Posts Tagged ‘emergency room’

Supergluing his head back together

8:00 am  I’m awoken to my phone chirping that I have a text message.  I roll over and it’s from McKayla, “Can you pick me up, I’m feeling sick”.

We’ve been battling the weirdest stomach flu ever at our house.  It started with Nathaniel who complained his tummy hurt and the announced he was going to throw up and then promptly threw up all over the bathroom.  Afterwards, he was completely fine.  He ate dinner, he helped clean the kitchen, he read to me, I read to him and he fell asleep.  This was followed by Michael screaming his stomach hurt and then throwing up all over the other bathroom, declaring himself better and going back to bed.  And then Jacob woke up in the middle of the night to cry how much his tummy hurt, “Why does God make my tummy hurt?  Please pray over me!  I think I might die.” We tend toward the dramatic in this house.  Everyone woke up one more time, threw up all over the floor and then went back to bed.  We would have labeled it possible food poisoning, except the following night Marshall was hit and Michael once more.  My poor, poor carpet. On the bright side, my bathrooms are sparkly clean.

So, when McKayla said she wasn’t feeling well, I came to get her right away before she threw up all over the halls.  She’s having a hard enough time without being known as “the girl who lost her breakfast all over the halls”.  I don’t think anyone could ever live that one down.

9:00 the glamorous life of homeschooling 4 boys.

9:23  SQUIRREL!  no, not a distraction, an actual squirrel.  The largest squirrel we’ve ever seen.  It was looked less like a squirrel and more like a cat with a bushy tail.  It sat right by our bird feeder, stared through the window with a look that said, “WTF People, why is this bird feeder empty?  This is unacceptable!”

9:40 back to learning.



Jake:  Oh no mom!  I forgot to take off my underwear!

Me:  Oh, well.  That’s okay, you can swim with them and we’ll come home without underwear.

Jake:  I don’t want to go home with no underwear!

Me:  Sorry, We don’t have time to change when we get there.

11:26 Jake:  You don’t have to worry about my underwear.

Me:  I wasn’t terribly worried, but why don’t I have to worry?

Nate:  ‘Cuz he was getting naked back here!

Jake:  Yep, I took off my swim suit, took off my underwear and then put my swim suit on.  All while buckled into my car seat!  Now I can have dry underwear!

Me:  For the win!

11:30  We make it to swim lessons right on time.

I have thought about doing something with those 30 minutes of freedom.  I could totally go run for 20 minutes, but then I’d have to give up the entertainment of watching swimming lessons.  For whatever reason, Jacob is absolutely terrified of water.  He doesn’t like getting his head wet.  He doesn’t like letting go of the wall.  He doesn’t like the whole idea of getting in the water.  It’s rather comical.  Though its rather hard to swim holding on to the instructor like they are your personal life raft during a tsunami, it’s hysterical to watch.  When they got to the pool the instructor had them put on floaties that go around their middles.

Jake:  This is ridiculous, there is no way this can ever hold me.

Instructor:  No, really this works great.  Let go from the wall, I promise you won’t sink.

Jake:  No, thank you.

Jake’s swimming looks, less like swimming and more like motion by electrical shock.  Meanwhile, Nathaniel swims circles around him trying to convince him he’s completely safe.

Jake:  NATHANIEL!  You are going to drown.  Touch the wall!

Nate:  I’m fine. Perfectly safe.

Jake:  MOM WE ARE GOING TO DROWN!!!  (we tend to the dramatics here)

12:15  We arrive at home.  I’m not sure if it’s the combination of the chlorine and the screaming at the pool or the lack of caffeine but I have a killer headache.  Lunch is made, school is wrapped up and I decide to lay down before my head splits into two.


1:00  “Mom, are you asleep?”

Me:  I was.

Random child:  Can we jump on the jumpoline?

Me:  Okay, open the door so I can hear you.

For the next 45 minutes I hear kids happily bouncing on the trampoline intermingled with whinnying, complaining, crying and laughing.

I’m sure you know where this is going.

1:45  I hear mike scream like he was just pounced on by a tiger.  Followed by Nathaniel screaming and then Jacob screaming.  At first I wonder if maybe zombies attacked them and they are now pinned inside the trampoline net.  This may not seem like a likely scenario, but it’s probably as likely as all three of them being hurt simultaneously with enough damage to elicit the amount of screams I’m hearing.

