Spent the night before last in the emergency room at our local hospital with my eleven-year-old. Some stuff has been computerized, but otherwise, a lot of the work I noticed everyone doing who worked there was still paperwork, and much of it for insurance companies, adding to the five hours we were kept there to see what was causing a high fever coupled with soreness behind the ear.
After I.V. antibiotics and a CAT scan, we were finally sent home, but then spent most of the night up with him as he shivered with chills and fever, his temperature fluctuating, etc. and yesterday morning at his pediatrician's and yesterday afternoon another several hours in the ER because there wasn't any room on the pediatric wing to put him (they explained several hospital closures in North New Jersey had increased their "census").
Finally got a room and I was there until late last night. His mom stayed overnight (only one parent allowed to sleep over in the room on an uncomfortable chair) and I will tonight if they keep him that long, which it looks like they will. The good news, they eliminated causes that would mean some kind of operation. Looks like just an unspecific infection they haven't, and may not be able to, figure out the cause of.
Turns out a lot of kids have been having this but it isn't the usual things that cause it. He's much better this morning and I'm on my way back with some things he wants. Hopefully they'll let him come home, but the rumor is they usually like to keep kids 48 hours under these circumstances.
It's certainly an insight into the healthcare system. As I'm sure the bills will be too. I'm happy it's looking like nothing too serious, and fortunately he's treating it mostly like a big adventure, especially since he's been feeling a lot better. We should be back to normal by the weekend.