Monday, June 7, 2010

No, You Can't Go Home

Let's just say that uneventful is not in my vocabulary. At least not on this trip.

We were discharged this morning from Clinton Memorial Hospital and started on our merry, exhausted way. Neither of us slept much last night so we knew it would be a long day, but home was beckoning. We drove for a few hours and made it as far as Wheeling, West Virginia where we stopped for lunch. Will was looking pretty tired, but then, so was I. Grrr...why do I ignore intuition???

We walked into a restaurant, but Will insists he isn't hungry. Okay. He really isn't feeling well. I run out to the car and get my handy dandy stethoscope and bp cuff. Okay. Why are we at 90/40 when you just got 2 1/2 liters of fluid?! The server asks if everything is okay. Um, no. We hadn't ordered yet, so I paid for our drinks and asked where the nearest hospital was. That is becoming way too familiar of a question.

We get on the interstate and call Dr. Teasley who is actually on call this weekend. She recommends that we head to the hospital where, unfortunately, we will probably stay for a few days while William is treated to some dextrose and normal saline ...continuously.

We made it to Wheeling Hospital in Wheeling, West Virginia where we proceeded to hang out for the next ten hours. This hospital is NOT equipped to handle William. The pediatricians refuse to admit him since they had no pediatric specialists, but the transport companies were either refusing to come from Virginia to pick us up, or they wanted $3,000 up front since there was no way to obtain a preauthorization on a Sunday. So, the poor ER doc was totally stuck with a patient whom he couldn't fully treat or pass off to someone who could.

After about 42 plans and ten hours of frustration with the transport companies, we finally just decided to put Will on normal saline and drive him to Richmond. Um, I was so not excited about getting back in the car after almost two full days of almost no sleep to drive a kid who hasn't made it more than 3 hours without an ER visit, but the options were exceedingly limited.

I loaded the car, got ready to switch over the IV bags, and get Will out when I realized that the IV pump needed electricity and I couldn't reach Billy to determine if the inverter in the car would power it. The doc then said, "Um, I think you are going to Pittsburgh." Oooookay.

By this point, Billy and Andrew have left home in the van to retrieve the Buick from Wheeling and meet me in Pittsburgh while I ride in the ambulance with William. Erlene and Randy have once again moved in to our home to take care of the other children.

So, it is now 3 am and I am sitting in my third ER in two days. Four hospitals in three days. Is there a world record for the number of hospitals in which you were a patient cause we are so working on it.

No, this isn't Cincinnati. They are not nearly as helpful nor as pleasant as Cincinnati, but at this point, as long as they leave Will on a dextrose/normal saline drip I will be content. I promise. The poor nurse who changed the bag before we saw the doc and put him on normal saline only was given a warning that this could not happen for long. Really. Unless you want this kid on the floor, get the order for the right fluids cause I am so not messing around...and I am way too tired to be diplomatic. He has been through enough and he just needs decent medical care until his body can recover... I, of course, had to apologize for being a total grouch and attempt to explain why I said what I did...but at the same time, I am so not kidding.

So here we sit. Andrew and Billy have headed off to find a hotel since Andrew will be driving the Buick home tomorrow. Billy will remain with us until Will is discharged...whenever that will be. Tomorrow, we will attempt to get a room at the Ronald McDonald House. If that doesn't work, we will probably just stay in the room with him. It is not ideal but it is infinitely easier on the budget.

Right now...all I need is sleep. Will is finally snoozing (ok. He is snoring!) which is really amazing since he has hardly slept in two days. I am sitting in a chair writing this because there is no place yet to lay my head. And if I fall asleep, I am so not waking up any time soon.

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