Medical, Storytime

The ER vs. Medical Parents

Happy New Year Everyone! In the past few months, I have completely slacked off on my blogging. However, I intend to be more active here this year. I’ll try my best. This blog was actually written just after Memorial Day (May 2018), and I just never posted it! *hides* Anyway, I decided to post it anyway! haha.

As parents to a cardiac baby, we’ve had our share of medical drama. However, on Memorial Day, when we rushed our 10-month-old to the ER it was as far away from medical drama as it gets.

The week before Memorial Day, little Braveheart had a fever for two days. He didn’t seem to have any other symptoms aside from general crankiness and he was a bit lethargic. As heart parents, it’s difficult not to fear the worst. Rather than think of the usual suspects, we often wonder if any symptoms have anything to do with his heart. Sometimes it just takes a bit of measured, logical thinking on our part – is he breathing rapidly/sluggishly, is he turning blue, is his pulse thready or bounding, are there any signs of retraction around his ribs when he’s breathing? – No.

So we figured it was just the fact that his 3rd tooth was coming in that was causing the fever and lethargy. On the Sunday, however, he suddenly developed a horrible-sounding cough. To the point where I was questioning whether or not he did indeed receive the pertussis vaccine. (He did).

But for the entire night, his horrible coughing spells sent me bounding out of bed like a maniac, again and again. By Monday, his grandma was very concerned and not-so-subtly hinting that we should take him to the doctor. The problem was that his doctor’s office was closed, so the only other option was the ER.


During triage intake, a kind nurse came to take Braveheart’s vitals. The usual: pulse-ox, temperature, respiratory rate… Braveheart was so totally laid back about the whole thing, even when the nurse inserted a rectal thermometer. Apparently, we were all staring at the monitor intensely when Braveheart’s pulse-oxygen levels were being taken because we were asked: “which one of you has medical training?”

Moments later, a doctor came to speak with us. Braveheart had no fever, his lungs were clear, and as the doctor stated, “He’s not making an effort to breathe. Like around his ribs…”

To which I completed her sentence by saying, “No retractions.”

She nodded with an impressed look, glanced at my hubby and mum and said, “Well it seems like you all know what to look for.”

Me: “yes we do” *accusatory glance at grandma for making us come to the ER* (*invisible pat on the back for knowing he was fine*)

Would you believe that the very next day, Braveheart had no cough at all??

It’s funny… sometimes, having a heart baby causes us to fear every little cough, every incidence of cold feet, and every moment where he’s showing signs of exhaustion. But, being the parents to a baby with medical needs, we’ve been forced to learn a lot. We have a whole new outlook on things. Maybe it’s even a blessing in disguise.


Have you ever rushed a child or yourself or someone else to the ER for a false alarm?


Thanks for reading!

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