Well, it finally happened. After almost 2.5 years of Connor walking this Earth (and many close calls), we finally ended up in the Emergency Room. Strangely, it had nothing to do with Connor acting out his boyish tendencies, he simply fell victim to a crazy-aggressive stomach bug. I can’t help but feel some responsibility towards this unfortunate turn of events since it is highly likely that I am the one who passed it to my poor sweet little boy (with an assist from Disney World). It all started last weekend. The family took a weekend trip to Disney to celebrate Aunt Kaitlyn’s 13th birthday. The three of us remained at Disney for the weekend so Connor could visit with some of his favorite Disney Junior Characters (see last week’s blog). Sunday morning, I (being Tim) woke up with the sudden inability to keep anything in my stomach. It was terrible. Not even something I would wish on my worst enemies. We had planned the entire time to hang out on Sunday in Orlando and meet up with Heather, Josh and Hilary (who was flying in from VA later that morning) before heading home Sunday evening. With me being sick, we talked it over and decided that we should just stick to the plan since it was probable just related to something I had eaten the night before and should pass soon. Cue Connor’s introduction to the world of vomit.
Keep in mind, not only had we not had to make a trip to the ER, Connor had never even thrown up to this point in his life. That all changed, and it was not fun. Long story short, we ended up making ourselves temporary houseguests at Hospital deRose where Josh took great care of us (it pays to know people in the health care world). Kristin had not been infected by our nasty virus so she was able to enjoy the day the best she could with Heather and Hilary. Finally, later that evening Connor and I were both feeling “ok” enough to make the trek home. Though the car ride to the deRose house had many more stops, thankfully, we only had to stop twice to get home and Kristin drove the entire way,.
By Monday morning, I was feeling run down, but for the most part I had gotten over the hump of the virus. Connor was not so lucky. Although his vomiting had calmed down, he was still having a lot of trouble processing anything that went into his mouth. We tried out hardest to get him to eat anything and keep him hydrated but that proved to be difficult. Tuesday morning this really began to get crazy. I was feeling up to a full day at work so I was out the door early. Kristin had been fighting flu like symptoms for a while and finally decided it best to take a day and rest so she stayed home with Connor. Poor girl probably regretted that decision as soon as she made it. On Tuesday alone, Connor (who is potty trained when healthy) went through over 20 diapers. It was so sad. Tuesday nights I facilitate a Bible study near our home in Hollywood. Kristin stayed home I went with the understanding that I would come home right after it finished. About 8:15, Kristin sent me a text message asking when I was coming home. I texted back that we had just finished and I was on my way. When I got home, I could see that Connor was not doing well. He was screaming and clearly in a lot of discomfort. Kristin and I talked and decided it best that I take him to the Pediatric Associates that is near our house. It is only a few blocks away and we thought it remained open until 9:00pm. We were wrong. It closed at 8:30; I got there at 8:40. So there we are, sitting in an empty parking lot with a screaming, sick child in the back seat. I decided it might be wise to call the afterhour’s number and speak to a nurse about what was going on. Can I just say that calling that number proved to be a waste of time? They were no help and down-right rude. As I sat there trying to get any information I could from this waste of a phone call, Connor proceeds to projectile vomit all over the back seat of the care (did I mention we were in Kristin’s car?). I immediately hung up with the woman I was arguing with; I was ready to take him to the hospital. Kristin had been ready to take that step a lot sooner but I resisted. While Kristin was getting ready at home and grabbing some necessities, I decided it might be wise to take as much vomit soaked stuff out of the car as I could. This of course included his box of toys, some jackets and his entire car seat that now needed to be completely cleaned. We changed Connor, jumped into my car and were off.
Thankfully, we only live 5 minutes from a great children’s hospital (Joe DiMaggio at Memorial Regional). We pulled into the emergency room and checked in around 9:15pm. Connor was so spent that he literally crashed. Glenda and Kaitlyn met us there for moral support but when it became clear that we were probably going to be in the waiting room a while, we convinced them that it was alright to go home (not to mention Glenda has started to come down with the same thing Connor and I had been fighting). After about an hour and a half of waiting, we were called back. They brought us to this cute little room where they had Connor lie on the bed. They hooked the poor little guy up to all sorts of machines to read his vitals. That alone was enough to break mommy and daddy’s heart and all the sensors were external. After getting all the readings, the Doctor on call (Dr. Joseph) came in and checked him out. She ordered an IV drip with fluids to rehydrate and Zofran to assist with his nausea as well as blood work to rule out anything serious. They determined that the best mode of action was to put the IV needle in his right hand. Connor is thankfully blessed with veins like his mommy so they didn’t have to work hard to find a good one. I can honestly say, I am so proud of how our little guy handled the whole situation. When it came time to stick the needle in his hand, Connor didn’t fight and only complained a little. Far better than anticipated. Thankfully, on the way out the door Kristin grabbed our Ipad so Connor had something to watch (Little Einstein’s) as his IV bag drained.
The IV took a little over an hour but we still had to wait for the blood results. Thankfully the results came back negative to anything bad. They determined it was just a run of the mill stomach virus that he was having trouble shaking. They wrote us a script for Zofran and probiotics and sent us on our way around 2:30am. On top of all that, the car still needed to be cleaned. Longest night we have had in a very long time. After he lived on Zofran for a few days, and introducing the probiotics into his system, he finally started to shake it by Saturday. The probiotics were probably the most difficult thing to find. Everywhere we went they were out. This bug is really going around. Whole Foods came through with Strawberry-Banana Probiotic Popsicles. He did lose a lot of weight from not eating for a week, but I’m sure he’ll gain it back. It’s hard to look at his little face and see how hard this past week has been on him.
I knew we would eventually need to make a trip to the ER. Like I said earlier, with as hard as Connor goes all the time I am surprised it took this long and it was for something relatively minor but it was still nerve raking nonetheless. As a parent, there is no feeling worse than the helpless feeling you get when you have to sit and stare at your child lying on a hospital bed hooked up to machines. Our experience was as good as we could have hoped. I am grateful that we live so close to such a great children’s hospital. I know that if we ever need to go back, Connor will be in good hands but it would not break my heart if I never have to see the inside of that building again.