This blog post originally wasn’t going to be a blog post but instead an update on our personal social media pages, like most things I had too much to say.
My partner and I thought we would share because like many people there are days we feel overwhelmed with the news, the stats, the images. We are all currently receiving so much information both on the internet and social media regarding COVID-19, some of it insightful, some of it informative, some of it useful, some of it empowering, some of it fear mongering.
Last week, we had a situation that required Alina to go to the hospital. I am not writing this post to garner sympathy because while it was concerning it wasn’t dangerous and she is back to being her usual cheeky self. I am writing to share our journey with the healthcare system during such an uncertain time, and I want to underline the fact that this is our personal experience, by no means am I trying to say that this would be the situation for anyone else. Also, we are very well aware that we are lucky to live in the place we do, not in an epicentre and understand that had the situation been more alarming the process very well could have been different.
We had heard so many different things regarding what to do when it comes to a health issue with everything that is happening around the world and weren’t sure if what we were going through would even be addressed, not to mention how guilty we felt to be adding to a very strained and stressed situation. We never want to be a burden to the healthcare system, and especially now really respect the professionals in it and appreciate as much as anyone can who isn’t in it, what they must be going through.
After calling our family doctor and having a phone assessment with him, as well as consulting our health line we had to make the decision that going to the children’s hospital was necessary under the recommendation from the mentioned experts. First of, yes it did take a few hours for the health line to call us back (I believe 12 hours), however, the intake person was fantastic and reassuring and when the nurse did call she wasn’t rushed or dismissive as we thought would be the case when being overloaded. The same needs to be said for our family doctor, and his assistant/reception. I can’t even imagine how busy they are and making the time for a call went above.
I took Alina to the hospital while my partner stayed home with Cillian, when arriving it was eerily quiet. We were stopped before going in by two very friendly in-takers, assessing our risk level to COVID-19, which our health line did as well. Once in, we were greeted by three nurses who were attentive, calming and humorous, which was welcomed. They also apologized that they had to wear masks and didn’t want to scare Alina but hoped I would understand – which of course I did. The doctors and technicians also apologized for the same reason and said they are finding it hard not being able to express emotions or smile at people, which I never thought of.
There was no waiting, we were brought right back to our room, a doctor came shortly after, everything was fairly quick moving including getting her x-rays done and the COVID-19 test (which was done as a precaution), it is about as invasive as a trip to the dentist. I was able to stay with Alina the whole time and comfort her throughout the different assessments and after spending around five hours there we were discharged, but not before being told by the doctors that we did the right thing, if any of the following symptoms or parent instinct told us something wasn’t right to bring her right back and to not apologize or feel like we were being a burden.
A big thank you to the IWK, the people who keep the hospital maintained, the cleaners, the in-takers, security, nurses, doctors and technicians for being so great to us as always and especially during such craziness, and giving parents calm and comfort when everything you see online tells you otherwise.
Also, her test came back negative as expected – still an odd weight was lifted off our shoulders when the results came in.