Thursday, October 27, 2016

Our Day At The Emergency Room

resting in the hospital waiting room before being called in
Mr. J gave us a big scare last week.  He woke up complaining of major head pain.  He was happy and alert, but anytime he moved his head he would have this giant pain. Standing up made the pain unbearable.

I knew we needed to see a doctor, and luckily my GP is normally pretty good at getting us in same day. She was able to see us about an hour after I phoned.

While we were in the waiting room, he started to look "off" and told me he was going to throw up. As we were making our way to the bathroom, he was stumbling around - I reached out to steady him, and we continued. As we got to the washroom, he collapsed.

Thankfully, I was right behind him so he fell into me and I was able to lay him down on the ground.  He was completely unresponsive for about 30 seconds (it doesn't sound like a long time, but when it is happening in front of you it feels like forever, and is pretty scary).

The nurse that was behind us called for a doctor, and 2 came over (one of them being our GP). He was responsive at this time, but not aware of what had happened and very weak.  We managed to get him to her office and she assessed him and sent us to CHEO.

When we got their, they triaged us as priority, which meant not a very long wait before seeing the doctor.  He listened to what had gone on and then went to consult with a colleague.  They came back recommended an ECG and a CT.

Through all of this Mr. J would have periods of alertness and seemingly "normal" (except with the head pain) and then he would get really tired and fatigued.  After the ECG, he actually took an hour long nap, and only awoke as he was being wheeled to the CT.  He is 9, and does not nap anymore...hasn't in years.

a little nap while waiting for the CT

He was pretty nervous for both the ECG and CT, but he did great.  I stayed with him the whole time and kept my hands on his legs so he could feel my presence.

When we got the results, all came back as being normal.  By this time, the pain had gone and other than a kink in his neck (from holding his head at a weird angle to keep the pain away) he was fine.

We were given instructions to follow up with our family doc, and if the had any more episodes of pain like that day, to be sent for an MRI.  They have absolutely no idea what caused him to collapse.

I am glad they didn't find anything, but at the same time I am petrified it will happen again since they don't know the reason.  I had fainting spells in my teens and early 20's, and they were never able to pinpoint why.  They eventually stopped happening.  I am hoping he isn't taking after me and this was a one-off type of event.

I must say that everyone we saw at CHEO was amazing.  They took us seriously, listened to our concerns and were so kind and caring to both him and I.

While our medical system may not be perfect, and there is room for improvement - it has always served us well when needed.  We exited the parking lot exactly 5 hours after entering.  In that time, he had 4 visits with the doctor, 4 visits from nurses, an ECG and a CT.  All it cost me out of pocket was $14 for parking.


  1. Oh no :( I am sorry sorry to hear you and your family went through this scare! I cannot even begin to imagine how terrifying that would be! Hopefully it was a bug and an isolated incident!

    1. thank you for your kind words. All has been good over the last week, so I am hoping the same as you

  2. I am so sorry to read of your scare but happy to hear that it ended well. I get that you're happy but worried at the same time because you don't know what's up. I hope it's just a "one of".

    Besos Sarah.


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