The usual story:
It was a lovely Sunday and you actually got the kids in bed at a reasonable hour. You've just fallen asleep when one comes in to tell you her tummy doesn't feel so good. Then she throws up on you. You clean her up and get her settled in a comfy chair with a bucket while you change the sheets and get cleaned up. You get out of the shower and go to your doctor's website to see what you're supposed to do. It says to try giving her small sips of pedialyte every 5 minutes to prevent dehydration. If you are lucky enough to have some in the house you try to give it to the whimpering child, who doesn't want it. She's falling asleep and not throwing up so you decide to let her rest. You're supposed to drop her off at preschool and be at work at 8:30, so you snuggle up with sad sleeping child and the bucket.
You wake up at 1:30 to the sound of more barfing and a miserable whimpering child. You clean up again and now she's thirsty, so she drinks the whole cup of pedialyte instead of a sip and throws up again 10 minutes later. You take some solace in the fact that this time she hit the bucket. The website says to call if there's more vomiting, so you call the office and get the after hours answering service. You tell them the story and they send a message with her date of birth & 'vomiting' to the call center in Portland, which covers pediatric clinics in the region. Ten minutes later a very nice RN calls back. She asks questions following her nursing phone triage protocols and tells you to wait a bit and try again with the sips.
At 3:00 you wake her up and she takes two tiny sips and promptly throws up several times. Now you're worried about dehydration so you call again. You've already failed the "home care" algorithm, so the question now is how soon does she need to be checked out. You answer that there might have been some yellow in the throw up, but it was dark so you're not sure. Unfortunately, this bumps you to the emergency room section of the protocols, but this nurse has lots of experience, and since everything else has been fine and she's only been sick tonight she thinks you probably don't really need to go to the ER. However, nurses can’t deviate from the protocol without talking to the doctor, so she says she'll page the on-call doctor to see what she thinks.
You hang up, she pages the doctor through the service, waits for a call back from a doctor who is likely to be yours only about 10% of the time. She repeats the story and questions to the doctor who gives her a plan, she then calls you back and luckily you don't need to go to the emergency room, but you should call the office in the morning for an appointment. Can you just schedule now? She doesn't have access to the schedules, and the office opens at 8am.
Kiddo has finally fallen asleep so you try to get a couple hours in too. You figure you're not going to get to work first thing anyway, & wake up to call at 8. The lines are busy because its 8am on Monday so you leave a message. The nurse calls you back, you repeat the whole story and she offers you an 11:30 with another provider or 4:30 with your doctor. Your daughter is still sleeping and you'd really like to see your doctor so you call to tell work and day care you won't be in.
At 9:30 she wakes up and is feeling a little better. She has a few sips of pedialyte before saying yuck, and you read books. You give her some water instead and she starts sipping as you read books and eventually conks out again. She wakes up feeling pretty chipper and you have some crackers and applesauce around 1:00. She feels good enough around 3:00 to play with her brother who's home from school. You wonder if you need to go to the appointment after all, but it's almost 4:00.
You pack everyone up and head to the office, where she runs around like a crazy woman with her brother. As soon as your doctor comes in to see you she announces that she's hungry and wants pizza for dinner. You roll your eyes and the doctor laughs while she checks out your wiggly giggly little girl. She warns you not to be surprised if she gets diarrhea, to take it slow on the food and maybe not try pizza yet, make everyone wash hands like crazy, and then kindly reassures you that kids always do this at the doctor to make their parents look nuts.
She's ok and back to preschool but you're exhausted at work the next day. But everyone has been nice and you love your doctor.
The Sprout story:
It was a lovely Sunday and you actually got the kids in bed at a reasonable hour. You've just fallen asleep when one comes in to tell you her tummy doesn't feel so good. Then she throws up on you. You clean her up and get her settled in a comfy chair with a bucket while you change the sheets and get cleaned up. You get out of the shower and go to your doctor's website and log in to see what you're supposed to do. You go through the questions and since she was well and has only thrown up once the advice is to let her rest and don't give her anything to drink for at least 4 hours, and if she sleeps until morning let her rest. It suggests freezing some pedialyte pops, gives a recipe for 'homemade pedialyte', and says not to push sips if she doesn't want it. There's also a list of things that should make you call the doctor right away, but it says that its more important to stop the vomiting than give fluids if she didn't start out dehydrated. She's down for the count now so you make some pops and snuggle up with her and the bucket.
You wake up at 1:30 to the sound of more barfing and a miserable whimpering child. You clean up again and now she's thirsty, but it hasn't been 4 hours so you let her rinse her mouth and distract her by reading some books. You both fall asleep again.
At 5:30 she wakes up again and wants something to drink. The pops are ready and she sucks on one for a few minutes but that's it, then she says her tummy still doesn't feel so good. None of the 'call immediately' things are happening but you're not comfortable about what's happening so you go back to the website and book one of the 'same day' appointments for 8:45.
She's asleep again, so you decide to catch another hour before getting ready in case you can make it to work later. You get her up at 8:15, let her have another pop and head to the office.
Your doctor is finishing up with another sick kid as you come in. You get a toy from the 'clean' bins and send an email to move that 9:30 meeting. She is still pretty droopy but checks out ok. Your doctor tells you to let her lay low, make her take it slow on the drinking and eating, have everyone wash hands like crazy, and tells you to call her if she throws up again. You're able to get a little work done at home, while she watches some Busytown and naps. She feels good enough to eat some lunch & plays outside when her brother gets home.
She's fine and back to preschool and you're back to work as usual the next day. You feel like you handled everything well and you love your doctor.