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  • Writer's pictureSarah Nantel


In retrospect, we are very lucky that our first visit to the Alberta Children's Hospital (ACH) happened after Grace turned 27 months old. She had generally been in good health until the latter part of 2016 when a brother of one of her dayhome friends entered school and started to spread his germs through his sister to the dayhome. No, I am not bitter. I love that kid. But, I am slightly annoyed that Grace is getting sick more often and for longer.

One day I picked her up from dayhome and she felt really warm. Our dayhome provider said Grace had been crying for a full hour saying her tummy hurts. I brought her home to see if she would cool down. I took her temperature but it wasn't too high. I gave her some meds to see if it would lower her temperature. During this time, I held her and had her tummy on mine. This is generally how her "tummy issues" are resolved. (I didn't think much of her tummy issue because I knew this was a new term she just learned.)

Later that evening when her temperature wouldn't go down and actually went up, we decided to go to the ACH at 9:00pm. My anxiety had set in and I was in a panic. Luckily, my partner packed everything up (Ipad, blanket, stuffed animals, diaper bag, etc) while I put her coat, mitts, boot, and hat on. As we made our way there, my partner asked which route we should take. I suggest a route but was totally kicking myself for not having a route planned out prior and have done a dryrun. (We talked about this previously.)

When we got to ACH, I expected it to be loud and chaotic. I imagined myself running in with a crying baby and screaming that she needs a doctor right away. Other parents would be in the waiting room in the same manner. All fighting for their kids to be seen first.

In reality, I walked into ACH and was immediately greeted and told to go into a specific room to speak to a nurse. One nurse was asking me questions, while another was checking Grace out. Super efficient. Grace was given a dose of Tylenol and we were told to sit in the waiting room for another nurse to enter our information into the system. We waited less than five minutes before we were called and entered into the system.

From then, it was a two hour wait. We were told it would be so we had zero expectations of a speedy trip. I held Grace for about 45 minutes before I laid her down on my coat and slept. The waiting room was super quiet and everyone was waiting patiently for their turn. Maybe they weren't newbies like us.

The doctor did numerous checks on Grace. When one check wasn't conclusive, they did another. They were a bit like the tv series, HOUSE, where they had to find a reason for her high fever. I liked that. (Also, liked the show.)

Our first trip to ACH was as good as it could be. The environment was calm and I didn't have to turn into a momma bear. The staff was efficient, attentive, and caring. Grace won't remember a thing about thing but I sure will. So glad the experience didn't scar me for life.

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