Rebecca Eckler is one of Canada's most talked about newspaper columnists, the author of Knocked Up: Confessions of a Hip Mother to Be, which has been translated into nine languages. Also the author of the bestsellers, Wiped!, Toddlers Gone Wild, and Rotten Apple, the first in a YA series. Random thoughts on life in the competitive world of modern mommyhood. Blog will be loved by trendy mothers who still feel, or often feel, that the most important word in "mommee" is ME!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

A Good Hospital Experience - I know!

So, a few of you have asked how my trip to Cancun was.

It was great....that is, it WAS great, while I was there.

Then I came home....four days later, I was walking home from Pussateri's when I was hit with awful stomach cramps. An hour later, I had a fever, was shaking, and went to bed, crawled into a fetal position, wishing I could die.

The next three days I barely left my house (aside from dropping off and picking up The Dictator from school.)

I, literally, could not leave my house for longer than ten minutes. I needed to be near a toilet.

Not only did I have awful cramps, not the PMS kind, but the kind of stomach ache that felt like I had just done 3000 sit-ups. And the stomach ache was constant. So were the runs.

I thought it was the flu. Although my daughter was completely fine.

By the fourth day, still with the runs and still with horrendous stomach ache, I headed to the doctor, after my family and friends yelled at me, "GO TO THE DOCTOR ALREADY!"

I thought I just had the flu. What could the doctor tell me, except drink lots of water and eat white toast?

Which is kind of what he told me, when I did finally go see one. But, he said, if it got worse, go to the emergency room.

Now, I'm the type of person who hates going to emergency. I always wonder, "Am I sick enough to bother emergency with this?" "Aren't they so overworked with people who actually really are sick?" "I don't want to bother them if this really isn't an emergency."

But, by Saturday morning, I woke up at 6 a.m. barely able to walk. I hadn't eaten in days. I was so dehydrated that I was lightheaded. The cramps were so bad, I felt nauseaus. I couldn't stand up straight.

I knew it wasn't the flu any longer, because I didn't have any other flu like symtoms. No fever, my muscles (aside from my stomach) felt fine. And my daughter was completely fine. And the flu is only supposed to last a few days.

I called a cab and headed over to Mount Sanai, basically crawling into the taxi. I was in so much pain I gave the driver a $20 and told him to keep the change, even though the ride only cost $7.00.

I checked in saying, "I've been sick for a week with diarrehea - non stop. And I'm in so much pain. I just got back from Mexico."

"Hey, I read your book," said the check in person. "I thought I recognized you."

I was soon taken into a room. The doctor came in shortly and I again said, "I'm in so much pain. I have had the runs non-stop for a week. Sometimes up to 20 times a day. I just got back from Mexico."

"And your daughter isn't sick?" the doctor asked. "I read your book."

Now, I'd love to say that people say, "I read your book," to me all the time. They don't. It rarely happens.

And I can't believe it happened twice to the two people I had just told about my bowel problems, one of which asked that I give a stool sample.

I was mortified (Also, because I was in so much pain, I couldn't get out of my pajamas to go to the hospital, so I looked like I had just walked out of a garbage dump and smelled like it too.)

In any case, much like labor, no one tells you the good stories about giving birth. You only hear the awful birthing stories. The same is true for hospitals. You only hear horror stories about emergency rooms and nurses and doctors.

And, I'm sure, the bad stories far outweigh the good ones. But sometimes there are good stories.

I'd like to say that I had a great hospital experience (as great as you can get being in the hospital, that is, with some Mexican stomach bug.)

All the nurses were nice (and not just to me - I could over hear them talking to the other patients) they went out of their way to make everyone feel comfortable.

And the doctor was amazingly kind.

Perhaps the story is that if you have to go to the emergency room, that 9 a.m. on a Saturday morning is a good time to go.

And, if you know someone who works at Mount Sinai, please tell them what a great job they're doing (At least those who were working Saturday.)

They have hard jobs and probably don't get enough kudos. But I give them kudos. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Keep up the good work!

I feel so much better now, after an IV drip of antibiotic. I just wish I just didn't have to tell the two people who had read my book about my, um, runs.

Eeesh..I'm mortified.


Blogger Not Jenny said...

I am so sorry you got so sick.

Don't feel too mortified about the staff knowing far more about you than you wish they did. Nurses and doctors are really, really great at compartmentalizing things. You have to be. I know this from experience.

Before I became a stay-at-home-mom I was a hospital nurse. I had to let a co-worker catheterize me while in labour with my oldest kid.

Thank you for posting such nice things about the people who took care of you. You just gave every health care professional who reads your blog a smile.

8:18 PM

Blogger Laural Dawn said...

Feel better!
I went to Mt. Sinai a couple of months ago. It was horrible to go because I'm pregnant and I thought I was miscarrying.
The staff was so incredibly kind and caring. I was trying so hard not to cry, but they were just amazing. And reassuring.
(and everything ended up being okay)

6:18 AM

Anonymous Steph said...

Oh no! Get better soon. I had the same thing last night and thought I was going to die...thankfully this morning I am much better.

10:27 AM

Anonymous ali said...

and now you just told all of us. bwah. seriously, though, i would totally have done the exact same thing. wait until i'm pretty much dead before actually going in to get looked at...

4:45 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have had the same experience in Cuba right down to the trip to the emergency room when I landed in Toronto.

I hate to see it when people stop traveling because of something so simple as this.

How to avoid it? Drink out of a can if possible. Give food a good sniff before you eat it - seriously. And avoid the buffet table. Order your food fresh.

And what to do when you get it? ALWAYS travel with some oral rehydration tablets. Mix with bottled water. It won't immediately cure the runs, but you'll be back on your feet in a snap.

I've used them all over the world (and believe me, I have been everywhere) and given them out to fellow travellers in trouble too.

And by the way, this cure also works great for hangovers!

10:26 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Montezuma's Revenge is horrible. Didn't anyone tell you, before you went, not to drink the water?

Glad to hear you are feeling better. As a mother of two (8 and 12) I love reading your blog.

Get well soon from Florida!


2:46 PM

Blogger petite gourmand said...

that sounds so "crappy"
glad you are feeling better.

4:18 PM


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