Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Four Things I Learned from our Trip to the Emergency Room

I had to do some prioritizing on Sunday evening.  I had set aside a specific time to sit down and work to finish up a blog post after I got my children in bed, my house picked up, and got everything ready for the week.

Instead, I ended up spending six hours at our local Children's Hospital with my four-year-old who had a fever of over 104 degrees and a cough like we had never heard before.

We went to the pediatrician Monday afternoon and Tuesday morning as well, and I did not get that blog post finished.  We still do not have the answers we need, but I have learned a few things from our experience.

  • When I am dealing with a hard situation, I know that someone, somewhere, is dealing with something as hard as or harder.  We were at the emergency room with my four year old, who had a high temperature and a very bad cough.  While they were not good symptoms to have in such a young child, we also saw a trauma unit come in with children involved in a bad 4-wheeler accident, and those children needed much more help than my sweet boy.  I found out last night that a young girl involved in this accident did not survive.  We also watched a young man get pulled out of the car in front of us as we drove up.  He was unconscious, and they literally dragged his limp body into the hospital for emergency care.  I almost left before ever going in, thinking that our situation was nothing compared to his!  Of course, to our Father in heaven, it is all important.
  • Sometimes, while we are in need of help, we have to wait.  Waiting is no fun.  We waited in the waiting room for an hour before ever seeing the triage nurse to simply get his vitals taken.  Then we waited another three hours before being called back to where the doctors were seeing patients.  Another short wait for the doctor herself, and then waiting in between as the nurse came in and left, we had an x-ray done, had medicine given, and talked to the doctor some more.  We spent a total of six hours at the hospital that night, and left with only a few things ruled out--but still no answers for why my little guy was (and still is) coughing so badly.  The Lord has us wait sometimes, too.  And wait, we must:  for His answer, for His timing, for His will to be done.  
  • I need keep a journal like I did when my children were infants and write everything down.  I'm not talking about milestones and funny things said--I'm referring to what they ate at each meal, how much they ate, bodily functions, etc.  When you walk in to see a doctor in the emergency room at one o'clock in the morning, and your child has an unusual cough, the first thing she will ask you is, "Mama, what has he had to eat for the past few days?"  (blink, blink)  You stare at her as if she was being facetious in asking, and you utter no reply.  You internally kick yourself for not knowing.  And then you resolve to go home and start a journal.  By keeping just a notebook section of the meals that your child eats and other details (like when was their last bowel movement and how long has it been since they urinated), then you can just flip back, in your middle-of-the-night stupor, and confidently answer the doctor's questions.  I'm adding this to my binder now!
  • I will hold my child when he asks to be held.  These past four days, my little guy has raised his hands to be picked up more than he has in his four years before this week.  He has been very independent and has never been very clingy at all.  But this week, he isn't as sure of what is going on, so he wants to hold onto me so tightly and even sleep on my lap.  I am just thankful to be able to be here with him every day so that I can hold him when he asks.  But I also want to be sure that he knows that when he needs me, I am here.  So that he knows I'll be here later, I have to be here for him now. 

Have you ever been in the emergency room with one of your little ones?  What did YOU learn there?  Tell me in the comments!  


  1. I spent almost 18 months with ER visits, doctor visits, tests, and extended hospital stays before my son was finally diagnosed. I learned basically what you stated. I learned a lot of patience and God's goodness. I learned that God cared for the HUGE details as well as the things that I thought were too small to talk to Him about. With long hours of my son being in such intense pain that even large doses of morphine wouldn't touch, my strength truly comes from God. It hasn't been an easy road, but I learned so much about prayer, gaining strength from scripture, and really, truly talking to my Abba Father about everything! I grew so much during this process.

  2. 6 hours in a year is nothing. In the middle of the night, it's like 6 millennia! We are coughing here too, for 6 days now and no end in sight. They are saying h1n1..... Hoping things turn around for your family soon! Blessings.


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