Monday, March 16, 2009

Tie-Dye Eye?

Emma, the 2 year old caboose in our train of children , has a penchant for following. It shouldn't come as a surprise then that when the longhaired dachshund Speed Racer went racing out of the family room door, chasing Socks the tuxedo cat that Emma jumped up in her footy pajamas, and ran after them.

Sadly, she did not clear the heavy, 1840s era oak door that they so lithely slid around. Her left cheek smacked right into the edge of the door and split right open. I will spare you the slasher film description of the after effects of this collision. It was heart-rending. Suffice it to say that your stereocilia have also been spared permanent auditory damage. Clearly her lungs operate well.
Emma cheerfully shows off her tie-dye eye and cheek, day 2.

Poor Emma. I grabbed her up, clutched her to my chest while applying direct pressure to stop the blood spray, and ran to the kitchen. That's where we keep the paper towels and ice packs, of course. I called a Kolz Kidz Round up, which brings all the children at once to locate their mama and ask how they can help. We've established this call for precisely this purpose.

It went kind of like this. Gerard, the second son, grabbed a soft gel cold pack to reduce the rapid swelling we were seeing. I heartily recommend the blue packs that Becton-Dickinson makes. Merina, my six year old, stopped when she saw the blood all over me and the baby, and immediately went to get some tissues to help. I had my attention focused on getting an ice pack on Emma's face, with some protest, so I didn't thank her for her tissue delivery. She continued, like the enchanted broom in the Sorcerer's Apprentice, bringing pile after pile after pile of crumpled tissues to my aid, while I was attending to the baby's needs. Finally I spied the foot high pile of facial tissues and urged her to stop. Poor Merina, she was rather frantic upon seeing the blood, and did what she thought would help. I thanked her and redirected her nervous energy toward a more useful path. She went to get the baby's winter coat and mittens, and her winter boots.

Sarah got a lime green otterpop out of the freezer for Emma to suck on, and to reduce the swelling on her split lip. Andy the elder called Grandma who lives up the street, and requested she come down to watch the children for the inevitable Emergency Department (ED) trip. I phoned my MD, who is 3 minutes from our home, but he referred us to the ED. Grandma saved the day! Even better, my brother, the Army soldier, Robert, was home on leave! We couldn't have timed our accident any better if we'd have planned it. I think our Cub Scout first aid training paid dividends.

Uncle Robert saved the day by coming over with Grandma and milking my two dairy goats so I could leave without delay for the Emergency. While hardly the same as life on a farm, having dairy goats in our barn does embue me with a grave sense of responsibility for their comfort and well-being, as well as a respect for their ability to provide my family with an ever growing amount of cheese and our daily milk.
"I'm ready for my close-up Mr. DeMille" - Liesl the Alpine Goat.
Little did Robert know that the lengthy milking tutorial I had given him the day before was his one and only shot at learning to milk before being drafted under combat conditions. And he thought the Army was rugged. My camo clad hero.

I babysit for a nurse who works at the hospital that I was headed to. Throwing caution to the wind, I wrestled the screaming toddler into her car seat, buckled her in under protest, and gave her an icepop to suck on as I drove to the hospital. I phoned Ken, the nurse, who I knew was on shift that day, and advised him where I was headed. His son was due to be dropped off into my care in a few hours.

I arrived in the ED with a slumbering toddler, worn out from her screaming. We were seen within a few minutes, but not before every potential mother or grandmother in the waiting area had cringed upon seeing Emma's swelling face. She was doubled wrapped, papoose-like in blankets, held down by two nurses, and after having her face suitably numbed, was stitched up.

Her plaintive pleas for freedom from the wrap-up tugged at my heart and I had tears trickle down my cheek as she became increasingly resourceful. "Mama- I hold you. Mama - want OUT! Out NOW pwease. Pwease. Mama - all done! Mama - milkies pwease, pwease milkies? ."

A nurse offered to go get her a carton of milk after hearing her milk plea. I thanked her and explained Emma wanted to be free to breastfeed, being a nursing toddler and all. The nurse, bless her heart, didn't bat an eye. Emma's quite lactose intolerant, so a mini-carton of milk would result in the dear nurse cleaning up vomit off the floor in short order. Not pleasant. That's my motivation to keep goats. Toddler breastfeeding is just what we do in our family. It works well for us to allow them to wean themselves.

In due time, Emma was the proud owner of about 4 stitches to her cheek, and was snuggled up in my arms with a blanket thrown over us, quietly nursing while I filled out insurance paperwork to pay for this expedition to the hospital. Nurse Ken popped in and checked on us and walked us to the door. We chuckled over the comments of the MD who stitched Emma's face with a needle she could clearly see. "Emma you need to hold your head still". I wonder which two year old that has worked with? Ken was surprised that it was Emma who had the emergency hospital visit. It's quite predictably Merina who is our resident monkey hanging from all heights and climbing up higher than most would attempt. If insurance companies weighed risk accurately, Merina's health insurance would be ridiculously high. Emma's would be free. But not after today.

Ahh Emma, our little coppertopped caboose to the family train. Each day is an adventure, made more delightful for you having chosen to make it with us.

A kiss and a hug from each of her siblings when she returned home, a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and a warm chocolate chip cookie, and Emma was ready for her afternoon nap. Because even little cabooses need a little recuperation time. Soon she'll be up following after everybody and everything.

Now tell me, what sent your child to the Emergency Department most recently? Any one else have a tie-dye eye?


Stacy said...

I think our last child Emergency Department trip was for John's broken arm when he was in Kindergarten. Uh-oh. I just totally jinxed us now, didn't I? I got to go to the ER myself December 2007 for a sprained ankle. Maybe that will keep the jinxies away.

Lori said...

Emma and Garrett have ANOTHER thing in common -- they both have had stitches!!! Garrett was about 18 months when Trevor (age 4) and he were goofing around on his 'big boy' bed. Garrett somehow fell (was pushed?) and ended up with a hole in his face right between his eyes that needed four stitches (and at the ER they made ME hold him down as they stitched him, all the while crying and pleading, "MOMMY! MOMMY!"). Believe it or not, all my other boys have survived to this day without any stitches!

Glad I found YOUR blog!!! Didn't know you had one!!!!