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My First Trip To The Emergency Room as a Parent

My First Trip To The Emergency Room as a Parent

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It all started when my son performed in his musical theatre debut with a local stage school (I know it’s nature… but a bit of nurture wouldn’t go astray and I’m nudging this one by way of Judy Garland). He was fantastic in the third row as a chimney sweep from what I could glimpse between the limbs of other kids… why are my kids always in the back at these bloody things?… makes my inner Toddlers and Tiaras mom emerge.

By the end of the show he started sticking his tongue out and twerking to get attention, egged on by my Mam who blatantly put her fingers on her ears every time a kid sang… she’s mortifying. I noticed that he was bleary eyed and pale and thought they may have been drugging the kids with Skittles backstage to keep them awake, but when I got him home, I realised that he was burning up and his breathing was very shallow. I was in work the next day and because I’m on so many warnings for absence (all kid-related… another rant for another day) I had to go in. I instructed my childminder on the administering of Calpol/ Nurofen and she diligently took notes and times as I watched agog and a little ashamed at my own shoddy methods!

I spent most of my working day on the phone checking in and at about 5pm my childminder told me that he was having difficulty catching a breath.

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I sped home and brought him to my local out of hours emergency dept and was told to take him straight to Temple Street. There was the small matter of pawning off the smallie to my sister; my folks had the 8 year old and then I raced home to change out of my pharmacy uniform in case someone needed CPR and mistook me for a nurse or someone who doesn't faint at the sight of blood. I put a bag together for my little wheezer and off we went. I did 25 laps of the place before I could find somewhere to park and then we made our way to admissions. The girl asked me if he’d had surgery before and I looked at her blankly as I counted off everyone else’s operations (in fairness the smallest has had cranial surgery and a hypospadias (half fixed); the oldest has had a hernia repaired) but nope this guy was untouched. I mixed up his date of birth and felt the woman was suspicious of my parentage.

We were seated next to a teenager who’d had too much Blue Wicked and had passed out and I almost gagged my son so I could eavesdrop on her mother’s lecture (to store for future use).

My baby didn’t want anything to do with the nebuliser till I told him it was like Darth Vaders and he loved it and made me take many pictures in which he posed as if he were in The English Patient and made me viber it to worried relatives… he has his mother’s dramatic skills.. or Judys?

I played Sudoku on my phone till I realised there were a million giant turn off your mobile phone signs staring at me so I turned off my phone for 10 minutes then saw everyone else was on theirs and I switched it back on to a million missed calls from my husband who was lost in the hospital and would not think to ask anyone for help but a poor security guard who strangely enough did not hold the list of patients and their whereabouts.

The steroids had taken hold at this stage and my normally calm, middle son started to sing Be Our Guest with a gurning mouth and crazy eyes like someone from Trainspotting.

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I was starving the whole time and could smell that amazing hospital toast but had to make do with a pack of tictacs from the end of my bag. I hoped against hope that I would know one of the nurses… someone I went to school with perhaps? But no, they were all about 12 as were the doctors.

My son’s doctor was so fabulous and all the medics appeared to be female that my boy asked innocently if there was such a thing as men doctors and I had to contain a jig of delight while remembering my company and explain that although the male brain is more suited to physical work... on building sites etc, that some could study hard and possibly be a doctor (I didn’t, I didn’t).

It’s funny that even though I had no food, I became increasingly more gassy… hospitals and airports always make me feel this way… is it a condition? I couldn’t leave his side and tried to sneak one out but accidentally made eye contact with another mother as I raised one of my bum cheeks from the chair… the shame.

I then brought him for an X Ray and did the usual dance when asked if I could be pregnant?

Jaysus, I hope not!

But could you?

No, no NOOOOOOOOOO, not a chance, negative, sure he’s been snipped and we barely do it

Um, grand

Turns out he had a chest infection and all is well again in the Ozdemir household. Although I’ve had to reset the emergency room calendar to 0 and I’m still intensively moisturising my hands due to excessive sanitising. Oh and the gassiness still lingers, in case you're wondering.

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About the Author

Mother of 3 young boys, blogging about poo, post-baby vags and other beautiful aspects of parenting and domestic slavery.

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