Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Dinner Consumed With 99% Less Bone


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*

29 comments:

Jennifer H said...

So how long before he could swallow without gagging and heaving and all?

That's just bad medical care, but probably not all that unusual either, which is frustrating.

You're a nice mom for waiting a whole 13 months for the trauma to fade. :-)

JCK said...

I would have been pretty freaked. You handled it with your natural aplomb. Especially considering the "just ain't right" kind of service you were receiving at that ER. I'm assuming he has stopped the gagging reflex?

HRH said...

You did really well not to go all postal on their asses. The sound of eye rolling is the most unpleasant.

Going to the ER is so usually ugly because for some reason they employ a group of people that are just bad at their jobs. Bad at their jobs and bad faking that they are good at their jobs. UGH.

Sue said...

Oh... I can relate!! I've been on the receiving end of the eye-roll more than once. But, I'm almost always right when it comes to my kids' health. (And we once got left in an empty pediatrician's office when they forgot about us and shut down for lunch. Now I let them run amok while we are waiting. No chance of getting forgotten!)

The Girl Next Door said...

When oh When will doctors and nurses learn to trust that "mother's intuition." My SIL almost lost my nephew when they kept telling her his infant fever etc. were "normal" - um NO he had meningitis.

And my son was sick nearly 2 weeks - doctors, sonograms, xrays, numerous blood-letting - before they finally diagnosed "Kawasakis" - a potentially fatal situation if not caught early (but only after a family-friend-doctor-not-even-a-pediatrician told me to ask about it). Good for you for sticking it out.

Lisa Milton said...

I'm glad he's eating meat at all. Even a little scratch could be really painful.

(I hate it when I get sent to some new doctor and they look at me and say: So, why are you here today?

Um, because I was told I better get my butt in here...jerk.)

MommyTime said...

Arrrghhhhh, but what I really want to know is: did you ever figure out what was wrong with his throat the first time around? Seriously, woman, I'm dying here...

All Adither said...

Between this and Mir's post about HMOs this morning, I'm all depressed about the state of health care in our country. As if I wasn't before.

Beckie said...

I'm with everyone else - did they ever determine what was wrong with your son????? I'm linking this post to my dad, so that maybe after reading about your son he'll finally stop making fun of me for buying all my meat boneless and skinless. I've been on the receiving end of the eye roll (more than once!) and it never fails to make me want to slab a biatch (or bahstid).

OHmommy said...

Did you ever find out what was wrong? Was your mommy-rader right?

I have been to the ER far too many times. My Lola is a clutz. ;) I plan on staying away from any meat with bones.

Angie said...

Yes. I know the loud "looks and rolling eyes" to which you refer all too well.

KEEP BELIEVING

Burgh Baby's Mom said...

How did you not punch someone? Seriously, somebody deserved to be punched for all that suckage.

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

Did you ever find out what it was or was it one of those mysterious things that disappeared the way it came--with no explanation?

Melissa said...

How awful. Like a normal person WANTS to be in the ER!!! Bad enough--but to add in eye rolling and attitude--gargh!!!

Tootsie Farklepants said...

jenn@jugglinglife~ you called it.

Colleen said...

Actually that sounds like what my step-dad has...can't remember the name of it, but I can check with my mom and get back to you. My step-dad tends to choke and/or gag on "dense" meat like pork chops and some steaks unless he cuts it into pretty small bites and chews it up really well prior to swallowing. He and my mom spent a night in the ER because he got a relatively normal size piece of meat lodged in his throat (which normally the muscles in his esophogus would move on down to his stomach). Like I said, I can't remember what it's called or exactly which body part(s) are not working efficiently, but I can let you know.

Groovy Mom said...

Oh geez, I've been there in the ER, and I hate the way parents are treated there. My infant was swelled up like a balloon, after waiting a couple of hours through panic, and watching my son continue to swell I was in tears and all the ER doc said was, "Why did you bring him to the ER, it's just a rash."

It was NOT just a rash. My SKINNY baby looked like the Michelin tire dude. I guess the doctor hadn't seen him skinny so didn't realize how terribly swollen he was, but still. I was livid.

When I took him to our regular doc the swelling had gone down quite a bit, but he was still shocked at how much swelling there was.

Blech. Doctors need to learn that parents know when something isn't right with their kids.

Minnesota Matron said...

Oh My God - what a nightmare. I'd run screaming from pork, too. . . . ! Sharp prose!

anglophilefootballfanatic said...

I avoid ERs at all cost. So, I get you not being "that" mom. I am so glad you used boneless pork chops. What a brilliant idear.

Susan said...

I would write a letter to the hospital adminstrator, telling him/her exactly what you told us. That is completely unprofessional/unreasonable behavior on their part, and I'm so sorry you had to go through that. A--holes!!!

I had a really bad experience once and followed up with a letter. The administrator wrote back (promptly), erased the charges from my bill, aapologized, and referred me to another doctor. I was glad I'd taken the time to write!

Hugs to your son (and you)!

Karen said...

So it was just a scratch? You never found anything? Poor kid.

Jason said...

Avoid the Henry Mayo emergency room at all costs!

Cheri said...

Was it a kosher ER and they were judging you?

Seriously, sorry. I guess I'd be wary of pork chops too. I am sometimes baffled by what passes for medical care.

Muddlin' Mother said...

Man, I feel for you. Living in Southern California I can barely get my infant in on time for her regular shots. And God forbid you ask any questions, the doc looks at you like you don't have any sort of education and have no other life and are HONORED to sit in their darned waiting room forever. Are my fangs showing?

A Mom Two Boys said...

And then they sent you a bill for $674987.08. For nothing.

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