Thursday, May 27, 2010

Emergency Room Drama

Almost every night after we put Luke and Evie to bed in the room that they share, one of us has to go back upstairs to tell them to stop fighting, talking, giggling, playing, etc. At first, we thought Tuesday night was no different because all of the sudden we heard Evie screaming bloody murder. I was cleaning the kitchen (don't laugh, I really was) and told Chuck that he needed to go address Evie's screaming. Chuck rushed upstairs but the crying did not stop even though it subsided somewhat. Then Luke appeared in the kitchen, looked at me with 5% of fear and 95% trepidation, and announced with a quiet shaky voice, "Mommy. Daddy needs your help. Evie has something red on her back and . . . um . . . I think it might be blood . . . and I'm a little scared."

I was already in motion as I said, "No need to worry Luke. We'll take care of it."

I was surprisingly calm as I climbed the stairs to the bathroom where Evie was standing while Chuck examined her. I saw her crying face while he was checking out the back of her head at an angle where I couldn't see it. He was also extremely calm. He looked at me and with that overemphasized warning in his voice he said for Evie's benefit, "Mommy. Come here and look at what Evie did to her head."

I stepped forward and he silently looked at me with widened eyes, and mouthed the words, "Stay calm." I stepped forward again, took a deep breath and he turned her around so I could see that there was fresh blood half way down the back of Evie's white pajama top. My eyes widened, I looked at Chuck and mouthed the words, "Oh my God." I leaned in and got an even closer look as he spread her hair to show me a cut in the middle of the back of her head. The cut was about an inch long and clearly in need of stitches even if it was just one or two. I said with a little concern but cheer in my voice, "Oh, Evie! I think we're going to have to go have a doctor look at this." She was still sobbing.

I rushed to my room to put on some clothes since I was already dressed for bed. Chuck changed her shirt (which I now believe was a tactical error) and put on the top of some Christmas pajamas. (We got a surprising number of comments from the hospital staff about her mismatched outfit - guess we need to dress her up next time). Chuck also changed clothes while I took Evie downstairs. I let Lindsey know that we had to go to the emergency room and asked her to watch the other two kids (who were not asleep yet). She sweetly agreed and the three of us (Evie, Chuck, and I) piled into Lulu and made our way to Cooks Children's Hospital - just a few minutes from our house.

First, let me say that people at this hospital were friendly, helpful, kind, considerate, concerned, and most of all, capable. I walked Evie into the hospital while Chuck parked the car. We were greeted by a very handsome doctor (McDreamy, McSteamy, whatever you want to Mc-call him) who examined Evie's head, put a blue sticker on her, and told us to have a seat in the very crowded waiting room. She was no longer crying and mostly just sat on our lap and played on my iPhone.

Not a great picture, but give me a break - we were at the hospital.

Sometime during the next two hours Evie was examined and her vitals were taken. We registered and provided our insurance information and ER deductible. And then we were finally ushered back to our first of two hospital rooms.

**I maintain that if she had worn her blood-soaked shirt to the hospital we may have gotten more prompt attention. Lesson learned.**

Our first room consisted of three folding chairs in the middle of a white hallway with a piece of paper hung above our chairs that read, "Room #65". (Again, I'm not kidding or exaggerating). There were several other "rooms" in that same hallway. A male nurse examined Evie's head and disappeared to get some numbing stuff. He reappeared and a doctor (also young and handsome) appeared and examined the cut. The doctor said that they could just put it back together with staples. He said they could do stitches but they would have to shave her hair for stitches so they thought staples would be better. The nurse grabbed a cotton ball with numbing agent and strapped it to her head in anticipation of the staples. This is what she looked like.

By this time it was well past 11 p.m. and she had fallen asleep on me while we waited. We had to wake her up for the examination and she was very cranky. I completely understand her point of view.

About 20 minutes later we were ushered into an actual room that contained 4-6 curtained areas - and we got one of the coveted curtained areas.

This is after they removed the numbing agent,
but before they did the staples.

We hung out for just a little while longer and our male nurse came in. Chuck held Evie while the nurse cleaned her cut (and she screamed) and then applied two staples (and she continued to scream). My stomach turned as I watched, but I managed to hold myself together. (I can't believe I ever considered nursing as a career). Then we were discharged with simple instructions.

3 1/2 hours after arriving at the hospital, we finally headed home -- exhausted, but well.

Evie is feeling fine now. We are going to wash the dried blood out of her hair today and then we'll have the stitches removed in 9 days. All is well, and now we know the ropes of the ER. Yay for us.

Oh yeah, how did it happen? We still aren't sure. She tells the same story to everyone. When Chuck went up to the room she was sobbing. He asked her to tell him what was wrong and she said something like, "Luke did ____, and then he told me I had something red on my back." Chuck turned her around and saw all the blood at that point. Then you know the rest. Then later, we kept asking her what happened and she maintains that she fell out of bed and hit the wall. There's no way she got a cut like that from hitting the wall. We think she must have it the little bedside table in between their beds. There are drops of blood on the carpet and on her bed by the little table. We're still not sure. She told Grandma the same story. So, at least she's sticking to her story. We may never know.


Mom said...

Glad she is feeling okay. There are places around here that are open late just for such emergencies and you get out much quicker.

Theresa said...

We have those too, but the hospital is closer.

Gayla said...

And really ... I'm not quite sure the "Doc in the Box" places are as qualified. When you're dealing with children who often can't properly diagnose their own illnesses as adults can and do, I think the hospital is a much safer bet. Sometimes speed isn't the most important quality.

The Potters said...

Oh goodness. That is so scary to me as it certainly was to you guys! And is it just me, or did Evie look so stinkin' cute with that bandana?

Theresa said...

She was cute. Cranky, but cute.

Fattie Fatterton said...

Awww, I think you guys handled it so well. I'm glad that she is on the mend!