Living Loving Learning

My Mother is a Waiter

In Lifestyle, Moms on Monday, March 9, 2009 at 8:26 pm

Whenever any of my brothers and sisters got injured or were sick while we were growing up, I always remembered these words come out of my mother’s mouth, “Well, let’s wait and see.”


My mother is a waiter.


This is not a bad thing of course, as there are plenty of injuries or sicknesses that do not need emergency medical attention.  It is a bad thing though, if it is something critical. I remember when I was about 12 or so, my brother Jacob broke his leg playing on the neighbor’s trampoline. My mom was at the garden and I had to convince her that his leg was definitely broken.   Other than major injuries, : ) she was always good at diagnosing and taking care of non-emergency situations. (There were only 3 emergency trips from the 7 of us).


I thought it might be helpful for those moms that are waiters and for those that race to the emergency room at the slightest break in skin, to list some criteria that warrants a visit to the ER as well as some that can stand to be taken care of at home. 


Reasons to go to the ER:


–You or your child has a temperature of 104F that is unrelieved by Tylenol or Motrin AND you cannot get in to see your regular doctor


–You or your child has a laceration that needs sutures. For example, very deep or a split like across the eyebrow AND you cannot get in to see your regular doctor


–You or your child has a suspected broken bone and there is obvious deformity or unbearable pain when trying to move it AND you cannot get in to see your doctor.


–You or your child sustains a head injury, with loss of consciousness and are confused when they wake up, for example, ask the same questions over and over again or has slurred speech or just isn’t making sense AND you cannot get in to see your doctor


–You or your child is having an allergic reaction, breaking out in hives, getting short of breath, etc. 


–You or your loved one has a sudden onset of chest pain that makes you short of breath, nauseas or radiates to your arms, shoulders or back (especially for women), that is unrelieved by antacids or rest, and you have a history of heart or cholesterol problems


–You or your loved one are having any trouble breathing, have a history of asthma, coughing especially at night, chest tightness, pain or pressure, wheezing, very rapid breathing, difficulty talking because of shortness of breath, feelings of anxiety or panic, pale or sweaty face, blue tinged lips or fingernails.

These are signs of an asthma attack, or could be of any type of breathing difficulty. It is especially important to be attentive to these signs in children as risk for respiratory arrest is increased in a child with asthma.


And many others….but please use common sense!


Reasons not to go to the ER:


–You think a bug flew in your ear and you want to see if it got in your brain

–You have a splinter or a paper cut that takes a microscope to even see

–You have a fever and you have not taken Tylenol or Motrin

–You have a runny nose

–You can’t find the contact in your eye

–You have the common cold

–You think you are pregnant

–If any of your complaints are followed with the words “for a few months”

Example: “I have had a cough . . . for a few months”



Are you a waiter or do you jump to the ER at any sign of sickness?



Katie (who works in the ER)

  1. I love your qualifier ” and you cannot see your doctor.”. Why are people always running to the ER? I swear I think it’s for drama half the time. … Was that rude?

  2. If its a head injury I like to have it checked out. I am terrified of aneurysms and blood clots so I tend to be over cautious. I’ m getting better. Of course sometimes I wait and then I find out my kid has had an ear infection for two weeks and that I’m a bad mom. Or someone needs a root canal. And I’ve told them the pain was all in their head. Hmmm. Yeah.

    You would be proud of me though. I haven’t been to the emergency room since June 2008. That was when the oldest sliced her hand open with the big butcher knife and definitely needed stitches.

  3. I’m probably a waiter. BUT, while I wait, I can be WebMd’r. I’ve tried to cut back on researching my ailments on the WWW. I once diagnosed my headache with a brain tumor with only days to live. That was a few years ago. And, I live to tell.

  4. I just found this blog last night, and I am so glad I did! Thank you, Katie, for this post! I freak out with blood, but other than that I’m a waiter, I think. Thanks for the reminders…I have six children, and numerous trips to the ER for those things that you listed only after seeing our pediatrician. My husband was the “determiner” of whether we should call the ped or not, and it’s been difficult to know what to do when he’s not around (passed away). SO, THANK YOU for this post! It was GREAT! 🙂

  5. My husband lived most of his childhood in hospital waiting rooms because of siblings with CF. Trying to get him to agree to taking one of our children to an ER…is nearly impossible. He hates hospitals. We have four and we’ve gone to the ER twice for our kids. I’ve been several times due to kidney issues. Anytime I have kidney pain the urologist nurse….always…always says you need to go to the ER and get it checked out. Ugh! And Jonathan was taken once by ambulance because of asthma.

    He balances me out. He’s the waiter. I’m more to jump the gun, better safe than sorry attitude. We have taken our kids to after hour clinics like Mercy for high fevers on the weekends.

    Great post! I’m printing it out and sticking it in my control journal for the next time I think we need to rush to the emergency room. 😉

  6. Deleise- It’s not rude, it’s the truth! And it IS drama most of the time.

    Dusty- I think the internet is great for researching a diagnosis that a doctor has given you. It is difficult to diagnose yourself from the internet because it always jumps to the worst conclusion!

    Wendy- I’m so sorry about your husband. It must be very difficult to have to fill in for him. You must be a very strong woman!
    Blood is not so bad, as long as it stops eventually!

    Donna- Doctors and nurses usually tell you to go to the ER if it even sounds like something that could be serious, because they can be liable for not sending you there if it was something. Hopefully though, if it is during office hours, they will be able to see you for things like that, that way we can keep the emergency room open for real emergencies.

    Of course another problem with non-emergency ER visits is finances. Most doctors offices require payment at the time of the exam and a lot of people do not have insurance and cannot pay. So what other option do they see to get medical care? You guessed it.

  7. haha love it! I’m glad I have you around, I just ask you what I should do.

  8. I am a waiter. I try to avoid the hospital at all costs.

    I always try to get into my Doctor and if I can’t then I am the person that goes to Urgent Care.

    ER’s are for when my daughter got hit by a car and when my son was burned bad by fireworks.

    I love your list…It cracked me up.

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