A trip to the ER

Jessica and Namine were on their way to the eye clinic this morning when Namine threw up.

A couple years ago, Namine throwing up in the car would not have been out of the ordinary. A couple years ago, I might have been in the car with them — Namine being fragile enough to merit me taking off of work for even the simplest appointment. It wasn’t out of the question for her to work herself into a panic attack, and from there, throwing up was not a question of if, but when.

But Namine hasn’t had a panic attack in months, to my recollection. While it’s true that she was apprehensive last night about this appointment, this morning all her worries had been gone. (She is always concerned, no matter the appointment, that she’ll get a shot. Not to worry, we assured her, the eye clinic does not administer shots.)

So was it a question of being too warm? Or perhaps she’s starting to come down with a stomach bug (again — she just got over one a couple weeks ago). We don’t know. But in the car, none of that was a concern. What was a concern was the fact that Namine threw up and couldn’t breathe. In Jessica’s own words:

On our way to an appointment, Namine got sick to her stomach and started throwing up. She all of a sudden could not breathe. I swerved, threw on my hazards, grabbed Namine’s jacket and pulled her forward. She started breathing again and we skipped her appointment and went straight to the ER to make sure that she was all right.

Our main concern — shared by the doctors — was that she had aspirated (that is, drawn bile or whatever else it was that she threw up into her lungs). However, after being listened to by a nurse and two doctors, it was determined that she didn’t.

Wanting to be sure, we asked if a chest x-ray might still be warranted. The doctor in charge said no, listening to her lungs as she’s breathing is often enough. Sometimes they’ll hear something and get an x-ray to confirm, but no one was able to hear even the slightest bit of crackling when she breathed. An x-ray, he was sure, would reveal nothing we did not already know: that her lungs were clear.

Since there was nothing more that could be done at the hospital, they discharged her. She felt a little better — not all better; she still had a stomach ache, even a couple hours later — but well enough to go home. We’re still not sure what prompted the throwing up to begin with, so we’ll keep a close eye on her.

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