Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Mommy, how do you spell E.R.?

And now the rest of the story of Faith's first day of school. Last night with the promise of buying her Disney's "High School Musical," Faith released her own Health Information Protection Act objections to a blog on the subject of her trip to the emergency room. About an hour into her first day of first grade, Faith nearly fell faint during a tour of the cafeteria. She turned extremely white and was having trouble keeping her eyes open, school officials said in their phone call. Luckily, I was about two miles away as they told me I needed to take her straight to the emergency room which is about two blocks away from school. But by the time I arrived, her color was returning and she was doing better after complaining of stomach pain. The nurse advised I take her to the pediatrician and the principal phoned ahead to alert the doctor. While trying to get a urine sample for the doctor, she turned white again and slumped over in the bathroom. The pediatrician called for an ambulance as she needed an I.V. immediately, he said. His big fear was that she had meningitis. My husband was arriving from Milledgeville hungry for information about Faith's condition as my cell phone died after I initially alerted him about the call from the school. What timing! We wound up whisking her to the hospital ourselves as the ambulance was taking too long and we figured we could get her there faster. Well, put your mind at ease - she's fine. We spent about six hours at the emergency room and Faith perked up right after getting her intravenous fluids. Her white blood cell count was high, but an X-ray and CT scan failed to show any problem with her stomach. A follow-up at the doctor showed her blood count was back to normal. We are sure glad. Of course what exactly happened is still a mystery, but it could have been some sort of reflex due to constipation, of all things. That would explain her stomach pain and - pardon me - but she did pass an extremely large stool later that night. That's probably too much information, just don't tell Faith I shared it. Looking back on the experience, I feel so fortunate to have such excellent care for Faith at school, her doctor's office and The Children's Hospital at The Medical Center of Central Georgia.My mind was at east as I felt so assured that she was getting the treatment she needed. The hardest times were the drive to St. Joseph's school and waiting for the ambulance at the Dr. Seth Bush's office. While driving, I felt my throat tighten and my eyes begin to water. My baby had to go to the hospital? The girl who is never sick had to be rushed to the E.R.? She had been fine that day and showed no sign of sickness. After praying as I drove and putting my trust in God, I realized I needed to be calm for her sake. I did my best to make light of the situation and not upset her. While the hospital can be a scary place, I made sure I pointed out the cheerful wallpaper border in her room and the cool bubble wall outside her door. I had taken a press tour of The Children's Hospital and E.R. suites when they opened years ago. My past experience with The Children's Miracle Network broadcast and my nephew's hospitalizations due to a heart birth defect convinced me she was in great hands. The staff was wonderful and presented Faith with a coloring book and doll while she waited for her procedures. The book explained what happened in the hospital and I think it had a calming effect on her. Her nurse even had glitter around her eyes. How cool is that? With WiFi available in the hospital, I was able to finish editing my news assignments I had been working on when I got the call. I plan to have more conversations with Faith as to why she was so embarrassed that she didn't want to share what happened with her teachers and classmates who were all worried about her. I can understand why she opposed "blogging to the world," as she said, but I thought it was important to share the positive experience we had with the hospital. Now I wonder where I can find a copy of "High School Musical."

- Liz Fabian

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