We got there and checked in, and except for the trouble breathing, she was happy and making friends with everyone in the waiting room. The good thing about bringing a baby to the ER is that they will usually see them pretty quickly, especially for the breathing problems. They did an initial triage pretty quickly and then we waited for about a half hour before being taken back to a room. The woman next to me (whose son was happily entertaining my Punky) commented that we were pretty lucky as they had been waiting 3 hours already and a couple had just been called back who had been waiting for EIGHT hours!
The room was filled with people, several of whom did not seem all that sick, but I guess if someone doesn’t have insurance or regular healthcare they have to go to the hospital when they need care. And, for the record, most of the people were NOT minorities (I know how worked up people get about illegal immigrants using healthcare). An older man came in doubled over and his wife said he was having heart problems, so he was brought right back. There were also several young kids/babies. Upon arrival, the receptionist said it would be a 2-4 hour wait at least, so I was ready to sit for many hours in a boring, germ-filled, fluorescent light filled waiting room with a very tired 11 month old.
They called us back to a room with 2 beds and the kid from the waiting room was placed in the other bed. The nurse came in and immediately gave Punky a breathing treatment. She SCREAMED and fought pretty hard – she is a very strong little girl! Luckily the kid next to us (who, I gathered from some eavesdropping, was in for a high school sports injury) walked over, stood in front of her and made silly faces. She calmed down and started laughing. He was really sweet and I was so thankful! We saw the Dr., the swabbed her nose for RSV and flu, gave a 2nd breathing treatment and then we waited an hour or so for the results, both of which were negative. She didn't sleep of course, but she played with the breathing mask and the nasal swab wrappers. She would have nothing to do with the toys I brought her! Finally, the Dr. came back, gave us our prescriptions and told us to see our doc in a day or two. They said she has bronchitis and should be fine but to keep a close eye on her breathing and bring her back if it gets bad again.
It definitely sucks to have to make a visit to the ER, and I’m always so thankful for my insurance and regular doctors when I do. She’s sleeping today and I took the day off to take care of her, although it couldn’t have happened on a busier day – the other 2 had a dentist appointment, I didn’t have sub plans so I headed to school at 6am to put something together, I have to appear in court for a student this afternoon and my husband has an important meeting this afternoon as well. This is definitely one of those days when we REALLY, REALLY, REALLY miss living close to our families, but we just team up and make it work somehow. I guess it’s just all in a day’s work as a parent.