My son is experiencing his first bout of the flu and this is so difficult for me. In general, it is very hard for me to see anyone sad or hurting, as I want to do anything to fix it. This is so much more true when it is my own child that is hurting. I woke up this morning to find he had gotten sick all over his crib in the night. I gave him a nice long warm bath and then put him in some clean pj’s. I tried to feed him his breakfast, but he was so lethargic that he wouldn’t stay awake. I took his temperature to find it was 95 degrees. I called the doctor who wasn’t in for another hour and a half and then called the St. Jude nurse advice line. Based on the information that I provided, they told me that this constituted an emergency and that I needed to call 911. They agreed to allow me to take my son the the ER without calling 911. So up to St. Jude emergency room we went. We waited to be called for aver an hour and when we were called the first time, were sent back to the lobby as someone more critical than my son had come in. We were assured we would be next, but 30 minutes later, all people who signed in after us had been taken back. After the rush was over, we were finally called back. When we were finally given a room, my mom who came with us, and I were quite dismayed to see that there was blood all over the sink and the counter. I’m not talking about a drop or two of blood, it looked like someone had dragged their hand through the blood and smeared it on the counter top. There was also a red rag in the sink that appeared to have originally been white. The nurse apologized stating that she had thought housekeeping had cleaned the room and proceeded to clean up some of the blood and assured us housekeeping would be there shortly to finish the cleaning. We waited over 30 minutes for the doctor and housekeeping never came. I am normally not one to let things bother me too much as i know that life happens, but I was a little annoyed with this as I really didn’t care to stare at someone’s blood while worrying about my own child, especially when hospitals are very big on contamination and sterlility.

The doctor who saw my son made me second guess his qualifications. He came in asking what we were in the ER for, and I was surprised as I had thought that he would have read the notes before coming to see us. When we explained the symptoms and told him we were there on the advice of the nurse line, he left saying he would look into it. The blood tech came to draw blood for tests and we were moved into a large room with many patients in beds, separated only by curtains. The blood tech told us she was waiting for another tech to help with the procedure as she wan’t comfortable doing it on her own. Finally the procedure was done and we sat to wait for the doctor to come back. He finally came back a long time later and asked how we had been since he had last checked on us. He then said something about him having given my son a pill for nausea, which confused me as I wasn’t aware of him having been given pills. He is only 14 months and can’t talk yet, let alone would be able to say the word nausea. The doctor asked if it appeared the pill was working and when I stated that he hadn’t been given any pills, the doctor realized he must have confused my son with someone else. He also asked how  the fever was doing, but my son never had a fever, his temp was within normal limits by the time we got his vitals checked. After 5 hours in the ER, we were released with a diagnosis of vomiting.

I have to say that I honestly was disappointed with the standard of care and cleanliness of the hospital today. I can understand that doctors are understaffed and overworked probably, but as a patient, I am trusting my care in the hands of that doctor, and I think it is very important that the doctor make sure that he is treating the correct symptoms and really knows what is going on with the patient. I just get concerned that possibly something could be overlooked if he isn’t aware of all symptoms or doing a very thorough job of checking my son completely. I had such a great experience when my son was delivered there, and it did make me question if this is the right hospital to deliver future babies. However, my doctor I used with my son when I was pregnant is absolutely wonderful, and I have the greatest confidence in him and plan to stick with him, so I am sure I will be back there at some point int he future. I will just try to avoid that ER as much as possible or hope a different doctor is on staff if we end up there again.

I do hope that my son does feel better very soon and this flu runs it course quickly. I feel so helpless knowing that there isn’t anything I can do. He pretty much has been sleeping the whole day so I hope the rest will be very good for him and I know it at least keeps him comfortable. It’s too bad that his flu sot didn’t keep him from getting sick this season.