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Madison’s Disney Story: The Hospital and What’s Next

I keep getting asked what happened on our Disney trip, so I thought I'd better finally get this post up.  The day before we left for Disney, Will (my 20 month old) was throwing up.  I called the doctor and was told it was a 24 – 48 hour bug.  By the next day, he seemed fine.

When we were boarding our flight, Madison threw up at the airport.  The decision we made right then made us the worst parents ever!  Seriously.  We figured that since Will beat it, Madison would get over it in 24 hrs too.  How wrong we were.

When we got to Florida, she looked like hell.  She threw up on the Magical Express (Disney's transportation to the resorts (aff)).  However, here's the weird thing (and will had it too), they both were completely fine between puking episodes.

Saturday morning she only threw up once.  We had her drinking all day and all night (over night she drank half a bottle of water).  Sunday morning was our undoing.

See, we thought she'd perk up if we took her to Magic Kingdom.  How wrong we were!  She just looked worse and worse, so we took her to the first aid clinic there.  They couldn't treat her but called to get us transfered.  What I didn't realize is that they were taking us to Urgent Care.  On the way there, I filled out the paperwork and even wrote on there we were there for dehydration and the flu.  At this point, she had thrown up only once.

We sit at Centra Care for 2 FREAKING HOURS!  Now, remember I have a puking kid, so we ask for a bag.  They give us attitude but hand us some bag they got from like a drug sample person.  Madison throws up, and we used it.  Bill went up to get another bag, and we were told “she could use the bathroom”.  Now, I have a sick 5 year old who couldn't walk because her legs her so bad but she could use the bathroom.  Bill didn't tell me that's what they said till after we left which is probably good since I would have had a fit.  Then, after sitting there 2 hours, Madison had to use the bathroom.

We get called back and are told we need a urine sample.  I tell them there is no way they are getting that.  She is dehydrated and she just went!!!!!!  I'm like did you not read what I put on her admitting forms!  Then they refuse to treat her.  I KID YOU NOT!  After sitting there 2 hours with a severly dehydrated child, they won't treat here.  When I have a fit (which I had every right too), the nurses cop an attitude with me.  Bill even noticed the attitude I got (and he normally noticed nothing).  So now we are walking out the door, and Bill says “Are you charging us for this?”.  They are like “no”.  He responds “then where is our copay?”  Basically, if he wouldn't have asked for it back, we wouldn't have gotten it back, since the girl who had to refund it back did not know how to do this!

We next get sent to Celebrations Hospital.  I tell them our sob story which of course I get told that too bad so sad, it doesn't bump you anywhere near the front of the line.  Now, remember, we have a 1 year old we have to keep occupied while this is all going on AND I know she is dehydrated.  We've done this before when she was 2.  What happened was she got the throwing up flu and ended up in the hospital dehydrated.  Her counts went off the charts, and we ended up at a geneticist.  At that time, we were told it was a fluke.  Not so much a fluke anymore.  AND TWO HOURS MAKES A HUGE DIFFERENCE WHEN YOU ARE DEALING WITH SEVERE DEHYDRATION AND METABOLIC ACIDOSIS!  Okay, sorry for yelling, but if we wouldn't have lost that time (that is, if Disney wouldn't have sent us somewhere that couldn't treat her and if that damn Urgent Care would have read their form), she may not have gotten as sick as she did.

I can't complain too much about Celebrations Hospital.  We only ended up in the waiting room for about an hour.  The doctor tells me what I know and that they need a urine sample.  Umm, the kid is dehydrated, you just told me that, and how do you expect me to get her to pee.  I swear I could smack these people upside the head.  Here's what she looked like:

Yes, she looked that bad.  So they hook her up to an IV and then we get kicked out of that room.  They take us to a room that has about 15 other people in it.  Basically, it looked like a holding area.  Now, again, we have a 20 month old with and are told that Bill and Will can't come into that room.  Seriously.  So Bill spent the next 5 hours walking the hospital with Will.  Andddd to make matters worse, he had to cab it back (which Disney did not reimburse), since nobody bothered to tell us that the free transportation ended at 6.  We sat and sat and sat in that room.  I kept asking for her test results and kept getting told the nurse was too busy.  After being in there at least 4 hours, I am told that they are waiting on a urine sample.  Sigh.  And nobody could have told me that 2 hours prior?  Soooo I take Madison to the bathroom.  She refuses to walk because her legs hurt.  Do you think they give me a wheelchair?  No.  I had to carry a 50 lb kid from one end of the ward to the other.  I was a little pissed about that.  Soooo I had to carry a 50 lb kid and her IV with no help.  She did pee and I was told her CO level was 10.  Now, your CO level should be 24.  We are now told that have to spend the night.

