Friday, June 13, 2008

Friday the 13th Nightmare

You don't realize how many hours the doctor's office is closed until you are less than six weeks pregnant with twins and you start bleeding the Sunday before Memorial Day and you know the office is closed and you can't talk with anyone until Tuesday or you are 38 weeks pregnant with twins and you start bleeding on New Year's Eve and you know it will be a day before you can see anyone or you fall on the stairs with one of your five month old twins and they start bleeding and it is Friday the 13th at 7 p.m.

Then you realize that M-F 9-5, isn't really all that wide a time frame. Though it may appear so when you are working those hours.

Today the unthinkable happened.

Our child got hurt, and it was all my fault.

I don't know why I ever use stairs, I am the most clumsy person I know. Since we have lived here I have fallen on the stairs at least three times. Maybe it's the high gloss on the wood, I don't know. I just know that I was very careful the whole time I was pregnant even though I still managed to fall once then too. And I always cry when it happens, because I hurt myself and it it scary.

So you can imagine the scene when I fall on the stairs holding my five month old son.

I don't know who it was more traumatic for, him or me. I do know however who will remember it until their old, cussing themselves each and every time the memory is refreshed. If you have ever fallen down, or up, stairs you will know the feeling of utter helplessness as you crash down, that experience with a child is awful.

I immediately scooped him up and started telling him how sorry I was and the lack of immediate bloodshed was only slightly comforting. Ward was by my side almost instantly taking the red-faced screaming child from my hands and asking if I was OK. Emotionally, not at all. Physically, only a few scratches on me. Within a few seconds the blood started to appear and it was on and around his eye. I was frantic. Ward was the only calm one.

The decision to take him somewhere was made immediately. I was a nervous wreck and we are first time parents. We loaded the twins into the car and headed into the city. I called my sister for our pediatricians phone number and left a message with the answering service. They didn't call until we were in the Emergency Room at Virginia Baptist. That doesn't make me very happy but that's doctor's offices for you I suppose.

The Emergency Room was like a dysfunctional social gathering. I won't even begin to comment on the freak show that is the waiting room of the emergency room as some of you may have more experience in these places than myself so what is the point. They took our information and left us in the lobby for an hour. At this point Coop had forgiven me and was laughing and talking and other than some unsightly scratches and a gash on his eyelid, he didn't look that damaged (thank goodness for eyelids, turns out they aren't just for sleeping).

At 9 pm we were taken back to answer financial questions (they want to know how you will be paying before they put you in a room) and then shown a room. No curtains, we got an actual room.

And then we were left alone. For hours.

Finally, it became apparent that Coop's eye wasn't the emergency we thought it was. He fell asleep, then Bailey, then Ward. We asked about leaving. Ward hunted down some nurses who told us there had beem a level one Trauma brought in and we were now third on the list to be seen but we could leave, they said it was up to us. I decided we had invested quite some time into the visit already, we would hold out a little longer.

As I sat in the emergency room with my whole family wiped out from this near catastrophe where three hours earlier I was wondering if I had blinded my son for life, I remembered my last emergency room visit.

My father had gone into this same hospital at 3 pm complaining of stomach pains. They put him in one of those curtained off rooms and left him. I got a call from the hospital at 5 pm, I was 16 and the only one still living with my dad. The nurse told me he was fine but that he wanted her to call and inform me of his whereabouts (we had made plans for dinner at La Carreta). This was before everyone had cell phones. I called my sister and we decided to head to the hospital. He seemed pretty bad off to us when we arrived but they still hadn't sent a doctor to see him. At 3 am a doctor came in and they finally ran some tests which led to more waiting. At 5 am my sister and I went to stay the night (what was left of it anyways) at my mother's. At 7 am they discovered he had Diverticulitis and operated almost immediately. At 11pm tonight as I was sitting in the emergency room this memory came back to me. That was a real emergency and they didn't get to him until 7 am the next day. I woke Ward up and told him I wanted to leave.

He got a nurse and told her we were leaving, she said Coop didn't need stitches, just Neosporin.

All that waiting for a regimen of Neosporin? Oh well, I think it is better we played it safe and I hate that he is going to have the nastiest shiner for Ricky and Lucy's graduation party tomorrow (oh, the things the Grandmother's will say) but I think he will make it through this first emergency better off than I.

I am sure this is the first in a long stream of accidents over the course of their lives, but it was really scary. I was sitting there thinking he is going to have to get stitches at 5 months old, I never even got stitches until 5 months ago. But we escaped without stitches and hopefully no scars but I am rather worried the cut on his eyelid will remain in the form of a scar.

Ward says if it does we tell him Bailey ninja kicked him. I feel bad blaming it on her, but then again telling him I tripped and he cut his eyelid on baseboard is just so....sad.

I am feeling like the worse mother EVER.



wesley's mom said...

That's awful. For both of you. I'm glad he's okay.

Once when I was holding one of my babies (cradling him) so his little head was sticking out (apparently) I walked into a door frame, resulting in a small dent in the head and a crying baby. I felt AWFUL!

Even when my kids have gotten hurt and it wasn't my fault I always feel like if I had done something differently it wouldn't have happened.

If he gets a big ol' shiner you have to send us a picture.

Ward and June said...

I'll make sure some pics get posted. He looks like the super-light-weight UFC champ.

And in this corner, weighing in at sixteen pounds....


Hoolie said...

I was always really paranoid about falling down the stairs with one of my kids, so often when they were small, I would walk down backwards. I know that sounds stupid, but if you do it with something in your hands you don't feel quite so vulnerable. Plus, I used to think that if I lost my balance, they would have a shorter distance to fall.

Glad he's okay. Falls down the stairs can be pretty serious. Interestingly, I know someone that died from a fall down the stairs. Doubly interesting, my dad also had emergency surgery for diverticulitis.

Ward and June said...

I am not sure if and when we will ever post pictures of that shiner, it makes me feel bad even looking at him I am not sure I want to take any pictures to hold onto indefinitely in the ole photo album.

I fall down the stairs ALOT, so telling me a story about someone falling down the stairs and dying is horrific, probably won't be able to forget that one. I was afraid during my whole pregnancy that I would fall because I was so clumsy and hurt myself or them.

I hope your father's illness cleared up pretty well. My father was in the hospital alot for it ten or so years ago and I was living alone and working and finishing high school, looking back it was a rough time for both of us. I don't know how serious it can get but his seemed pretty bad at the time anyways.

James said...

Oh, and definitely post pictures.

James said...

Glad everyone's OK. Emergency rooms suck. I think ERs should give out those light-up, vibrating coasters that restaurants use to let you know when your table is available. Then you could wander around or at least put some distance between yourself and the random old woman in a bath robe with bandages on her head (or whatever flavor of nutjob you happen to be stuck with).