A sassy, crafty mama bird from Los Angeles
raising a very sweet little girl with Autism
and a new baby boy in the Midwest... and other stuff, too.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Lessons learned in the emergency room in the middle of the night....


Over the winter break, Little Bird caught a pretty ugly stomach flu. One minute she was totally fine, the next minute there was projectile vomit covering the walls, couches, floor and ceiling (slight over-exaggeration). In a period of 2 hours, she was throwing up every ten minutes. When her eyes started rolling back into her head, I made the executive decision to take her to the ER.

Did you know that ERs in Metropolitan Detroit have metal detectors upon entry? Did you know that having your kid throw up all over the hallway does not get you a bed any quicker? Lesson learned. I started out explaining to every nurse, doctor (twice to the hot ones), orderly, and maintenance worker that Little Bird has Autism and doesn't understand that you're trying to help her. Most of them slowed their speech and raised their voices as though she has a hard time hearing (wtf?) and asked her if her tummy hurts. Ummm, she's freaking exorcist-style vomiting all over your triage, so yes, her tummy probably hurts.

For the most part, everyone was great when I explained the Autism. In fact, it's like it wasn't that unusual to them (hellooooo 1 in 100 and rising). Everyone commented on the fact that she's almost seven and not quite 40 pounds. Yes, I know. That's why we're here- no reserves. When they finally got the IV zofran (aka manna from heaven) and fluids into her, it was like seeing a whole new child. "She's baaaaaaack!" She perked up quickly and soon noticed that there was a TV in the room and it wasn't on. There's not much children's programming on at 2am, so I found a cartoon and stuck with it just as a new doctor walked in. "LB has autism and might not understand that you're trying to help her." By this point I was like a broken record. Just as the doctor asked, "Is she verbal?", the bird recognized the cartoon and shouted with excitement, "Family Guy!! Peter! Lois! Stewie!" I gave the doctor a look like, "I have NO clue how she'd know a show so inappropriate for children" and just said, "yes, she's verbal." Apparently my kid has excellent taste in animation thanks to searching YouTube. Lesson learned.

It didn't take long before the girl was back to her cute, sweet, sassy self.

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