Friday, April 15, 2011

My personal hell this last week.

First off, let me apologize to those friends and family whom I have not gotten back to via email or phone calls.  Things have been a little bit out of wack around here, and it wasn't until today I began to feel a little more at ease.  I am not back to my chipper self just yet, but I am getting there. 

Let me explain....

Last Thursday just as I was getting ready to put the girls down for bed at 8 something the phone rang.  I figured it was only my Mom checking in for the evening from a Hilton somewhere.  Instead the caller id showed it was our Dr.'s office.  "That's strange?"  I told Dave since nobody had appointment reminders coming until July.  When I answered the phone it was our Dr. himself calling.  I was slightly freaked out now because it is not like we hang out and play Wii on the weekends, or even mow his lawn. We like him a lot, but we see him maybe 2 -3 times a year depending on who has a checkup scheduled.  So for him to call at 8:30 at night was a bit troubling and I immediately had that sinking feeling in my gut. 

He went on to explain that an MA in his office had recently been fired for not following proper procedures while giving babies the flu vaccine last year.  She basically confused the fact that a child's dose of the vaccine is exactly 1/2 of what an adults dose is in strength.  What she didn't understand is that the syringes are pre measured and meant only to be a single dose for each child.  She assumed it was her responsibility to administer 1/2 the vaccine to one child and then remove the needle put on a new one and administer the rest of the vaccine in that same syringe to a different child with an appointment at a later time.  Make sense? 

My first thought was ok, who cares if India only got a half of a flu shot this year instead of a full strength dose.  No biggie, she is healthy, and I am not all that into the flu shot anyway.  Ironically neither is our Dr., but because of the schools and daycares requiring and encouraging them these days, he provides them.  It wasn't until he mentioned the word infectious disease did the sinking feeling in my stomach return, only this time it was replaced with more of a punch to the gut. 

Because while the dippy MA was smart enough to actually change needles, the fact that she shared a syringe of vaccine between children put India at risk to contact blood borne pathogens.  In other words, according to the Colorado Department of Halth and Children's Hospital she needed to be tested now and 6 months from now to rule out any risk of Hep B, Hep C, and HIV.   I was speechless........You try so hard to do everything right for your kids from the moment you find out you are pregnant, to the day you die.  Now you are suddenly faced with something that is way beyond you and out of your control.  And for me to not be in control, or have the ability to fix it, is my own personal hell.  The only thing I knew to do at that moment was to wake my Mom up from whatever cozy hotel bed she was inhabiting and figure out what the hell to do next.  After she stopped hyperventilating as the Grandmother, The Joint Commission professional surveyor part of her kicked into gear and she explained since we were in Ft. Collins, and the MA used clean needles between people, I had good odds on my side.  The survey she did at a hospital coincidentally 2 weeks earlier in a very large city for a similar situation was not as lucky.

So last Friday after I dropped Calla off at school, India and I went to the blood lab across from the Dr.'s office to have her blood drawn.  Now for those of you who have met India know how petite she is.  She is in the less then 5% for her age group in height and weight.  She is 15 mo and still wearing 9 mo pants.  So when it came time to draw her blood they wanted five vials.  "Excuse me!"  I would like her to have some color when we leave and not have to pump her full of cookies and oj for the next month.  Because the Health Dept. is involved extra blood needed to be banked and frozen for future studies.  I on the other hand was super frustrated at this point and my confidence and cool were starting to waiver.  She weighs 16 lbs.  No way were they getting that much blood out of her.  2 nurses declined to draw the needed blood after they saw how tiny her thread like veins were.  Another assistant flat out refused because she was a mother and just found out she would be doing this to 144 other children in the same situation as India that day.  Finally, someone called the Health Dept. and found out that 3 vials were plenty. Then began the trick to get the butterfly into her arm.  I'll spare you the details, but the situation was awful.  They finally had to have the lead person come in to draw the blood.  The first arm had a vein blow up and bruise immediately.  So they tried the next arm and had better luck, but barely got the 3 vials.  I had to hog tie her down.  Now in hindsight what they should have done was start it lower down on her arm by her hand, and it would have gone much quicker.  I left feeling completely shattered and helpless.  India was exhausted from being so upset.  Truth be told the whole thing was probably harder on me then her, but seeing a waiting room full of children and their parents on my way out ready to go through what I just had was completely disheartening. 

After I strapped India in the car and got on the highway, I lost it.  I had no idea where we were headed, but it was not to work.  Calla was in school till 4:30 so off we drove to hang out at the Butterfly Pavillion and have lunch at the Mall.  I called Dave upset and he reminded me that because it was out of our control until the results come back I needed to stay calm and think of how the MA that got the 144 children into this mess was feeling.  I was in the angry stage at that point and didn't give a fig about the MA.  So I hung up on him and called my sister and a good friend with kids because empathetic was the last thing I was feeling. 

Somehow I managed to put myself back together.  I had no choice but to put on my big girl panties and get on with the week ahead for my family.  We finally got a call from the Dr. while I was running errands on Wednesday.  India tested negative for HIV and Hep C.  She was positive for Hep B antibodies.  This is a good thing, because it means her vaccine is working and she can't contract Hep B.  I of course felt a sense of relief.  Because even though our odds are low, there is always that chance.  Now that I knew India was ok, I asked the Dr. how he was holding up, because of all of the news and press (my mailman even knew because of the morning news.)  He explained with a hint of sadness in his voice that he was doing ok, and so far so good with the kids results coming back. 

The whole situation is just very sad.  I am not explaining all of this to y'all to be a debbie downer, or to make you feel bad for us and what we went through.  I am sharing this story to say please please be aware when you are in a Dr.'s office.  Ask questions even if you understand.  You won't be looked down upon.  And besides who cares.  My mistake was not paying closer attention while she was getting the vaccine because it was a quick flu shot clinic.  It wasn't a routine well check where everything is explained and shown to you in detail by our regular nurse.  One thing I do know for sure is we probably won't be getting flu vaccines next year.  I am too freaked out at this point.  If the girls can't be given the flu mist, then I would rather take my chances.  Besides just as I had my own personal quality control sponge counter inspector in the OR with me when I had Calla, you bet your bottom dollar she will be with me at the rest of the girls well checks involving syringes and needles.  Sitting quietly in the corner not saying a word and just observing and giving me that much needed peace of mind.  By the way, in case you were wondering, I am talking about my mother, not a flask full of Jager in the diaper bag.  That's for after the appointment. 

I hope you all have a wonderful Spring weekend.  Hopefully without this freakin wind.  Dave and I are headed out on a much needed date tonight for dinner and a local hockey game.  I promise I will return next week full of vim, vigor and smart ass comments.  Because after all Scarlett.... "Tomorrow is another day!"


1 comment:

  1. Been thinking about you all glad everything turned out OK. have fun on date night...and lets grab a drink soon & catch up:)