A, E, and I went back to the waiting area to wait for what I assumed would be only a few minutes before being called back to an available room. As we waited, the room got more and more crowded, so I opted to take E (who was now asleep) outside, while A waited inside in case they called our name.
Around 7:00 I informed the nurse who was taking names, that even though they had given her Tylenol, she still felt really warm. The nurse took her temperature right there in the middle of the waiting area (sorry baby girl) and I was proven correct- her temperature was still high at 102.8. She said she’d go check on a few things and call us up in a minute. I took E back outside until I saw A motion me back in, by this time it was around 7:30, two and a half hours later. Finally, we were going to be taken back to a treatment room.
The nurse informed us that she could give E a dose of Motrin (it had now been more than 6 hours since she had taken Advil) but that it was still going to be a while before we went back to a treatment room.
It was at this point that I lost it. I was tired, stressed, and worried about my baby girl. And in the moments that followed I did a few things that I’m not proud of.
The nurse was smart enough to bring us to a more secluded triage area. It was quiet and empty. She brought in the Motrin, which at first I refused. I explained to her that my daughter was sick and all they were doing was placing band aides on her illness instead of actually treating her. I stated that we had been waiting a long time and said (word for word), “if you don’t care enough about my daughter to take care of her, that’s fine, but I’ll go find someone who will”. I likely said it in the exact same tone you visioned me stating it in your head. I then started calling all of the other local children’s specialty hospitals/ER’s to find out their wait times. Apparently, they can’t release that to you over the phone. Apparently it violates a federal regulation.
I then did something ridiculous. Even for me. You see the little area we were in had two entry ways, one that viewed the ER, and one that viewed treatment rooms. I saw two parents and their infant be escorted into a treatment room right next to the triage area we were in. I then not so quietly and very passive aggressively asked the nurse how they prioritized patients because those people (and I pointed- yes I brought out all the childish and ridiculous tactics here) had just arrived 30 minutes ago (I knew because I watched them pull up while I was outside with E) and THEY were being seen. The mother was standing in the door way, and Aaron said she tried not to appear that she was overhearing my statement, but it was very clear she had.
The nurse then shut the door that lead to the treatment area and let me know that their baby suffered from a life threatening bleeding disorder and was bleeding behind his eye. Their baby was likely 3-4 months old. I lost it.
At this point not only was I exhausted and worried as mentioned above, now I just felt like a complete jack ass. Those poor parents. That poor baby. I broke down in tears and just kept apologizing. The nurse was SO kind, kinder then she should have been to me, and told me that if she was in my shoes, holding her sick baby, she would have said and thought the exact same thing. Regardless, my actions were just not excusable. I have been praying for that little boy since I “met” him. I’m hoping that’s why God brought that situation into my life, maybe that little boy needed someone else to pray for him.
So at that point I gave E the Motrin (which is amazing, we’ve already made the switch in our house from Advil to Motrin) and emotionally word vomited on the kind nurse. After I stopped blubbering, she excused herself for a moment, and came back in letting us know she had gotten us a room!
Finally, after at this point 3 hours of waiting, we were going to be seen, treated, and finally on our way home- or so I thought.