Where were you when the New Year arrived? What were you doing? Were you at a party? Were you at a nightclub? Did you have a good time? This entry is about how I spent New Year's Eve 2003 and welcomed 2004.
James has been rather sick for days. About five days ago he awoke from his nap with a fever and zero appetite. The next day I took him to the clinic where he was diagnosed with a cold and we were instructed to manage the symptoms with Tempra and keep an eye on him. A couple of days later when he failed to improve, I took him back to the clinic to be seen by another doctor. This time, an ear infection was detected and we were given antibiotics to clear things up. The extreme lethargy James was displaying was so entirely out of character (even for a sickie) I found myself in the emergency room last night demanding he be reevaluated. This time, the diagnosis had evolved into something a little more serious. James has pneumonia.
There was the oxygen mask because his oxygen levels were low, there was the intravenous to keep him hydrated and to give him antibiotics, there was the withdrawal of blood and chest x-rays to determine the extent of his pneumonia. All of this in the pediatric emergency room and it was approximately 11:00 pm EST. James was admitted for a minimum 48-72 hours, but there were no beds available. The nurse blamed SARs, claiming new rules limited one child to each room, and the rooms that were previously used by four children were now holding one. So, James and I were stuck in the ER for the night, but were given a stretcher-like cot to sleep on. This cot was a little narrow for me, let alone a sick child in an oxygen mask and intravenous injected into his little arm. I managed to squeeze myself against the bars of the cot so that I wasn't interfering with the flow of the intravenous but could still keep James' oxygen mask on his face in spite of his attempts to rip it off every few minutes. At this point I glanced at the big digital clock on the wall and it read 11:51.
Nine minutes later, an announcement was placed over the intercom wishing all of us in the emergency room on New Year's Eve a Happy New Year. I leaned in and gave James a kiss on the cheek whispering in his infected ear "Happy New Year Sweet Baby James. 2004 is going to be a great year." And it will be.