Last night, Lucy had a fever of 103.8 that we couldn't get under control. Bath didn't work. Popsicles didn't work. Tylenol didn't work. So at 11:15 p.m. we made the quick drive to the hospital. The triage nurse took her vitals and immediately gave Lucy some Motrin, as her fever was now at 104.3. I worried about her taking Motrin; we had just given Lucy Tylenol a half hour ago.
"You can give kids Tylenol every 4 hours and Motrin every 6; you can even give them at the same time."
That's good to know, I thought. She shuffled us off to the waiting room since she didn't have any beds. So there we sat, me in a chair, Lucy on my lap sleeping, while Dirty Jobs played on the TV's. If you know me at all, you know I'm squeamish. I really didn't want to watch this guy clean up 90 pounds of penguin shit or dig for blood worms. But that was the extent of the ickiness; the other jobs were just dirty, like concrete work.
All the while, a cross section of night creatures passed through the doors. Partiers and hookers, for the most part. I'm just guessing about hookers, but in general, people don't usually wear skirts whose hems hit right at the base of the butt cheeks. At one point, I think that a patient escaped who shouldn't have, as a red-faced nurse came running after a couple of ladies who left who didn't look well enough to walk much.
An hour and a half later, Lucy's fever broke and I went to the triage nurse and asked her if we should just go home. The poor stressed out thing hopped up and got us a bed and off we went. To wait. Eventually, a diminutive doc came in an examined her. He couldn't find anything wrong but because her temperature was so high and her heart was racing, they decided to do x-rays and blood and urine tests.
At this point, Lucy was beside herself. She wanted to go home and commenced weeping. She was too uncooperative to stand in front of the sleek, modern x-ray machine so the radiologist had to confine her in this test tube like thing. I kept telling Lucy it would be OK but she wouldn't stop crying. I swear, I was scared to death to be a partner in providing Lucy with the most terrifying experience she'd ever had to date. But once the x-rays were over and she realized they didn't hurt, she calmed down and became interested in the equipment around her while we waited for the x-rays to be processed.
When we returned to the E.R., the nurses wanted to do a "quick" catheder to get a urine sample to test for a bladder infection. I really didn't want them to do this. The said that we could try to get a sample by having her pee in a cup. I coaxed Lucy in the bathroom and praise the lord she peed in a cup.
After the tests were done, they shuffled us off into a new room until the tests were done. We waited and waited. Lucy watched the Disney channel while I read my book and prayed. It was a period of extreme uncertainty. I envisioned a future of my little rock and roll girl bravely going in and out of the hospital for the rest of her life in order to be treated for some crippling long-term illness. I wanted to cry. Eventually, a leaned over the bed and rested my head while Lucy dozed.
Finally, the little doc came in and told us it was a virus and we should check in with our doctor later today. We gleefully got her dressed and went out to the parking lot, passing a variety of freaks and goths on the way. We pulled in the driveway at 4:30 a.m. and made our way into the house, the nightmare over. I don't think I've ever been so glad to be home.