Friday, June 19, 2009

Sick kids.

Yesterday, I worked an extra day shift in the emergency center, and I have to report that I'm still thoroughly enjoying myself. I would volunteer every day if I could shoehorn it into my schedule, though, between the kids and school, that would be impossible. As it stands, I had to rope my mom into watching the kids for me yesterday so I could take that shift. I set it up earlier in the week when I thought both kids would be at summer activities on that day, KayTar at camp and BubTar at VBS. Well, there was an incident at KayTar's camp and she wouldn't go back all week. Then, BubTar developed a temperature during the night on Wednesday, so he was home sick from VBS yesterday. Luckily, my mom could watch my sick kid, so I could go take care of other people's sick kids. I didn't want to call in at the last minute.

On Wednesday my shift was so busy that I didn't even get a chance to check in on all the patients a single time! I spent most of the shift doing transport, which I also enjoy, but I wish I could have popped in at least once and checked on the patients. It is hard being trapped in an ER room for hours on end, and I think that just having someone check on you, even if you don't need anything, is helpful. Thursday during the day shift, things were much quieter and though I did quite a bit of transport, I also had enough time to check in on all of the families a few times each. I am only able to do small things, but I think when you are stuck in the emergency center for hours, often all day or all night, those little things can make it a lot easier.

I've seen tiny babies in for rule-out meningitis, and sometimes it hasn't just been a rule out. I've taken kids who seemed hilarious and healthy to the hem-onc floor. I saw a 15 year old come in with chest pain, but the true, underlying story was that she has a three year old at home and was stressed to her breaking point. I've seen lots of children be discharged and taken lots of children to their new inpatient rooms. I've taken many kids for x-rays and CTs. I've delivered toys and books and movies. I've sat with kids so parents can run to the bathroom or to get food. I've answered questions and pointed people in the right direction. I've cleaned used exam rooms and brought patients and families food and drink and blankets. I've realized I need to learn some applicable Spanish to be more effective in my position. I've spent hours on my feet, constantly in motion, and I've loved every minute of it.

Yesterday one of the nurses said, "You are wonderful, who can I tell about you?" I jokingly replied, "Everyone! Tell everyone about me." She smiled and said, "You'll work here one day, I think." I said, "You know, I am a premed." She said, "See! I knew it. You'll definitely work here one day." I think she might be right.

PS: It looks like BubTar little fever and sore throat is probably scarlet fever, OH JOY! He developed the rash while I was in math last night. We're heading to the pediatrician's in a bit for a strep test and antibiotics. He has to stay in the hall while I register him, because he's too infectious for the waiting area. DOUBLE JOY!

(click for larger version)
Poor rashy guy!

16 comments:

natalie said...

That little rash is giving me flashbacks. One time, when M was really young (I think just under one year), I noticed a strange rash on her back and tummy. She also had the accompanying fever, so off to the peds office we went. He checked her out and said she had a virus, she'd be alright in a few days. I said, "Don't you want to see her rash?" He said, "The one around her mouth? That's because she drools and you let her have her paci too much." I said,"No, the one on her back." When he saw that, I thought he was going to go through the roof! They immediately tested for strep, which she had, yet AGAIN. She was the youngest baby (at 7 months) they had ever seen with strep and then she had it again before she was 1! So goes our medical story.

sheree said...

I am so glad you are enjoying your volunteer work...that is so awesome! You obviously have a knack ;)

Poor sick kiddos. I hope they are both feeling better VERY soon!

Amy Y said...

Poor guy! Hope he's Ok soon!

Becca said...

It sounds so interesting! And like you have really found your spot! Good for you!

I hope Bub is feeling better soon.

Lisa b said...

I want you in my ER!

poor bubtar.

tierd said...

That is wonderful and sounds like it's right where you belong. I wish I could do it - really make a difference for all of those families. I so admire you!

Hope your boy is back to himself very soon.

flutter said...

poor kiddo!

Brigid Keely said...

Scarlet fever? Seriously? Oh, man, poor kid. I hope he gets well soon.

Are you going to quarantine him/Kaytar?

Kyla said...

Nah, we're not keeping them separate. She had her tonsils out in November and she shouldn't come down with it. We'll see!

Bennie said...

Wow! Gretchen told me about Bub! Bummer for the summer. Sick kids this time of year sucks.

Hetha said...

Scarlet Fever! I haven't heard those words in ages, I didn't realize kids still got that particular illness. Poor kiddo.

I'm loving these reports from the ER. You are so going to rock the med scene my friend.

slouchy said...

i'm just so happy that you're doing what you love.

jack had scarlet fever once.

Woman in a Window said...

Who am I? but I had the sore throat, elevated fever and then this really itchy dry rash that was never given a name, a month or so ago. Wasn't scarlet fever, though. Weird. Hopefully it passes quickly for him.

YOU are a gift to the world, you do know that, don't you?

InTheFastLane said...

Poor Bub.

I was just in the ER with Jack Jack (concussion) and they wanted to observe him for an hour or so and said I could let him sleep. So he was sleeping on me and after a while, I realized that I REALLY had to go to the bathroom. But, my poor baby was sleeping on me. I knew i could move him, but I didn't want to leave him. I was so thankful when the nurse came to check on him and then sat with him so I could go to the bathroom. You are really doing a great thing, that I am sure is very much appreciated.

ewe are here said...

Scarlet fever? Good grief! Your poor family!

Glad the volunteering is going well, though, even though it sounds like it would be heart-rending to do on a daily basis. I am in awe of your desire to do this as a career!

painted maypole said...

glad your volunteering is helping to cement your desire to work in the field. when passion and work meet... awesome!