Where everybody knows your name
I swear to you that I could write an entire novel about the experiences we’ve had bringing our son to the emergency room. But he’s only eight, and there are bound to be several years of good stories left, so I’m holding off lest I write that book too soon.
There was the time where I took him in because he had a foreign object lodged in his nose. He refused to tell me what it was, but when the doctor yanked it out and held it in front of him a lightbulb went on and he said, “Oh, that? That’s a spider egg!” AND. IT. WAS.
There was the fourth of July when an innocent scrape on his knee decided to rear its ugly head and turn into an infection, mere hours after we had arrived at the cabin for a week long vacation. We got our antibiotics from a vending machine that time… and paid dearly for it (out of network=so much money).
There was the time when a mosquito bite on his forehead turned his beautiful head into a swollen, Frankenstein-esque mess; there was the time when he felt a sudden and powerful urge to practice yo-yo tricks in his bedroom, under his ceiling fan, and ended up shattering the light fixture, sending shards of glass straight into the top of his head; and there was the time when we had a resident who fancied himself a bit of a MacGyver, who told us he was going to use the “hair technique” for closing a wound, and who stuck our son’s head under a tap to clean out the wound because “you’d be surprised to know that tap water is more sterile than sterile water.” (emphasis added.)
As we were waiting in the exam room of the emergency department tonight I was recalling past ER experiences, and I had a nagging feeling that I was forgetting the most recent one. Everything came flooding back to me when the physician entered the room, extended his hand, and said, “Hey, I treated Aiden last time he was here – for the gerbil bite.” Ah, yes – how could I have forgotten the gerbil bite?
Today’s visit was the result of, er, a bit of a run-in with a wall. In phy ed class. The visit included much time spent in the waiting room, an encounter with an extremely awkward medical student, a resident who spoke to my child as if he were a fellow resident (“Please describe what transpired immediately thereafter,” he said to my eight year old – who was struggling even to think clearly after slamming his entire body into a gymnasium wall at mach 10), and a very pleasant physician who, as described above, we’ve encountered before and whose treatment plan included almost none of the things that the nurse, medical student, and resident thought it would. But four hours after we arrived, we walked out of the ER happy, in less pain, suture-free, and FAMISHED.
My husband’s band was scheduled to practice at our house in less than an hour, so we did what we had to do – called up Papa John’s and ordered a large pizza. Half pepperoni, half cheese, extra totally-bad-for-you-but-oh-so-good garlic sauce, and cheesy bread sticks. An ideal dinner? Not by any stretch of the imagination – I didn’t even have it in me to make a salad or cut up a piece of fruit. But we were able to sit down together as a family and share a meal after a long and somewhat crazy day… and nobody even had to do the dishes afterward.