Earlier in the week, my daughter came to me, pulled up her t-shirt and asked me to feel her belly button. Which I did and was immediately grossed out because there was obviously some kind of bump thing right there under the skin. When she asked me what it was, I told her I had no idea. That, of course, did not stop her dad from diagnosing the problem: It was a cyst from her belly button ring. Or maybe a hernia. All I knew was that I politely refrained from any further touching of the area despite repeated requests to do so. For some reason, she felt better knowing that someone else was feeling this weird bump, too.
Then she went to work. And the texts started. When I did not respond within 3 minutes, she texted her dad to “tell mom to read her texts.”
Mom, my stomach is starting to hurt really bad. Do you think I should go to the doctor?
Me: IDK, do you think you should go to the doctor?
After numerous communications back and forth, the decision was made not to go to urgent care (usually a waste of money unless you have a cold, pink eye or need stitches) but to go to the Emergency Room. Christina left work early because the pain had just become too unbearable. (Like, what is your boss going to say when you tell him you are going to leave early because you need to go to the ED? No, you have to finish out your shift?)
So I got the mommy task of taking my daughter to the ED at 9:30 pm.
When we walked in, the waiting room was empty. I was thinking how lucky we were that they were obviously not busy and we could be in and out in a couple of hours.
It took 2 hours just to get her situated in the little room, give her an IV and blood pressure cuff, get blood and make sure she wasn’t pregnant and for me to realize that I had forgotten my cell phone and had no games to play for the duration of this event.
Here is how the night evolved:
- They had these nice wipe boards that listed all the staff names. However, not one of the staff listed assisted us.
- All you have to do is watch. By the time the visit ended, I knew how to turn off the beeping BP machine, open the roll away cabinet full of medical supplies and unhook an IV so Christina could go to the bathroom. All very handy to know as the night dragged on and I had no phone to play Best Fiends.
- I was sad to hear that Christina actually thought she had belly button cancer. She did the same thing to me when she was in 5th grade and had a terrible canker sore. She made me take her to the doctor for that, too.
- She was in a lot of pain. They finally gave her morphine. I got to tell her that I got morphine once and it was great. Unfortunately times must have changed because by the time I finished my story, her morphine wasn’t working any more. She did get more but it obviously just wasn’t the same. I swear mine lasted much, much longer.
- After an ultrasound and CT scan, the doctor said the little bump was actually scar tissue. Which the doctor said could be very painful. Okay, that made no sense but we had already paid our $100 bucks and that was all we were going to get. Oh, and some pain patches that were useless. Guess getting some morphine to-go was not an option.
So after 5 ½ hours, we were done. By then it was 3:00 am and I had exactly 3 hours and 20 minutes before I had to get up for my 7:30 am Tuesday meeting.
Oh, and for a $20 co-pay Christina’s regular doctor diagnosed a hernia in about 3 minutes two days later.
I’m not allowed to call her Hernia-Girl anymore, though.