If you read my blog post on Tuesday, then you know that Jude has had what I assume is a chocking episode and the firefighters had just left our house stating that we can take him to the hospital. Vivian is standing in front of me with her very sparkly, very fancy, dress up costume and I’m trying to hurry up and get out of the house.
The funny thing is that I had just snapped the picture of her right before Jude started his gagging thing and at the time she was questioning me about where her tiara was located. I vividly remember telling her to go ahead and put on her pajamas, so when the memory came back full force I was getting even more impatient with Vivian for her even having the outfit still on.
I heard Jude yelling about Rice Krispy Treats from the pantry again and Melvin had finally found his keys. However, Viv still stood in the same spot with her hand on her hip asking if she could keep her outfit on. I knew that ER trips could take some time, so I got Viv together with the promise of a McDonald’s trip the next day.
We finally had made it to the garage all in a decent state. My panic came back full force and for some reason I decided that I was going to drive. Melvin knew that this wasn’t the time to question anything. We put both Jude and Vivian into their car seats. I barely let Melvin get into the car as we peeled out of the driveway, forgetting to lock the front door and leaving all of the lights and television on. Vivian and Jude were eerily quiet as we moved along the highway, but Melvin and I weren’t.
As soon as we turned out of the driveway, I realized I knew that there was a hospital because I have traveled past it several times on the way to work. However, I didn’t know the exact location or the exit I should take. I decided to take the access road to narrow my chances of missing the exit. Melvin, I guess had decided that his previous decision, not to question my decisions during this time was faulty. He told me to take the highway because he knew what exit to take. Immediately red flags started shooting around me. I started to think about all of the times that he had got lost on just basic routine trips around the city. He routinely still asks “What exit do I take?” on the way to church and on the way from church.
At this time, I decided I would still go with what Melvin said because I didn’t really know where in the world I was going. I was literally just waiting to see the hospital building and the letters ER. Melvin was turned around in the passenger seat looking at Jude. I was trying to stay focused on the drive, but when Vivian said, “Jude, you alright…you look sick?” and I heard her pat Jude on the back, I quickly adjusted my view and turned to look at Jude. He did start looking sick again and was holding his stomach. I asked Melvin what was going on as I snapped my head back around as I hit the warning bumps on the side of the road that alerted me to get back focused. “He is fine…He is fine…just drive” Melvin called back to me as he hung half way over the seat monitoring Jude. I knew he wasn’t fine, when I heard the dreaded gagging/chocking coming back.
I snapped my head back toward him and Jude appeared to be in some distress, but nowhere near when we were at the house. Another factor that made the situation worse was we still hadn’t made it to the hospital and I knew we should be very close or at least I should exit. Without going into too much detail, I feel the need to highlight the fact that I was pretty much in emotional distress this entire time. Once I heard the gagging noise come back, I fell into full on tears, annoyance, and frustration with Melvin about his choice of taking the highway. I made sure to let him know that if we missed the exit I would be on another level. This rant, filled with a few innocent expletives, continued to be directed at Melvin as he assisted Jude from the front passenger seat, all while telling me to pass up every exit that I felt like we needed to take.
It seemed like eternity, but finally the hospital loomed in front of us and I desperately hunted for the exit. Nearly slowing to a stop on the highway, I noticed that just like I had thought, we had passed the freaking exit! And to make it worst, it was one of those situations that I had to travel another three miles up the highway just to turn around and try again. I’m going to be honest. I saw red. I was beyond mad and made sure to exhibit this distress so that Melvin knew. Was it fair, no but I was mad. I knew I should have taken the access road.
Melvin did a good job of trying to keep me and Jude calm. Viv was still calm, cool, and collected by herself and was playing with a Barbie doll that she managed to leave the house with. I could hear her occasionally tell Jude it’s was going to be fine and then she would go back into play world. As we finally exited the highway and completed the U-turn. I heard Melvin say, “Jude…Jude…hey…hey!” we were close to the hospital and staying on the access road allowed us to enter the parking lot of the hospital, curb-checking and all. I knew the kids didn’t take a good nap, so when I turned to face Jude as we finally pulled into the parking spot, it looked like he was dozing off , but I wasn’t sure, so I hurriedly got of the car and dragged Vivian out.
Melvin quickly got Jude out, but as soon as he was out of the car, he started wiggling to get out of Melvin’s grip and yelled after Vivian to wait up for him. He was back to normal…again! There was no sign of distress, he was complaining again about wanting a snack, and was trying to chase after his sister into the ER.
We quickly got to the front desk and checked in. The front desk receptionist gave us a quizzical look when we said that our son was chocking, and Jude starting yelling about fruit snacks and pointing at the snack machine. She checked us in and we went to sit. Viv began trying to talk to everyone in the waiting room and Jude wanted to be a part of it. He again didn’t look or act like anything was wrong with him.
We finally made it to the back and after talking to two nurses, a doctor, and having x-rays done, we finally had an answer to the phantom gagging episodes. Jude was suffering from heart burn…acid reflux…and constipation. The chocking/gagging was from the burning sensation he was feeling in his throat from the acid reflux. It was a relief and the panic mode fully evaporated once we heard what was going on. The doctor instructed us that the only thing that she could say was to give him some prune juice or over the counter meds to speed up his digestion. That was it. All the panic, frustration, yelling, and annoyance came down to the fact that Jude needed to use the bathroom and lay off the Doritos. Even as we walked out of the ER at 12 am having been there for a couple of hours, I just shook my head as Viv asked if we could stop and get something to eat and I heard Jude yell from the back seat, “Yeah…I want a burger!”
See you next time!