-ray.  This doctor wanted the pediatrician who was on duty to take a look at Adele just to be sure.  The pediatrician was very good.  She was an older lady and was very experienced by the way she handled Adele.  She sat down beside us and  just asked us all the background questions, until Adele was calm and started to fall asleep. Then, she listened to her breathing and did the other usual checks.  She explained that Adele's case of pneumonia was not very severe, but was present, nonetheless.  Since it was less than 2 days from when we first started giving her the antibiotics, it was a good idea to continue it.  By the end of tomorrow, her fever should go away.  She also thought that Adele's resumption of activity was a good sign that she was already recovering.  So, she sent us off with another prescription, in case Adele's fever was still there after tomorrow.

We got home around 11:30 pm and Adele went to bed very quickly and very soundly.  It's 1:40 am now, but I'm still kind of worked up and don't feel too sleepy.  The good thing is that I haven't heard her cough at all since she fell asleep.

So, my birthday was quite eventful.  It was not the best birthday I've ever had, but then again, it was not the worst either.  Things could have turned out much worse than they did.  I'm just grateful things seem to be better now.  We've decided to cancel the New Year's Eve party that we were planning to have at our place tomorrow, but it's no big deal.  As long as Adele gets better, we really couldn't ask for anything more.  Actually, I can...Renee also started coughing about 2 days ago.  I pray that it wouldn't get any worse.  For those of us who are healthy...seriously, don't take it for granted!  And for you parents who have gone through this as well, you know our pain, and we know yours too!  And for you yet-to-be parents (especially our friends on whom we cancelled our party), please forgive us even if you don't quite understand.  It's one thing to be sick yourself, and quite another to see your child sick.  I would prefer the former, without even a thought!


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