On the day before Thanksgiving, four years ago, I received a dreaded call from my son’s doctor. He had been very sick and a nurse phoned to give us the result of some blood tests.
My son had a strep pneumo infection. Not always a big deal, unless you’re a kid with heart defects like my boy. And, because my kid likes to be different, it wasn’t the strain for which you get immunized, it was an antibiotic-resistant version.
They gave us two options. A seven-day, no expenses paid trip to the hospital for IV antibiotics, or a $300.00 bottle of a new, oral medicine that had an 85% chance of working. Because hospital stays turn our lives upside down, and because it was the day before Thanksgiving, we decided to try the oral meds.
The only problem? No one warned us that the medicine tasted like wet steel. One drop of it on my son’s tongue made him gag and vomit, which really isn’t good when you’re trying to get life-saving medicine down his throat.
We tried diluting it in juice, we tried chasing one drop with an entire Reese’s Cup, but nothing worked. We knew a week in the hospital was imminent.
I called the pediatrician on Thanksgiving morning to let her know, and she agreed that we had no other choice.
But then she said, “Well, there is one other thing we could do…”
She went on to tell a very anxious me, that she would agree to put in a Heplock (the short hub that sticks out of an IV catheter and can be capped off). But alas, she didn’t have a nurse who could do something like that on Thanksgiving Day.
I nearly screamed, “I have a nurse!!”
My sister-in-law is a pediatric nurse at a local hospital and I knew she would do it.
So the pediatrician agreed to meet us at her office later that afternoon…after she fed 20 people dinner at her house.
Now tell me, how many doctors do you know who would make Thanksgiving dinner, then go and open their office for ONE patient, and let a strange nurse come in and do a procedure? Oh, that’s right. You don’t know ANY doctors who would do that.
And then, after my sister-in-law got the Heplock in, as if there was a shred of doubt that we’d keep that pediatrician forever…she went ahead and sealed the deal when she offered me a beer out of her office refrigerator.