Thursday, March 6, 2008

Some things never change

We spent 5 hours in the emergency room with Son #1 yesterday. He called me before 4:00 pm complaining of severe abdominal pain---just left of his belly button. He said it hurt to breathe in, and that the pain was intense. I told him to come home (he claimed he could drive) and I called his doctor immediately. His doctor was gone for the day (of course) and she said with sudden onset abdominal pain, he needed to be evaluated right away at an urgent care or emergency room. I chose the er, because urgent care would send us there anyway for tests.

He got home (not arguing about going to the er) and I checked his abdomen to see if it looked distended (HERNIA PEOPLE......WORRIED ABOUT HERNIAS HERE), and it looked normal. We sped over to the er HOPING to beat the evening crowd. Amidst the masked patients, we tried not to TOUCH anything and waited. He rated his pain at an 8 when this mess started. He never lets on that he's sick or in pain...EVER. It isn't until he's very very sick that we even know anything....he just doesn't complain. By the time we got to our seats, he said the pain was a 6. 45 minutes later in 'triage' where he got his evaluation to see if he was sick enough to be seen anytime soon, he categorized the pain at a 3...hmmmmm...he peed in a cup for them and that set off a round of discomfort that jacked his pain up a notch, but nothing very bad. By 6pm he was feeling fine and ready to go. Ok parents, you know the drill here.....what if you get home and he EXPLODES with pain? What if it is inflammation of some mysterious internal organ? What if? What if? I forced him to stay.

At 6:45 we were put into a room. We watched the rest of Entertainment tonight and an episode of 8:15, I FINALLY asked when someone would be in. They claimed we were 'next'. Finally at 8:45 Dr. Noll came in to see us.

After thorough palpitation and doctor like questions......Diagnosis? Drum roll please........... a strained abdominal muscle.

Yeah, you read right. 5 hours of an er wait, a snarly 17 yr old that was missing his Spanish group filming their big project, and a $75 co-pay. For a pulled muscle. He'll be taking advil or aleve for a few days to reduce any discomfort. No CT scans or x-rays. No blood work, no major illness.

Now, don't get me wrong. I'm very thankful he's healthy and fine. But this goes to show, the panic of parenthood doesnt' stop because they are nearly still reaches into your soul and grabs ahold when your baby is in such pain.

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