Well, our afternoon was great, we made it up the hill to the family’s rural home where we were invited the third year in a row. It’s about a 45 minute drive or so.
In previous years there were several families from our church there, but this year there were only us, one other family and a single lady (my friend T) from our church. The rest were the host’s extended family.
As far as I can remember, dinner consisted of
Carmelized Onion Gravy (THE best gravy!)
Green Bean Casserole (Which was quite unique and VERY good)
Sweet Potato Casserole
Fruit Salad? (I didn’t have any)
There were also an abundance of pies of all varieties, and some banana-nut bread. The meal, as usual, was excellent!
Mid-afternoon most people started heading out, and eventually all the family members had left. (Along with the other church family.) In the other years, the family members had usually left fairly early and the church folks had stayed later. But this year it seemed pretty deserted since there weren’t too many of us church folks. The hostess, Mrs. W was teaching me how to knit, and our children were playing in the converted enclosed porch room where M was supervising from the couch in there. (It was about 5pm).
Suddenly C fell, and when I looked over I saw him laying right next to a brick step/threshold between the two rooms (you have to step down to get to the porch). I thought, “Oh-oh, I think he’s hurt.” (As in, seriously.) As I approached, M had stood him up and there was blood pouring from his forehead. I turned around and went to get a few paper towels. When I got back and pressed the paper towels to the wound it was evident we were going to go to the ER. It was a nasty *deep* gash in his forehead that still makes me shudder to think of it. I tried to stop the bleeding in a way that would keep it closed and comfort his screaming at the same time.
The hostess was quick-thinking and I soon had a damp washcloth and a bag of ice to put on it, as well as a dose of children’s Motrin to give to him. There was quite a bit of blood, but it stopped bleeding fairly soon. He continued to cry and scream but when I took the ice off to give him the Motrin he stopped, so I think after a few minutes he was mostly screaming from the ice.
All the while I’m thinking of: the 45 minute drive to the ER, the 45 minute drive to the ER with a screaming baby with a gashed-open forehead, and the wait in the waiting room with three children, one of which is screaming and has a gashed-open forehead.
Thankfully, the medicine seemed to calm him and he stopped crying. I suggested that instead of having to bring all the children to the ER, M could take the other two home and my friend T could take me and C to the ER.
Once at the ER, we had a short wait before the triage nurse took us and got info and checked vitals on C. She leaned his head back and squirted some numbing gel into the wound, and soaked a cotton ball in it and put that on, holding it in place with a bandaid. He cried some, she said it stings for just a minute when you first put it on. Then back to the waiting room for the numbing stuff to work (20 minutes).
In about 1/2 hour they brought us back and sat us on a bed in the hallway. A bit more waiting, someone came to see how the numbing stuff was working (it turns the edges white) and left for awhile longer. Finally the Dr came with a big hefty guy to hold C down during the procedure. They raised the bed up to chest-level, and the guy pinned his upper body and head. I was standing behind him so I couldn’t see C. I held his hand and rested my other hand on his legs, but he didn’t try to kick at all. He was crying during the whole procedure, but I could tell it was a scared cry and not because it hurt. (Thankfully!)
Five stitches later and a little comforting from mommy, and he was much better, although subdued. A little paperwork, and we were sent on our way. On the way home it occurred to me that we did not have any children’s pain reliever and I would hate for C to be in pain in the middle of the night when the Motrin wore off. Unfortunately, being about 8pm on Thanksgiving day, the four places we checked were not open. After giving up, we spied a Circle K (convince store) that was open so I was able to go get a tiny bottle of overpriced children’s Tylenol. (At 2am when he woke up in pain I was very glad to have it!)
M and I keep looking at C and going, “Awww, poor guy!” It just breaks my heart that he went through that. It looked so awful! He’s only slightly bumped it a couple times and whimpered. I’m extra protective of him today and watchful that he doesn’t get it bonked. I feel like I wish I could put a helmet on him, or better yet — enclose him entirely in a bubble! It hurts me so much to see him hurt.
In our 5 1/2 years of parenting, this is the first ER visit (or even Dr visit besides well-child), so I’m thankful for that. I did feel rather bad to leave so abruptly after such a traumatic event, without having time to finish our visit or help with the remaining cleanup.
As bad as it was, it really could have been much worse. I thank God that it wasn’t.
Because of the location of the stitches, they couldn’t use the dissolving kind, so we’ll have to take him to the Dr’s office sometime within the next 10 days to get the stitches removed.