We began seeing Fiker Zeray at the ARMS clinic when my son was 2 weeks old. It was only 2+ weeks later that he broke out in a horrible rash and hives. We were seen by Fiker after Christmas. Besides assuming a milk allergy, my son had a heart murmur. She sent us for an X-ray. She called to say that they thought he had a congenital heart anomaly but should be fine until Monday.
That night he began gagging and turning blue when he was fed. We called the answering service. Fiker was on-call and sent us to the ER. We spent two evenings in and out of the ER. A few weeks later we were admitted to the hospital for two days. Throughout this ordeal, Fiker was always checking on us. She would call our attending MD or me directly. Over the next nearly three years, Fiker was my rock. This included multiple sick visits. We had referrals to Cardiology, Gastroenterology, Dermatology, ENT, Radiology, Nephrology, and Food Allergy. I think we saw, spoke by phone, or emailed through MYCHART at least three times a week. I had her paged at all hours of the evening for issues that required ER visits. She always called ahead. They were always ready for us when we arrived in the ER. She always squeezed us into the office when I called her panicked because he was sick and usually screaming.
My son had been referred to the Center for Eosinophilic Disorders. We flew out there just the two of us. It was an extremely traumatic experience. We were admitted for an inpatient bowel clean-out including four unsuccessful IV pokes, two enemas, and Go-Lytely on a pump. It was awful! The next morning, after no sleep we met with specialists and had an endoscopy and colonoscopy. We were later discharged to our hotel that Monday afternoon. We would be there all week meeting with different specialists and waiting for test results.
That Tuesday afternoon after more exhausting tests we were sitting in the rental car in a parking lot in a Cincinnati suburb. I had been driving around for an hour, and my son was asleep. I was absolutely exhausted. I wasn't just exhausted from the trip, but I was emotionally spent from 2 1/2 years of caring for this quite sick foster child, although he was always been mine in my heart. As I sat there sobbing, my cell phone rang. I recognized the number as Children's. It was Fiker calling to check on us once again. I am sure that I had mentioned we were going, but I was shocked that she remembered. I was even more touched that she took the time at work to call me in Ohio. I can honestly say that her call was during one of my lowest and loneliest points as a mom.
As a nurse myself for 16 years, I can say that Fiker is one in a million. She is always extremely professional. She is always thorough. If she didn't know the answer, she found someone who did. Most of all, I could tell that she honestly cared. We adopted my son a year ago next week. We went up to Children's in December to drop off some cookies and say hello. We now see a host of physicians on our private insurance closer to home, but I will be forever grateful for our primary nurse practitioner Ms. Fiker Zeray. God definitely broke the mold after he made Fiker.