I know it’s supposed to be Wordless, but there are lots of questions when you post a picture of a kid in the Emergency Room.
Sunday night, my 6 year old was trying to skate with these new Heeley (ish) wheels that fit on the heels of his shoes. My 9 year old daughter was a pro since she learned with her actual Heeley’s, but Tev hadn’t quite figured it out yet. While practicing in our kitchen, he fell.
Tev was crying and it was a very much the “I’m actually hurt” cry. Parents, you know the difference, right? Well, hubs freaked and wanted to leave that minute for the hospital. Let me stop and say there wasn’t a drop of blood in sight, our son stopped crying after 5 minutes, and hubs was a big bad Marine for four years. You would think he’d be the calm one, wouldn’t you?
Don’t get me wrong, hubs didn’t get hysterical and out of control, but I could see that he was upset and wanted to DO something – voice raised, pacing, upset I wouldn’t leave immediately, etc. What a good daddy… Strange, but distressed Daddy is SO sexy to me. That whole papa bear thing warms my heart. Oops, not really important to this post.
Although I knew that the ER wouldn’t do anything for a broken arm – they can’t cast it until it stops swelling – I had a decision to make. Go to the hospital and pay the ER bill or wait until morning and take him to the doctor’s office. Well, I decided to take him to the ER and pay the bill. Not because I thought they’d do anything more than they did (gave him Tylenol, took x-rays, confirmed it was broken, and gave us the number to call this a.m. to set up an appointment with the orthopedic specialist). No, I took him so that he’d know we love him and care about him when he’s hurt.
I did not want his 6 year old little mind to remember that night in pain and fear and Mommy and Daddy wouldn’t take him to the hospital because it cost too much. Ridiculous, right?
This isn’t the first time we’ve been down this road. Our daughter broke her arm standing still on a grassy field when she was 5 (she tried to stand on a soccer ball and fell). That was our first broken bone. She had dislocated her arm twice when she was a toddler though. Tevan, same kid as above, has also had a cast on this same arm. He fell (while roller skating) and cracked his elbow. It turns out it wasn’t actually broken that time, but they put a cast on it for 3 weeks just to make sure.
The first time in the emergency room with a child I was an emotional wreck, crying, shaky, the whole nine yards. The second time in the emergency room with a child there were no tears, although I was anxious (and a little bitchy) that they fix my kid. Today. Right now. Not tomorrow or after they deal with that bloody person over there. NOW.
The third time? Pretty calm. Fourth? Fifth?
Well, this was the sixth time. I can tell you how I was… I was playing mahjong on my new Christmas toy, letting Tevan play Connect 4 and set up his Avatar on same toy, and unflappable. I may have even said “Yea, yea, yea – I know the drill.” to the nurse. (maybe not quite that bad, but insert red cheeks here anyway).
I am ashamed to say that all OWies are not created equally. Since I am an only child (as is hubs) we never had to deal with this. Our bumps and bruises were the worst our parents had experienced, well, because we are their only kids. Our performances in the school play were the best they’d ever seen, we were the most advanced and smartest and attractive of their children. Well yes, it was a competition of one – but all the attention and worry and care fell up0n us.
I worry that my kids will interpret my “unflappable” attitude as uncaring. I worry that I can’t honestly tell my youngest she’s the best soccer player I’ve ever raised. I worry that my son will be lost in the middle – not the oldest, not the baby – lost.
So, what do I do? I”m sure each time will be different. But this time, I took him to the ER. And although I will grimace when the bill comes, I will know that he didn’t get short sticked just because I’ve been down that road already. That mama guilt? It can be expensive!
Have you had any broken bones? Would you have taken him or waited?