Tuesday, April 24, 2012

ER Visit

While in San Diego, we made our first trip to the ER with Owen. During our trip to Seaworld on Thursday, we noticed that the back of his neck had started to get a little pink since we forgot to apply sunscreen to that area. We loaded him up with some sunscreen on that spot, which seemed to prevent the burn from getting any worse. Then, while we were at the beach on Friday, I started to notice that he was getting some little bumps over the small sunburn. We kept reapplying sunscreen hoping to stay on top of it, which in turn caused the sand to really stick to that part of his skin. By the end of our time at the beach the bumps seemed to be spreading down his back a little, but still mostly staying near where he had been burned. After we got home and gave him a bath, we decided to take a closer look to see if there was something more to the redness and bumps. Since we had come from 30 degrees and snowing, the weather seemed quite warm at 75, and we decided that it was probably just heat rash.
On Saturday while we were at the zoo we loaded him back up with sunscreen and tried to keep an eye on the rash.   We noticed that the rash had spread to his arms, chest, and most of his back. We were a little surprised, but thought maybe we had dressed him too warmly for bed the night before.  By the end of our time at the zoo, the rash and moved had to his legs and seemed to be getting worse.  We decided to keep him dressed lightly for bed still thinking the warm sun had caused the rash to get worse. However, by 10:30 he was awake and screaming.  After trying to get him to calm down for about 30 minutes, we started to realize that this was more than a bad dream (he has had night terrors in that past) and that his skin was really sensitive to the touch. When we got his pj's off, we noticed that the rash had spread to almost his entire body, minus his diaper area, and had even started spreading to his ears and face. It was at that point we decided a trip to the ER was in order.
Although, we had been somewhat calm while we were trying to figure out what was going on, I started to get a little bit overwhelmed at the thought that this was more than heat rash, and I didn't know what was wrong with my baby. Needless to say, I wanted to get loaded up in the car and on our way as fast as possible.  Unfortunately in my haste to get out the door, I headed to ER with my pjs and loaded Owen into his carseat in just his diaper with a blanket draped over him and his pj's stashed in my purse.   Luke and Bekah and their wits about them to put on actual clothes.
When we were finally ready to leave, we realized that none of us knew where a hospital was. Rather than head back inside, and ask Bekah's roommate's boyfriend (who is a firefighter) where to go, we decided to go ahead and call 911. Bekah made it very clear we were able to drive him to the ER ourselves, and that we simply needed directions. Owen was still crying pretty hard and definitely uncomfortable so when it came time to making a decision about going to the Children's hospital (which we didn't quite know how to get to) or going to the closest ER right off the freeway, we chose the latter.
When we got to the ER and up to the front desk, I couldn't answer the receptionist's questions and suddenly felt a rush of tears and heat run to my face. I looked at Luke hoping he would see my inability to talk, and just explain everything for me. I remember muttering a few phrases and then after being unable to provide Owen's social security number (reminder that I need to memorize it), we went ahead and took a seat.
We discovered that an ER on a Saturday night is quite an interesting place to be. One man had been in a bar fight, and was still clearly unable to feel the cuts and bruises on his face since he was still numb from the alcohol he had consumed.  His buddies ordered pizza to be delivered to the ER during the wait and while he was in the back triage area he continually wandered around and went back to the lobby to chat with his friends, eat, and flirt with girls.  The nurses tried to get him to stay in one place since they were hoping to take him back for a CAT scan.
Another huge family that had been at a fiesta were ALL there because Grandma had fallen and broken her hip while at the party. When we arrived, I thought we would be waiting till morning since the ER was packed with people.  Fortunately, we realized that half of the people in the room were from this one group all waiting on Grandma.  At one point while Bekah was waiting for us, she was completely surrounded by the family and didn't quite know what to do. 
After two hours of waiting in the lobby, we were finally called back to triage. At this point Owen had fallen back asleep. We were asked a couple questions by the same person from intake and then we proceeded to wait for about another hour. Finally the Dr. and nurse came in to see us. The Dr. took one look at Owen, heard our story, and promptly told us it was not heat rash but rather an allergic reaction to something. After asking us a ton of questions about what we had done over the past three days, we decided it was probably the spray-on sunscreen we had been applying to help him with his "heat rash".
Talk about a MAJOR parenting fail! I felt terrible. We had been making his rash worse for two and half days. Owen was such a trooper through it all. We decided he must have a pretty decent pain tolerance since he didn't really get irritable or lose it until the rash was covering about 90% of his body.
The Dr. ordered a shot of prednisone and benadryl, which took another 30-40 minutes to get, and then we were finally on our way. It was quite the night! Oh, and I forgot to mention this all took place on daylight savings so we lost an additional hour of sleep on top of the ER visit.  By the time we made it back home we were exhausted and desperately needing sleep. However, Owen had slept for a good portion of our time at the ER so at 8 am he was up and ready for the day. 

Here is a picture from our time in triage.  It was taken after the first visit from the Dr.  It is hard to actually see how bad his rash really was. 


bekah said...

I like the part where the family is at the "siesta" grandma must have really been rolling around in her sleep to break her hip! ;)

The Walkers said...

Oh that makes me laugh! I meant to type Fiesta!