Thursday, April 09, 2009

Another ER visit

So last week B had his jaunt to the ER, and yesterday Campbell had his. It was his third in two years. Unlike the one for the head donk or the one for the pill that he probably didn't swallow, which were both nerve wracking enough, this one was really scary. And instead of going to the ER at the Heart Hospital down the road, I went straight to the children's hospital.

Warning, gross stuff ahead. Read at your own risk.

Campbell was out riding his little scooter yesterday afternoon, and he took a tumble. I initially thought he had just banged his hands and knees. When I picked him up, I realized he needed a new diaper, and since I had a box of diapers in the trunk of Martha the Maroon Moose, I put Campbell up in the back to change him. When I pulled off his diaper, I saw that something was wrong with his penis (and I have now said and written that word more times in the past 24 hours than in all my life). The best we can figure is that he banged his crotch on the side of the scooter when he fell down. I called B out to take a look, and he told me to call the doctor.

While I was on hold with the answering service, B carried Campbell inside and set him on the sofa on a towel, with his legs spread. Our doctor's nurse called me back and told me to head straight to the children's hospital.

Unfortunately, B had a meeting with a client he had already canceled once due to his ER visit last week, so he couldn't go with Campbell. So I headed out with Campbell and Elizabeth, and the girls went to a neighbor's house.

The nurse in triage at the ER winced when she opened Campbell's diaper and again when he started screaming in pain when he peed. All of the nurses gathered and laughed in an "Oh isn't he so cute" way when we finally walked back to an exam room - Campbell was walking like an 80-year-old cowboy after a full day riding a horse. I didn't think things were quite so amusing.

This is where it gets gross.

The doctor said that it looked like when Campbell fell, the blow pushed his foreskin too far back, and the membranes underneath were exposed and started to swell. The swelling prevented the foreskin from retracting to its proper position. The fix was for the doctor to pull the foreskin into place and shove everything else back inside. All done with Campbell screaming in pain while being restrained by an EMT and a nurse. It took the doctor at least six tries to get everything to stay where it belonged, and by the time she was pretty much finished with the worst of it the pain meds finally arrived.

I wanted to punch the doctor every time she told me she couldn't wait for the pain meds because if the swelling got any worse, the problem would be harder to fix. They didn't seem to be worried about time and swelling while we spent 40 minutes in the waiting area watching "Hannah Montana" (I do not understand the appeal of the show at all).

The doctor also called in a pediatric urologist to take a look, and I wanted to punch him too. He came in, took a quick look and announced that the injury wasn't because of a fall; it was because I hadn't been doing a good job of cleaning Campbell's penis. Then he rattled a bunch of stuff off at me, told me to make a follow-up appointment with him in three weeks, and walked out.

Through all this, I had Elizabeth with me, which made things even harder. Every time Campbell screamed in pain, she'd start screaming. So one of the nurses took Elizabeth out in the hall, but I could hear her crying out there. I took turns going between the two, comforting one at a time the best I was able.

After three hours, we were discharged without another visit from the doctor, which was actually fine by me. By the time we left, Campbell's pain meds had kicked in and he was stoned. He thought everything was hysterical. On the ride home - in a booster seat because it hurt him too much to buckle his car seat - he was pointing out different colored buses and laughing hysterically. "Look! Red bus. hahahaha. Look! Boo bus. hahahaha." I couldn't help but laugh with him.

Once I got home and got the girls settled and B got home from his client meeting, I kind of fell apart. I'm still not recovered. Campbell is just fine this morning, except when we have to change his diaper, but I'm a mess. I am grateful, though, that nothing more severe was wrong and that he will be fine.

But I think I'm buying the boy a cup to wear at all times.


Cheryl Prater said...

Oh H!

You poor thing. I had a similar experience with Conn when he was a tot and I remember needing a stiff drink afterward.

And hadn't they heard? ER was canceled so tell your fam to knock it off.

Big virtual hug from me.

Cathy said...

OMG--what an awful day! I know what you mean about ER staffs--I know they must be a little jaded from their jobs, but come on!! Big hugs.

Maude Lynn said...

That sounds awful! Couldn't wait for the pain meds? I admire your self-control for not punching anyone!

Unknown said...

OMG!!! Poor Campbell, poor mommy, just horrible!!!!

And seeing your child in pain is the worst. You should have punched the docs, esp the urologist.

MadMad said...

I'm too afraid to read it! Glad everyone is OK, though! Yikes!

Ann in NJ said...

Oh, poor baby. The urologist is lucky - I think I would have punched him. I HATE doctors that jump to conclusions without knowing facts. Good job restraining yourself - Campbell needed you calm(ish).

I fall apart afterward too - hope everyone is feeling better now.

Anonymous said...

I would have been uncontrollably evil to everyone there. Wait for pain meds? There SHOULDNT BE A WAIT FOR PAIN MEDS. Never.

I am so sorry. I hope C makes a quick and complete recovery.

Shelly said...

I find it hard to believe that little boy's develop problems because of improper penis cleaning. It seems like there would be a stampede at the ER. Especially as they get a little older. My four year old won't even wipe after peeing, which seems pretty unclean to me. And yet, no swelling.

Hoping for a quick recovery!

donna said...

I'm exhausted from just reading your post. I really feel for you. Having to go through that...for ALL of just hideous. And honestly I think some doctors need to put some work into their bedside manner. I'm sure they see lots of crazy things every day but they start to get disconnected from the human side of it. I'm surprised you didn't come home and drink a great big glass of scotch or something just to recover! Glad C is better today.

bernthis said...

I got down on my knees today and thanked the Universe for making me a girl.


Liz in Ink said...

Oh, OW!!!!! Glad you all made it through okay!

Ann Imig said...

I clicked through to this post from today's. I have been to urgent care and the ER more times than I care to think about with my boys. So stressful, and NO that did not help to be chastized by the doctor about cleaning or not cleaning a penis properly. WTF!

I'm not surprised you're having a little post-trauma exhaustion.

Take care of yourself, Mama!