Newfound Parental Empathy in the ER

Aside from my usual insight about Medelita lab coats and medical scrubs, I've got something a bit more personal front of mind.  Our 11 month old daughter has had the worst runny nose, fever and cough, and to top it off - is teething, too.  

Our usually joyous, happy baby has officially left the building.  And her Pediatric ER trained mommy of 10 years (me) . . . seems to have lost all clinical abilities.  Little Noses drops and the bulb syringe . . . not doing the trick.  Advil and Tylenol . . . she despises and spits out at me.  Smart cookie at such a young age.  I was more accustomed to the Tylenol bath at age 2.  Wheezing?  No.  Retractions?  No.  Rash?  No.  Red TMs?  No.  Just a really, really bad cold.  Is there a code for that?  Bad cold squared?  There should be.  It definitely should be billable beyond the typical URI.  And these black box warnings on children's cold medication.  

I found myself negotiating with the pharmacists last night at Rite Aid . . . 2 v. 4 v. 6 y/o safety recommendations.  Whoever made these rules surely doesn't have children. Looking back, I must have seen upwards of a thousand kids with a chief complaint "URI" or "bad cold".  In the ER!  Yes!  I couldn't believe it (at the time) either.  I thought parents (all of them) were surely nuts.  Why would they bring their kid to the ER at 2 am for congestion?  And as of this week, I'm thinking about sending out a blanket apology for any less-than empathetic bedside behavior I might have displayed. Parenthood is so mysterious.  It plays with your heartstrings and clouds any clinical ability thought previously stellar.  Perhaps I shall go put on a lab coat and that will help me get back to my normal self . . .

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