The other night at the emergency room

 “The decision to have a child is to accept that your heart will forever walk about outside your body.” Katherine Hadley

 A few Saturday’s ago, we were watching TV, when we heard Alex scream from his bedroom. We both went bolting upstairs to see what was wrong. He has been having some “age-appropriate” nightmares of late, so we assumed that this was the case. Alex slept through the night from about 8 weeks old, and has never really given us any trouble in the sleep department (other than when his sister was born, but that is a different story entirely!), so these nightmares have been a real shock to the system for us.

He was hot and sweaty, and absolutely frantic when we got upstairs. After about half an hour of trying to get him back to sleep, and with him point-blank refusing to stay in his room, using all the excuses in the book, from complaining that there was a bee in his room, to heartbreaking complaints that his tummy is sore, along with hyper-ventilating, we decided to let him fall asleep with us, and then take him back to his room later.

After about 20 minutes of him rolling around like he had insects under his skin, and some myprodol for the slight fever and some telement drops for the tummy ache later, we decide we better take him to casualty. At this point, he is telling us his tummy is sore, doubled over and crying big whimpering tears. And as much as we know most three year olds are hypochondriacs, these were real tears. I finally managed to convince him to let me touch his tummy, and it was hard and bloated. Gary and I got out of our pyjamas and into clothes suitable for rushing to the hospital, (I may have even gone out wearing my slipper crocs, which really are strictly for “at home” use!)  strapped Alex into the car seat, and headed towards the hospital. As I was closing the buckle on the car seat, I had a moment of real panic. How would I live without this boy if something were to happen to him. Every speed bump we went over on our drive, made Alex whimper in pain. I think my heart nearly stopped a few times.

At about 1030PM, we arrived at the hospital, and being a child, they rushed us though, and sent a nurse in to do a preliminary diagnosis. All the while Alex is crying and saying his tummy is sore. People in the rooms around us are giving us that terribly pained look of sympathy and fear that is reserved for the parents of sick children. The nurse asked us for a urine sample, and I carried Alex, still whimpering, into the bathroom, telling him that he had to make a wee in to a very special little cup. Alex has been fully potty trained since he turned 3, and stays dry at night. He started to wee into the cup, and it was like a flood gate on a dam opening up! The wee went everywhere, the cup was full in a nanosecond, and what seemed like 2 litres of wee went spilling onto the floor. Stupid me thought a 3 year old would be able to *stop* weeing once they started. Umm, nope! Note to self, hold the boy over the toilet next time. So half the paper towel supply later cleaning up the floor, I embarrassedly tell the nurse about our little “accident”. Then we headed back to the examination booth to wait for the doctor.

Alex was suddenly a new child, asking us what all the medical equipment does, peeping through the curtains at the other casualty visitors, doing bunny hops up and down the passage, and all the while we are realising that he is fine. Not dying, not in any pain. And then the penny dropped. Alex’s sore tummy was in fact a VERY full bladder. Neither of us thought to ask the boy if he needed a wee, and he didn’t make the connection that the pain he was feeling was his bladder.

We discussed slipping out quietly, so that we wouldn’t have to face the doctor and explain that our boy was right as rain. When the doctor came in a few moments later we explained the situation with rather red faces. She examined him for good measure, and everywhere she pressed, he of course said was sore, even his knee and little toe. The doctor laughed with us, and said it happens … it wasn’t the first time she had examined a toddler who was dying the one minute and 100% fine as soon as they were examined. Who would have thought that emergency room doctors have a sense of humour at 11 o clock on a Saturday night. So she sent us on our merry way, and our little guy was fast asleep by the time we pulled into the driveway. So all’s well that ends well, but my standard question to any complaint he makes now is “do you need to wee?”. *Breathe*

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