Sunday in the ER

It wasn’t how we anticipated spending this gorgeous spring 60* day. Little Miss has been having some tummy discomfort the last few days, but seemed to be back to her old self this morning (after a 12:45 a.m. resurgence of dinner on her pillow). She was running around, spinning, twirling, telling me it was “not appropriate” to stand on chairs – yep, back to her old self. We went to church this morning (which was totally powerful and emotional and there was Val, shaking a pew with her pregnant belly heaves from tears) and I had to chase after Little Miss in the auditorium afterwards as she ran laps. We went to lunch with our good friends, and she wasn’t hungry. She hasn’t been hungry for a few days, so I didn’t push it. She ate some grapes and a bite of corn dog before calling it quits.
As soon as she determined she was done eating, she started complaining of tummy pain. This was no different from the last few days. However, the intensity with which her complaints grew was certainly new. She moaned the whole drive home. We tried what we could to get her comfortable, and she kept telling us she was so sleepy, but instead of putting her down for a nap, we took her wails to heart and drove her to the ER. Our last visit to the ER was September 11th. I remember it all too well. This visit was just as frightening for me.
Once checked in, she started whimpering on her daddy’s lap, saying something about having a hard time breathing. When your child tells you they are struggling to breathe, you immediately panic. I remained as calm as possible, reached for her, in hopes I could get her comfortable and stretch her out to breathe better. No sooner had I taken her off her daddy and set her in front of me, the look on her face transformed, and she vomited. All over me, inside my shirt, down my pants, and onto the floor of the waiting room. The receptionist picked up the phone right away, Brent went to get paper towels, and I tried to console our hysterical four-year-old, who was more concerned about having messed up the floor than able to focus on telling me what was wrong or how she felt. Her tummy was really bothering her, though, and we were almost immediately taken back to a triage room. 
She told me I was stinky. Was I ever. I had grapes and corn dog on, over, and in my clothing. I was sopping wet and trying to pretend like I was totally okay with it. Up until 12:45 this morning, Little Miss has never thrown up. There was one time she got car sick on a road with a bazillion switchbacks, but that was it. She has never had a stomach bug that has produced vomiting. Ever. Even this morning, it was all in a nice little clump on her pillow. Not even a real puke, but more like a cat hairball episode. Not so much in the waiting room. That was more of an exorcist, projectile, directly on mommy kind of puke. 
The nurse asked questions, got us checked in, asked if I needed anything, and I started crying, because that’s what I do. I shook my head, she winked at me, and left the room. A different nurse came in and got Haley some attention, and then the doctor came in. He mentioned an IV and my own stomach dropped. I had an emergency cesarean four years ago, and you know what I remember? Two things: the catheter insertion and the SIX attempts to stick me with an IV needle. It was intense pain. Now they were going to give my daughter an IV. Oh Lord, how do I prepare her and not scare her at the same time? 
A wonderfully sweet paramedic came in to administer the IV. He was great, but Little Miss wailed. WAILED. And I was shedding more tears right alongside her.  I know how much those big needles hurt, and I can only imagine how much it hurts when you’re four. She kept saying, “Take it out right now! Take it out!” Her stomach was also still very tender, and the hard crying was making her hurt worse. It was finally over and I situated her comfortably on the bed, propped up on the big pillow. Brent had left to go get us a change of clothes, so he missed out on the needle and tear action. By the time he had come back, Little Miss was making friends with all the nurses and being her cute self. The doctor had ordered and run tests on her and they all appeared to come back normal. They had put anti-nausea meds in her IV and you could tell she was progressively feeling better. He suggested it was something viral. I’m not sold on that, considering she has absolutely no other symptoms. Then again, I’m just a mom that cries all the time, not a medically trained professional. By the end of the visit he was poking (tickling) her stomach without any reaction of pain from her.
Brent eventually came back with a change of clothes and I gave myself a quick cleaning as I put clean, non-stink clothes on. Sweat pants and sweatshirt paired with my dress shoes, and pearl necklace and earrings still on from church. I was quite the classy sweatpants fashionista. Little Miss was still in the child-sized gown and pants set the admitting nurse had rounded up for her. As she lay in that bed, she looked so fragile and so pitiful. I just prayed in my heart so many times the words, “Please God, don’t let it be anything. Don’t let it be anything.”
As the IV fluids re-hydrated her, and as she watched her current favorite show Franny’s Feet, she was returning to her old self. The dress shoes were closing off on my feet and I started to puff up. I put them up on the bed, and got as comfortable as I could in the chair. Three hours and several Franny’s Feet episodes later we were getting our discharge paperwork and told to keep an eye on her. I asked the nurse who had taken excellent care of all of us, if I could hug her. That’s another thing I do. I cry all the time, and hug strangers.
We came home, and enjoyed what little bit of sunshine we had left for the day, with the gorgeous temperature. The girl I carried in the door was not the same girl we spent three hours in the ER with. She wanted to eat (something she hasn’t wanted to do for a few days) and requested Cheerios and a banana. She wolfed that down, then proceeded to run, twirl, and jump around the living room. I had to beg her to settle down and take it easy.
Since the ER time was directly through nap time, both she and I are pretty wiped. We’re snuggled up in bed right now as she’s watching The Lion King for the first time, snuggling on me every time the “bad guy” appears on screen. Of course we’d be watching a movie where the parent sacrifices everything to save their child. Because I haven’t cried enough today. *Sigh*

I had a lot of plans for today and taking advantage of the weather. None of them came to fruition, but it doesn’t matter. What does matter is I have a little girl, snuggling tightly against me, appearing healthy and recovered. She isn’t crying while watching this movie, but I’ve shed enough tears for the both of us. Now, the skies have opened up in the first rainstorm of spring. If I haven’t cried enough for today, the big heavy drops falling outside will make up the difference. 
I’m going to close out now – I have some snuggling to indulge in.

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