Mike comes running in the house dripping blood from his head “He broke my head!!  Oh my gosh!  HE BROKE MY HEAD!!!! CAN YOU SEE MY BRAINS???  (the drama)

I assess the head damage and it’s minor.

Me:  You’re fine.  Jump in the bathtub so you stop bleeding all over everything.

I assess Nathaniel.  He’s completely fine.  No blood anywhere.  We can’t find Jacob.  McKayla goes to look for him.  Marshall gets out all of the first aid supplies.

Marshall:  I am completely qualified to wrap his whole head in gauze.  I have almost earned my first aid merit badge.

Me:  Okay, Tell me exactly what happened.  Marshall I think we can hold off on mummyfing your brother for a few minutes.

Mike:  HE BROKE MY HEAD!!!  We were jumping and Nathaniel’s chin hit my head and broke it!!!

McKayla:  I found Jacob, he was crying under the bed scared.

I look more closely at his head, but can tell if it’s ER worthy or not.  I call Dave.  He doesn’t answer.  I call him 4 times in a row.  Still no answer. I call my mother-in-law.  No answer.  I take a photo of his bloody head and text it to dave.  I call my best friend whose been to the ER for two head injuries on two separate kids.  No answer.  I call her cell.


Her:  What’s up!  Did you know they sell vanilla vodka!  I have some in my cart!

Me:  Why do you live so far away!!!  I need Vodka!  (I promise, we always speak in such a way that requires all of these exclamation points).  How did you know that you needed to take the boys to the ER?

Her:  The copious amounts of blood on one kid and being able to see his skull on the other one.

Me:  What does skull look like?  Do you think I could text you a picture?

Her:  Didn’t you just meet your insurance deductible?

Me:  I know, but I hate the ER.

Her:  Just think of it as a little break.  Bring a book.

2:15  So off we went to the Urgent Care. There wasn’t anyone there but the intake lady was on the phone.  A nurse came by to see if we were okay.

Me:  Um, can you look at his head and let me know if you think this might need stitches?

Her:  Oh, yeah, that’s probably going to need some s-t-a-p-l-e-s (in a mock whisper).

Mike turns a little green.  While we wait for the doctor I text Mike’s coach.  “Mike probably won’t make it to practice.  We’re at the ER.  Tragic trampoline accident.  Mike’s head vs his brother’s chin.  Chin wins”

Mike:  Did you call dad?

Me:  I did but he didn’t answer.  I texted him a picture of your head.

Mike:  Is he coming?

Me:  I haven’t heard yet.  Probably not.

Mike:  Oh, I kinda need him.

Me:  What am I?  Chopped liver?

We get back to the doctor and explain the whole story. She washes the wound and offers us staples or super glue.  I was really trying to sell the staples, but Mike wanted the super glue.

Me:  Come on!  Don’t you want to see the medical stapler?  Maybe it’s run by an air compressor.  Kachunk!  Kachunk!  Kachunk!

I don’t know why that didn’t win him over.  I can’t imagine why he wanted Dave and not me…

Mike:  Do you think I can go to baseball practice?Doctor:  I don’t see why not.

3:45 We head home, Mike quickly changes into his baseball clothes and we’re off to practice.


6:00 Home from baseball everyone quickly eats frozen pizza, prepared by chef McKayla and changes into Awana uniforms.

6:30 All of the boys are dropped off at church.

6:45  I run home and take a quick shower, down some more Advil, because my head still feels like it might crack open at any minute and my eyeball will fall out.

7:15 I run to a Cubscout leader meeting.

8:15 I leave the riveting leaders meeting, mid discussion on Fish drops and run to pick up all the kids from church.

9:00 When we are all finally home, Dave inspects Mike’s head.

Mike:  How big is it? Do you think my brains will leak out?  Do you think we should make a doctor appointment to get my bones checked?  Don’t you think my skull has to be really wimpy because Nate’s baby chin could crack it?  Should I wear a helmet all the time? Should I sleep sitting up?

No wonder he wanted Dave.  All these unspoken fears he’d been carrying around all day.  Poor kid.



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Yesterday Dave and I went to one of those high pressure sales pitches.  It’s how we like to spend our Thursday nights.  When you have five kids you’ll do anything for a date night.  We are particularly suited to do these things because 1) Dave is not motivated by guilt 2)He doesn’t cave under high pressure propaganda tactics and 3)I’m cheap.

We very much enjoyed ourselves, mostly because we find ourselves entertaining and we like free stuff!  On the way home we received a text from Mckayla who was home babysitting her brothers:

Her:  Are you guys ever coming home?

