Wednesday, September 21, 2011

When the hospital visitor becomes the patient...

It was magnanimous of Paige to agree to visit Krista Lynch with me at Stanford Hospital on Monday. After all, it was Paige’s birthday.

But I did throw in teasers like the close proximity to Stanford Shopping Center (which houses Sprinkles cupcakes) so Paige was amenable to accompany me. And, I forgot about Paige’s inclination to get squeamish about hospitals. That, or I guess I thought she’d outgrown it.

As Paige and I waited for an elevator some nurses pushed by us with a man on a gurney whose vitals didn’t look good. I barely noticed but the visual scene didn’t sit well with Paige. So, minutes later, as we were visiting with Krista, I was focused on the real patient (Krista) and didn’t realize Paige getting white, clammy and light headed. When she sauntered out of the room, I just assumed she’d had enough small talk and was going to wander the hall for a minute, perhaps trying to signal me that wrapping up the visit was fine with her.

It turns out Paige wasn’t hinting to go but genuinely on the verge of fainting. Our discussion on pain only exacerbated her trauma of being at the hospital altogether. So, somewhere in Stanford’s “C” wing, Paige went out cold. Meanwhile, Krista and I were chatting away in Room 303.

A nurse entered Krista's room requesting me, explaining that “the little girl” I’d come in with had fainted. Totally confused I told Krista I’d be right back and went out to find Paige, now in a wheelchair, surrounded by four nurses.

The attentive nurses were ready to admit their new patient until I convinced them that getting Paige out of the hospital environment would solve the problem more than any extended stay.

Finally, after assuring the staff that I’d watch after her, they reluctantly let us leave, but not before Krista made her way from her hospital bed to come check on Paige. So, yes, it’s a little embarrassing to visit someone and end up causing commotion in the C wing, but what can you do? Stuff happens. Plus, this lack of fortitude when it comes to guts, gore, and even measly hospitals, is probably hereditary and I’m afraid I might be the guilty party in passing it along. On a positive note, I’ve gotten remarkably more tolerant/less squeamish over the years (so there is hope for Paige).

But, back to the real patient, Krista was looking great and in good spirits and was getting discharged the following day. Furthermore, Krista graciously (from her hospital bed) called us Monday night to check on Paige and to inquire if Paige’s birthday went a little better following "the incident."

And, yes, it only took one Sprinkles cupcake to assuage Paige’s allergic reaction to the Stanford hospital. So, the drama on her birthday will be a memory we’ll probably laugh about for many years to come!