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Saturday, May 09, 2009

A "Moms Nite Out" in the ER

It always amazes how I plan on doing one thing, and the kids can change those plans in a second flat. Well, I did agree to that clause in the parental contract when I gave birth to the little buggars even though I never saw the extremely fine print in that paragraph! Even now, I'm suppose to be making files up for the new clinic, but instead I am undoing an entire large box of jumbo colored paper clips that my three year old cleverly strung together - just because they were pretty.

It is that same three year old that had me us in the emergency room for over three hours the other night in order to put stitches in her head because she thought it was a good idea to go sofa surfing with a sleeping bag on. It didn't help that she had Toni as a partner in crime assisting her with this endeavor. I thought I was over with the "tag team-itis" when the twins got older. Apparently not, and apparently it runs in the genes.

I had my night planned out to completely submerge myself into the momlogic "Moms Nite Out" event that, judging by the 100+ emails I was receiving on a daily basis, every other mom in the country was planning to do as well. I had all the items listed out on paper that I was going to enter to win; and there were PLENTY to choose from. Dinner was pre-made and easy to clean up so that no one was left in the kitchen til half past 9 still trying to clean up.

I'm a family of six, so we have lot's to clean up from after dinner. Plus we own the motto: "Eat Fast - Clean Slow!". Let's see MickeyD's market that slogan.

After dinner, my husband and I leisurely stroll outside to what I thought was going to be a quick game of frisbee with the kids before it was my son's turn to put the dishes in the dishwasher. Stupid me was thinking that the rest of the crew was following right behind me like good little puppies. As I hit the middle of the backyard, Toni screams out the back door: "MOOOOOOOM, Nia is bleeding!".

I turn around, a bit confused because one part of my brain is thinking that we're suppose to be playing a game, so it's in fun mode, and the other side of my brain is saying "Hey, you need to switch to emergency mode any day now!", so I say something profound like "Huh?" to my daughter.

Because of her mother's temporary inability to grasp the current situation (I must be getting old), she has to repeat herself and about the time she's finished screaming it so that the inhabitants of Canada can hear her, the three year old comes out from behind her, towards me, and I can see blood on her hands and on her shirt.

And do you know what the first thing that comes to my mind is? The fact that for the first time, she managed not to get dinner all over her shirt, but instead, bleed on it.

Okay, now the brain cells kick into emergency mode and I run to Nia. "I'm bleeding mommy.", she says with a mild concerned tone in her voice. Actually, she's pretty damn calm for a child whom I never heard a peep, much less a cry from the whole incident, and whose right side of the head is covered in blood.

I instantly know there's a trip to the ER coming, but my husband (who I am quite sure has a "hidden" fear of doctors), is sure it's nothing but a scratched based on her reaction to the whole thing. I'm examining her while my husband's head seems like someone has instantly sewn onto my right shoulder cause he's hovering so close. She's just looking at her blood stained hands and asking what to do about cleaning them, completely detached from what is dripping out of her head.

Not wanting to alarm her at the moment about our impending trip to the ER, I pick her up and head to the bathroom to clean off the matted hair and blood so I can see exactly what I am dealing with here. She's still calm as I lean her over the sink and pour cool water over the wound. I can instantly l see the 3/4 inch gash is going to need a professional touch.

She's asking for a Dora the Explorer band-aid which is suppose to be the fix-all for all boo-boo's. I explain how it won't work because of her hair, and blah, blah, blah. My husband has the bright idea of suggesting we go buy a butterfly band-aid to put over it to pull it together to heal. "Honey.", I say. "It's not going to be able to stay put over all her hair.", I managed to say kindly while thinking "you moron!". I fatally mention at that point, that we need to see a special boo-boo doctor at the emergency room.

All hell breaks loose!

NOW she starts screaming, and crying, and throwing one of the biggest fits I've ever seen from her. It's that face full of tears and the gut wrenching mouth quivering. Why do they do that mouth quivering thing!? I hate that! It makes one feel like the worse person in the world around a child because WE/I have upset them to the point of make the lower lip quiver uncontrollably.

It takes daddy, my eleven year old, and myself to regain some sense of peace in the child; plus the fact that I had to bribe her with not just one, or two, but three new Barbie dolls in order to get her to agree to go to the ER. Reality check: she's only getting one because the only place she plays with them is in the bathtub, and I am sooo tired of taking those soapy headed, unrealistic-looking plastic asses out to dry almost every night of the blooming week!

How did all this even happen, you ask?

The damn loveseat in the gameroom seems to be a fixation for jumping on and off lately. My son and I had already told Nia not to be stacking pillows on top in order to jump off. I had repeated this order several times. Well, she took the opportunity to quickly grab Toni, and a sleeping bag right when we stood up for dinner. Think of it as that opportunity to take when no one is looking, and they think you're doing one thing while you do the complete opposite, and nine times out of 10, when this happens a complete state of chaos and tumult arises from it.

I know it sounds confusing, but if you have kids you totally understand what I'm talking about here.

I saw her run towards the end of the house, and again, stupid me thinks she's going to the bathroom after dinner. Uh, NO she wasn't; she was getting the sleeping bag. Apparently, she got into the sleeping bag and asked Toni to pick her up to put on top of the pillows in order to jump down and about the time Toni got her to the top of those pillows, that's when she "lost" her grip, and Nia hit her head on a metal and wicker chair, which has NOW been removed from the room. This story will be repeated over and over the whole time we are at the hospital to various personnel asking to know the "real story" of what happened.

