May 4th, 4 PM
The drama had reached a fevered pitch with the pediatrician telling me I needed to take Knox, my 6 year old, to the ER at Children’s Hospital.
To say this is not what I wanted to hear is an understatement. But to be honest I was not surprised. This was not my first rodeo. We’ve had to do this before. We have experience with dehydration and ERs and hospitals for Children.
My first thought when the Nurse told me this was, “Man, I don’t wanna sit in an ER room holding a bowl for Knox.”
I called my Mom and Mother-in-Law and let them know what was going on. I made them swear they would not tell Bethany.
Knox and I are on our way to the ER. he and his little body are up front with me. I’m holding the bowl.
I shoot Bethany a text while sitting at a light.
“How are you?”
“I think I am better.”
We get on the interstate and it’s only a few minutes till we get to the ER from there. But it’s after 4 PM on a Friday on I-65, the largest parking lot in Birmingham.
So Knox gets sick before we even get off the interstate.
Now, I have only been to Children’s Hospital as a visitor. I’ve never taken a kid there. So, here I am driving around downtown Birmingham looking for the ER entrance holding the bowl with a boy who could need it any minute.
Finally I figure it out and as I pull up I think about Brian Regan and the need for valet parking for the ER. And then there it is, in brilliant Red and White for all of us to look upon and rejoice over -
“Free Valet Parking”
Knox and I walk into the ER. Thankfully a kind face greets us and I explain the situation. I assume we will fill out a bunch of paperwork and wait. But we didn’t. I answered a few questions and they took us back to a small room to get vitals.
Wait? I don’t have to wait out there with the others?
Bethany sends me a text.
“How is our little boy?”
“This is the longest he has gotten yet without getting sick.”
Now that was a true statement as far as it goes. Of course she had no idea we were in the ER. But I mean, it would have done her no good to know. I had it all under, ehem, control.
The nice young nurse takes us back to a shared room with Disney Jr. playing. Knox lays down on the bed and goes right to sleep and then gets sick. Another nurse comes in with purple Gatorade. I’m supposed to give him a syringe full every 5 minutes till he gets sick and then they will check him out.
So I do. And he gets sick after the 2nd.
Courtney, our awesome nurse then pricks his finger and he barely notices. He is worried about a shot and who wouldn’t be?
Our brave little boy is getting an IV put in. And he does great. He has gotten sick again but only minutes after the Zofran courses into his little vein, he starts perking up.
He cannot understand what is happening as they push in this little miracle drug through his skin. He keeps looking at me wide-eyed.
Next the fluids. And he reacts to the coolness flowing into him, again, not understanding. This is all new to him and might as well be science fiction for all the science he grasps. I tell him it’s kinda like getting super powers injected into him.
“They come from that bag?”
“Yeah buddy, they do.”
“Maybe I’ll be able to shoot out bags!”
Knox is better. He looks like himself and is smiling and talking and not getting sick. He says his tummy no longer hurts.
The doctor is encouraged. Dad is relieved…and pretty much ignoring any texts from the wife.
The change is now dramatic. He is cold but being silly.
And now I begin to wonder, “Why can’t we have these machines at home?”
I’m exhausted. And now my stomach hurts and I’m achey again. I’ve been taking Tylenol but now that I’m in the hospital, I don’t have any. So I ask the nurse for some and she kindly sends me to the Pharmacy. I buy some in hopes it will help.
The Doctor orders us up some tasty “Gatorator,” as Knox calls it. Old school green. But he is happy to be drinking anything. Heck, he’s just happy. We both are, Phineus and Ferb just came on.
Knox has kept down the Gatorade and so they are sending us home. I call everyone and let them know. Everyone, that is, except Bethany. We thank the Doc and the nurses.
We get to the house and immediately set up our little “sleepover” in Daddy’s bed. He is excited about sleeping with me tonight. He falls asleep almost immediately.
There is a bowl between us, just in case.
I watch Braves baseball and read, just so I can keep an eye on him. Bethany and I text each other and I use his sleeping to keep from talking on the phone. She is relieved that she is feeling better. And even more relieved Knox feels better.
I’m thinking, “We are going to survive.”
I decide to turn off the lamp, put down the book, turn off the game, and go to sleep. And it comes quickly. It’s been a long day and I’ve longed to be here in my bed with a healthy Knox.
May 5th, 3 AM
The phone rings. I’m delirious and cannot understand why my Mom is calling.
“I hate to tell you this but Emma has been sick now for over 2 hours.”
(To be continued)
Part 4 here