Niki took another trip to the ER on Friday, May 28th. She had a slight fever in the morning (100.1), but she still appeared to be doing okay. She was playing, eating, and most importantly of all NOT above the temperature threshold (101.5) so as always, I went to work to save my FMLA. At around 6:30pm, John called to tell me that Niki's temperature was 101.9! She was still generally in a good mood (playing and eating), but the poor baby was burning up. I was out running errands so I dropped everything went home immediately.
Off to the ER we went!
We met a completely new group of ER staff when we arrived. No familiar faces at all. Then again, I don't believe we've ever been to the ER for a weekday swing shift either. The nurses were nice, but it also seemed like they were a little confused. I can't blame them though because Niki is kind of a guinea pig anyway. As always, I got asked if I was a nurse. Ugh. I swear, I'm going to have a shirt made that says "No, I am not a nurse." Or perhaps I'll take a moment from my gotta-rush-to-the-ER-panic to change out of my scrubs to avoid being asked every time. Then again, I've been asked if I was a nurse when I wasn't in scrubs so maybe it's the Filipino thing? I don't know. I'm going off on a tangent here but whatever...
After close to an hour of waiting, the ER doctor came in the room as I was talking to my friend who works in CT. She happened to pass by the exam room so we chatted for a few minutes. My friend quickly excused herself when the doctor showed up, but he still seemed a little curt with us. The doc didn't seem very genuine when he played with Niki during the exam, but he was thorough so I appreciated that.
Niki's nurse was very sweet and he tried really hard not to mess anything up. I gave him a break when the nurse came in the exam room with oral Tylenol because he already had it drawn up in a syringe. The doctor didn't even tell me that he was ordering Tylenol. If I knew I would have intervened and asked for a suppository instead. I started to tell the nurse about Niki's puke-tastic history with the ER and oral Tylenol when I noticed that the nurse started to look a little disappointed. So, since Niki wasn't particularly pukey, I told the nurse that we could try to administer it. I hoped that she wouldn't vomit. The nurse looked relieved and mentioned how difficult it was to get an order changed. ( I think the nurse got worried at first because the doctor was kind of a meanie.)
Niki got the Tylenol down alright, but she promptly puked it up a few minutes later. All over my back. All over my hair. All over the floor. Karma is a bitch and it served me right for doubting my intuition. Never again will I allow oral Tylenol in the ER. Never again!
We cleaned Niki up, but I smelled absolutely rancid. Unfortunately, the hospital stopped providing scrubs to it's employees so I was stuck wearing my puke infused scrubs. The nurse felt really bad so he grabbed some sweats for me from "Lost Patient Clothing/Articles" so I could change. But, since I'm not a fan of potential scabies exposure, I graciously declined. Instead, I opted to use CaviWipes to scrape off the sour milk curds from my clothes and to clean up the floor. There was a hell of a lot of puke.
John held his nose and gagged the entire time -- totally NOT helpful.
Environmental Services eventually came in and mopped up everything that I couldn't reach. The lady scolded me for cleaning up floor, but I felt really bad because Niki made such a huge mess. She reassured me that she had cleaned up worse and reminded me that it was good that Niki threw up. She explained to me in her heavy accent that Niki "vomit out all the sick" so she would feel much better.
And the EVS lady was right.
The redness in her cheeks subsided (Niki's cheeks always get red when she's about to get sick) and she was feeling much better after she "vomit out all the sick". She tolerated to antibiotic (Ceftriaxone) infusion pretty well too. Soon enough, Niki was back to her regular self -- playing, trying to walk the halls of the ER, and eating. Eventually, her blood tests back normal and she was discharged from the ER by 10:30pm.
Niki was feeling like a million bucks by the morning. Ceftriaxone is the best remedy ever, I swear! We hadn't anticipated that Niki would get sick, but John promised all of the kids (our cubs, my SILs, & his brother's kids) that we would take them to Great America on Saturday. A promise is a promise. Fortunately, Niki woke up on the right side of the bed. She didn't appear sick at all. John decided to take EIGHT youngins to Great America by himself. I opted to spend some quality time with Niki before we had to go back to the ER at 6pm for her second antibiotic infusion. (There were no clinic appointments since it was the holiday weekend.) I figured that I could handle it on my own.
