Saturday, September 08, 2007

Hurts Me More Than Him

Yesterday afternoon, I decided to take the children over to the park to play. This is something I do somewhat regularly, in that I think it important for them to get some exercise and fresh air. So we played for a while, then decided to take a walk around the trail (about .63 miles). We get most of the way around the short section of the trail to where the water fountain and baseball field (with bleachers) are. The kids take their drinks then start climbing up and down the bleachers, ignoring my repeated (and regular for the trips there) requests to not do so, lest they fall and get hurt. After a few minutes, I finally get the first two down and back on the trail, or near the trail and am trying to get the Apple down. As I get nearer to him, the thing I knew would happen one of these days happened - he slipped and fell. Somehow, on the way down (he was only about 3 seats up, so not far from the ground), he hit his head on a bleacher corner. I get over to him fairly quickly and pick him up, thinking he'd just bumped his head. That's when the Boy noticed the cut, "He's bleeding!" I put my hand on the back of his head and it's warm and wet. I look and his bright blond hair has a huge patch of red in it. As I'm trying to collect the other two children and simultaneously rinse the Apple's hair in the water fountain to see how bad the cut is, he stops crying - Dad's holding him, so he's calmed down. I decide if he's able to calm down so quickly, he mustn't be hurt too badly, so I figure I'll run him home and rinse him off there to make sure he's not cut too badly. So we walk quickly back to the car, drive quickly back home, and get him in the shower. The bleeding has subsided quite a bit, but he's bleeding a little still and I finally see the cut. It's about 3/4 of an inch long on the back left side of his head, so while waiting for my wife to get done talking to the family doctor, I decide that I should take him in.

We get to the ER and sign him in and tell them what happened, but he's more interested in watching the fish than getting his cut looked at, which I take to be a pretty good sign. After a bit of a wait, the nurse checks him out, asks what happened, and says he'll need a staple or two. Then the nurse practitioner comes in and checks him out, asks what happened, and says he's going to need a couple staples. This upsets me, because my 3 year old is getting staples. The practitioner notes that the Apple is a little boy, and little boys get hurt, which is true of course, but it's supposed to happen to someone else.

The practitioner tells us he'd like to numb the area before using the staple gun. I'm not too comfortable with the idea of a staple gun being used on my son's head, but if it's going to be used, I'd rather he be numbed first. The nurse then says it'll be about 40 minutes. Joy. The Apple has his Popsicle, so he's happy for the time being. Fortunately, his mom showed up about 5-10 minutes after we did to the ER, so she's able to watch the siblings. I ask the practitioner to tell her how long the wait is, which prompts her to come in and check on her baby, not that I blame her. While we're discussing dinner plans, the Practitioner tells us he's managed to expedite things, so we'll be done in about 20 minutes, then asks who will stay with the Apple. The wife offers, which makes me happy, because I'm still sick that my Apple got hurt, but the Princess protests and insists that mommy go back to the waiting room with her and the Boy. So I stay with the Apple. A couple minutes later, the practitioner and the nurse come in with the equipment. They first bundle the Apple in a white sheet - straight-jacket style - and inform me that I will be laying on top of him and keeping him still, while the nurse holds his head still. Joy.

The practitioner then starts cleaning the area of the cut, which hurts, which starts the boy writhing, which starts me laying on him firmly, holding his body and head singing the Letter Factory Alphabet song ("the A says 'a,' the A says 'a,' every letter makes a sound, the A says 'a,'" etc.). Then the shots and staples come. Understand that the Apple cried more during the actual stapling than he did when he hit his head. It's over pretty quickly, though, and a crying Apple asks so nicely for his popsicle. We then wait for another nurse, who comes in and has me sign a couple papers, and asks me how the Apple got hurt, bringing the total number of medical personnel I had to tell to four. After about 10 more minutes, I go out to the nurse's station to see what else they need, only to find out we're done, and could have left after we signed what the last nurse needed. A minor inconvenience, really, and considering, we got through the whole thing pretty smoothly, though I still feel like crap that my boy was hurt.

He was in good spirits most of the time, which is a really good thing, and did really well as a patient. I was proud of my Apple's behavior in the face of his first injury.


Gramma said...

You were a little older the first time you needed stitches. I, as your mother, was invited to go away so your unemotional father (do you see the implication that I would have been too emotional?) was asked to stay.

I'm still pissed about that.

Cassie said...

Gramma-it was a military hospital, what did you expect? Was that the time he dropped the drawer on his toe? I still remember the screams coming from the room where they were stitching him up.

Steve, I remember when I was changing Jack's diaper (he was two weeks old) on the sofa and the dog jumped up and stepped on his eyes with her huge paw. When I told the doctor what happened I forgot to mention that I was sitting with him and changing his diaper. All I told her was that he was on the sofa and the dog stepped on him. It wasn't until I was telling Gramma and she asked me why I left him alone on the sofa that it occurred to me that I left that part out. It was from then on that the doctor treated me like an idiot. We have since switched his doctor to my doctor. She might think I'm flaky but she doesn't treat me like an idiot.

It's much easier when your kids get hurt on your spouses watch. You hate for it to happen at all but if it's got to happen that's the best way for it to happen.! said...

Poor little Apple! And poor you. Sounds like it was a terrifying experience, but I'm glad he's okay.

Yesterday I got my grandparents online and showed them the pictures of you, Kirsten & the kids from graduation day & they were gushing over how cute they were.

heatherfeather said...

poor kidlet... and poor dad. i'm glad it wasn't serious and that at least he got popsicles.

didn't anyone offer you one?