//the difference a dot makes//

IMG_7653
“Brain damage? Say what?”
 
Ok, let’s back it up a bit.
 
I was home alone babysitting my teen nephew and 6 year old niece. Their parents are in another state, by the way. And my parents are at work.
 
Little niece wakes me up in the middle of the night, crying, complains of being dizzy and wanting to throw up. She’s burning up.
 
I give her some of the cherry medicine which tastes horrible (but makes her feel much better).
 
I make a mental note to buy a thermometer that actually works (Ours was broken!) once I get up in the morning.
 
 
Here comes the hard part (or so i thought): I have to keep the kids away from each other. Nephew cannot get sick. He has a heart procedure in a few days(!).
 
(Which would actually work if our house wasn’t so tiny…. hah)
 
Ok, so we are back home- I take her temp. (with the brand spankin’ thermometer we bought from CVS– i took her with me)…. wait half a minute… 
 
“BEEP! BEEP!”
 
I think to myself, 
“This can’t be too bad, right? People get a hundred-something fever.”
 
next…. I calmly pick up the phone at call her mom.
 
“Yep she definitely has a fever…. a hundred-six…
yes, that’s what I said… a hundred-six… No, I’m not kidding… do you want me to take a picture?… Yes, ok, I guess you don’t need a picture….
 E.R.?! WHAT! She looks fine to me! Brain what?….. Ok, I’m going to wipe her down with some cool water first… Yes I know its serious… Nevermind, I’ll take her now.”
 
I dash to the kitchen, leave out some lunch for the nephew and warn him not to open the front door to anyone.
 
Niece (with an ice pack in one hand and ice water in the other) and I hop into the car and head to the urgent care down the street.
 
We pray out loud–I told her to “repeat after me”– i needed to know if she was was conscious! And we most definitely needed God’s help and peace!
 
 
quick heartbeat… shallow breath… 
 
yes. that was me. Please, she had to be ok.
 
The medical assistant was taking my little niece’s temp again (the MA dashed to get the thermometer right when i said “a hundred six”).
 
“One hundred POINT four”
 
Me: “OH THANK GOD! it went down!”
 
 
I call my sister on the phone again,
 
“It went down… a hundred point four… what do you mean?.. no way could it go down to that from a hundred you say?… well, it’s either the thermometer is broken or I am blind…. Well, I guess all that matters is she is fine… ok… It’s new… I guess we’ll return it now…”
 
Well, the MA overheard our discussion, and sheepishly said… “Maybe you…. maybe you…. read 100.6 to her as 106.0… thats why she told you to rush her here. Because if my thermometer pulled up 106.0– I’ve would’ve told you to get out of here and go straight to the E.R. since they are better equipped to deal with children her age.”
 
OH MAN.
IT WAS MY FAULT.
I HAD A FLASHBACK TO AN HOUR AGO.
POINT SIX.
POINT SIX.
POINT SIX.
I SHOULD’VE TAKEN A PICTURE.
 
 
I didn’t even have the common sense to blame it on the thermometer and told the MA about my error…
bright red and flustered… like I was talking to a priest at confession (!) except for…. 
 
1) I am not Catholic
2)The waiting room looked nothing like a confessional box (at least you don’t show your face at confession!)
3) She ain’t no priest
 
 
 
THE END. That’s it. We aren’t laughing about it yet, but I do have a fever right now (ha) and
i make a point to read every “point” (YES-PUN INTENDED) I see on the thermometer screen.
 
You may be asking, “Why in the world did she write a blog about this?”
 
Maybe I am doing everyone (and by everyone I mean the handful of people who read this blog haha) a public service to remind them that a dot (or a period or a point or whatever) definitely makes a difference. 
 
Sentences would go on forever, no one would ever get any spare change, and you’ll make a complete fool of yourself.
 
 
Or perhaps the makeshift confession with the stranger at the urgent care wasn’t enough, and I wrote this in hopes of further embarrassing myself.
(Kidding!!)
 
(But seriously, especially in the medical field, points are of utmost importance! Oh the things that could go wrong if you don’t chart them or misread them!)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

2 thoughts on “//the difference a dot makes//

  1. storiesfromanursingstudent says:

    Oh man! We all have days like that, hahahah! Don’t you even worry! After working in the ER department, it isn’t uncommon for a panicked Mom /sitter to have read a thermometer wrong. One time I had a lady come in with a complaint of ‘blue legs’. I was quite worried about it too and called my Preceptor to come in to look at it. Turns out she just bought new jeans and didn’t wash them before she wore them. HAHAH!

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