Nia regains complete composure as we head off to the ER for the evening. She's such a "Chatty Cathy" when we get there, telling all the nurses what she likes, who she likes, her shoe size, what she had for dinner, etc., etc. It's kind of a mix of nervousness and excitement all wrapped up in a pretty little "I'm wearing my big,big sister's kimono shirt" package who chooses to imitate a wind up toy on espresso, instead of sitting in the waiting room chair while waiting for a doctor; ANY doctor to see her.

The only time the rest of us get to talk (I took Nadia and Toni along for the fun!), is to explain what happened; and since it was Toni's department to explain what happened, she did most of the the talking for the night! I just sat back and kept thinking how I was going to have to hold Nia down when it came to putting the anesthesia needle in. Ask my twitter buddies - I was tweeting them through the whole process.

This is where I take that special time-out during my story to say Thank You to those twitter buddies. It was also nice to have their cyber-hugs during our moment of distress.

Now - Back to our regularly scheduled program:

I made the big mistake of telling my husband it was just going to be a "quick trip" to the ER. We were there for 3 1/2 stinking hours for a couple of stitches. Nia was getting tired and restless, so she began getting off and on the bed. I'm thinking we are going to stay for an extra set of stitches if she doesn't stop. Toni keeps banging the bathroom door on a stupid metal rolling table that makes the loudest "bang" even though it's incredibly flimsy looking. Nadia is learned the art of channel surfing like her dad. How many times can this child go around all the channels and still not find anything for a three year old to watch?

I guess after about two hours of trying to look patient, I start looking more like the bitch with fangs and blonde scraggily hair instead of a concerned mother, as I'm looking out the window-plated exam room. I'm tired, the kids are tired, Nia's head is still bleeding, and I'm trying to figure out what's taking so long. So I ask...

"I'm sorry, the doctor was about to come in but an ambulance showed up just before he was to come in to your room." she says in her best "nursey" voice. I know she's trying to be helpful, but after blood, head goo, screams, pleas, bribes, and waiting till the cows come home, I want the doctor NOW. Newsflash to the nurse: The Miss Nicey-Nice mom left when that ambulance did.

Three hours after arriving, the doctor finally shows up, says she needs a stitch. Then he shocks me with the news that they are NOT going to give anesthesia because it causes more trauma and makes it harder to put the stitch in because kids usually spaz out after being numbed and it makes their job harder, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.

Insert mom now laying on floor from a heart attack with her tongue hanging out of her mouth.

I'm visualizing me and my other daughters holding Nia down as they try to stitch her up. To say that I'm nervous is putting it mildly. So I wait.... and wait..... and wait..... and wait. I go to the nurses station 1/2 hour after the doctor has announced this ever-so-pleasant news to ask when are we going to do this cause have two other daughters that are starting to fall into a mild coma of exhaustion.

They have school tomorrow damn it!

The doctor looks up from across the nurses station and sees my tired and weary look on my face. He apologizes and says he has four sutures to do, but since she is the fastest he'll be in in a moment to do my daughter.

"Thank you God!", I say looking up at the stark, white, blinding fluorescent lights on the ceiling.

A few minutes later, the doctor (who was quite a looker), returns with the nurse, and with stitching paraphernalia in tow. The nurse holds Nia down as the doctor puts the sheet over her head, exposing the part that needs to be stitch. Upon a closer look, he decides she needs more than one, and still decides against using anesthesia.

GREAT! I'm gonna lose the use of both my eardrums after this is all over, cause she's going to let out the scream heard around the world tonight!

I'm rubbing her little legs and the nurse is gently holding her hands and her shoulders so that Nia doesn't move. The doctor begins the first stitch and I am prepared to control an uncontrollably, wiggily little three year old who I know is about to be in massive tears and terror in about five seconds... four.... three... two.... one.....

"Now that's not so bad!" pipes the little trooper from under the blue hospital sheet. Here comes Chatty Cathy again as she starts rambling about how she can't see anyone except blue, and how it tickles, and how she's gonna get a Barbie after this... NO, three Barbie's from this and..... is he done yet and.....

What a brave little trooper she's being!

Suddenly you hear a little fear in her voice when she says, "Mommy, I want my mommy." I'm still rubbing her legs and to keep her focused on the positive side of things, I come up with something clever for her like: "Nia, did you know you have hairy legs for a three year old? Where did you get all this hair on your legs girl? I'm gonna have to start shaving you soon." I say in my perky little mom's voice.

She let's out a little giggle as the doctor puts in the last stitch. They all laugh a little and any tension that was previously in the room has all but disappeared. Soon Nia is up and ready to go as Nadia, Toni and I let out a big yawn each. It's another 20 minutes or so before they bring the one sheet of paper I need to sign in order to leave. Meanwhile, Nia is bouncing up and down chanting "Barbie and the Diamond Castle", so it's pretty obvious what's on her wish list for the next day.

We finally get home at almost midnight. Julian is already in bed, and my husband is asking a million questions as to why I didn't answer the phone. I explain I couldn't get good reception where I was at as I usher the girls off to bed. Nia gets to sleep with us tonight because daddy wants to keep her close after her ordeal.

As I explain everything that happened and how she got stitches without being numbed, Nia grabs her daddy's face in her two little hands and proudly proclaims: "Daddy, I'm such a tough girl!"

1 comment:

Tara R. said...

I've been there. My boy decided to do some sofa surfing several years ago and busted his head on the brick hearth. No stitches for him, the doctor Super Glued the wound shut. It was awesome. Bad thing about head wounds, bleed like crazy! Glad Nia is okay and calm has come back to your house... for a little while at least.