Lessons learned at Urgent Care

Urgent-Care-Nurses-StationMom guts just know stuff.  Natalie suddenly cried out during church on Sunday that her hand hurt.  She wouldn’t stop crying about it, so Matt had to take her out into the hall.  Strangely, she was still fussy and even cried about going into nursery, so I told them to come find me if she didn’t seem to settle down.  I was meeting in another room about 40 minutes later when I heard Natalie crying in the hallway.  I stepped out and the Bishop told me that Matt was looking for me and Natalie was not well.  We played that ridiculous circle the halls and not find each other game for a little while and finally met up in the corner of the building.  Matt said, “Natalie has a fever and she needs to go home.”  She didn’t look good and she had tremors going on, and I said, “Something’s not right.”  I took her and started asking for directions to the nearest Urgent Care and headed out immediately.  She was hot and listless, and I felt scared.  I know most people don’t react to fever like I do, but when you’ve spent 3 days in Pediatric Intensive Care with a son who had a series of violent seizures that they concluded were somehow related to a (low) fever, you respond a little differently.

So with my eyes glued carefully to the rear-view mirror, I drove quickly and said prayers in my mind.  I took Natalie out of the car and noticed she was quite hot.  I checked her in and the nurses asked all their regular questions, and I knew that I did not land on their “must be seen quickly” list by their reaction to my description.  I added, “I just know something is not right.”  We waited for about 15 minutes or so before Natalie started crying out again.  She threw up all over her lap and mine.  I sat stunned, not knowing where to move or what to do next.  (As a side note, one minor lesson I learned is that God has a sense of humor.  When I was feeling really nervous about EFY and my new church assignment, I went out and bought a $100 skirt because I liked it, it fit me well, and it gave me confidence.  I never spend that kind of money on an article of clothing, much less something that’s dry-clean only.  I knew it was a frivolous purchase, but I bought it anyway.  I was wearing it on Sunday.  Ha ha, sigh.)  A nice man brought me a garbage can and I threw her tights away after I used the dry half of them to wipe us off a little.  After that, she fell asleep with her steamy little head on my chest.  When she stirred for a while, I was able to get a small hospital gown and change her out of her soiled dress.

I sat holding her for a long time after they checked her vitals.  The rise and fall of her hot little body up against mine made me feel a tight bond to her; her health was just as much a part of me as my own.  My mother’s mind went through all the worse-case scenarios, and I mourned each one and ached for her.  I sometimes have days where I fantasize about spending some nice quiet time away from my children for a while, but in that moment, I had a strong impression that gave me a new awareness.  I realized that I would rather be there in that Urgent Care room, covered in vomit, with her than be anywhere else in the world, including a beautiful white and sunny beachfront without her.  I would not trade the love I feel for her for any of the “freedom” my life might be without her.  God gently reminded me how much I need my children.

When we were able to see a nurse and then the doctor, it was determined her fever was 102.5, but there seemed to be no other symptoms of sickness… minus the obvious puke residue.  She tested negative for strep and didn’t respond to a body exam with any expressions of pain, so they determined it was probably just a mean virus and I should keep her hydrated and try to control the fever.  The next 24 hours were spent alternating Tylenol and Ibuprofen, but the fever wasn’t dropping much below 103.  I called her primary care doctor’s office, and other than lowering her fever, they didn’t seem too concerned and gave me the option of coming in or not.  I questioned myself back and forth the rest of the day, but felt like I wanted more tests dones.  They saw her in the afternoon and tested her blood and urine, and ran an influenza test.  Everything looked okay, so they increased my doses and frequency of the Tylenol and Motrin and sent me on my way again.

Today the doctor called back and said that Natalie has a bad urinary tract infection.  Apparently her urine culture grew over 50,000 units of bacteria overnight?  Maybe you medical types will scoff at that, but it sounded scary to me.  I’m just glad to know what is wrong.  I’m glad I followed my gut and kept pushing for more testing.  I’m glad I didn’t just “wait out the virus” for the next several days because her kidneys could have developed toxins, and the fever would NOT have gone away on its own.  Moms just know sometimes, even when they don’t really know.   Sure love that girl.



25 thoughts on “Lessons learned at Urgent Care

  1. Oh dear! I hope she gets better quickly. I pray often and thank God for medical knowledge. And yes, Mom’s gut feelings are well worth paying attention to.

    If I had known, I’d have lent you my cheapo homemade skirt (though it would have been WAY too big for you) for her to throw up on.

  2. I have a hard time not knowing what is wrong when my kids are sick. It drives me crazy and I wish I could go get a nursing degree or something just so I can know. Can’t wait until I get that all-knowing, omniscient brain in the resurrection. We get those, right???

