Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Scenes from the ER

Well, we managed to make it 3 years, 9 months and 19 days without an injury related ER visit. Between the three girls, we have had a handful of ER visits surrounding urinary tract infections (well, they are identical!) and potential urinary tract infections. The girls' pediatrician has a small practice and sends his patients to the local ER for UTIs.

I was completely wiped out last night. I didn't sleep well Sunday night because Emily now has Allie's cold and kept waking up coughing so I slept with her. Which means that I half slept. Last night was bath night (in the winter, we tend to bathe the girls every other night.) Baths were over and I was in Allie's room dressing her in her jammies. Emily was in her own room reading through books while waiting for official story time to begin.

The girls had already picked out their next day school clothes and Grammy decided to find socks. She was headed to Em's room, where we keep a tiny bureau with socks and underclothes. There were some clean clothes, including socks, on Allie's floor that hadn't been put away yet. I directed Grammy to those.

If I hadn't, this may not have happened.

Anna had been in Allie's room with us but took off running to Em's room. Rich had carried dirty towels and clothes downstairs and was on his way back up the stairs when I heard a loud thud. The girls have these hard covered story books that are quite heavy and will make a similar sound when dropped off of a bed.

Please be a book. Please be a book, I said to myself as I jumped up off of the floor and started running to Em's room. There was no crying so I thought it was a book. Rich beat me to the room and I heard Anna start to cry. He came out of the room carrying a crying Anna. She was crying a normal cry. I went to Em's room to see what had happened. There is a wall which turns 90 degrees in and makes a corner. Near that corner is the tiny bureau. One of the bureau drawers was pulled opened.

I took Anna from Rich and when she turned, I realized that there was blood running down the side of her head. And then I found the gash. Anna reached up and touched the blood. She kind of freaked out when she saw blood all over her hands. "We need to take her to the ER," I announced. Thankfully, Rich went through some EMT training years ago and is a little bit better at this than I am.

He took Anna while I changed into jeans (instead of pajamas) and applied pressure to the gash until the bleeding slowed down. We packed up some cath kits and receiving blankets and took off for the hospital. Thankfully, Grammy was there and able to stay with Em and Allie. I was afraid to let Anna fall asleep in the van on the way there.

That was the longest drive.

This ER is great. And I have to say that Anna is such a little trooper. The nurse who took Anna's vitals when we first arrived couldn't believe how well she followed directions and cooperated. I often wonder how much that has to do with her having spina bifida and seeing so many doctors.

That nurse looked at the gash and said to me, "Mom, it looks like she will need two or three S-T-A-P-L-E-S. Maybe sutures."

"Will it be B-A-D?" I asked.

"No. They will apply a numbing topical to the area first. Dr Z is on call and she is great. It will be really fast."

You should have seen how cute Anna was when they put her little wristband on her.

Rich and I were able to watch most of The Bachelor while we waited. Anna was placed on the "fast track" but the nurse had to apply the numbing stuff twice and wait 15 minutes in between everything. Plus, the 15 minutes was more like 25 minutes. They had already examined her for signs of a concussion and concluded that she most likely didn't have one. She fell asleep on the bed waiting.

They ended up closing the gash with three staples and again, Anna did a great job. She did get really nervous right before they put the staples in, probably because we were holding her down so she wouldn't move. The doctor moved fast so it was over with very quickly. The doctor and nurse commented on how great she did. They also commented on how well Rich and I did. It broke my heart seeing my baby in pain but the blood didn't bother me.

They wanted to cover the wound for the night so that Anna wouldn't bother it in her sleep so in order to keep the gauze on the gash, they wrapped a gauze bandage around her entire head. It looked like she had a horrible head injury and Rich told me that everyone in the waiting area as staring with their mouths opened when we walked out. I didn't notice because I was too busy looking to see if the discharge area was open.

I slept with Anna last night to keep an eye on her. I think she was in some discomfort because she moved around a lot. So I half slept again. We showed Allie and Em the staples this morning and told them that they have to be careful with Anna this week. The wound didn't look pretty this morning and Allie looked absolutely petrified.

