I spent last night in the emergency room at my local  children’s hospital with Little A, who had taken a tumble into a sharp drawer and sliced open her lip.

I crawled into bed after midnight and only just now showered the hospital smell off of me, so I am far from competent to write a cogent post.

Instead, a few reflections:

Our ER visit co-pay was $300. Three-hundred dollars. I choke when I think about it. There’s this theme among some Paleo and real food bloggers that goes something like this: I don’t need health insurance because I rely on food to prevent and heal. I am totally down with that for illnesses. But, folks, life happens. Car accidents, falls, and genetic tendencies impacted by the choices your grandmother made while your mom was in her womb. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that because you can control what goes into your mouth, you can control what happens to you.

When everyone working in an ER is wearing a mask, one can assume the flu has been hitting pretty hard.

The ER at the hospital up the street is newly renovated and one of the additions was an “Injury Waiting Room.” That’s where we went, which meant we were not in the middle of the hacking, coughing and vomiting patients. I was very, very grateful.

Working a night shift jacks up your biorhythms and can wreak havoc on your body. I am utterly and profoundly grateful to the people who make those sacrifices so that my family can obtain high quality health care 24/7.

I am convinced that time moves at a different pace in the emergency room.

Mystery of the universe #1: How can it be that the same toddler who didn’t make so much as a grimace or bat so much as a pinky finger at the RNs or MDs who poked and prodded at her last night felt compelled to wail, “Ow! Ow! Ow!” when I went to change her diaper today?

I had a team of people backing me up via text last night – my friend whose hubby is a pediatric ER doc, my sister-in-law who is a pediatric hematologist/oncologist, and my mom. For all the challenges that technology throws our way, it can sure be a comfort to have people you need there when you need them.

Mystery of the universe #2: How can it be that a child who is accustomed to a 7:30 pm bedtime gets into bed after 11 pm and yet still maintains her exact same nightly wake-up schedule?

And, finally, as expected, we saw some kiddos who were in some pretty serious pain and in some traumatic situations. My heart is with them and their families today and again, I am profoundly grateful for the professionals who have given their working lives to their care.

One Response to “Reflections on a Night in the Pediatric ER”

  1. on 29 Jan 2014 at 3:12 pmSusan

    Amen to that, Kristine! I am eternally grateful to our healthcare providers and am a firm believer in medical insurance as well. My very healthy 24 year old niece is just leaving the hospital today after an 11 day stay. She came down with some weird infection that was truly life threatening and we were very greatful for the folks who took care of her. Also very thankful her parents had the foresight to have her on their plan since she was in between jobs. You just never know when you will need the services of the healthcare professionals!

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