Sunday, November 4, 2007

take two

Liberal Collegeville was all fired up today for a big Football game. When I drove to work at 9:30 this morning (past the area affectionately known as the student ghetto) there were already keg parties set up on porches and front yards. And there were people attending them, plastic cups in hand.

I had planned, as the day progressed, on writing something funny about the fact that half the town seemed to have some form of alcohol poisoning by supper time. (It may not seem funny, but you have to trust me on this - it sure can be). God knows, there was enough bizarreness to keep even the tabloids happy.

But I can't write that post. All I can see is the four year old boy toward the end of the shift. The four year old boy with every sign pointing toward meningitis. Possibly even bacterial. The four year old boy I helped hold down during three IV start attempts. The four year old boy whose parents had to keep going outside so they wouldn't break down in front of him. The four year old boy who had his grandparents arrive in a panic only to watch, with noses pressed against a glass door, as all of the masked nurses scurried around the room.The four year old boy who had both of his older brothers collapse in tears as they came in to see him before we transferred him to the beyond fabulous regional Children's Hospital.

I can't write the funny post. I'm sorry. I just can't.

Then I came home and within five minutes of walking in the door Surfer Dude was puking all over the bathroom. Gumby has one friend here for a sleepover and Sasquatch has two. And I have to get up tomorrow morning and do this all again.

I'm going to bed.


Altaglow said...

God love this family- I hope. The Meinigitis episode in our family was years ago but might as well have been this morning because of the jangled nerves just the name of the desease denotes. I pray that your family today will fare as well as we did and that you will be able to accept that you did much to help them in a terrible hour.

ped crossing said...

Every parent's fear. And a memory you did not want to revisit. There will be another day for the funny post. I hope he fully recovers and the whole episode becomes a distant memory for his family.

I hope Surfer Dude is better in the morning and sleeps well tonight.

I am going up to kiss my boys, again.

Jo Beaufoix said...

Oh sweetie, I know this will have brought back heart stopping memories for you and will be thinking of that little boy and his family today.

Hope Surfer Dude is feeling better soon and that you get some good news when you get to work after your road trip. You know he's in a good hospital, and that you have done all the things possible to help him on his way.

Big hugs, and ped crossing is right, there will be another day for the funny post and we'll still be here when you're ready to tell it.

laurie said...

the hardest part of your job, for sure.

do you ever follow up on these cases? see how they did? or is that illegal?

i can picture that scene so vividly.

i hope today is a funnier day at work for you. you don't need two in a row like that.

Flowerpot said...

not good memories, correspondent - hope teh surfing dude is feeling better by now - take care.

headless chicken said...

Wow....I have such admiration for nurses/doctors/surgeons etc. They are the real heroes. Days like this must be so hard. Will you get to find out how the little lad gets on?

Diana said...

I wish you sweet dreams so that you can rise and return to do the work you are meant to do with the grace, professionalism and compassion that is an inherent part of you.

They are a lucky family that they had you and your cadre in a time of severe need. We are lucky that it was not us.

Akelamalu said...

Oh honey you do a very hard job it must be heartbreaking at times for you. Have a huge ((HUG)) and oodles of Reiki winging its way to that little boy, his family, you and yours. xx

Kaycie said...

I'm just reading this on Sunday morning. I sure hope you're doing better, sweetie. I am thinking of that family and hope their little four year old is doing better. My daughter had a little surgery in that wonderful children's hospital years ago. They will take excellent care of that boy. With a little luck, he'll pull through.

I don't know how you do what you do. I think I'd have a nervous breakdown the first time a case like that came through. Sending you the best.

Thalia's Child said...

What a terrible day. Take all the time you need to write the funny post.

I hope Surfer Dude feels better this morning.

Anonymous said...

(((((HUGS))))) That sounds like one rough shift. It must be so hard to get that out of your head, but thank God you were there to hold him tight and be a comfort to the family.
Get your rest!! I hope Surfer Dude is feeling better, and that you do not catch what he has.
Sending healthy, positive thoughts your way.

Mya said...

As the mother of a four year old boy that post made me weep. I don't know how you cope with your job sometimes, it must take an enormous inner strength. Fingers crossed.

Mya x

ciara said...

i can only imagine what was going through your mind. i'm sorry it was rough. like i said, my nephew was around 4 or 5 when he had the meningitis that became encephalitis. i'll have this boy & his family in my thoughts.

hope sd is well soon, and everything is fine. xo

merry weather said...

Hope tomorrow is an easier day - sorry to read of that really tough time with the 4year old, you're a brave lady and much needed by the hospital for sure. Hope your boy is better too, take care.

PixelPi said...

It takes a special type of person to work with patients in critical situations. I have always loved medicine, but the closest I can get to it is ED transcription, and even that I do from home and not from the hospitals. I just know these types of crises would something I couldn't cope with. But, yes, all those medical folk are special. Hope SD is better. And try not to worry. You're sounding as worry-mom as Mrs. Gunslinger, formerly known as Woody's Mom. Here's a hug and I'm uploading a great little cabernet to your mom's house. Hugs.

Kimberly said...

Going to bed doesn't seem an adequate escape, somehow. What a heart hurting experience.

Jen said...

Having read the post that followed this, you sounded better, but I know it's tough sometimes to write that funny post when there's nothing funny about what's going on currently.

I know the tripi will help.

Linda said...

Oh bless your heart. Really. How tough. My cousin's son, in his 20s, has what appears to be viral meningitis. It has been touch and go since the middle of October. They are now backing off sedation and trying to waken him. Can I just say on behalf of famlies everywhere, thank you for what you do for us. My cousin just keeps communicating over and over how the nurses have been there for them.

Amy said...

Good job maintaining your head in that horrible situation.

Your kids puke a lot.

m@ said...

Actually, it's SD who pukes a lot. For some reason, he just can't hold his food well (especially fast food.) MSG, maybe?

Gumby, OTOH, is a complete puke-o-phobe. I swear, sometimes it's like the Odd Couple (but with vomit) around here.

Have received several calls from the RC- she got off on time, and had an uneventful flight to L.A.

And we called her once after dinner, and she called before bed to check on us.

Deb said...

I've seen my own son in a similar situation twice. It wrenches my heart just to read it, because you took me back to that place... the place where you know everyone around you is doing everything they can, and you're so grateful you want to kiss their booty-covered feet. But you can't, because you're so overwhelmed by terror and the fear that their best may just not be good enough.