It was our first out-of-town baseball tournament and the team had just won silver rings.
But our 9-year-old son wasn’t feeling well, and a near five-hour drive back from Arkansas in the middle of the night sounded miserable. We got a hotel room.
Just around midnight, I woke to the splashy sound of vomit.
Ugh. I turned on the bedside lamp and there it was. Yep, some got on the hotel carpet, too.
We requested a different room, but the young front desk guy in training told us that all he could do was send up some clean sheets.
We used some of the sample shampoo to try to clean up as much as we could. Try sleeping in a hotel room with that wonderful smell.
Around 6 a.m. our son started to scream in pain. He was hunched over and could barely walk.
I texted a few of our nurse friends. The nurse hotline at Children’s Mercy back in KC told us to get him to an ER in case it was his appendix.
“Uh, our son got sick last night so we placed the sheets in the bathroom,” we told the front desk clerk as we were checking out.
“It’s going to be at least $30 for the sheets, if that’s all that is damaged.”
I didn’t have time to go back and forth with the hotel; our son was waiting in the car in tears and we had to move.
“Are you sure we can’t make it back to KC?” I asked my husband. But I knew the answer.
The nurse checked us into the ER and told us in her Arkansas twang, “I’m going to guess it’s this child’s appendix.”
Apparently the first thing they do in an ER is start an IV. As soon as I saw the fear in our son’s eyes once he saw that needle, I freaked and started crying with him.
I swear I saw the nurse roll her eyes. “It’s just a piece of plastic that will stay in your arm.”
As if that’s any better?
The doctor looked over at me and said: “You know, the fear of needles is hereditary; it’s in a gene.”
Sorry, buddy, I’m the one who gave you that gene.
Five hours later, a KUB (X-ray) and an ultrasound showed his appendix was just fine. It was his intestines that were “grouchy.” He was backed up like 5 o’clock traffic.
Miralax was on the menu for the next two weeks, along with a plan to change our family’s diet.
On the drive home I logged into our bank account to find out that the hotel had charged us an additional $130 for “damages to property.” That, plus $30 for sheets and $100 for the nine-hour hotel stay. I could think of a lot more fun things to do with $260.
I tried calling the corporate office of the hotel chain, but they agreed with the rude hotel manager: Vomit is damage, even if it was from a sick child and not a hungover college kid.
Add that to the extra cost of an additional day for the rental car, a missed day of work (my husband doesn’t get paid when he doesn’t work) and an unknown amount for an ER bill that will arrive shortly in our mailbox, and we’ve got ourselves a very pricey Monday.
You know what though? We did the right thing. Our son’s life is worth more than our thousand-dollar Monday.
The real struggle will be getting our boy to eat more greens. I think he may have cried more when being forced to eat a piece of celery at dinner the other night than when he was in the ER.
Children’s Mercy hands out info saying applesauce, bananas and cooked carrots are all constipating foods. Bummer, those are all healthy foods our son will actually eat.
Every child is unique, but consider yourself seriously lucky if yours eats broccoli and prunes.
What are some of your children’s favorite fruits and veggies, and how do you get them to eat the ones they don’t like? I’d like to hear your advice.
But if you’re not a parent, if you don’t actually witness that piece of lettuce going into your child’s mouth, I don’t want to hear from you.