Thursday, October 7, 2010

Ever Seen Your Kid's Skull?

I have gone 6 years without a trip to the ER. Six years and three kids. My time was bound to run out.

I dropped off Liliana and Moira at a friend's house this morning while I went to the gym. I was setting up my step when my phone rang. The caller ID said that it was my friend who was watching the girls. I asked if there was anything wrong. I asked this many times and the person on the other end always has said, "No, nothing's wrong."

Not today.

Liliana fell down, she told me, and there is blood everywhere. She's gonna need stitches.

So I leave, call Kaylon, and head back to her house. I was imagining a cut. Maybe a long one. Some blood. I wasn't prepared. It was a gash, over one inch long and gaping open. The skin was sliced all the way to the bone. I could see her skull.

Yeah, she was going to need stitches.

We are guessing that she tripped/slipped on the kitchen floor and hit the marble tile step at just the right angle. No one saw it happen, but they were right there after the fact. Thankfully they cleaned up all the blood before I got there. That was a merciful act of service.

The ER took us right in- no waiting required. Liliana is still traumatized from the blood draw a few weeks ago, so she wanted nothing to do with the nurses at first. She told most of them to leave her alone when they tried to talk to her, and even told one "You're scaring me." But they had to clean the wound (luckily it didn't need more than water and gauze), and they had to access her mental state. And miraculously, after the TV was turned on, she turned back into the sweet Liliana we all know.

Until they had to put her in the papoose. Actually the papoose wasn't the problem- it was the drape that they put over her face. She cried that she couldn't see and she begged us to let her go. She struggled, and they held her head tighter. I held her hands and tried to soothe her. I don't know how much I helped, but it helped me to be there. At least I felt a little useful. Sadly the numbing medication wore off part of the way through and she started to feel the sutures. The doctor numbed her up again and finished. I had no idea her had been sewing her up for over 45 minutes. It had seemed like 15 minutes. But there she was with 7 deep stitches and 13 superficial ones. Twenty stitches total.

She calmed down after some momma-love and some apple juice slushy. In 20 minutes she seemed to have forgotten what had happened. They released us a little before noon and we headed to McDonalds for a promised Happy Meal. The poor girl deserved as many Happy Meals as she could eat! As she talked to Kaylon on the phone, she barely mentioned her ordeal- her focus was on the chicken nuggets, french fries, and toy that were in front of her. Sometimes I wish that my memory was that easy to erase.

It was a growing day for me. I'm proud to say that I kept my cool through the whole thing. I never fainted or got sick. I made good decisions. I didn't drive like a maniac. I didn't get irrationally angry (in fact I felt awful for my friend who felt so guilty that it happened at her house- but really, it could have happened anywhere!). I was a bit shaky after I put the girls down for a nap- the after affects of shock I'm guessing. But I proved that I can handle a medical crisis- which is important in a house of three kids. And I realized in a new way how much I love my girls. How difficult it is to watch your child in pain. And I reached a new appreciation for my mother, who must have taken my brothers and me to the ER over a dozen time (maybe even two dozen). That's a lot of time in hospitals worrying about those you love the best.

All in a days work for a mom.


Debbie's said...

OH MY WORD! How frightening! I'm so grateful things turned out so well-you keeping your cool, her short memory, no worse damage. Give her a hug from Aunt Debbie <3

manda carol said...

Wow, you're one tough mommy! And of course Liliana is one champ too! I'm not looking forward to my first medical crisis although I'm sure it will happen. I just hope I'll be as cool as a cucumber as you were!