Oh how I miss the life I had before I understood the weight of those words. Before I already had a hospital bag packed to go.
I always feel silly to take Braxton to emergency. I mean, we pretty much have a hospital in our house. As soon as he got sick we got him on oxygen, slowed his feeds, started Ventolin nebs. We know there are limits to what further interventions the hospital can provide, once Braxton catches a bug it's a slow battle back to health.
I packed the car and the RT tells me, "I called triage so they know you’re coming, the nurse knew Braxton." We always jump the waiting room line, the other moms often glare. I'm sure one day I'll sit with Zander in that waiting room for hours and feel their frustration, but now special treatment at triage is just a sign of how a little cough is actually a big problem.
"Wheezes and crackles"
"inspiration and expiration"
"increased work of breathing"
"Other than that he's healthy?" oh yes I answer. Wait no, you mean why is my 3 year old not walking or talking, right? He's medically complex, abnormal brain, cp, delays...oh you want the full story again, "was it a normal pregnancy?" I hate this conversation, trying to explain why Braxton is the way he is, fill in the whole story. How much brain space do I lose trying to remember all his surgeries and admittions, clinics and doctors, weight, last feed, last poop, meds, seizures...
In the emergency room Braxton is choking and I suction him. Emergency isn't like I imagined before becoming a frequent visitor, it's just full of tiny rooms where you are mostly ignored for hours. (Unless you end up in trauma...I have nightmares of the trauma room.) The nurse comes in and hands me a syringe. This is why I feel silly for coming, I'm administering meds, I'm suctioning, he's getting a Ventolin neb, might as well be at home, at least I wouldn't be starving, sitting on a plastic chair, for hours.
Okay I'm done complaining. I should be grateful we have a great children's hospital and a wonderful healthcare system and I'm not being charged to be here. But at the moment I wish I could go back to being naive, thinking hospitals fix kids and a mama's vigilance can keep their kids safe.