Upon entering the Emergency Room, Drake began to profusely vomit. He was so disoriented, he couldn’t see to safely place himself in a wheel chair - another robotic move. It was time to check him in - like that was a real top priority. “Get him to a Dr. already!” I kept thinking. Given commands from who I’d call “Nurse Gretchen” (I’m sure she was a nice lady, but at the time I would have rather bypassed her), I handed over anything I was asked for. Insurance card - check… Photo ID - check…. Child’s name - check… injury…. Um I think a bb - check? I was going through the motions. No expressions, no fear. All I could hear was my son hysterical and vomiting, and I was trying to figure out why this lady needed this information. Why were they waiting? What was 2 minutes seemed like 2 hours. Seconds later, more vomit. The ER doors flew open and SNAP, it was go time…..
Mother or robot? fight or flight….
We were placed into room #3. I kept thinking, it could be a lucky number - maybe a sign of hope? At this point, his eye resembled a black marble. I wasn’t even looking into his eyes, it was like I could see his soul. It seemed so discouraged, so scared, so lost. I was trying to stay calm and tried to speak. I had a million things running through my mind, but I couldn’t get them to exit my mouth.
Dr. Swanson came in. He was great. I probably explained the situation 50 times - as like the facts didn’t speak for themselves. The mother, and not the robot, was speaking. I needed to regroup. I couldn’t let Drake realize I was scared to death. I quickly switched back to robot. Then it was time to explain to Drake’s Grandfather what happened. I clearly remember stating, “Call my Father please, he’s a Physician. I want him involved in every step of the way." More vomit. Back to Mommy mode. Barf bags came right and left from his Aunt. We went through at least 10.
Back to Mom mode. Dang, I always hated nurses for this. Why the poking and then twisting of the needle. I wanted to say, “Let me shove that in your arm after I stab your eye and you tell me how it feels.” I was telling myself, “regroup, it’s her job.” She missed! It probably didn’t help I was hovering over her every move. Next came in another nurse. She got the IV in within seconds. I was thinking, “You were lucky lady, cus I was just about to tell you to back off!” I kept telling my brain to tell my mouth to not speak. I needed to be lifeless like a robot. No expressions, no fear. It was time to fight for my son.
Robotic moves I never knew I had…
Back came Dr. Swanson. “I’ve called an ophthalmologist; he will be here within 20 mins.” More vomit. He was sure to promise me that they would push zofran ( a popular medication for nausea) and morphine (pain medication) immediately. Within 5 minutes Drake went silent. We sat there in silence. For 10 minutes I heard no vomiting, I heard nothing. My lifeless child was lying there. Where did Drake go? At least he wasn’t in pain. I looked at my arms. I looked at my sister in law, jeez we looked like hell and we smelt like a campfire. We immediately looked at Drake. A total boy, covered in dirt. We began wiping him off with washcloths from the cupboard and baby soap we found by the sink. Oh wait.....more vomit.
I was curious, where are his IV fluids? I opened the door. There was all this chatter of two life flights coming in and a code blue alarm. Was I dreaming? The nurse, Amber, apologized and said she’d be in shortly. We continued to clean ourselves this time. We tried to scrub our nails. Our neon pajama’s and half dressed outfits probably were not helping our situation. After all, weren’t we just camping? The door flew open again, I heard, “barf bag,” and there he goes again. The nurse pushed phenergan (another medication used for nausea). We all hoped this would help. The fluids were hooked up and things were moving along. Mother or robot… I couldn’t tell. It was like flipping a light switch. It was becoming exhausting, but as much as I wanted to sob I had to stay strong… Then more bad news came….