Last night was the first time since Tuesday, April 24th 2007 that I prepared pork chops for dinner. I know you're all, "umm...okay. Whatever. Congratulations?" but oh, the drama that unfolded with Boy-Child#2 on that fateful other white meat day. Wanna hear it? Here it go:
That evening I prepared pork chops for my family and 20 minutes after dinner, my youngest son began gagging and heaving as if he were sick to his stomach. This went on periodically throughout the night and into the morning. We assumed he had some kind of stomach virus since the rest of us were fine. It wasn't until morning that he informed us that it felt like something was stuck in his throat. Immediately alarmed and considering that perhaps he had a fragment of a pork chop bone lodged in his throat, but knowing it wasn't an "emergency" situation since he could breath and swallow, I took him to the walk in doctor's office to investigate. They were wonderful and patient and did what they could... two hours later xrays didn't reveal any bone fragments, it could just be a scratch, however, it could be such a small bone fragment that it wouldn't show up in xrays and they suggested that I take him to the emergency room where they had a greater variety of instruments to use to detect the problem.
I brought him home and waited until dinner time, figuring it would be a less hectic hour for the emergency room. The waiting room wasn't terribly crowded and they brought us in to a curtained bed area within 45 minutes. After a brief consultation with the doctor, he ordered a barium xray. While we waited in the large, open "fast track" area, consisting of several occupied beds separated by curtains, I couldn't help but hear the conversations amongst the staff. One nurse had a burrito she was willing to share with her co-worker. How sweet. One nurse had consistent complaints ranging from something (didn't hear what) that she agreed "just ain't right" with another co-worker, to some closet being improperly stocked...apparently "it didn't have shit". This same nurse was the go-to gal for the xray technician who came to collect my son. I can tell by the bemused expressions on their faces (how does one "hear" a bemused expression you ask? By the tone of their voice silly!) that because my son can breath and swallow, I'm just a overreactive mother wasting their precious time. The sound of their eyes rolling and their smirking mouths was deafening. Nevermind that I was at the emergency room on a doctor's suggestion; let's not let facts get in the way.
The tech was lacking in any smiles, impatient, and I think he figured it might have killed him to try even just a little bit to put my scared son's fears at ease. He was short and quick to threaten my son that if he didn't drink the barium properly that he was just going to have to do it all over again. Finally satisfied that he had the films he needed we were sent back to our curtained bed. An hour or so later, my son in a deep sleep, it was time to clear out the "fast track" area because at a certain time in the evening the staff is reduced and they put all of the patients in one area. I listened from our little corner of the room, patients being informed of their move and beds being wheeled off to somewhere unknown by me. I waited. And waited. Waited some more. I waited nearly 30 minutes. Long gone were voices, rustlings, or the sound of soft soled shoes on the floor. No beeping machines...not even a cough to clear one's throat. Zip. Dead silence. Fearing we'd somehow been forgotten (I mean, that couldn't be!), but hesitant to leave my sleeping son, worried that he might wake up alone in one wing of the hospital, I finally took a few steps out to investigate. We were, in fact, alone. I took one more look at my son and decided to try to find someone as quickly as possible. This forced me to leave the room entirely, through another room, and finally into an area that had some staff.
I asked the nurse sitting at the desk if we were also being moved. Luckily, I didn't blink when I asked her this question because I would have surely missed the extremely brief look of shock that flashed across her face when I told her where my son was. She resorted to her pat answer and informed me that they were getting a bed ready for him and someone would be there shortly.
We never did move. The doctor finally came in to discuss the results of the barium xray with me. The diagnosis? No obstruction shows up in the xray and my son can swallow. Gee...thanks. I already knew he could swallow which is probably why I said as much during my initial consultation with the doctor. What I want to know is, what is causing my son to gag and heave when he DOES swallow? "It could be a scratch on his cartledge or it could be a bone fragment so small that it doesn't show up in the xray"... well, here we are back to square one. This I already know, I tell him. He recommends an ear, nose, and throat specialist and gives me the number of a doctor to call because they have a fiber optic camera they can snake down his throat. Henry Mayo doesn't have one of those in the entire facility? Couldn't they have done that while we were there? Well, I guess they've done all they're gonna do.
After a combined total of 7 hours in medical facilities, I still don't know what is going on in my son's throat and it doesn't seem to concern any of the medical professionals, so why should I be worried? Because I'm a mother and I can tell you right now that there is something wrong with my son. I'm not a nervous overreative mother. Aside from being born this was the first time my 7 year old son had ever even seen the inside of a hospital, let alone an emergency room. And they should take a lesson in bedside manner. It would serve them well not to treat scared worried parents and patients with belittling condescension. Give us the benefit of the doubt that we aren't there to waste your time...we're there because something just ain't right.
Last night's dinner consisted of BONELESS pork chops and was met with fear from Boy-Child#2. I considered telling him it was chicken but he's on to my lies. To this day he will not eat quickly. He will chew whatever it is he's eating until it becomes a fine, pasty liquid. And it is all kinds of nasty.
*The above story is a repeat from one of my old blogs*