Thursday, June 17, 2010

Becky Story

My friend Christy called me yesterday with concerns about her son. She gave me the symptoms and I suggested that she go to the hospital because it sounded like he might be having appendicitis. He was admitted but thus far no surgery yet. It reminded me of a Becky story. She was about 3 or 4 and had just finished her Christmas program at Kinder Care in College Station, Texas. As we were walking out to the car she complained that her "leg hurt her stomach". What she was telling me was that when she walked and her right heel hit the ground it made her right side hurt. I was in charge of the emergency department at a Humana hospital and was(and still am) a capable nurse but I was a mother first. What that means is I immediately went into denial. Nothing could be wrong with my baby. I called Rosa the nurse on duty that night and told her the symptoms.. which included lower right side rebound tenderness and nausea. She tsk-tsked me and said "bring her in". We went to the ER, her white count was 21 thousand and she was examined by Dr. Bohne, a wonderful general surgeon. He admitted her and decided to wait till the morning before he made the decision to operate. I was frantic because Stan was out of town and despite my competence, I did not do sickness well when it involved my babies. Starting the IV (or IB as Becky called it) was an event that took 5 of us. Becky did NOT want that IV. The hospital was not geared for pediatrics so we put her in an adult gown and put her in a bed. She was started on antibiotics and we waited out the night. In the morning her pain went away and her white count was normal. You have to remember this was before CT and MRI scans. Stan was on his way in but hadn't made it yet. Becky was having the time of her life ringing the nurse call button, getting ice cream, and raising and lowering the head of the bed. As much as she didn't want the "IB" to begin with, she refused with big tears to let us take it out till her daddy got there. He walked into the room as she was bare butt in the air, with her hand down by the bed controls, making the head of the bed go up and down. He announced his presence and she flopped over on her back and looked at him with her big eyes(that she had managed to squeeze tears from) and said weakly "hey daddy, I been sooooo sick. I hab a IB". It was pitiful but the acting job was great. Stan made all the appropriate comments all the while trying not to laugh. She then looks at him with her wet eyes and said "you brung a present to me?" We were allowed to take her IV out, she thanked all the nurses.."tank you so berry much for the ice cream" and we went home with her appendix intact. She was such a drama queen when she was young and I wouldn't take anything for the wonderful memories that she has given me. I love you sweetheart.

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