Tuesday, March 20, 2007

What's your poison?

My friend Jasmin works in an emergency room, and one of her principal gripes is people who use the emergency room when they shouldn't--when they really should be making an appointment with a primary care doctor, or when they're there for something silly. One of her examples was, "my baby's breathing funny!"

I hope I can still be her friend, because tonight I took my first-ever run to the ER with a child, because the child in question was breathing funny.

In my defense, the child in question was in fact having distinctly un-funny periods of not breathing at all. Iyyar, when I went to pick him up when he cried earlier tonight, snuffled around a little bit, tried to breathe, and for whatever reason wasn't getting any air. You could see his chest working at it, but nothing was going in. He tried a few times, and then--stopped.

A couple seconds went by, he twitched and gasped and got air. Now, I know that children often start and stop breathing at night, because Barak does it all the time. I'm used to it. I'm used to it in Iyyar too. What I'm not used to is a baby who is obviously trying hard to get air in, and can't because something's blocking it.

I called the pediatrician, who said, "Sounds like obstructive sleep apnea. Get it checked out. Go to the ER."

So I did, where the staff took one look at my (when awake) happy, smiley, curious, unbelievably flirtatious baby and instantly pegged me as a crazy mom. Baby is obviously fine. Go home.

In my defense, I pointed out that a) the doctor TOLD ME TO COME, and b) this is my second kid and my first-ever trip to the emergency room, and c) HE STOPPED BREATHING! Did he turn blue? I don't know, the room was dark. Go home, lady.

What's important here? Everything's fine. B"H.

So... when you're intensely stressed, or coming down from being intensely terrified (OH MY GOD MY BABY IS NOT BREATHING) what do you eat? I'm not talking "I'm waiting to see if the guy I dated twice is going to call again, where's the chocolate," I'm talking waaaay past that. Past chocolate chip cookies or Hungarian noodles or even cheese melted on tin foil in the toaster oven. What do you eat when you need 180-proof comfort food?

Bread and butter. White bread. And butter. And diet coke. That's my poison.

What's yours?


Cecilia said...

"cheese melted on tin foil in the toaster oven"??!!

I eat congee. With my mother's picked vegetables if at all possible. If not, then plain with a bit of salt.

uberimma said...

I haven't done the cheese-in-the-toaster oven thing since college. Were you in America when they had those ads for Polly-O String Cheese? "Hey, Eddie! Give me a cheese with nothing!"

I'm taking him in to the pediatrician this afternoon, and I am going to insist on a referral to the ENT. That was way too scary.

LeahChaya said...

{{{{hugs}}}} Having been to the ER *from* the ped's for a kid who had woken up obviously sick, seemed better by our appt. time, and then got diagnosed as wheezing, complete with nebulizer treatment in the office, and then they sent us . . . um, I hope it never happens again?

And I didn't have access to *any* kosher food from 10:30am (ped appt) until dinner, let alone comfort food. . . although I think *his* comfort food was the jarred infant stuff they had (he was about 18 months old at the time) - I got his kosher TV dinner.

PS - He's fine now, and no other *serious* episodes of anything since.

Refuah sheleimah to Iyyar, and I hope the doctor at least finds the cause.

Miriam said...

Yeah, anything carb heavy. chocolate, cookies, jellybeans, toast w/ margarine *and* jelly (don't eat butter, never have)... sugar = comfort, somehow.

Sounds really really scary. My only emergency room visits have been a lot less scary... and were only ER visits because it was after hours (and all (2) were for the same kid, the oldest, as it happens). 1 was a dislocated elbow when he was 2-almost-3 (the 2nd time it happened, during daylight hours, the ped taught me how to fix it, the third time, on Shabbos at our second son's Shalom Zachor, I just took care of it myself.) and 2nd was an ear infection. Called ped within an hour of closing and they said they couldn't squeeze him in, take him the after-hours clinic. And that's the asthmatic kid, who somehow never needed ER visits for Asthma, KA"H.

May you have very few ER visits in the future, and I hope the ped and/or ENT have some answers for you!

Ellie said...

Oh my, I am sure you were frightened. I remember our trip to the hospital with a new born. My comfort food is pop corn and apples-always has been

caroncm said...

Poison? Diet Pepsi.

You are right to insist on further evaluation of this episode. By the way, Barak's episodes of sleep apnea may improve significantly when his adenoids are removed.Or is he just getting tubes?

Cecilia said...

So you melt the cheese and let it cool? Or melt the cheese and eat it in its gooey state?? And no, no idea what ad you are talking about.

Jasmin said...

Oh dear, poor Imma! How scarey. Good that you got the follow-up (I read this post after your next one, so I already know you did.)

I didn't mean to put you off -- I don't mean moms like you who actually pay attention to their kids and have a clue what goes on with them. I'm talking about parents who can't recognize congestion, not complete absence of breath with obvious effort. You know your child; judge accordingly. I rail against the people in this community, who apparently acquire children without any interest in, or aptitude for, actually learning to care for them. The ones who have several children and no thermometer, for instance.

And off I go for another 12-hour day with them. With all my grumbling, I'd rather deal with over-reacting parents of healthy children than a seriously hurt or ill child.

Deborah said...

Very dark chocolate. Bread and butter.