January 4, 2009

A tale of two mothers and two sons....

So, tonight I had my first experience with a toddler in the ER.

Nothing serious -- thank God, but.... it was quite an experience.

The 'lil man got out of the tub and while I was cleaning his ears with a Q-tip, he squirmed and I poked him -- normally I wouldn't think anything of it -- his ears are really, really waxy and I do this after every bath -- but, while drying his hair he was crying and I looked down and there was blood coming out of his ear.

I called the ER and they said they couldn't give me any advice (Gee thanks, why do you have a phone then?), but if I was concerned -- bring him in and have it looked at. I was on the fence, but.... better safe than sorry and so, he & I headed off to the ER.

We arrived and the triage nurse was lovely and said that she'd seen so many cases of this exact thing and that I was right to have it checked out.

While the 'lil man & I sat in the waiting room I noticed another mother and son...... they could be us 15ish years from now. He was holding an ice pack on a splinted wrist and she was white as a ghost -- she just looked nauseaus. A police officer sat with them "interviewing" the kid.... he was pretty pale too and described to the cop where he'd been earlier in the evening. The cop was sharp.... or had more information than the kid realized because he kept asking the same questions over and over..... he caught the kid in a few inconsistencies.

Were you there earlier in the night?
What do you mean jut out driving? What streets were you on?
Was that the first time you were there?
Who was with you?
How fast were you going?
Why did you go back?
Where were you headed?
Why'd you go that way?

He cautioned the kid about how important it was to tell the truth and then said:

I know this is tough in front of your Mom, but it's important to be honest.

The kid was mortified -- he'd learned his lesson -- he'd been an idiot, driving too fast, etc. He kept apologizing to his mother, to the cop.... the cop told him to save it

Apologize to your buddy with the broken arm.... to your girlfriend who's still being evaluated... to your mother who you scared to death

The mother looked like she could throw up on the spot -- she was so grateful her son was okay and yet, was so devastated by what laid ahead. The husband/father arrived and sat with the wife -- offering her support, they discussed what came next -- calling in sick to work tomorrow -- staying in the ER til the other parents arrived and the other kids were released.

She looked at me as I plied the 'lil man with M&Ms and I could tell she was longing for the days when things were simpler.... I know I was grateful to be there for an over-zealous Q-tip rather than for what they were facing.

The 'lil man was called in -- everything was fine -- scratch in the ear canal -- some motrin, a band-aid on the wrist ('cuz it's cool) and some ear drops and we were on our way home..... the other family was still there when we left, dealing with other parents as they arrived -- I'd say they are all in for a long night.


Kara said...

As you well know- there's nothing like a trip to the hospital to put things into perspective real fast.

Glad he's okay!!!

Above Average Joe said...

Thankfully (knock knock) The Champ has avoided the ER for the last few years.

WILLIAM said...

This was a great post.

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