Hospital with No Hospitality

For those of you that read my earlier post on how my sons dental work got cancelled last minute (Covid dental work disaster), you know that there is obviously more to tell. About 9 months has passed since this took place but with varying covid restrictions still in place, I assume that this story is still relevant in many areas. So here is the second half of the story…

Fast forward to a month later, we were finally allowed to try and reschedule our test. Since so much time had passed, there was availability for the Nationwide Children’s Hospital this time around. I opted for them over the general hospital since, under normal conditions, they are better equipped for kids, especially those with special needs. Unfortunately, we all know these are not normal times so my assumptions were sadly mistaken.

Days before the test, I got a call from the nurse giving us the rundown of everything again. Their current Covid policy was the same as the other hospital (one caregiver per child) but this time around when I asked for the accommodation to allow another parent, they outright refused. I told them that not being able to have my husband there was going to be a much bigger issue than they potentially realized. I explained that Damion has issues with elopement, especially in situations like these. He is strong, he is fast, and it was absolutely a safety concern. I also knew we would have to go there for his Covid test before the procedure, which would just make him that much more of a flight risk the day of. Didn’t matter to them, they still refused the accommodation. I was FURIOUS.  The possibility of him running off was a much bigger safety risk than Covid at this point, especially if he really did have the virus just a few weeks prior. But I could tell my poor guy was in pain for far too long already having waited another month to take care of his tooth. I couldn’t bring myself to have to reschedule the appointment again.

Their system for running Covid tests were better than the other hospital, but they required that you get the test the day before. Living in the middle of nowhere, as we do, meant that we had to make the hour drive twice because my husband couldn’t take 2 days off work. One good thing they had going for them was that they ran their own tests, so we knew we wouldn’t have a surprise last minute cancellation this time around. The testing site for them was once again right beside where we would be going for the procedure. I knew this would not be a fact that would get passed my boy and I could already anticipate the problems my near future had in store.

I did convince my husband to still come with us, even if he wasn’t allowed to come into the hospital. I was hopeful that if things got bad, they may change their mind. At a minimum, it would be nice to have him be able to make the long drive home and I could tend to Damion in the back seat. I’m so glad that I had him come.

When we pulled into the parking garage of the hospital (which looked the same as the parking garage we went to for his Covid test) the expected meltdown began. While Damion was kicking and screaming and doing his best to get away, my husband helped us get to the entrance, which was as far as he was allowed to go. Thankfully, once Damion realized he was not getting a Covid test again, he calmed down a bit. We got to our waiting room, which was empty other than the office person sitting behind her thick plexiglass. We check in and not too long after were sent back to another room. Damion was getting anxious again and they ended up giving him an oral solution to calm him down before they took him back for the procedure.

The dentist worked pretty quickly, and not too long after I was told that everything was done. They ended up having to extract the tooth that we were planning to fill because over the multiple months wait it took us to get in to get this procedure done, the tooth had become extremely infected. I felt so bad for my poor guy knowing how much pain he had probably been in these past few weeks. They said in about 30 minutes, once he woke up fully, I could come back with him. Unexpectedly, not 10 minutes later a nurse came out and told me that he is awake and that they couldn’t get him calmed down so they were going to bring me back early.

I get in the room with my upset child, who won’t keep the gauze in his mouth, allowing the blood to just drip down his shirt. I try to calm him and hold him but I know this is not going to be something he calms down quickly from. They waste no time starting in with the directions of what to do, what to look for, who to call if we see something out of the ordinary, etc. All of this would be great information to have, if I didn’t have an extremely distraught child screaming into my ear. I can’t hear anything that they are saying. This, right here, is just another example of why two parents were very necessary for this procedure!

I needed someone to comfort him, while someone else got the directions. I needed someone to hold the bag, while another person, preferably stronger than me, carried my big boy out to the car. They didn’t offer a wheelchair, or extra hands to help us out while leaving. I gave up on trying to hear the directions, with plans to just call the dentist later to confirm I was doing the right thing. I scooped up my upset boy, and carried him out to the front door all by myself. My husband was ready and waiting right outside the entrance to help us. We got to the car and made the long drive home while I cared for Damion in the backseat.

I still get so angry thinking back on it all. I think highly of common-sense approaches to things which by reading this you know they were not willing to consider any. The fact that other than hospital personnel, we encountered NO other people on our way in or out, we are all from the same household, and our son had just had a negative Covid test the day prior; The additional risk to allow one additional caregiver had to be close to nonexistent. I was, and still am, unhappy with their unwillingness to work with our very needed request. I know that having my husband allowed in to help would have made a huge difference on such a rough day. In the end, it was done, we had completed the procedure and that was the only important thing for the moment. For now, I am just thankful that it is over, but moving forward I have no plans to forget our treatment, or to patron them again in the future.