Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Our first trip to the Emergency Room

my dehydrated peanut
Yesterday Marlo contracted a bad stomach virus. It began with Exorcist-like vomiting at 10 AM, a 3+ hour nap, followed by more vomiting...and more vomiting...and finally more vomiting, until there was nothing left to throw up and she was dry heaving. She hadn't had a wet diaper in over 6 hours, so our doctor told us to get to the hospital ASAP as she was dehydrated.

I frantically ran around the house with her little limp body in my arms, gathering what items I thought we might need, and changed her (and me) for the 10th time that day into her pajamas. I called my husband, told him to meet us there, strapped her little green hued body into the car and we were off. I tried my best not to drive like a maniac as she slept in the back seat (which made me think twice about all the crazy drivers out there - were they trying to get to a hospital with their sick child in the backseat too? Probably not...but maybe!). Thankfully it was rush hour (in the opposite direction) so it only took 20 minutes to get to Children's Hospital Boston from West Roxbury (a drive that at any other time might take 40 minutes - I do have to point out that it is not easy to get to the hospital district if you have an emergency by any means...always traffic, too many lights...but I digress).

I valeted, and ran into registration. As soon as I sat down Marlo puked all over me, herself, the floor - which was kind of our saving grace as we were attended to right away. Within 20 minutes we were back in a room and she was seen by a nurse practitioner.

I don't need to bore you with all the details of our 6 hours stay but I will tell you the worst part was the whole IV issue. She had had one a few months back, but it was administered when she was under so she didn't know what was going on. This time, she was fully conscious, and it took 3 nurses 30 minutes to find a vein and insert it. We had to hold her down while she screamed and writhed in agony. And taking it out was another story!! No one likes to see blood gushing from their infants arm, but the nurses didn't seem to think twice about it.

After the fluids were administered, her color returned and she seemed to be in much better spirits. Today we are on Pedialyte, and are staying away from solid foods and dairy until tomorrow.

The point of this post is to let you moms know what to look for when it comes to dehydration. If your child is spitting up, and has diarrhea, chances are they have a stomach bug (obviously) but what you really need to look for is the wet diapers. If they haven't had a wet diaper in 6-7 hours, your child is dehydrated (so says my pediatricians office). Call your doctors first - but chances are your kids will need some IV hydration.

In the end she handled it all very well, and we got our first trip to the ER over with, but no parent likes to deal with these things. As my Mom pointed out, Marlo has had two IVs before the age of one and most people don't have that many in their life! Hopefully this will be our last sickness for a long time...


  1. Oh no, that sounds terrible! William had a similar illness this week, but only vomited once. The diarrhea lasted a couple of days :( He was so miserable!!! Hope Marlo recovers quickly!

  2. Yep, ER visits are no fun. Connor had a vicious bout of croup that put us in the ER at midnight while on vacation this past summer. An infant that cannot breathe is the scariest thing in the world.

  3. Poor Marlo! She's not having the best luck with surgeries and ER/IV stuff :( I'm so sorry to hear that!!!

    Hopefully she's feeling better soon, and you are too!