First dial the pediatrician’s on call number.
Since the sun still remains only a wish for the day,
leave a message.
Phone the on call pediatric nephrologist and leave a message.
Know the on call pediatric nephrologist will call back first.
Actually, calling the regular pediatrician is only a nicety.
Keeping him in the loop, as it were.
We already know without talking to anyone
what we will do next:
Go to the emergency room.
The pain has been persistent throughout the night.
She’s snuggled into me
She doesn’t usually cry.
But which emergency room?
Something nearby and convenient
or drive all the way down to Johns Hopkins?
Truthfully, we know the answer to that as well.
We just want someone to affirm our plan.
Know she will confound and terrify
a normal hospital’s medical team.
They will become paralyzed by indecision,
not wanting to make a mistake,
suggest she be transferred.
If we call first, the pediatric nephrologist
can grease the hospital wheels
before we arrive,
hopefully ensuring she gets seen sooner,
there is less time wasted
explaining her astounding medical history
to sympathetic and mesmerized residents.
Next, get her dressed in soft clothing.
Elastic waist bands.
No zippers or anything metal
in case she needs a scan.
Throw an extra set of clothing in a bag
for use if she gets soiled
by blood or other equally unpleasant fluids.
Don’t let her have anything to eat.
They will need her belly empty
for the inevitable tests
Allow her only the smallest sip of water
to wash down her handful of morning medication.
Make sure she takes all those pills now,
before we leave the house,
as hospitals never get critical meds in her on the proper schedule.
Pack the boxes filled with her next two days of medication
in the waiting bag.
Add her hourly eye drop bottle,
her iPod and iPad with the drained battery.
Pack the charger
which comes in handy for our own iPhones, too.
Now a computer and cord,
a few granola bars
for when she’s finally cleared to eat
after hours of complaining she’s so hungry and thirsty.
When she’s cleared to eat —
that longed for point
which signifies all the tests are done
and the results are in.
There will be no admission
or mask filled anesthesia.
There will be no blades today.
Follow up with…
Always follow up.
April 6, 2013