  3. So sorry to hear about that. I know that is not fun from experience. I hope she gets well soon and doesn’t have repeats. My oldest had 7 UTI’s all before she was 3 and it was scary like that every time. Finally after many blessings and prayers and kidney testings etc they stopped. (They thought she had worse issues) But thankfully the Lord healed her. It is great to be blessed with the spirit and mothers intuition all at the same time!!
    Take care. prayers are with ya.

  4. Good for you. I think moms ALWAYS know if it’s something serious, or if it isn’t. It took me 4 days to get my oldest diagnosed with pneumonia, and I was so mad at all of the lost time because the doctors shined me on so much.

    I hope she feels better soon! Poor girl…I wonder why her hand was hurting?

    And, I’m sorry about your skirt.

  5. I’m glad you listened to your instincts, and that she got the needed medication. And I am so sorry about your skirt! I hope it cleans right up at the dry cleaners.

  6. So glad you pushed for more tests! And I love how you describe that feeling of needing and wanting to be with your children. Such beauty and truth there.

  7. Mom’s are always right! Never go against your instinct/feelings, that is when you will see the Tender Mercies of the Lord.

    Glad she is doing better.

  8. I am glad they got to the root of the problem. I also really loved your moment with the spirit. Those moments seem to really pull me through hard days. and help me on the good ones too.

  9. I teared up when you explained the feeling you had while sitting in that waiting room. I so get that. And I have been there in the waiting room with LQ shaking from the fever and what we eventually found out was a UTI. Yucky stuff. I am so glad you were able to find out what was wrong.


  10. Even with so many times that Dean and I have had to figure out whether a kid needs to be seen or not, it just doesn’t get easier, and there’s always that nagging fear of being overzealous and pestering the doctors–at least I have that feeling but, thankfully, concern for my kid usually overcomes it. About a year and a half ago when Dean was out of town I was afraid Rose had spinal meningitis, took her to the ER, and they were concerned enough to do a spinal tap. She ended up not having it, thank goodness, but it was a very very long day (with me arranging babysitters via phone). I feel like I *completely* know what you’re talking about with sitting in an ER or Urgent Care waiting room with a sick little one and, while objectively it’s the last place you’d want to be, it definitely causes love for that little one to grow by leaps and bounds.

    Sorry about your skirt! Maybe the dry cleaners can rescue it. What’s it made of?

  11. I just read Becky’s comment: “Can’t wait until I get that all-knowing, omniscient brain in the resurrection. We get those, right???” and it made me tear up, because I forget sometimes just how much there is to look forward to after this life’s relatively brief challenges–and because omniscience would be especially desirable in caring for children.

  12. P.S. I’ve been way behind in Reader and just realized I kinda missed your birthday. I did start writing a haiku one night but set it aside and couldn’t locate it later. I hope you had a good birthday. Something about me: I majored in English at BYU from 1990 to 1995, with a mission to Belgium/France during those years also.

  13. Ah, the urgent care. I have the benefit of two useful healthcare practitioners in my family: one, a doctor. Not a kids doctor, strictly speaking, but in a pinch, he (Daddy) can prescribe an antibiotic that my pharmacist father will fill, no questions asked. It’s rather convenient for keeping us out of the ER.

    The one time we had to take a kid to the ER, we had such a miserable experience that we left before we saw the doctor and I wrote hate mail letters to the hospital until the completely forgave the RIDICULOUS bills for four hours of nothing and a $15 dose of Tylenol. We stayed up all night at home listening to our newborn wheezing with croup and what would later be diagnosed as RSV, and took him to the pediatrician’s office the next morning for a breathing treatment and some intelligence.

    So sorry you had to go through this. It’s never fun. Hope she’s back to normal soon!

  14. Hope she’s feeling much better! And I’m sorry I laughed about your ironic skirt purchase. I did that once, too. Just after I stopped nursing the twins and thought I deserved a “real” dress. Never again, I tell ya! Hope your dry cleaner works magic.

  15. Oh, sweet girl! I hope she’s doing better. Having had a lovely UTI once upon a time, I can vouch for her misery. They are awful awful awful. I hope she’s on the up and up. And I hope you can find a really good dry cleaner for that skirt.

  16. Aw. Poor kid! I hope she’s feeling better!!

    And I really think doctor’s don’t have a clue. Unless a handbook or a machine tell them it’s something, they don’t have a clue… (I speak from recent eczema/dermatologist woes…) I wish they would use their WISDOM more than their KNOWLEDGE a little more.

  17. I’m so glad all is well. I had a similar prompting of the Spirit where I had to push the doctor and chase down a second opinion when the first was “it’s just a virus” and it turned out my baby had spinal meningitis. I’m so glad my Heavenly Father gave me the prompting that helped J. get timely treatment.

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