top of page
  • Writer's pictureMyranda

A Day in the Emergency Room

Let me start off by saying that as a mom, nothing makes me feel more helpless and useless than knowing my baby doesn't feel well and there is literally nothing I can do to help her. A couple weeks ago on a Tuesday evening, after dinner, my daughter said her head hurt. I told her that she's been running around and needs to drink water and lay down. She apparently needed a second opinion and went down to my husband. He told her the same thing. She sat down and watched Beauty and the Beast and when it was over, I told her it was time to brush our teeth and get ready for bed.

We sang along to the closing credits and danced like she was Belle and I was Beast and she was laughing and having fun. Within minutes, we were upstairs brushing our teeth and getting in bed and she said she had a headache. Very different from when she said that her head hurt a couple hours earlier. I gave her some Tylenol and when I kissed her forehead, she was burning up. It hadn't been more than 5 minutes since we had been holding each other dancing downstairs and she wasn't hot but now her whole body was hot to the touch.

A temporal scan temperature revealed a 107 degree temperature. I scanned myself at 98.9 and then scanned her two more times and got 105 and then 107 again. I told my husband and we asked her a bunch of questions. Did the light hurt her eyes? Did sound hurt her ears? Did her tummy hurt? Did she feel like she was going to throw up? Did her neck hurt? Can she touch her chin to her chest? Did it hurt to do it? All the questions we could find online. She just kept saying that it was just her head and it was in the front at her forehead. Within an hour and some change, her temporal scan was reading a little over 100 but not 101 so we felt okay to go to sleep.

3am rolls around, I wake up because her body was hot to the touch. I scanned her forehead again and it was back up to 107. I woke her up to give her some more Tylenol since it had been almost 5.5 hours and then I went downstairs to call the Nurse Advise Line. Within a half hour they recommended we take her to the ER. At 3:40am I was waking my husband up, getting my daughter into the car and headed to the hospital.

We arrived and checked in just before 4am. My baby (I know she is almost 5 but she is still my baby) went right back to sleep in my husband's arms and I just couldn't focus on anything. She was triaged about 15 minutes after we got there and then we got her registered and proceeded to wait. After about 2 hours, my husband walked to the gas station and I asked him to bring me some coffee. I was exhausted but at the same time I couldn't sleep. I couldn't keep my eyes closed at all...not while my child was burning up in my arms! We were waiting so long that they had to triage her a second time to update her vitals.

That's when I was starting to lose my cool. They had told us that the temporal scanners are highly unreliable when everything that we have read said that they can be off up to 1 degree (according to NIH) so regardless it said 107 and could have been 106 or 108 and that is stupid high! We had also been informed by a hospital employee that a lot of the beds were currently holding drug addicts that were being held on psych holds. He couldn't understand why they would be kept in the ER when those beds were needed by the people that were in the waiting room (there were like 3 other people in the waiting room and only 1 had been there before us).

Shortly after her second triage visit, we were called back for x-rays. This was about 8:15am. I didn't know what they were doing x-rays on or why and frankly I didn't really care. I just wanted to know what was wrong with her. As we were walking back to the waiting room, the tech said that we were there just in time because she should get a bed soon. I looked at her and told her we had been there over 4 hours already.

We finally got called back to a room around 9:30am. The nurse checked her vitals again, gave her some Motrin, did a nose and mouth swab to run tests for the flu and strep and brought her some apple juice and water. I fell asleep off an on with her in my arms while trying to get her to drink some water. The doctor told us that she needed to drink at least 2 of the 8oz water bottles to get her temperature and heart rate down. I looked at her like she was crazy. She was telling me that we didn't want her kidneys to shut down and I remember telling her that it was crazy. She wanted me to have her drink the amount of water I try to get her to drink in a day in a matter of a couple hours. I told the doctor she would vomit.

Vomit she did. She got 1 bottle down in a little over an hour. She told me that she was going to throw up and I managed to get a puke bag in front of her face but not fully opened when she started to throw all the water back up. It splashed off the bag and into her face. I got it opened and she finished throwing up and I did my best to clean her up. They offered nothing to help clean her up. No towels, no gown to change into since her shirt was soaked, and no change of the sheet on her bed that was also puked on. That episode lead to my baby getting an IV for fluids.

By about 5:30pm, her fever had finally broken completely, her heart rate was back to normal, IV was removed, and we were discharged with a diagnosis of Rhinovirus. We were alternating Tylenol and Motrin every 3 hours as needed and after Friday evening, her fever had stopped coming back. We followed up with her new pediatrician and she said that she was definitely asymptomatic and fine. My adrenaline and cortisol levels had to have been through the freakin roof for close to 20 hours or so because I swear it took me days to recover and feel something close to normal. Hell I'm finally finishing this post almost 2 weeks after the fact and I'm still not sure I feel normal!

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page