Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Our ER day

So the kids were helping Daddy clean the garage. And then kiddette started -- I'm told -- swinging a broom around for fun. And then -- I'm told -- the broom connected hard with kiddo's forehead. Blood everywhere.

I was at a meeting for my writers' group. As it turned out, this would be somewhat convenient, because I was only a few minutes away from the hospital. I rushed over there to meet DH and the kids. Kiddo had been upset at first, thinking 1. he was bleeding to death and 2. I was going to be really mad at him over all the blood on the kitchen floor. I'm not sure how I feel about that. At any rate, by the time they pulled up outside the pediatric ER entrance, he was more or less calm.

The first nurse praised him for doing such a good job keeping pressure on the wound. Then he chattered to her all about the pain scale chart she had and how his school nurse has one too but the words are different, and also about his fish that died but we're going to get a cat instead, and I'm pretty sure about a dozen other things but at that point I was trying to get the blood off his glasses. She was trying not to smile and failing.

The second nurse made his day joyous by turning the TV on in our room. Which is a good thing, because we sat there for hours waiting for the plastic surgeon. Did he need stitches? Silly mommy. He totally needs stitches, said everyone. So we watched "Clarence," which was funny in a cracked way, "The Amazing World of Gumball," which was funnier in a thanks-for-all-the-'80s-references way, and "Teen Titans Go!" which is the loopiest superhero sitcom on the planet. I haven't watched so much Cartoon Network since I was secretly obsessed with "Home Movies."

What delighted me was how seriously the nurse took kiddo's ADHD. Is there any way to keep his hands at his sides during the procedure, she asked, maybe a squishy ball? I suggested a blanket, she countered with a weighted blanket, which is ten times better. He ended up with two squishy balls and the blanket. And then the surgeon came in, took one look at the mesmerized child watching "Teen Titans Go!" and suggested we just let him watch TV the entire time. Which was practically better than anesthetics. Seriously, as much as I restrict screen time at home, I think hospitals are about the perfect place for TVs.

Watching the gaping wound on your child's forehead get sewn up is ... interesting. And squirm-inducing. But kiddo, aside from a few early squawks, took it like a champ. Because, again, TV. (I don't know how many stitches. I wasn't counting. There were three layers of stitches.)

In fact he was so mesmerized that he didn't want to leave when we were discharged, because "Adventure Time" was on. "I don't care that it just started," I said. "We have to go home."

Even better, the nurse gave him a Lego set. I mean, a full-on, mid-size Lego set. I don't remember getting cool toys when I went to the hospital as a kid. When did this start? Can I demand a retroactive My Little Pony or something?

By the time he was all set, and we'd gotten our discharge instructions -- which included "let his hair grow over his forehead to hide the scar from the sun," so I guess we'll be modifying his hairstyle -- it was 9:30 and we hadn't eaten dinner. And I was so tired I walked us right past the elevator. I had no idea how I was going to get us to a restaurant, or even what restaurant was open. I have never been so grateful to see an in-hospital Starbucks. Snobby? Elitist? Whatever. I had a fruit and cheese platter, he had yogurt, and we probably both ate healthier than we would've anyplace else at that point. (Not counting the giant cookie and the chocolate croissant.) Also, kiddo's shirt was bloody. Not the best dining-out look.

He's been home since, awaiting the follow-up visit to the plastic surgeon, and aside from intensely disliking when we change the bandage, he's been fine. Because he's gotten to build Legos, watch TV and play video games all day. He's going to have a scar for about a year and a half, but at least he's already found the upside.


  1. Ouch! We had something similar happen a few years ago when our oldest decided to jump off a stool - into the bathroom door jamb - and got a 1.5" gash in his forehead. Our ER visit was not nearly as pleasant as yours (although Munchkin did think he was a dragon waking up, which was pretty funny). It is really freaky to watch stitches going into your kiddo's flesh though. I had stitches three times as a kid and never thought about it much, but as a Mom... *shudder*

    I'd be interested to hear if you were given any other instructions for scar care - Munchkin's still hasn't faded and it's been a two and a half years now... :P

  2. Ugh, poor Munchkin! It's definitely freaky. I could do without watching it again.

    The doc said to grow his hair over it, and to use Chapstick SPF 50 on it so it's protected from the sun. He also said it'll look its worst a year from now, and be more or less a white line in three years. So, just in time for him to notice girls. :)