Frozen in the Pediatric ER

The good news is I finally saw Frozen. The bad news I saw it in the emergency room with my littlest angel Coco and her ruptured ovarian cyst. (Although there was some concern, it might have been an ovarian torsion that righted itself.)

She was in a lot of pain.

It was about one in the afternoon. I was getting dressed after a spin class, a swim and a lovely hot steam room at the Y when I saw a text from A. “The school nurse is trying to reach you.” I knew it was bad because usually the nurse just keeps calling, she doesn’t phone your emergency contact.

I say usually because over the years I have had dozens of calls from the school nurse. Apparently, my kids enjoy the homey, comfy bed in the nurse’s office. So I don’t panic when I see the nurse as an incoming call.

This time I did. I was right to.

Coco was in a doubled-over, throwing-up kind of abdominal pain. She was wheeled into a car service with her 12th grade brother and they met me at the pediatrician’s who took one look at her and sent her to the pediatric ER — she recommended Mt. Sinai or Columbia Presbyterian. I chose the latter because we had such great results when Hayden required surgery for his fractured collar bone there – his little league injury. (And it’s the hospital where Chris goes for his Parkinson’s.)

In the waiting room, at 3 pm, we had to decide whether to hold Coco’s birthday party which was scheduled for that night. It looked like even if she recovered from the pain, we wouldn’t get out of the hospital in time. We postponed.

Over the next 24 hours, Coco had several tests — C/T scans and sonograms — and several doctors — pediatricians, surgeons and gynecologists to make the diagnosis of ruptured cyst. At first, it looked like appendicitis. But they could tell there was fluid in the abdomen which was likely causing the pain and the remnants of the burst. The fluid will be absorbed by the body over time.

We also had two visitors — Jacob and Sheila — both of whom are pals from church who live in the neighborhood. We were so happy to see them. They both really brightened our spirits.

We were in ER, first in the hallway, then in a room, until about 4 am. We moved to the children’s floor in the wee hours. The nurses who work with children are the best — patient, funny, smart. The doctors were wonderful too.

Throughout the night, I got very little sleep, curled up in a big chair with an upright chair by my feet.

But at one point in the morning, I snuggled next to Coco on her bed/stretcher. There is a feeling when you’re curled up with your child when you feel you are almost free-floating in a bubble. You are one tight unit, together and contained. The Mama Bear instinct really kicks in when your child is sick.

I joked with Coco, “I’m going to miss going to the bathroom with you when we get home.” (I helped her walk to the bathroom every time. She had to drag her IV pole, like walking a big, unwieldy dog.)

We did get home, about 24 hours after arriving at the hospital.

My husband had been visiting his sister in the Adirondacks for a day, he was scheduled to stay a few more. (And honestly, I had been looking forward to being single this weekend — attending the school homecoming, a conference at New Work City and a concert with Coco’s old friends). But Chris returned last night, a loving presence to the kids.

Coco’s recovering at home now; she’s not quite her spunky self. We will follow up with a gyn in a couple of weeks.

So, yes, Frozen was a good movie. Don’t wait until you’re in the ER to see it.

PS About the confidentiality of this blogging, I did ask Coco for her approval to post this. She also approved these pics.



14 thoughts on “Frozen in the Pediatric ER

  1. Thank God that she is feeling better. Such a scary experience. Love and Prayers for my girl and her loving family.

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