Our annual ER pilgrimage

Raine is only two-years old but has now been to the ER twice for serious injuries. I don’t know what to say; it is hard to comprehend how such a mellow child can be so accident prone.

It all started while Raine and I were in the kitchen making Rice Krispie treats. She has a sturdy, stable, two-step stool to use in the kitchen, but for some reason she was standing on one of the little wooden chairs from her play-room. As she reached for something at the back of the counter, her chair tipped over backward. Her feet flew up with the chair and she landed right on her chin on the tile floor.

I picked her up and there was blood everywhere. I FREAKED out. I grabbed a dishtowel to stop the bleeding and as I pulled it away I could see that Raine’s chin was split wide open. It was gruesome. But then I noticed that there was blood coming from inside her mouth as well. I looked inside and the only way to describe what I saw is ‘hamburger.’ That’s when I really freaked out.

I called DJ because I didn’t know what to do — I’ve never had any traumatic injuries. Did I need an ambulance, should I just drive like mad to the ER, what should I do??? Honestly, my first instinct was to call 911 — I don’t do blood and my baby was covered in it, if anything was an emergency THIS was it. Fortunately, I was able to suppress that urge and called DJ first. (If you haven’t guessed yet, I am NOT the person that you want to have around when disaster strikes.)

DJ said he was on his way home and that I should call the pediatrician to see if they thought we should go to the Urgent Care or to their office. I started to call, but knew that I would have to wait for the nurse and I didn’t feel like I could handle that. So instead, I just started throwing everything and everybody in the car and started driving to the nearest Cook Children’s Urgent Care center. I called DJ from the car to tell him to meet us there.

Upon arrival, I slung Carter’s infant carrier onto one arm, the diaper bag over the other, and then pushed Raine in the umbrella stroller. I pulled up to the check-in counter and the receptionist says, “I need to see your insurance and ID then fill out these five forms and bring them back up to the window.” What is wrong with our society? You walk into an “URGENT” care center, covered in blood, and they expect you to drop everything, pull out your cards, and then calmly fill out five pages worth of contact information. Did I mention that I was carrying over 30 pounds and pushing a blood soaked toddler??? But yes, let me take that clipboard in the hand that is only carrying 10 pounds and try to avoid hitting my bleeding child with it as I push her over to the waiting area. I get more sympathy and help when I’m at the grocery store with two kids. But in her defense, after we were seated, the receptionist did bring over a pink band-aid to put on Raine’s chin. Apparently the blood soaked dishtowel and the fact that we were in the URGENT care didn’t suggest that this wound was a little more than a band-aid could handle. Regardless, Raine appreciated it and that was what mattered.

Within minutes we were triaged and called back into an exam room. DJ arrived, Raine told him that she “fell right on the tile” (a phrase that we heard repeated at least a hundred times the rest of the day), and then the doctor came in. She looked at Raine’s chin, played with it for a minute, and then to my relief said it wouldn’t need stitches. They would be able to glue it back together. When she looked into her mouth though, she said that it would have to be stitched. I really didn’t want Raine to have stitches so when the doctor came back a few minutes later and informed us that mouth wounds don’t require stitches, I was very relieved.

However, when the nurses came in to glue Raine’s chin, my fear of stitches was renewed because they couldn’t get it to close. They called in the doctor who was eventually able to get it closed and between the three of them they finally got Humpty Dumpty put back together again.

During all this, Raine laid perfectly still and quiet on the bed. She really is a tough cookie. I, on the other hand, got so queasy watching them try to close her chin that I had to sit down while DJ held her hands and told her that everything would be okay.

We finished our paperwork, checked out, and went home with our patched-up kid. She fell asleep as soon as we got in the car and took a much needed nap. After she woke up, it took awhile to find a sippy-cup that she could drink from, but within a few hours she was eating and drinking like nothing ever happened. She never took any Tylenol and didn’t complain at all about pain. I guess if you are going to be accident prone, it is a blessing to at least have high pain tolerance.

As a side note, Disney’s Alice in Wonderland was playing in the waiting area and exam room while we were there and I would like to know how a caterpillar smoking a bong made it into a children’s movie? I realize that it was the 1950’s, but was that ever not drug related?

3 thoughts on “Our annual ER pilgrimage

  1. Grandpa Dewey

    What a traumatic experience for you as well as Raine. I am so glad there were no serious injuries. She will probably be less afraid of medical facilities as she continues to have accidents. They are so hard to avoid. Bless you all. I hope you will continue to be able to deal with the traumas of life.

  2. Joni

    I am with you on the whole freaking-out-at-the-sight-of-my-bloody-child thing. I have called 911 and that is not usually the best idea. A cop, and ambulance, and a firetruck all because the baby fell down the stairs. Sounds like you handled everything really well. I hope she heals up well. What a trooper!


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