Daughter Sarah, 23, called from up the street earlier this afternoon. She’d eaten lunch at noon in Old Greenwich and was showing all the signs of food poisoning. Her mom was gone but there’s a good reason I live two-doors down and up I went. But boy, try to get medical advice on a weekend. I called Greenwich Hospital and was put through to the Emergency Room but was told, on legal advice, they couldn’t offer any opinion over the phone. I don’t blame the hospital – they say the wrong thing, someone’s going to sue. I could have, and probably should have called my doctor Jeff Weinberger and disturbed his weekend but I didn’t. Sarah didn’t want to go to the hospital (she gets that from her parents – it took two days of me falling over and passing out before I went two weeks ago and five years ago, I finally persuaded Nancy to let me take her in just a couple of hours before her collapsed lung would have permanently stopped her heart).
But Sarah and I are both NOLS (National Outdoor Leadership School) grads and have both gone through bouts of bad water/bad food sickness. We talked it through and I finally made the executive decision, with her approval, that the main danger was dehydration and we could wait until tomorrow morning before heading to the hospital. Sarah knows I would carry her in my arms to that place, at any time, day or night, and she promised she’d call if she got worse.
In fact, she’s okay, and her mom is home now, so all is well, or at least under control and under Pal Nancy’s watchful eye. But it’s awful trying to make a non-trained medical decision about your child no matter how old she is. Obviously, I remain awake and alert and ready to take her to trained care if she needs it but I think all is okay. But it’s tough.
That’s my essay on parenthood for the night.