Yesterday the Little Kidlet and I spent some quality time at the emergency room. The day started normally. In the morning, Little Kidlet and I were lounging on the couch when I noticed he had a bruise on his shoulder. Poked it, and TheBoy looked over and asked if Little Kidlet had a black eye.
Because his eye was swollen. Really swollen, and getting more swollen as we looked at him. Assuming it was an allergic reaction to something, we gave him some Benadryl for the swelling and put a cold compress on it- and debated whether or not to take him to the ER or the urgent care that might be open on Sundays.
With the history of allergies, we opted for the ER.
I think it says something about how many ER trips we’ve had since the kids were born, that when I said I was going to take a quick shower, TheBoy told me he’d pack some food for LK and get him dressed- that I should think of what we’d bring to keep him entertained.
By the time we’d been signed in at the ER, it started to seem clear to me that this was probably an eye infection- the swelling had gone down, his eye was definitely red and there was some discharge.
While it took a little while to get us in, the doctor said that with his history we were right to be concerned that it was an allergic reaction to an insect bite – but they gave us a prescription for antibiotic eye drops, told me to keep him out of school, and sent us on our way.
We went to our regular pharmacy, where a bored pharm tech looked at the prescription and flatly told me that they didn’t have it in stock, but if she special ordered it, it’d be there tomorrow. You know the bored female clerks that are so common in movies? That was her.
Trying not to sound bitchy, I pointed out that I had a 6 year old with an eye infection- I couldn’t exactly want to wait until tomorrow, and asked if she could check to see if nearby locations had it.
She sighed. “Fine.” And then I listened to her call a few locations, telling them it was in their refrigerator when they went to check, until she came up with a location that had it.
So we drove across town to get to the pharmacy, where the guy who checked told me they didn’t have it after he looked at the shelf. So I relayed the entire story about the girl who checked, and remembered what she’d told each location. “I don’t know if this changes anything, but the pharm tech told me that it’s in the refrigerator?” He lit up, checked – and yes, they did have it.
Little Kidlet’s doing so much better, by the way. He woke up and already his eye’s starting to clear up. He’s thoroughly ecstatic that he gets to stay home- since the last time he got to stay home sick, he was puking. Me on the other hand? I’m fending off a migraine. Bleh.
But before I dive into my Monday morning, here are my tips for what you need for a trip to the ER if you’re bringing kid without a chronic condition (ie – where you think you’ll be checked into the hospital):
- Bring either a list of medications they take, or the box. Because the hospital will ask, and it’s just easier to be prepared.
- Bring a lot of things to keep them entertained. Kids get bored twice as easily while waiting at the ER, just because they know they aren’t leaving any time soon. So bring the e-reader, your tablet AND your 3DS.
- Bring the chargers for everything to keep them entertained. And make sure you have your phone charger. Hospitals get notoriously bad reception on cell phones, so if you’re texting updates to family, your battery won’t last as long as you expect.
- Dress comfortably. If it’s a situation where you can change clothes, put on the stuff you lounge around the house in- there’ll be a lot of sitting around, you might as well make sure you aren’t wearing something uncomfortable.
- Bring snacks or change. It might be awhile, so bring snacks to keep yourselves from being hungry. Because bored kids who are hungry will make the trip seem even longer.
- Let them bring a favorite friend, but keep the toy cars at home. A stuffed animal is great to cuddle, and something you can wash- but toy cars aren’t the best idea. Kids will want to play with them on the floor, and the floor of a hospital isn’t really somewhere you want them to be sitting.
Did I miss anything on that list?