So, John left for Great America and I set off for Walnut Creek with my Mom & Niki for some retail therapy.
It was a gorgeous day. The sun was out, the breeze was deliciously warm, and Niki was happily enjoying her frozen yogurt in her stroller. She's so good whenever we go shopping that I'm convinced she enjoys retail therapy just as much as I do. We had one hour left before we had to be back in San Francisco for her infusion. We stopped off at Nordstrom's to take a quick peek at the Kids clothes.
Just minutes after we stepped off the elevator, as I was holding her in perusing the kids shoe aisles, Niki vomited all over me. Again.
There was milk-yogurt yack all over Niki, my clothes, my hair, and my brand new flats. Worst of all, it was all over the carpet. The world stopped in its tracks as far as I was concerned. A record was screeching somewhere. And, boy was I mortified. My mom hurriedly tried to wipe the puke of me and Niki while I stood there in utter disbelief. The putrid smell of puke quickly wafted up to my nose and I started to feel the vomit seep into my shoes.
Evidently, Nordstom's famous Customer Service Excellence goes out the window when your kid pukes on the floor. The sales woman quickly handed me a dinky box of Kleenex and a small plastic bag before she quickly scurried away to call housekeeping. All of the other clerks just stared as my mom shifted her attention to scooping milk puke off the my shoes and the carpet. I didn't expect them to help me clean up, but I also didn't expect them to stare at us like we were trash either. It felt oh-so-classy to have these sales people sneer at us.
I undressed Niki right there in the shoe aisle (still standing in the very spot she yacked on) and cleaned the both of us off as best I could. I didn't want to track puke through the rest of the store. As I was hurriedly wiping my shoes, some prick teenager took a picture of us (yack and all) with her iPhone. I'm pretty sure that ended up on Twitter. She must have thought I didn't notice and that little bitch was lucky that I was too preoccupied to give her a piece of my mind. What was worse was the Mom stopped with her daughter so she could take the picture. Ugh. Really though? Teach your kid manners people! Nevertheless, there is no time to be upset when you've got bigger fish to fry.
And my "fish" was a hell of a lot of yack.
After what seemed like ages we finally made it into the bathroom/breastfeeding area. Niki was attracting quite a bit of attention as I wiped her body down in the Ladies Room. People were curiously starting at her Broviac, but no one dared to say anything. The ladies crowded around kept commenting on how "precious" she was, but that was all. I knew they wanted to ask what her Broviac was for, but no one did. I can understand why people would be hesitant to ask, but I honestly have more respect for people if they would just ask me whatever question is burning in their minds. Frankly, I think it's ruder to pretend that you don't see anything unusual. They were being nice, but they just couldn't hide the "oh my god what the hell is that" look in their eyes.
Again, I had bigger fish to fry.
I still had puke all over me so I dressed up Niki was quickly as I could and handed her off to my mom so I could change. Thank God my mom was there or I would have been fucked. While all of this was going on Niki was still playing and being completely oblivious to the fact that she just stunk up all of Nordstrom's Kids section. I washed puke remnants out of my hair, put on my mom's sweater, scooped out the yack in my shoes, and jetted out of Nordstrom in lightning speed. The puke was all cleaned up (and smell free) by the time we got out there.
We spent the rest of the evening at Kaiser ER getting Niki's infusion. I ended up running late because of the puke incident so I had to go there puke-clothed and all. Luckily, John got back from Great America relatively quick so he brought me some clean clothes to change into. There was a completely new set of staff was working that night and they moved slower than molasses. Her doctor was great, but the nurse was lagging. We were just supposed to go there for the infusion, but ended up getting out of the ER close to 10:30! For a 15 minute infusion!!!
Niki's fever came back later that night, but because her blood cultures came back negative we were able to give her some Tylenol suppositories to help with her fever. We spent rest of Memorial Day Weekend (Sunday & Monday) indoors waiting for Niki to get better. And I ended up getting sick too! Niki's puke must have exposed me to whatever bug was affecting her. I was so exhausted from the back-to-back ER visits that my pregnant ass stayed in bed with her all day Sunday. I was feeling well enough to visit Ethan on Monday, but since Niki and I were both still felt icky, I called in sick on Tuesday.
And that my friends was our Memorial Day Weekend! We go to the ER so much that I'm starting a new label for these "mini-vacays".