Which is it?

A shiny, copper penny, or a bit of silver?  Alas, only time will tell.  It’s been said that tragedy and comedy are two sides of the same coin.  True that.  Or maybe I just have a dark sense of humor.  Anyway, maybe this may make more sense as you continue to read on…

For the last 8 weeks, Gracie has cried off and on daily, sometimes for hours at a time.  It’s quite maddening when she gets like this, because we can only guess at what is wrong with her.  During this time Gracie was diagnosed with strep throat, and completed three rounds of antibiotics (two different medicines, as she started having a reaction to the first).  This morning I couldn’t take it anymore, the crying.  Something else is going on with her.  So my wife and I take Gracie to the ER at Holmes Regional Medical Center (HRMC) in Melbourne. 

We explain to the HRMC staff that Gracie has not been eating normally, nothing but applesauce, ice cream, and toast, that she’s spitting all other solid foods out after chewing them up, and has been vomitting at least once a week.  The staff weigh her and we learned she has dropped 9 pounds.  Gracie has never lost weight before.  We are escorted to a room to wait.  Gracie commences to pace the room, ends up sticking her fingers through a hospital trash bag (I hope there weren’t any biohazards in there), and squeezes her hands and fingers so hard that I worry she’ll break her own fingers. 

After the nurses come into our room, we become participants to inserting an IV into Gracie’s arm, and taping and wrapping it to her arm so she wouldn’t pull it out.  Once that was done, blood was drawn and a sedative administered to calm her down.  It took four of us hold onto Gracie during all this, especially when a nurse placed a catheter into her urinary tract.   Once this business is taken care of we wheel Gracie and her bed to other rooms for a CAT scan and an x-ray.  I had the pleasure of donning a lead vest and holding Gracie’s arms above her head while she was conveyed in and out of the CAT scan.  I missed the x-ray because I was busy scarfing down my lunch on the other side of the hospital, but at least I got to bring my wife back some lunch too.

Four hours and a $100 co-pay later, nothing has changed.  Except now we know Gracie has swallowed a coin, as was shown by the x-ray of her abdomen.  None of this is to slight HRMC in any way, though, as the staff there was great.  My wife and I and think they a truly a courteous, caring, and professional group of people.

About graciesautism

Father of Gracie, who is autistic, and her sister Gabrielle (who is a typical). Sharing our stories in Gracieland.
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