Is it just me or is the recent crop of babies exceptionally cute?
It’s a very dangerous time for me.
My baby is almost 16 years old.
I have no grandchildren on the horizon for years.
I’m at that dangerous age between still being able to have a baby (just barely, I’m pretty sure my ova are using walkers to get to the Fallopian tube and I’d probably have to deliver in a convalescent home) and not having any grandkids to spoil.
The point being that all of a sudden I am in love with babies. Specifically, any and all pediatric patients under the age of one.
I got to hold an 8 month old for about 15 minutes the other day and he decided to carry on a full “conversation” with me.
It was hilarious; I’d ask him triage questions like, “Are you allergic to any medication?” and he’d “talk” for 30 seconds.
What the heck is going on? Is this like some cosmic joke?
One last surge of maternal hormones before they all get taken away? (Sorry, guys, girl talk here).
I guess, for now, I shall live out my maternal instincts through the babies at work.
Just another advantage of being a nurse!
It was only 4:00 pm. The sky was full of dark clouds. It seemed much later.
This particular year, we weren’t worried about a draught here in California. The rain never stopped. The clouds were just taking a breath before the next deluge.
She walked into the ER with her baby in an infant seat. Not the cheap old-fashioned plastic versions, but the big car seat type that were now on the market. She completed triage and waited to be seen.
She was all of 17; maybe she weighed 105 lbs. A single mother who lived in the big city adjacent to where my hospital was located. Her baby had a fever and she was concerned.
Not only was she carrying a huge car seat and baby, she had the usual accoutrements. A huge diaper bag. A large purse.
The baby had a virus, nothing serious and we gave Tylenol (no ibuprofen back then).
As I gave her the discharge instructions, I noted that a torrential downpour outside and offered to help her carry her gear to her car.
She said, “No thanks!” and pulled out a huge umbrella. “I don’t have a car. We came by bus.”
Not only had that petite little mother carried that baby and equipment on a bus to get to our ER, she had to make two transfers to get to the bus stop outside the hospital. Now she was going home the same way. In the rain.
I asked her if there was anyone who could come and get her and the baby. Usually, she noted, but there was no one else .
She never asked for a taxi voucher, never assumed that anyone else would be responsible for transportation home. She gathered up her equipment, picked up the baby.
There was no way in hell I was going to let that girl and her baby go home in that downpour by a two-transfer bus route.
I told her I would call a taxi. She said, “Oh no, thank you anyway but I don’t have money to pay a taxi.”
I gave her a taxi voucher.
I caught hell for it later.
My boss at the time did not look kindly on giving out taxi vouchers.
The look on her face when I told her she could go home by car was priceless.
If we didn’t have vouchers, I’d have paid for it myself.
The baby may have been the patient, but that day I was able to take care of Mom, too.