Scene of the Crime
On Christmas eve I had the unexpected opportunity to revisit the emergency room where my daughter was diagnosed with T1D.
I was the patient this time, having passed out on the kitchen floor of my in-laws' home first thing in the morning. It turns out that I probably should have been taking better care of the bronchitis that had been brewing over the preceding week instead of powering through Christmas prep, travel and time with family. The good news was that the experience was more surreal than serious and I'm making what promises to be a full recovery from both the bronchitis and the ribs I injured on the way down.
We lived two towns away from my in-laws when my daughter was diagnosed, so the drive to the hospital at dawn was familiar. Winding roads taken at a speed slightly over the limit, the beginning of daylight, anxiety and uncertainty. At the ER entrance there seemed to be an upgraded reception area, but the interior was about the same.
I was settled onto a gurney in an ER sized cubicle room and asked a hundred questions. A team of professionals got busy taking my vitals, taking some blood, and hooking me up to machines to continuously monitor my oxygen, blood pressure and heart. And all I could think about was 16 years and 3 days before, when I stood where my husband was standing. Out of the way, but in clear view, watching my daughter being hooked up to all of those things. And the interminable wait while they tried to get blood and insert an IV into her tiny dehydrated veins. I made out much better in that department.
Near the end of my 4 hour visit I was taken for a walk around the unit while hooked up to equipment to monitor my blood pressure and oxygen - making sure nothing dropped precipitously while I was upright and moving.
We passed the cubicle my daughter had been in. We saw the conference room where the doctor had taken us to discuss her condition. We walked over the place where I had stood with the helicopter EMT when she demanded insulin be started before transporting my daughter.
When I was released, I exited through the ER doors and we drove past the helipad from which my daughter and I had taken off, headed to the big children's' hospital in the city. We drove back to my in-laws' where my daughter had been hanging out with her grandfathers, playing cards, starting a crock-pot dinner and making and bolusing for her lunch.