Friday, January 15, 2010

Caring for a Sick Child, Part 3: Emergency

Now you’ve begun treatment for your hypothetical child’s hypothetical infection. However, it takes a day or two before the antibiotics kick in. What would you do if, during that brief window, your child woke up screaming in pain and clutching his eyes? Hypothetically. Totally hypothetically. If you’re hypothetically unsure, follow these hypothetical instructions to solve the hypothetical problem:

  1. Go to the appropriate medical facility.
    • Since it’s the middle of the night, drive to the clinic’s urgent care entrance.
    • Find out from the security guard that urgent care closed half an hour earlier.
    • Drive to the hospital you passed on the way to urgent care.
    • Notice your child has stopped screaming.
    • Suggest to wife that child’s eye pain might have subsided and suggest you all go home.
  2. Check in to emergency room.
    • Fill out forms.
    • Entertain child for one hour with various magazines.
    • Follow nurse to exam room to wait for doctor.
    • Entertain child for one hour with various medical devices.
    • Greet doctor and watch her examine your child for three minutes.
    • Entertain child for one hour with keys.
    • Get new prescription
    • Check out of hospital.
  3. Go to pharmacy.
    • Go to new pharmacy.
    • Wait one hour for pharmacists to find the bottle marked “eye drops.”
    Important: DON’T SAY ANYTHING.
    • Go home.
    • Administer eye drops.
    • Clean rug.
    • Ask wife to hold child’s arms down while you administer eye drops.
    • Clean couch.
    • Ask mother-in-law to hold child’s legs down while you administer eye drops.
    • Administer eye drops.
    • Clean clothes.
    • Administer alcohol until you pass out.

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