First, let me say, my intention was not to take my 3-year-old to the emergency room. I went to her doctor’s office and he was closed. I then drove to doctor’s/urgent care and they were closed. The trip from my home to urgent care should have taken only 20-25 minutes. With spring and the great weather, it took an hour with beach traffic. This leads me to the emergency room. The last place I ever want my children when I don’t think it’s a full-blown emergency.
My 3-year-old (Monkey) woke up from her nap yesterday, like normal. We walked to the mailbox and back. I sat down on the couch to read the mail when I noticed her scratching a lot. I asked her why she was scratching and she said that something was making her itch really bad. I got her on the couch with me and took a look. She had this huge red, swollen welt on her thigh. I was quite startled when I saw it. I took a picture of it to send to my husband at work.
About that time, he called. I told him what I had found and was going to send him a picture. Then Monkey started whining that she was itching more. I pulled her dress up and it had spread up her side and onto her back in that short time.
I told my husband to come get us. We had to go to the doctor right away.
For most people, they would had watched her and give her some allergy medicine. For our family, we have to seek professional help because our children are not vaccinated. A simple something may or may not be so simple for them. This is another reason we want to keep our kids out of the emergency room.
Let the nightmare begin. We get to the ER a little after 5:30. Not very many people waiting, about 3. Good sign so far. I sign her in, we sit in triage waiting for about 20 minutes. The triage nurse asked all the normal questions and could actually see the spots appears on her while we are with her. I was very clear that Monkey did not have vaccines. That this was the huge concern with it spreading so fast.
We were sent to wait in another waiting room. People that had come in after us was going back to the ER. Then those people were being checked out and we were still waiting. An hour passed, I was getting upset. I understood there was somethings more important but was also very concerned about the “what if” that could come with the rash and no vaccine. I went to the desk and the nurse said we were next.
Sure enough, they called us next. We went to a room and hospital register came by for me to sign papers. Then we waited again. When the doctor came in, he looked at a small spot on her leg (he looked nowhere else) asked Monkey to open her mouth, then left to get his stethoscope. He listened to 3 places on her back and 2 on her front. He said, “oh, she’s just had an allergic reaction to something, we will give her a steroid and Benadryl and you can go home. If she can’t breathe later, call an ambulance. I have to set another patient’s broken wrist right now but I will sign your discharge papers after I’m done with her.” And off he went. We waited again. The longer we waited, the madder I was getting. The nurse came in with the steroid and Benadryl. I told her that I had Benadryl at home and could give it to her. I asked why we were waiting again and she said the doctor had to set a bone and when he was done with that person, he would discharge us. She could see I was very angry at this point. She got the doctor to sign the discharge papers and we were finally leaving.
We were there for more than 3.5 hours, spent less than 5 minutes with the doctor and nursing staff combined. The triage nurse was more professional and caring. By the time we left, my girls were stir crazy and I was beyond the point of caring anymore. I had done everything I could possibly do to entertain a 2-year-old, 3-year-old and a 7-year-old while waiting. It wasn’t a pretty sight when we left.
All together, we spent more than 3 hours waiting and roughly 20 minutes with hospital staff combined. If we were not that important, why have us sit around taking up space and resources. The doctor was very clear about who was important and who was not.
I am still very angry and I do plan on making a complaint with the hospital. My oldest was even asking why other people was more important than her sister. I apologize for the long rant and I thank you for bearing with me on this.