Sunday, January 26, 2014

January 23-24

This has been a busy and eventful week.  On Thursday, I had hubby stay home from work to look after the children while I went to a meeting downtown.  I didn't have to go anywhere for it, as I could have stayed at home for the teleconference but it was better that I went.  So I went to my former workplace and met a former co-worker in what would have been my offices had I stayed.  We are board members for the BC region of CASC and were having our first meeting of 2014.  Our board has members from Kamloops, Prince George, Victoria, Vancouver and Surrey, hence we utilize teleconferencing services.  

It was good to be in the room so that I could ask questions of the other person when the meeting was over to ensure that I didn't miss anything pertainant as I am the secretary, thus minute taker. (Ironic, I know as I am the hearing impaired one..)

After this was over, I went to my regular Thursday morning church group for parents.  I was especially late, 75 minutes, but was lucky to get there as things were just starting. A lot of people were late, or missing.

Upon my arrival home, I was told by hubby that our children had been coughing and refused to eat breakfast.  Refusing to eat breakfast is a normal occurrence so i wasn't too concerned, whereas hubby is usually at work and doesn't seem the "norm".  Our son was coughing like a seal, yet again and we suspected croup.  This would be the 4th time since September.  After trying the usual steam from a hot shower and tylenol, the poor boy still was not happy waking at midnight, then 2:30, then 6.  (After settling him at 2:30, his sister woke up, so there was not much sleep to be had that night.)  At 6 a.m., when toddler boy woke up, I decided that I would take him to the local ER.  It is a 5 minute drive up the road and it was just after 7 when I got there.  I hoped that it would not be crowded.  I was prepared for a large line, (as I used to work at a large downtown hospital and remembered their ER usually had crowded waiting rooms) and paid for full day parking and had books and 2 bottles for my son.  
I was pleasantly surprised to enter the new facility and find a beautiful lobby and a separate ER for children.
  The staff were curtious and helpful.  We were put in a separate room with glass sliding doors and its own bathroom.  My son was given epinephrine by mask 3x while we were there.  I had to spend my time on the stretcher with him for the entire time.  Poor thing was so upset at the event that he would barely let me put him down and would cry so loud that the nurses would come and close the door so as to not disturb the other patients.  We were seated across from the nursing station so I could see the action.  It is hard to get their attention, but I know from my previous health care work that there is no point to go in to see someone when there is nothing to really report.  But oh my goodness! waiting is hard. Especially when you aren't sure WHAT you are waiting for exactly.  I was happy that there was a TV in the room. The channel was on Treehouse so my son could watch shows when he felt like it.  I have to say though, I can only watch/listen to that for so long.... and was very glad to have my e-reader with me.  I finished 2 books while I was there.

So my son has croup. Essentially it is the narrowing of the throat/airways.  This was evident when you heard my son's breathing.  The "barking Seal" was hard to miss as well. The nurses kept asking if he had been intubated at any point.  I couldn't remember but assume that he was during his angioplasty at 2 months.

In the end, I was sent home (versus overnight admission, Phew!) with a pediatrician's phone number.  She agreed to take him on as a patient AND she is local. That has been one difficulty with moving. All of our medical staff, dentists, etc. are in Vancouver but now that we are in Surrey, it makes the drive to services tedious.  I am to call her for followup next week.  I asked if she would be willing to take on his twin as well.  :)

A side note about Fraser Health:  I have worked in competing health authorities and have not really heard favorable reports about FHA.  This is in part because of my history with CASC and the fact that FHA decided to deal with their budget issues by laying off a large number of my spiritual care colleagues in favor of volunteer spiritual care.  Given that Spiritual Care is a relatively under appreciated and/or under-respected profession, this was quite a blow to the profession as a whole in BC.  I have also read some rants about FHA, in particular the SMH ER experience on Facebook, so I was not sure what I would find.  I was pleasantly surprised.  Could have used a bit more checking on considering that I had a boy plastered to me... but other than that I would rate my experience as positive overall. I look forward to finding out if I can go there for future cardiology followup with my children versus driving to Children's.

So now the majority of the household is ill.  I am sick with my usual sinus cold/sore throat, Toddler girl is sick with a cold, and Toddler boy is still croupy but better. 

And to top it all off, Wednesday is my birthday. Goodie! (can you hear the sarcasm?)  I have usually been ill or snowed in during my past birthdays.  Hopefully I will be better and get to go out for free dinner at one of the various places that have emailed.

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