Sunday, February 27, 2011

When kids have to be hospitalized

Okay- so no blog post for a while, I guess February was not so great on the blog updates. I'll try to catch up a bit, but frankly we haven't been doing much. One big exciting thing from last month was a hospital ordeal: 3yr old S swallowed a lego. We didn't see it happen, but could tell he was having a little difficulty breathing. He told us that a lego went down and that legos made him burp. He quickly regained mostly normal breathing and so no need to call an ambulance. I took him on my bike first to a nearby hospital and they recommended that I go to one of the big ones because they didn't really have a pediatric specialist. They suggested Second Red Cross (Just west of the imperial palace and just north of Marutamachi) or the Prefectural Medical School hospital (on Kawaramachi just south of Imadegawa). I chose the latter. (Next time- I think I'll just go there first- though I am profusely knocking on wood so that there is no next time). We went to the emergency room and they took some X-rays and MRIs, found what they thought was the lego down the bronchial tube. This meant S had to go under to get it out and that meant he had to be hospitalized. So after a long wait to make sure he had digested his breakfast-they put him under and stuck a tube down his throat and got that pesky lego out. They doctors and nurses all did a stellar job with everything. Afterward we had to stay for two nights. (One night in the ICU and then one in a regular ward in the children's hospital-this may be the only hospital with a building dedicated for kids, but I'm not sure.) I guess they wanted to make sure everything thing was ok. This was tough-he had IVs in and wanted to take them off. He was confined to his bed and wanted to get out, couldn't run around etc. The first night made sense, but I thought the second was a little excessive.
Anyway- here is some information for those of you who might have to deal with this (heaven forbid). They have a pamphlet about it in Japanese, but I didn't read it until later. Main points:
You need to bring a cup and utensils for the meals (I wasn't expecting this), as well as changes of clothes, toiletries, diapers, towels, etc.
They ask that you limit toys to two, plus a favorite stuffed animal etc for comfort.
They have shared tatami rooms (separated by gender) for parents to sleep in at night, but you need to have your own sheets and pillows- they have blankets. I slept for part of the first night there, but night 2 I shared S's tiny bed.
There is a shared bath in the ward- like a sento, but we didn't use it.
We still haven't received the bill yet, but it won't end up being over 3,000Y because S is under elementary age.
All in all, I thought the hospital did a great job and a follow up visit showed no secondary issues- all good! Thank you nationalized health care!

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