Now, you'd think this wouldn't be a problem.  Think again.  The Celebrations hospital (which is where we were sent) doesn't treat kids.  Yeah you heard me.  If you have a scrape or a broken arm, you can get treated.  If you have to spend any amount of time there, well you are screwed.  We got sent (by ambulance) to another hospital 25 miles away.  Now, remember, we are there on vacation.  That is a $53 cab fare each way.  We have no car seats either.  It took another 2 – 3 hours for them to even get us into a another hospital.  What a freaking joke.

So we get to the other hospital at about 2 am.  Now, I haven't eaten or drank anything since the day before.   At least the nurses here were able to at least give me a soda to drink.  We were sent to the Florida Children's Hospital in Downtown Orlando.  This is the next day:

Now, she actually looks a lot better than she was here.  We didn't get to go home, because her potassium was low, and they couldn't get it back up.  She was on a potassium IV drip all day, and that still didn't raise it.  That night they had to give it to her orally (I missed this.  Bill decided he wanted to stay the second night with her).  She also ended up with EKG too.

She did get out the third day (with 2 days left of our 7 day vacation).  She looked like hell.  We stayed and finished our vacation.  When we got home, she had to go to our pediatrician who ran a bunch of tests.  Madison is still complaining her legs hurt.  Now, the first time we ran these, her liver enzymes were elevated.  She was retested last week and those enzymes are back to normal.  Woohoo!

Now, we are still waiting on the records from Florida (its only been almost a month since I requested those records and we are still waiting).  My pediatrician needs those to determine our next step.  We need to see if her test results mimic what happened when she was 2 to determine what our next step is.  My fear is that we are going to end up in the hospital every time she gets the throwing up flu.  The pediatrician even said that there is no way she should have had a CO level of 10.  Her body should have been shutting down, and it wasn't.  She shouldn't have been still peeing, and she was.  They also told me that her blood was acidic (which would be metabolic acidosis).  We aren't going to be lucky that she'll get this once every 3 years after she starts school.

I'll be writing another post about what we actually got to do at Disney, but that's the medical update. Would we go back? Actually, yes. I will be writing another post about what fun we did have after she got out of the hospital. We still had to take it easy but we were able to salvage a little.

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10 thoughts on “Madison’s Disney Story: The Hospital and What’s Next

  1. I am so sorry you pretty much missed having any kind of fun on your vacation!! Your poor daughter!! And parents too!! I hope she is feeling much better now. I think Disney should have medical people who can actually help you, like maybe saying don't go to the bathroom and if you do can you please get a sample just in case. That would have solved a whole bunch of waiting for you guys, and your child would have been treated immediately. I mean kids can get sick fast and heal fast, and waiting only makes it take that much longer.

    All three of my kids recently had the 12 hour stomach virus, so I would have thought the same way you guys did. You are NOT the worse parents ever!!!!! You wanted to keep up with plans to have fun with your family, NOT just for yourselves, so don't beat yourselves up!

    P.S. Cute kids!!!

  2. Thanks Diana. I'm getting a little beat up over this post since it is "negative". Well, my experience was negative.

    Do I expect Disney to compensate us — nope. I just wanted to let people know what happened. I've been asked since we got back, and I keep giving out just bits and pieces. So this is the full story.

    And here's the kicker — Most likely, we'll go back. Once she got out, we made the best of the time we had left.

  3. I am sorry that your vacation turned out like this, but at the same time, you did manage to do something, which I am happy about. Doctors and other staff members are sometimes clueless as to what is needed, especially if you are not from the area, and since you were not from the area, better care should have reflected that. they also should listen to you, because no test results should be a secret, especially if it you or your child.

  4. You are not a bad parent. Children get little bugs all the time and kids are resilient and usually bounce back quickly. Why would you cancel a vacation for a 24 hour bug. I have been at Disney with my two kids who are five years apart and while we were there, one of the kids got sick and we ended up spending a day or two in the room and then the older one got sick and we ended up spending another day in the room (mid vacation). Things happen. Two years ago in August, I let my son go with my sistern'law with her kids to the water parks, this was the day before we were heading home and she did not think to put sunblock on my very pale son. The day we were leaving I had to take him to urgent care, because he woke up with huge blisters. That was not fun, we got back in time to head to the airport to get home very late, almost missed our flight back home. The next day we were in the emergency room because he was still feeling sick. Hope all works out and they get those medical records to her Dr.

  5. How scary! I hope you can get some answers from your pediatrician about Madison's test results. That seems to be the most important thing about this whole situation to me.

  6. I'm glad she's okay but I had to laugh. I thought things like this ONLY happened to me. I can't wait to read the next one.

    This will help the group. When their kids get sick just go to the Children's Hospital. Saves time!

  7. My goodness Lisa! What a terrible ordeal. I hope they figure out what's going on with her. And I hope that by some wonderful chance, you guys get to have a vacation much sooner than 2 0r 3yrs later!

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