Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Connor's Busted Brow

I got the call right as I was about to leave work. I didn't recognize the number, so I didn't answer right away. Decided to wait till I was leaving the building. As I walked to the car I listened to the messages...it was the owner of the daycare calling from her personal phone. At first I thought she was calling to tell me I was going to have to pay a late fee for paying a day late. On the 2nd message she left, she told me to call back right away. Not a money thing then.

Immediately a million terrible possibilities were floating through my mind, but the voice message didn't sound scared or panicked so I took a deep breath and told myself it was going to be ok. I called back and she told me that Connor'd had a little accident and cut his head open a little. She said it was just a small gash and wasn't even bleeding anymore. No big deal, right? I drove to pick him up as usual, thinking he'd have a bump and a scratch and they were just calling to cover their butts.

When I got there he was asleep in Odessa's (the primary caregiver in his room) lap. She held a bag of ice on his forehead. I walked over to her and she didn't want to show me. I told her to let me see it, and she did, reluctantly.

I tried not to react too much when I saw the gash on his head. I picked him up and he flopped on my shoulder, not wanting to wake up. That scared me. Aren't you supposed to keep someone awake when they've had a head injury? He eventually stirred and I took him out, trying to decide what to do. The pediatrician was closed, but I wasn't sure his injury was hospital worthy. I took him to my sister to have her look at it. On the way I called the 24-hour pediatrician's line. The nurse said take him to Urgent Care, my sis said he might could just get by with a butterfly bandage.

Decided on Urgent Care. I discovered when I had driven all the way back to my street that my Urgent Care doesn't see children under 2. They told me I would have to go to the hospital. Fortunately, the women behind me told me that there was an Urgent Care just for children not too far from where I was, so we went there.

Along the way I started updating Facebook. It didn't take long for Van to call me and had a little "Come to Jesus" meeting with me about letting her find out that Connor was hurt via Facebook. In retrospect, not the best thing. I wasn't thinking entirely clearly at the time, though.

When I got to the Urgent Care I saw a sign that said to expect a 2 1/2 hour wait...it wasn't kidding. We were there about half an hour when they brought Connor back to put numbing cream on his head. They didn't tell me WHY they were doing it, I had to ask. He was going to need stitches. I was a little put out by the fact that no one had officially inspected him before they had determined he would need stitches. The "examination" that determined this happened across a desk while I was signing in. Ah well, it was pretty obvious to me that he needed SOMETHING.

After the numbing cream was on, Connor really perked up. He ran around the entire room yelling AAAAAAEEEE! Not really screaming so much as vocalizing loudly. I didn't want to be one of those moms with the wild kid, but I knew if I tried to restrain him he would have a full-blown tantrum and I didn't want to risk him hurting himself more, or get him all upset before he had someone sewing on his face. I let him roam. I just followed him around and tried to keep him from poking strangers or stealing their bottles. (he likes to take other children's bottles and pacifiers)

Van soon arrived like a wonderful angel bearing food and a toy for Connor. They told me at first that he could eat but then they said he couldn't. Poor kid could smell the food and was ravenous, but I couldn't let him have any. It was sad.

They called us back a 2nd time and gave Connor a sedative. They said it would take 20 minutes to kick in fully. Why didn't they give him that when they gave him the numbing cream? Who knows? It didn't take long for the sedative to kick in. In minutes he was wobbly, and then he was so woozy he couldn't sit up with his toy. He just flopped over and played with it lying down.

At one point when I was holding him he flopped his head back, looked up into my face with bleary eyes and laughed. He was soooo stoned! I could almost hear him saying "I LOVE you man!"

Finally they called us back for stitches. They wrapped him up tight in a big papoose. Stoned or not he did NOT like that. He screamed his frustration loudly. They let me help hold him and covered all but the wound with a sterile blanket. They told me I could sing to him, so I did.

This was a mistake.

I am usually pretty good in a crisis. I just turn of emotions and deal with the situation and save reaction until later. I was able to endure 45 grueling minutes of my son's agonized screams while they poked him over and over again trying to find a vein for an IV. I watch BOTH lumbar punctures. If he's been through it, I've been there, and I kept cool and calm the entire time. I was able to do this because I was in detached "crisis" mode. When I started singing to him I clicked into "mommy" mode. I couldn't help it. Mommy is NOT cool, calm, and collected. Why they sewed him up he screamed in frustration cause he was being held immobile and they were touching his face. He HATES that. He was NOT, however, crying.

I can not say as much for myself. Tears were streaming down my face why they sewed him and it was all I could do to keep from sobbing outright. I couldn't help but think about how small and fragile he is...and it killed me that he was hurt. Urgh. Emotional stuff!

We got through it though. Three whole stitches!

When I got him home he ate like a horse and conked out almost immediately. A much deserved rest.

It took me a little longer to get to sleep. I kept thinking about how we're all basically just pillowcases full of guts and how fragile life really is. You know, upbeat, happy stuff.

Eventually I was able to sleep. It wasn't an easy sleep though.

When fate gave me a boy I knew I probably would have to see him get stitched up at least once....I just never thought it would be before his 2nd birthday!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

My Little Empathizer

Last night I had a moment where the weight of the things I have been dealing with lately slammed into me with the delicacy of a drunk hippo, and before I could stop myself, I burst into tears. Not quiet, respectable tears. Oh, no. The kind of embarrassingly loud sobs that cause the neighbors to poke their heads in to see what's wrong.

Connor's head snapped up at the sudden sound. He dropped his new favorite toy (a silicone spatula). He thought I was laughing at first, and he started to laugh too...but then either my expression or the fact that I was frantically rubbing the tears off my face clued him in to the fact that I was crying. He started to cry too. He stood up and toddled over to me and hugged my legs, laying his head in my lap. I picked him up and instead of trying to wriggle away as he usually does, he snuggled into my arms and clung to my shirt. That just set me off more, although now I was crying for a different reason. He whimpered along with me until I finally got it all under control and set him down again. In a few minutes we were both laughing at Luna's antics as she frantically chased the ball I was throwing for her.

Oh Connor, when it is all too much, you remind me of why I keep going. I love you little man.