Kent Brockman: At 3:00 PM Friday, local autocrat C. Montgomery Burns was shot, following a tense confrontation at town hall. He was taken to a hospital where he was pronounced dead. He was then taken to a better hospital where his condition was upgraded to "alive."
—The Simpsons, “Who Shot Mr. Burns?: Part 2” (9/17/95)
This has not been the Best Spring Break Ever, let me tell you.
Wee One spent the better part of last week with sniffles and other cold-like symptoms that just kept getting worse, until we finally decided that maybe she needed to see a doctor. So on Friday, Wife kept her out of school and on Saturday, took her to one of those walk-in clinics. They looked her over, listened to her worsening cough, took a chest X-ray and pronounced her as having an upper respiratory infection. Medication-wise, they prescribed an adult-strength antibiotic and a cough syrup that had codeine in it.
Over the weekend, her appetite plummeted. She complained of stomach pains and we figured that it was the codeine at work. We stopped giving her the cough syrup and by Sunday afternoon she insisted that she was well enough to go to Cheerleading practice. I took her to the practice session but gave her coaches the heads-up and permission to bench her if necessary. They did send her to the sidelines a couple of times but generally let her participate. I learned at the end that this was probably because she didn’t tell them that, during one of her breaks, she went into the restroom and had a bout of diarrhea as well. This was a new symptom, but I chalked that up to the codeine as well. On the way home we stopped at a Chinese take-out place and picked up a pint of white rice and some wonton soup for her.
We got home, had the Chinese food and watched The Amazing Race, which started late yet again because of the college basketball. Stupid CBS. So she went to bed around 10:00 which, given that we’re in Spring Break, wasn’t too awful.
At about 11:30 or so, I’m chitchatting with a couple of friends on Facebook and getting ready to wind things down so that I can go to bed a little early for a change, when Wife calls to me: “I need your help.” Upstairs I go, where I discover that Wee One is vomiting, big-time. On the off-chance that she’s got a touch of the food poisoning, I give her a charcoal capsule.
(An aside: if you’ve got gas pains, whether they’re accompanied by diarrhea or not, charcoal capsules are like magic. And they’re not a drug, so there’s almost nothing in the way of side effects. You can get tablets, which aren’t great to take, or you can get capsules like you see here, or you can also get an enteric-coated pill which looks like a pink Good ‘n’ Plenty.)
A few minutes later, she’s vomiting again, except now it’s black because of the charcoal. At least she had something to bring up, but still. Wife decides it’s time to hit the Emergency Room. We all put on shoes and such, stick a bucket in the backseat with Wee One, and we’re all off to GBMC.
We got to go right in, because it’s Sunday night, and it’s slow. They gave her an anti-emetic to stop the vomiting, which worked pretty quickly. They also noted that, while the antibiotic dose might be on the high side, it should be OK. They did recommend stopping the cough syrup right away and gave her something else to take.
The next morning, her pediatrician gave her a prescription for a different antibiotic and she’s finally starting to feel better. So all is well in that department.
However, my specific complaint is with Wife and Wee One’s penchant for needing the Emergency Room in the middle of the night. This is largely a guess, but I’m pretty sure that 80% of all of our ER visits have taken place in the wee small hours of the morning. When I go to the hospital, it’s in broad daylight. The only advantage to going that late is free parking. And we usually get seen quickly. But still.
So, given that I’m already on the downhill side of life, and the medical problems should be mounting up pretty soon, I’ve taken a vow that it’s going to be time for payback. Heart Attacks will take place no earlier than 11 PM. Strokes, around 1 AM. And now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to head up to bed, perhaps breaking my leg on the way up the stairs.