23 February 2012

Julia at St. Luke's

Unfortunately, St. Luke's - QC is a familiar structure for my family.  Last Wednesday, I was not a wife, niece, cousin or friend taking care or visiting a loved one.  I was a mom with a sick 1-year-old daughter.

While at work, Yaya Lani called to tell me that Julia has fever, I wanted to fly from Bonifacio Global City to Quezon City.  Call me OA but its one of those calls from home that I dread receiving.  Julia is taking Cefaclor (antibiotics) for her cough and colds.  It's a bit odd that she will have fever on the 5th day of drinking the medication.


Anyway, Julia's fever was 38°C to 40°C.  I sent an SMS to her pediatrician, Dr. Joan Millonado,  and she instructed us to visit her clinic the next day.  I was hesitant and uneasy about waiting so I called her Ninang Thea, a Dermatologist and a mom of 1-year-old  little Mateo.

She initially told us to heed the pedia's advice but she recommended to rush Julia to the ER soon after I told her that Julia's breathing was too fast.

Don and I were relieved that there were only a few patients at St. Luke's emergency room.  Julia was her charming self when the ER nurse at the Triage Area was checking her vital signs.  But, her mood suddenly changed when the ER pedia doctor forced her mouth open to check her tonsils.  Julia cried so loud that other patients gave us the "kawawa naman yung bata" look.  I kept my cool.  I'll deal with her later, I thought.  I was anxious to know what was wrong with Julia.

When we were transferred to the pedia area of the ER, Julia continued to cry.  She was still restless and uncomfortable.  Julia still couldn't sleep after her xray and blood extraction for CBC.

I'm glad I brought her favorite blanket.  It made her feel a little better.
After 30 minutes, I approached I-will-deal-with-her-later ER pedia doctor to ask about the test results.  She told me that they're not available yet, but she recommended that Julia be confined.  I asked why and she answered, "tutal may health card naman siya."  Believe me, I wanted to strangle her.  Again, I ignored her.

So we continued to wait.  Suddenly, a nurse informed us that they will insert an IV line to Julia.  Then, another guy asked me to accomplish some forms to be submitted to the admissions office.

Don sternly said no and asked the nurse, "bakit icoconfine?"

ER Nurse:  Ayaw nyo po ba?
Don:  Wala pa nagpapaliwanag sa amin tapos icoconfine nyo na.

The ER nurse panicked  and called the ER pedia doctor.

Don:  Andyan na ba yung test results?
ER Pedia Doctor:  Wala pa po.
Don:  Anong basis bakit icoconfine?  Ano ba ang diagnosis?
ER Pedia Doctor:  Mas mabuti na i-confine para ma-monitor.
Don:  Alam na ba ni Dr. Millonado?
ER Pedia Doctor:  Senior consultant po ako dito.
Don:  Walang problema kung kailangan i-confine.  Ipaalam nyo muna sa pedia niya.

ER pedia doctor called Dr. Millonado and passed the phone to Don.

Dr. Millonado explained that Julia is already taking Cefaclor, a strong antibiotic.  And the sudden onset of fever is indicative of another infection.  It will be better if Julia will stay in the hospital for close monitoring and treatment.

That was definitely more acceptable compared to "para ma-monitor and may health card naman siya" explanation!

Seeing Julia scream and cry while they were inserting the IV line was heartbreaking.  I hugged her and prayed.  With God's guidance, the nurse was able to do it right on the 1st try.

Taken from my Blackberry
It was already 4am when we finally settled into our room.  Julia's fever was consistent at 38°C-39°C for 2 days.  Her fever was at an all time high of 41°C Thursday night.  With paracetamol every 4 hours, Cefuroxime every 8 hours and frequent sponge baths, Julia's fever was gone by Friday night.  Saturday, we noticed rashes on Julia's body.  At this time, she was already feeling a little better.

Julia with Violet, Vilma Bug and her books.
Julia's final diagnosis was bronchitis and roseola infantum (baby measles).  Other than the ER experience, everything else was satisfactory.

We brought our own food for Julia so we requested for "full diet" hospital food for Don and I.  To our surprise, look at what was delivered!  It didn't taste like "hospital food" at all!

Menu Selection Form
Breakfast! They had me at butter, mayonnaise and strawberry jam :-)
Fish in Oyster Sauce and brown rice
Also, we were delighted by Nurse Bem and Nurse Paula's assistance.  They weren't just going through the motions of their hospital chores.  We can feel their sincere concern for Julia.

Julia with Nurse Pau
This is was a learning experience for Don and I.  We certainly hope that this will be the last time we will stay in a hospital.

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