Finding the funny in parenthood before somebody loses an eye...

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Our 10th Trip to the ER will be Free!

I spent the evening in the ER.  Again.

Ben begged me to let him play after school in the yard with his friends.  He'd been begging me for months to do this, but I finally relented.  Only because I knew the two coaches who oversaw the yard after school and trusted him to stay put.

So I, with my "Free Range" mothering cap on, I let him stay at school.  To play.  By himself.

At around 3:30 I got a call from one of the coaches.  Ben's eye was hurting.  A lot.  It was really swollen, he was itching it and we thought he had some kind of allergic reaction.  Of course.  Only one of my kids would acquire a new allergy the first time you're allowed to play on the yard alone.
 When I picked up Ben, his eye was huge, red and he looked miserable.  We went straight to the Doctor.

She confirmed he didn't have anything in his eye but thought that he must have rubbed his eyes with dirty schoolyard hands and had an allergic reaction of some kind.  She gave him some benedryl and a prescription for some eyedrops.  She said if his eye still hurt later, to bring him to an Urgent Care center (which is supposed to be so much better than an ER and less crowded.)

Ben seemed to be improving a little as left the Doctor's, drove to the pharmacy, and got his eyedrops.

Until I put his new drops in his eyes.  Then he HOWLED!


I ran to the "consultation" desk at the pharmacy and asked the guy behind it.  "Can I see a pharmacist, please?"

"Sure."  He disappeared.  And never came back.

I called "KID IN PAIN OVER HERE!" behind the counter and got a stare from some girl sorting anti-depressants.

The guy came back and said "Sorry.  The Pharmacist is just really busy."

"I just want to know if he should be in pain from the drops."  Ben was holding his eye and crying "Ow!  Ow!  Ow!  Ow!  Owwwww!"

"Hold on."  And he disappeared again.

Then he came back.  "Yes."

"Yes?  Yes he should be in pain?"

"Yes.  They hurt."

"Great.  Thanks for telling me."

When we got home I rinsed his eye out with eye wash and called the doctor.  He was still in pain so I took him to the ER.

At the Urgent Care center, we were ushered into a room with a bloodied appliance and left over stitches on a tray.  This did not look promising.

An hour and a half later, the "physician's assistants," who seemed perfectly innocuous when they walked in, checked Ben's eye and confirmed WHILE they were working on him - and he was lying there vulnerable - "Oh, Yeah.....I was afraid of that.  LOOK at that!  Wait there's another one over there!"  Ben was freaking out and shaking.  I couldn't BELIEVE these people had EVER taken care of a kid before!  There was NO regard for this poor kid's nerves at all.  I tried to massage his feet and tell him it would be okay.

At least they gave him some eye drops for the pain.

They finally said "He has a scratched cornea.  He'll need to see a doctor right away."

"So," I said "The doctor will come over?  We go to him??"

"No.  We'll page him.  Then we'll try to get you an appointment with him tomorrow."

"TRY?  But you said it was urgent."

"It is.  He should see somebody right away."

"But you said I couldn't take him till tomorrow."


 "But he'll be okay till tomorrow?"

"He should be."

What the f*ck was this?  A Free Clinic?  I was livid.

An hour later they came back.  "SOooooooo...the doctor just called back."

"Where has he been?  Didn't you page him an hour ago?"

"Yeah.  He must have been at a party or something."  And she giggled.  Seriously.  The Physician's Assistant giggled.

I was not amused.

She gave me ANOTHER prescription for a different eyedrop.

"So, I should NOT give him these other drops?!"

"OH NO!" she said horrified.  "Don't give him those!  Those HURT!"  She shook her head.

Ben looked at me shaking his head along with her.

Great.  Way to make me feel like a crappy mom.  Damn pharmacist.

As we put my poor son's sneakers back on I said.  "Can I get a prescription for those drops you gave him so his eye won't hurt?"

"Oh no.  Those are only for here."

Ben and I both said "What?!"

"Yeah."  We can't give those out.  But you're going to want to give him some Ibuprofen or tylenol or something because when he wakes up tomorrow morning he's going to be in SOOOOOOO much PAIN."

Ben's eyes were HUGE saucers filled to the brim with fear.  He looked at me.  I couldn't BELIEVE this woman had JUST said that in front of Ben. 

I patted him and said "Don't worry, honey, I'll make sure we have everything you need so it won't hurt."  HOPING the PA wouldn't say anything to make it worse.

And now we're home and Ben is sleeping.  Finally.

What a crappy night.  What a crappy ER.  My poor boy.

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