In the ER on Xmas

Our family was in the ER on Christmas day.
Let me be more specific. My over-anxious 2-year-old
was so excited to try to get the doorbell when it rang
that he pushed my wife aside on the stairs, tripped
her and she fell and broke his leg.
Ouch. Ouch is right. It was awful.
This was not the middle of the night -it was 4pm. More
awful – waiting 30 plus minutes for an ambulence from
the next township since our town’s was busy.
Then, having to go to a different hospital than our
usual one where our doctors have “rights” (acutually a
closer hospital but in NY state not NJ) because the NJ
one was full.
Then, having to wait an hour for the X-ray tech to get
to the hospital, waiting 45 min more for the doctor to
come in, waiting for surgical staff to come in. He
didn’t get an X-ray for over an hour from arrival (and
the ER was basically empty), and he didn’t get pain
meds and casted for 2 or so more hours.
Our son is currently in a cast from mid-ribcage to
toes on his right leg, and to just above the knee on
the left, with a bar inbetween the legs to make sure
the left one doesn’t hit the right one and knock it
out of alignment. For the next 6 weeks, or as we like
to say, 40 days and 40 nights, an active 2 year old is
basically immobile from the midsection down. Hence our
desire to stay over and learn how to help him.

We stayed over (and the staff was really nice getting
us Cots, etc) but then he couldn’t be ‘released’ until
the doctor called. My son wanted to leave, we wanted
to go, at around 8am.
The doctor was in surgery all AM at another hospital
(and he had TOLD our hospital staff this last night).
He said he wouldn’t be able to call and that they
would find an attending. They didn’t.
The staff also wasn’t that knowledgeable about how to
handle this bundle of cast with a child inside – we
all figured it out together.

Finally, the doctor’s call was basically – he has no
fever, he has a good pulse, send him home. This
happened around noon. So, we had sat and waited for a
minor check-in call for info that any General
Practitioner could have done in person in 2 minutes.
The hospital or they system was, IMHO, more afraid of
the liability of sending him home than of doing what
he wanted and sending him out.

I realize, even in my annoyance of waiting that there
are many places in the world where he would have
received not a fraction of this care. That’s not the
discussion here.Our doctors and staff were of very high quality.
The amount of time and waiting for
care, and the stupid rules that kept us there,
exhausted (they woke our boy up every hour to take his
temp, of course) are what I’m a bit pissed off about.

There’s more, but I’m exhausted.

Later. We’ll be here. At home. For 6 weeks….