Me:  Soon.  Why?  I thought you were all going to bed at 8:30.

Her:  Jake fell off the pool table at 8 and he’s been crying ever since.  (It was 9:40)

Me: What?  You should have called.
Her:  I didn’t want to ruin your evening.  I  was waiting for him to stop crying.  Don’t worry, I did the break test.  He can wiggle his fingers, but he won’t let me touch his arm.

When we made it home Jake was sitting on the couch whimpering holding his arm.

Dave:  How did this happen?

Jake:  Nate wanted me to test the safety of a stunt.   I got onto the bar stool, stood up and jumped onto a big pillow.

Dave:  That sounds dangerous.

Jake:  It was.  When I jumped my arm made a noise.  And now it hurts.

Dave examined his arm and determined we needed to head to the E.R.  McKayla started to cry.  She felt absolutely terrible.

On the way to the ER I used my favorite parenting technique:  distraction.

Me:  Do you want to call Grandma?  (Grandma is always my default when someone gets hurt.  She is so much better at the sympathy than I am)

Jake:  No, it hurts too bad!

Me:  Maybe after this we could stop at McDonalds and get an ice cream. (distraction followed by bribery.  Best parent ever!)

Jake:  I don’t want ice cream.  My tummy doesn’t feel well.

Me:  I’m sure it doesn’t feel well because your arm hurts so much.

Me:  Do you know if you broke your arm, you’ll be the first of my kids to break something?

Jake:  It’s not broken!

Me:  I’ve never broken anything.

Dave:  I haven’t broken anything either.

Me:  You’ll be the FIRST in our family to break something!  How cool is that!


When we got to the hospital we checked Jake in. He was the only patient.  What luck!

A man named “Big Joe”, seriously, that was the name on his name tag, took us back to a room.  (He was a really big guy) They brought Jake an icepack and situated him in the bed.  The nurse started asking us questions.

Her: What’s your name?

Jake:  Jacob

Dave:  Tell her your middle name.

Jake:  Adventure

Her:  How did this happen? Was it on an adventure?

Jake:  I jumped.  Without a parachute.  It didn’t end well.

The doctor came in and looked at his arm and ordered an x-ray, which they brought right into the room.  Only one of us could stay with him.  Dave wanted the extra radiation exposure, so I waited in the hall.  It’s  a good thing I did too, because there was lots of crying involved.  I’m not sure if I could have been the one holding his arm very still while he cried in pain during the long process of taking a picture of his bones.

While Dave was torturing Jake, I posted this picture on Facebook and captioned it: “His adventures have finally caught up with him.  At the E.R”

When I was allowed back in the room, he just about broke my heart with his tear stained face.  I tried my distraction technique again.
I showed him the picture I posted on facebook and told him all of the comments every one had posted in such a short time.  He was very excited about all of the love.

The doctor brought in his xray pictures and determined that it probably wasn’t broken, and if it was it was a very, very, small fracture but decided to cast the arm anyways in case, and await the reading from the radiologist.

Jake:  But it’s NOT BROKEN!

Her:  We’re just going to put a split on it to make it feel better faster.

Pacified, Jake asked if he could keep the xray picture.  She willingly obliged.  He then asked her to autograph it for him.  She was tickled pink.

The caster man came in and offered Jake four different ace bandage colors.  He chose red.  When the man walked out, Jake whispered to Dave.

“It’ll be like Ironman’s arm!”

The transformation into the man of steel wasn’t a very lengthy process, but it wasn’t the most comfortable process either.

Trying the distraction route again:

Me:  OOOO Auntie Red just texted me.  She said ‘Hey, I just saw the pic of the ER…What happened? Is he ok? are you still there?”

Jake:  Text her back ‘yes I am still here.  What are you doing?’

The radiologist spoke mostly in vague broad terms rather than specifics.  It may or may not have a fracture.  It may or may not be bent.  We should follow up with our regular pediatrician next week.  And that was it.  We were discharged.  Jake tucked his xray pictures into his sling (aka secret spy pocket) and we went home.

He had a hard time falling asleep, and somewhere in the middle of the night ended up in my bed.
This morning:

Jake:  It’s going to be a busy day today.  First we need to check facebook and see what everyone said about me.  Then I need to get ready for my phone call with Auntie Red.  After that maybe we could text some people.

I think I’ve created a monster!

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