"Well it was black dear, and very loose…" and other joys of a hospital emergency dept…

We are home.

The story:
Oscar came in to us at midnight on Wednesday night and with one croup-like cough descended into respiratory distress. This folks, is called spasmodic croup – when you simply bypass the seal-like sounding cough and go straight for a stridor and significantly restricted airway. I love that my kids don’t do anything by halves. We’ve been there many times before, (but not for a few years) so I Ventolined and Panadoled and got back to sleep around 1.30. He woke at 3-3.30 much worse so we high-tailed it to Mona Vale Hospital.

Someone was looking after us as there was no one in the waiting room and we went straight in (this breaks our run of hospital visits – the last three starting with minimum 3 hour waits in waiting room) – although I’m sure something about a kid with a stridor as bad as Oscar makes me suspect we would have been taken straight in regardless. Typical, no audience for my moment of high-drama.

Anyway, a dose of steroids, two nebulisers of ventolin and one of adrenalin and we were finally breathing easy (it was now around 4.30). But it turns out adrenalin can have a rebound effect, whereby the airway restriction comes back and with more severity than it had originally. I’m kinda glad they didn’t fill me in on that little side-effect until after the event and critical danger 4-hour period had passed event free.

Beside us was Marjorie with her severe pain, black loose stools and an ER specialist informing her he’d like to look at her back passage. Something I’m sure ol’ Marjorie hasn’t heard for some years. Although then again, perhaps that’s something we all have to look forward to when we’re 78…

On the other side was Robert, 68, who returned home from dinner last night, checked his mailbox, slipped and dislocated his patella. He has a bowel motion every morning at 7 apparently.

diagonally across from us was Sidney, he just seemed to vomit bile every hour or so, with more severity if they mentioned anything about him going home. It turns out this was his TWENTY SEVENTH admission for cyclical vomiting. Now there’s a viscous cycle.

Someone died just before we arrived.

The entire night staff HATE one of the doctors and spent the better part of an hour talking about just how many people’s lives they’d saved from her dirty “lesbian butch” clutches.

All in all, it was a great time. Only beaten by discovering that Oscar really did need to be admitted and we really did need to wait to see the paediatrician (hospitals, the waiting, WHY????). We were given a gate pass (I have a new found understanding of the excitement and freedom felt by boarders at my school when granted similar leave) to be back by six, – but the deal was he had to stay overnight last night incase it returned once more.

So Oscar fell asleep at 7.30 and didn’t wake until 4 when he wanted to go home, have breakfast and play the hospital’s Playstation. He didn’t cough ONCE. Not even for effect. I slept for about 2 hours. In there. Somewhere. My neck is killing me and I’m in that realm of tiredness and parental relief where I could either cry or vomit and both would be OK with me.

You would never know he’d been in hospital or struggling for breath, although yesterday he was very pale and this afternoon is starting to look a bit washed out as the sun goes down. His mother however, is perfecting her wreck of the Hesperus look way more than usual.