Sunday, September 7, 2008
Friday Night Hot Spot
This week we noticed Sophie had a small bump on her knee, which looked like a mosquito bite but didn't itch. We kept an eye on it and by Thursday her left knee was becoming uncomfortable. By Friday she was limping and the area was swollen and hot to the touch, a sure sign of infection.

We grilled interrogated asked her what she'd done to her knee. Was she stung by a bee? Had she fallen? Banged it? Had she noticed a splinter? What?

She can't remember a bug bite or a sting but she remembers tripping on the playground but getting right back up and thinking nothing of it. We called the pediatrician for her opinion: "probably cellulities but red, round, recently in an area where exposure to ticks was possible? Could be Lyme disease. I can send you to the lab tomorrow or you could go to the ER tonight." We chose the ER.

We went to a hospital which recently advertised having a guaranteed thirty minute wait. Translation: you'll wait thirty minutes PLUS two and half additional hours PLUS the time it'll take to go through triage, wait for a doctor, have them set up a room for your care and prepare the paperwork for discharge. Total wait time: four hours.

Security asked me to sign in when we arrived. This was confusing for the staff, because they really wanted the patient's name, and since I was the parent all sorts of confusion ensued. "You should always sign the patient's name" they said. "I was told to sign in. I didn't know I had to put her name, not mine." "It's always the patient's name." "Okay." "Then we won't know who to call." "She's seven. If you call me I'll still answer for her." "ALWAYS the patient's name."

I really wanted to say "whatever" but I kept my mouth shut in the off chance the person I was talking to could fast track us through the ridiulousness of the emergency room on a Friday night.

Instead she took Sophie's vitals, asked her a couple of questions and escorted us to another waiting room. This was where the action was. All sorts of interesting characters were roaming the halls. There was the guy with an IV in his arm sweet talking any woman within earshot. The homeless woman eating ice cream in her wheelchair, feel swollen, bag stuffed with pilfered hospital toilet paper. There was a little boy who'd sliced his eyebrow pretty good, a woman with a pinched nerve who's husband kept trying to make her laugh by showing her his beer gut. There was a woman preparing for a CAT scan and I felt sorry for her in her high heels and hospital gown. You have little dignity left when you are in a hospital gown, zero when you complete your ER outfit with white high heels.

Then I started scoping out the doctors. One is attempting to single handedly revive the moustaches of the seventies. Two sat around discussing chest tubes. A third seemed like she specialized in kids and had a nice bedside manner. I was gunning to get her as our doctor and we did.

Dr. Elizabeth took a look at Sophie's knee. She ruled out tick bite, the area was too swollen and not bullseye enough. Her diagnosis was abcess, or cellulitis, a subcutaneous infection. A quick lance and course of antibiotics would do the trick.

Except a quick lance became three people holding Sophie down: a doctor for each leg and me across her chest, a wrist in each hand to prevent her from hitting the doctor again, whispering in her ear that "it'll be OK, almost over, shhhhh, I'm sorry, so sorry."

Yesterday we sat around waiting for a hurricane, applying warm compresses to her knee, administering the antibiotic and chocolate pudding cups, watching movies, playing Monopoly. Today her knee is far less swollen so it's off to Astroland for their last day of operation.


Blogger CatMar said...

Sorry to hear about Sophie's knee. Hope it's feeling much better. Have fun at Astroland today!

Anonymous Mom said...

Hello my little Chickens,
Have a wonderful day at Astroland, wish I was going with you guys.

Love, Mom

Blogger Andie said...

hope Sophie's knee is doing better. Glad you got to Astroland. We were in CI a few weeks back, but didn't go into Astro land...Gonna miss it.

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