Ellie Goes to The Emergency Room.
Yes. Ellie and I made a trip to the ER…she is okay…but here is the story…
The Wednesday before Thanksgiving I was literally skipping around, so happy that this (see photo below) wasn’t how I would be spending my Thanksgiving…HUGE and under-house arrest in NYC because I was days from my due date and carrying a very breech baby…
So yes, on Wednesday I was thrilled to not be pregnant…okay, so Ellie had come down with a case of the sniffles, I was figuring it was just another one of the 12-15 mild colds per year that kids her age are supposed to get.
Thursday morning, my dad came to pick me, Ellie, Mal and Jess up to take us back to Connecticut. All was going according to plan until Ellie woke up on the car ride and began SCREAMING…like not the normal scream to tell me she hates the car seat…a scream to let me know something hurt.
Next thing I know I hear gagging and gurgling (I was sitting in the front seat) and I tell Jess to sit her up and get her out of the car seat. Jess picks Ellie up and Ellie proceeds to projectile vomit in Jess’s mouth and all across the backseat of the car…the look on Mallory’s face is one I will never forget.
I told my dad to pull over, and I hopped out of the car to find all members of the backseat covered in puke. Thankfully Ellie is cute and no one was angry at her, but after everyone changed their clothes using the contents of their overnight bags, I was told to sit in the back next to Ellie.
Long story short…the puking got worse, and I began to believe that there are in fact many things worse than being fat and pregnant on Thanksgiving.
Along with her stomach issues, her cold turned into a nasty cough and she kept putting her hand to her ear. Friday night she was up all night throwing up, it finally subsided, but I took her in to the pediatrician’s office (in CT) to get her checked out.
One bulging ear, another with fluid and bronchialitis. The doctor attributed her upset stomach from all of the mucous in her sinuses, she prescribed antibiotics and told me to keep her hydrated because we were going on more than 12 hours without a wet diaper.
There was a lot of crying on Saturday – by Ellie, not me. (And maybe by mom in secret because she was constantly washing something that had puke on it.
Saturday evening more vomiting, but by Saturday night she seemed to be okay…taking a couple ounces of coconut water without a problem.
However my niece Reagan threw up as my sister was pulling in to her driveway…and I began to believe this is very likely a stomach bug…not a symptom of the cold.
My dad drove us back to NYC Sunday afternoon without a problem…Sunday evening there were many explosive diapers, and refusal to take any fluids. In all of this Ellie has learned how to button her lips together and shake her head no. It’s delightful.
And then the shit hit the fan – or literally the puke hit the mattress.
At about 11:30pm I heard a weird nose in Ellie’s room, so I went in to check on her and before I entered the room I knew she threw up. She was still asleep and covered in vomit.
I picked her up and told her I needed to clean her up and I kept apologizing to her for letting her throw up on herself and she started to heave again. And again. And again. This went on for about 20 minutes. Just repeated dry heaving…with about a minute break in between. Her little face was turning purple from not being able to catch her breath. Then she would fall asleep on my should for a minute or so, and it would start all over again.
I called her NYC pediatrician and she said I probably reintroduced formula too soon and just back try to give her clear liquids. Which was impossible because she wouldn’t stop dry heaving.
I called my mom and my sister and as I was doing so I noticed that what Ellie was throwing up was bloody…it went from brownish in color to bright red…and that’s when I got the exact same feeling I got when I realized I was having pre-term contractions…I knew we had reached the breaking point.
I had my mom on my cell phone and my sister on my apartment phone and I told them she was still throwing up and there was blood in it, and that I was calling 911. I couldn’t take the chance. And getting in a cab with a baby that won’t stop throwing up is impossible. Additionally, her diaper hadn’t been wet at all since 4pm and she was totally wiped out.
My mom and dad headed into the city. Two NYPD cops arrived first and then two EMTs showed up and did a quick assessment and told me that we should head to the hospital. They told me to grab anything we’d need for the night and asked if my husband was coming.
“Nope. It’s just us.”
“Okay, do you want us to carry anything?”
“Yes please. Can you carry Violet (Ellie’s little Lovie)”
They both smiled and said, “Sure.”
While we were doing more evaluation in the ambulance Ellie started throwing up again and all parties confirmed that this was not normal.
We arrived at the ER and triage nurse looks at the EMTs and says, “What are you doing bringing someone in here that is breathing on their own? We have 65 people in the waiting room…people are going to be waiting all night.”
I looked at her, with pleading eyes.
And she sighed and said to them, “What have you got?”
They do the whole rundown in Grey’s Anatomy talk and she tells me to take seat, puts bracelets on Ellie and I, and says, “Don’t worry, I have a room opening up right now that I can get you into.”
Ellie is in my arms, out of it, and I say goodbye to the EMT’s and Ellie opens her eyes a crack and waves bye-bye to them. Pretty sure it’s because she knew they took good care of Violet. The kid is destined to be in politics with how well she can work a crowd.
“Ya know, she is beautiful enough to be the Gerber Baby…those eyes are just too much.”
Anyway…of course Ellie never threw up in the hospital. All over my apartment, and my parents house – yes. The PediER, no.
My parents, who had been up with Ellie and I for the previous 3 nights, joined us in the ER for a fourth sleepless night.
The resident doctor was great, asked all the right questions and felt it was best to give Ellie’s stomach a break, and start an IV with fluids to hydrate her and to give her Zofran and Zantac…they think the repeated vomiting was making small tears in her stomach, and all of the acid from having an empty stomach was making it worse – and the dehydration was being made worse by the explosive diaper situations – add to that the antibiotics for an ear and chest infection and my little monkey had reached her limit.
So the nurses searched for a tiny vein (interesting side note, in littles like Ellie, they sometimes shut off the light and shine a flashlight on the other side of the wrist to see where the vein is and start and IV using that as a guide.)
I knew Ellie was not herself when she barely flinched at the whole IV thing. Hope it isn’t an indicator of her tolerance of needles…we don’t need Ellie piercing her nose and giving my mom deja vu – the woman has been through enough with her own four daughters…and I still think there is a part of her that thinks that she is actually Ellie’s mom. Which is fine. I need a break every now and again.
Then they told us to get some sleep.
Um…that is the funniest thing about the whole damn night. The machines kept beeping. People kept coming in and out, Ellie kept needing a diaper change…very little sleep was had. But the good news is, after all of the IV was complete, Ellie was able to keep down some plain Pedialyte.
My parents brought us back to my apartment, I called out of work, and the nanny showed up early so I would have a second set of hands. Ellie and I went to sleep for a few hours and the nanny ran out and got all of the things we needed for the rest of the afternoon.
I woke up and handed Ellie off and began the most intense disinfecting of an apartment I have ever done, Ellie’s toys went in the dishwasher and ever surface was wiped down. Ellie slept on Jillian almost all of the day…waking to take a couple ounces of Pedialyte and a bit of baby food, and to scream when I wipe her nose.
Amazing…the child has an IV started and she barely winces, but I go near her with a tissue and she screams like it is the worst thing imaginable. (Actually I hate when people touch my face too, so I get it, but it is really annoying when she does her ‘don’t touch my nose’ routine.)
When I called my mom thank her, she told me my poor sister Mallory is also throwing up.
And I scrubbed the cabinets even harder with the disinfecting wipes.