Elli spent four days in the hospital this past week. It was a difficult time as even though sitting in a hospital room for 12 hours at a stretch isn't physically challenging it is stressful as you oscillate back and forth between nervous boredom and desperate concern. Elli is fine now though, thanks to antibiotics being veritable miracles. When people talk about how all we need to be healthy is to get back to nature and use natural medicine it gets me riled up in a hurry - you see things differently when modern medicine has literally saved your child's life half a dozen times.
This was extra challenging because it happened while we had guests from out of town who were expecting to stay with us over the weekend. There was a big cottage trip planned and we had to desperately juggle the possibility of salvaging that trip as Elli's discharge date shuffled back and forth. Not that the cottage trip is really a big deal when my child is so sick, but trying to constantly shift plans about with a bunch of people I don't get to see more than once a year (or once a decade) added to the strain considerably.
One thing that really ratcheted up the struggle was our communication with the nurses. First we were told that Elli needed to be fever free for 24 hours before we could go home... so we made tentative plans for that. The next day we were told the rule was 48 hours, so we made plans for that. The day after that we were told 36 hours, but ended up leaving at the 30 hour mark anyway. It drove me crazy that we were getting completely different stories from different people and had no idea which was right.
It would have been difficult but completely fine if we were told that it would be 1 to 4 days depending on her symptoms. Not a very useful timeframe for sure but at least we wouldn't have the feeling that our caregivers were just making it up as they went along.
I am sure it is challenging from the other end too; I don't want to belittle the challenge the medical staff face in trying to give parents estimates. They want to say *something*, but they don't want to give false hopes. I can't really say if the best way to go is to try to be accurate or overestimate the time needed but I feel like underestimating it is probably a terrible thing.
In any case I can't say if it was the doctors changing their minds based on test results, terrible communication, nurses giving answers without really knowing what was going on, or something else entirely.
I certainly won't fault Sick Kids Hospital in general - they were fantastic in nearly every regard and they got Elli back up and going as quickly as could be hoped for. Heck, Elli even loved the food and wants to go there to eat just for fun. But. I sure do wish that I could have avoided the sinking feeling that the nurses were random or incompetent and the sense that I couldn't take anything they said at face value. That is a hard place to be at the best of times, and these times were far from the best.