Saturday Stories: The Emergency Room


One little monkey jumping off her bed, 
She fell down and broke her arm,
Mama took her to the ER
and the doctor said, 
No more monkey jumping off her bed.
Can you guess where I was for four hours last night?  I will never understand why, in a waiting room filled with, oh, say three people, it takes an hour and a half to get out of  the lobby of the emergency room.  Of course, that was only half the wait!  Another hour and a half waiting in the curtained room back in the actual treatment area and we finally knew that Princess Pat had followed in her brother, The Engineer’s footsteps.  Another humerus broken where it meets the lower arm bones.  Another exciting trip to the orthopedic surgeon awaits us on Monday to see if her arm can be put in a cast or if she needs a pin.  All of my fingers are crossed that the ER doc is right and that we will be going home with a fluorescent pink cast on her arm.
Now four of my five kids have been to the ER – at least twice each.  The Comedian makes up for never having been by being the one that has multiple doctors that are seen regularly throughout the year.
I am in a hospital-ish mood, so this Saturday Story is going to be dedicated to reliving all of our medical adventures.  I think for having five kids, four of whom are boys, I have gotten off fairly well.  Let’s just say, nowadays I am able to keep pretty darned calm when faced with new injuries.
The Musician: When he was about five or six, he stuffed a little plastic toy construction cone in his ear.  The tip of it broke off and had to be surgically removed.  A few years later, he and a friend were in our front yard
helping in a  landscaping project.  Both kids were standing near or on a huge pile of topsoil.  The Musician bent down and the friend swung her shovel.  As her shovel reached the Musician, he stood up and got bashed in the back of the head.  Boy to head wounds bleed a lot!  I grabbed a few kitchen towels and off to the ER we went for two stitches.   A few years ago, he went camping in the mountains.  The group he was with were hiking over an area covered in geodes.  The Musician slipped and gashed he knee open.  He was “rushed” back to our house (he was over two hours away when it happened) and we (it’s always me and the injured child) went to the ER for five stitches.  (I should mention here that the Musician has an enormous aversion to needles; like it took multiple nurses to hold him down for routine booster shots.)  Knowing he was going to have to have stitches, I dug out his baby blanket from a trunk and took it with us.  Letting him squeeze my hand (ow!) and giving him his old blanket got him through relatively well.  He also had to have four adult teeth surgically removed (with full anesthesia because he kept biting his oral surgeon).
The Thinker:  When he was a baby, we had nasty forty year old kitchen cupboards that had wicked looking pronged metal latches.  At nine months old, he pulled himself up to play in the Tupperware cupboard.  He lost his balance and Bang! hit a latch with his forehead.  Three stitches.  About four months later, he fell onto a toy construction vehicle and Bang! cut the skin right next to his eye.  Butterfly closure.  Years later, when he was about ten, he came running down a wet cement sidewalk.  Bang!  He slipped and landed on the back of his head.  Crazy glue. (they might not call it that at the ER, but I am not fooled.)
The Engineer:  I actually did a Saturday Stories on all the weird ways people in our family have broken bones.  My third son was featured there.  He made it to the ER when he was three with a broken left humerus and when he was four with a broken right humerus.  Thank goodness he broke his arms at parks in front of many witnesses.  I was a complete wreck, worried that the doctors would call CPS into investigate me; especially after he broke his second arm within a year of the first!  He has not had stitches and he is the only one of my sons without a little bald spot on his scalp where the others have scars.
The Comedian: When he was three, he had both his tonsils and his adenoids removed.  He cut his head open at a big family gathering.  Luckily, one of my husband’s aunts had enough medical experience to be able to treat him on the spot~ avoiding the ER for once.  He also had to go to the doctor for blood poisoning after a cut on his leg got infected.  He actually had those red lines radiating up his leg from the wound.  One huge antibiotic shot and a prescription later and he was good to go.
Princess Pat: After rushing her to the ER via ambulance because of a febrile seizure when she was six months old, I was able to calmly take her to the ER last night for her arm.  Because she isn’t even four years old yet, I am sure I am not done.
And me?  I went to the ER when I was fifteen because I cut my foot on a broken tile in the girls’ locker room at school.  I also went about twelve years ago because I sprained my ankle….in my sleep.  Yeah, I am still not sure how that happened.  It really was sprained and I really woke up injured.
I wish I could say that I am done, but as long as I have kids in the house, I am sure I will be making unscheduled stops at our local hospitals.

10 thoughts on “Saturday Stories: The Emergency Room

  1. >I feel like I got off easy when it comes to Emergency Rooms and doctor's offices. With seven children, five of them boys, we have had but one broken bone. My then almost three year old second son broke his funny bone. Not so funny to him. (My daughter reminds me that this son broke his arm again two years ago, He now had a steel plate in his left forearm. How could I forget that? Maybe because his wife sat with him in the hospital.)

    It was my middle child and third son who had almost year accidents for a while. Falling off the neighbors garage roof wasn't enough, he had to cut his head open on a rock, get bitten by a dog, and finally poked in the eye with a nicely sharpened pencil. (Yes, lots of fun!)

  2. >Oh my gosh. You are wonder mom! Your children are going to so realize how lucky they are to have a mom who has waited hours and hours in ERs and the anxious agony of "what's going on." I hope the ER doctor is right. I thought I was a klutz spraining my foot walking (to the gym), but in your sleep? That must have been some dream.

  3. >And I am complaining about my son's febrile seizures. I have only one child and I feel totally consumed. I admire your strength and stamina.

  4. >wow….you should get some kind of merit badge for this, or at least an award from the hospital… mom was a nurse, and had seen untold horrors in war and in Operating rooms, but if I got a splinter in my hand, she couldn't handle it…..I officially give you the super mom award!

  5. >Hope there aren't too many more visits anytime soon! I've been pretty fortunate with my 3, only one broken bone.

  6. >I honestly can say that I have NEVER been to the ER…but I'm sure that I'll get payback for that whenever I have kids. Karma's a bitch isn't it?

    I hope your little girl just needs a cast! Getting a pin sounds scary.

  7. >Your ER stories brought back SO many memories for me. My children are both in their late 30s now, but I can't forget one visit to the ER when my daughter sprained her foot and the doc kept looking at me and finally said, "You look so familiar, do I know you?" To which I replied, "Well, I was here last weekend with my son who sprained the same foot skateboarding."

    Yep, I had them both on crutches at the same time.

    They do keep us busy don't they? Hope your little one just needs a cast and a pink one is perfect!

  8. >OMGosh my dear that really is a lot for poor mom! 4 hours I must say is a good turn around, here it's usually 7 to 8 isn't that just crazy.

    Hope her arm is feeling better soon!!

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