Last night’s totally undramatic, precautionary trip to the pediatric ER reminded me of the only other time we took our kiddo to the ER, and the horrific instrument of torture we encountered there: the Pigg-o-Stat.
Five and a half years ago on a family visit to Minneapolis, our then-11-month old developed a respiratory ailment which landed us in urgent care. It was determined that she needed a chest x-ray, for which she would have to be immobilized in the Pigg-o-Stat, an apparatus whose very name evokes the evil witches and wicked stepmothers of Grimm fairy tales.
Cursory research reveals that the “immobilizer” was named for Jalmer Pigg, Sr., who was (is?) such an asshole that he apparently had no qualms about having his name forever linked to a moment of terror for children and parents alike.
Our suspicions that this was indeed a barbaric medieval device were confirmed when the urgent care sent us to Minneapolis Children’s Hospital, a kinder, gentler facility whose staff was shocked to hear that we were subjected to the Pigg-o-Stat. I’ll never forget the nurse’s words, “I’d NEVER put my child in a Pigg-o-Stat!” She meant well, but the guilt and trauma will haunt me forever. Luckily, our daughter has no memory of it.
Editor’s Note: Our kiddo is FINE. When you wake up at 11 o’clock on a Sunday night with a barking croupy cough and labored, wheezy breathing, the ER is pretty much your only option. Diagnosis: Croup. After a dose of steroidal medicine, she gets to spend the day on the couch with a puppy in her lap, watching crappy movies.