STATIC DISCLAIMER: All the stuff in here is purely my opinions, and they tend to change depending on what mood I'm in. If you're going to get bitter if I say something about you that you don't like, then maybe don't read. I avoid using names as much as possible, and would request that people who know me do the same in their comments. Basically, I often vent my frustrations on here, so if you happen to be someone who frustrates me, expect to read a description of someone very much like you in here!

Friday, August 17, 2007

Children and Hospitals

So last night, I'm spending a bit of time with my new 3 week old son, and I notice he looks like he might have a bit of an infection. "Hmm" I think, "I wonder how soon we need someone to look at that?"

My eldest son had some infection issues when he was born and had to be in special care for a bit, so I'm well aware that infection and newborns is bad shenanigans. However, I'd really prefer not to have my already sleep deprived wife heading out to the doctors at 9pm on a Thursday (It would be her going, because she's the one with the feeding apparatus - I really am not much use with the new bubba for any extended period of time) if it's just me being paranoid, so I decide to give KidsNet a call at the Westmead Children's Hospital to see what they think. We've learnt from experience that there's a multitude of help available for parents of young kiddies, and KidsNet is one of the most handy for medical issues.

Anyway, after some discussion the nurse on the end of the phone is about to tell us just to monitor him overnight and see a GP tomorrow, when she asks where we live, and then changes her mind. There's a GP clinic near us at the hospital, open until 10pm, and she advises we should take him there, just to be safe. She also says she didn't really want to suggest we take him to emergency, because it's relatively likely he'll pick something up in the waiting room. Thus begins a night of poor coincidence.

When my wife arrives at the GP clinic, it's about half past nine. They advise that up in emergency, there's only 4 people waiting, so they are going to send her up there to see someone for convenience sake. When she gets there, there is about 10 people waiting. However, in the first hour they get through everyone except for her. The nurses take a look at our boy, and decide that he's OK to go home. However, a nearby doctor calls out that they need to have the doctor on emergency review him, and so my wife is told she'll need to wait to see the doctor. This is at about 10pm. At this point, a series of ambulances begins to arrive, and suddenly the single doctor on emergency becomes incredibly busy.

It's 1am before they get any further information. She's told they're next in line, and she should "give them another half an hour". At 2:00am, the waiting room is empty except for her, and still no doctor, and no further information on how long she might have to wait.

Finally, at about 2:45am, the doctor calls her in. He quickly reviews the situation, and concludes that my son is fine. This takes less then 10 minutes. Meanwhile, my 3 week old son has spent over 5 hours in the emergency waiting room that has had sick people coming in and out and coughing, sneezing and vomiting everywhere, just so he can get a 10 minute review that we really didn't want from the emergency department in the first place. The KidsNet nurse I'd spoken to way back at the beginning was keen for us not to wind up in emergency for this very reason, but because she'd told us to take him to the GP clinic, we'd wound up there anyway.

So - the end of this story is that I've had 4 hours sleep, my poor wife has had about 3, and we have to just keep going on with the business of the day. Work for me, and for her looking after our 2 boys. Good times. And I mean that in the slightly sarcastic way.

Did I mention I'm just a bit tired?

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