LJ started with a fever last Thursday. On Friday, took him to the doctor and he was diagnosed with tonsilitis. Penicillin was prescribed. On Saturday, he had a rash all over his body. Back to the doctor, and it turns out he’s allergic to penicillin. He still has tonsilitis so another antibiotic is given. After a couple of doses of it, he starts vomiting and having diarrhea. We take him off the antibiotic but the vomiting and diarrhea continues…to the point he refuses to eat or drink anything. So we rush him to the hospital and he’s quickly admitted. He has to stay overnight so of course I don’t leave his side. The next day, we were told we would be able to leave but a couple of hours later, we were told that they wanted to keep LJ another night for observation. We refused as he had gotten better and since we were placed in isolation due to the contagious nature of the possible virus LJ might have had, we were going stir-crazy. LJ kept saying he wanted to go home and everytime I had to tell him we had to stay he cried. However, when I told him we were going home he said “woo hoo” so we’re home and LJ isn’t doing too well still but he’s better than before.
As for my experience with the hospital, I’m not too sure about. At first, I was very impressed but soon after, I was disappointed.
We didn’t have to wait in the emergency room at all. I gave them our details and we were escorted in immediately. They bypassed some other people waiting because they saw that ours was a true emergency. In the US, we would have had to wait hours to be taken in the public hospital near our house so LJ would have had to been exposed to all sorts of things while waiting all that time. At the private hospital he was born in since they had a children’s hospital, we would have waited about a half hour but even 30 minutes it’s a long time to wait when you’re worried about your baby.
Once inside, the emergency examination rooms they didn’t get shitty about walking LJ around when he needed comforting. We would have been told to stay in our own area back home.
Once it was determined that he was going to be admitted into the hospital, it didn’t take long to get a bed in the children’s ward and go up.
At 3am, LJ woke up crying in a pool of his own diarrhea. I buzzed the nurse for assistance. She came in, looked at what was happening and said “oh that’s yucky” and left. She didn’t help at all. She didn’t even tell me where I could find clean sheets for him or anything.
Throughout the night, the nurse would come in to check on his feeding tube and so forth. That’s fine. Annoying but fine. However, did she make an attempt to not wake LJ? No. She would throw the door open, let it slam behind her, drop things, and fumble through things, poke and prod him, take his blanket off to check him and then not bother to put the blanket back on and so forth. She would then leave once LJ was fully awake and crying out of discomfort and tiredness. This would happen every 30 minutes after I would get LJ resettled.
In the morning, when LJ said he was hungry and wanted food (good sign of his improvement), we were told that he wouldn’t be able to eat until the doctor saw him. Ok, when is the doctor coming? In a few hours. Not until my husband told them off did they bother to page the doctor to come see him who quickly came and saw of course he can eat if he wants to.
After breakfast, I was given a menu to complete for LJs food for the rest of the day. I selected food that he would like and that wouldn’t be harsh to his belly. Later, when his lunch was delivered and I saw that it was not what I had selected, I discovered the nurse had crumpled up the menu and put in it the garbage earlier which I ended up finding. So my hungry little boy didn’t have anything available suitable to eat.
Later, when LJ was in extreme pain and needed something for it. No one could find his chart. For 30 minutes, his chart had mysteriously disappeared and reappeared later.
Of course, the doctor on staff took forever to come see him. Once she finally arrived, LJ was sleeping. So she told me to wake him up. I asked her if it was necessary for him to be awake while she checked his temperature and his vitals, but she insisted. Only to leave when he was crying that he was tired and saw that he didn’t have a fever and his vitals were fine.
Later I asked the doctor about the tests that were supposed to be done such as kidney functioning, stool sample and others. She said they were done. I said no they weren’t. She said yes they were – that they were done in the emergency examination room. I said no they weren’t. Finally she realized I was right and her response was that he didn’t need them. Then I asked “why would the emergency room attendant request those tests if he felt that he didn’t need them?” No answer, hence we demanded to go home.
We have taken LJ to the ER in the States before but nothing that required an overnight stay so I can’t truly compare the hospital experiences but I wasn’t totally impressed with the Australian experience.