On the bright side, the gash was not on the side of her head where her shunt is. Thank goodness for small miracles because right now it is almost in the same location as her shunt (just on the opposite side of her head.) I'm not quite sure what would have happened if it had been on top of or near the shunt but the doctor did agree that it was better off on the other side of her head.

I always try to be there when Anna falls but it is impossible. It is just so easy for her to trip or lose her balance. I just hope that this never happens again. It's not an experience I want to relive.

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Samantha said...

Oh my goodness! I am glad that it wasn't worse and that she handled it pretty well. I don't think I would have done well with blood.

Anonymous said...

I was holding my breath the whole time reading that post! I am so sorry that happened! Sounds like she was such a brave little girl - and I am thankful as well that it was on the opposite side from her shunt. I hope it heals quickly and without a scar. I don't do well AT ALL in emergency situations - luckily my husband does.


MandyE (Twin Trials and Triumphs) said...

No, you can't be there every time she falls. You do your best, but it's just not humanly possible to be there for every stumble.

I'm so glad Anna is OK!

(And I have to laugh about you changing out of pajamas. We had our first ER visit a couple of weeks ago, when one of my girls' temperature spiked to 104.5 very quickly, and I couldn't get it down. Although I think she was just very tired, she was not responding to me normally. We jumped and ran...not driving 100mph or anything, but I wasn't wasting any time. When we got to the hospital and things started to settle, I realized I had on the most obnoxious fleece pajama pants - with differently patterned pengins, an old sweatshirt from college, and some wool clogs with no socks. I swear I will never judge another person in a hospital waiting room. Hahaha!!! And if there is a next time, I think I'll pause 5 seconds to pull on some jeans!)

Kara said...

I am so glad that Anna is ok! I have triplet girls as well...they just turned 3 and all three have been to the ER on separate occassions for injuries! The last time, we had to get a staple also. I always thought that boys were supposed to be the dangerous ones, but my girls keep me on my toes! You have done great to have gone this long with out a serious injury :) I hope that she has a quick recovery and I'm glad that your husband was there to help!

Tracy said...

Oh my goodness... blood always makes my heart stop. We have had a couple injuries in our home and I calmly deal with them while FREAKING OUT INSIDE!!!

Here was our incident with Kaylee http://threepeasandabean.blogspot.com/2009/04/easter-emergency.html. Cody with 106 Fever... http://threepeasandabean.blogspot.com/2010/02/my-heart-is-sick.html and Jadon fell on a toy at 10 months before I started blogging and was also the lucky recipient of stitches.

Hey, look at it this way... you earned another Mommy badge. Not a fun one to get, but one you would get eventually.

I am sooooo glad Anna is ok. I know it has to be extra scary with her. Hugs coming your way!!

PS... thanks for the comments!

Cindy said...

What a nightmare! I am so glad that she is okay in the end. What a brave little trooper. And you and Rich did great! My heart is aching for you though for having to go through that. It's so scary!

BreezieGirl said...

I too was holding my breath the entire time I was reading - so glad Anna is okay!! What a miracle that it was not on the shunt-side of her head! Yikes! Poor thing. Wishing her a speedy recovery (and you a full night's sleep)!

Hope's Mama said...

Sarah how scary. So sorry you had to endure that. And of course more sorry Anna did. What a little trooper.

Anonymous said...

oh my gosh! you seem like you handled it well! great job anna, too!

Accountant By Day said...

poor Anna! So glad that she is OK now. She is such a trooper!!

Meg :0 said...

That must have been so scary! I'll keep Anna in my prayers for a full and swift recovery. And prayers for a full night of sleep for you. :)

We had our first ER trip last year, injury related, for a finger in a slammed door during "naptime". It was really nervewracking. I felt so badly for not going upstairs as soon as I heard they weren't sleeping so I totally get the mommy guilt you have for telling Grammy to Allie's room. Try not to feel bad, easier said than done I know! :)

Sarah said...

Thank you, everyone. It is in her hair so the scar will not be seen. She is doing well but afraid to have her clothes changed and says that it hurts when she lays down.

MandyE - it was freezing out and my pj pants were super thin. I HAD to change or freeze.

Sarah said...


So although I did change my pants, I had a horrible shoe/sock combo going on. Yeah, no judging in the ER. LOL