September 16, 2009

Wednesday Morning: a timeline

10:30-ish am I decide to go with the kids over to the Student Center on the shuttle. (We needed to get a plastic diaper cover for Brian at the Athletic Center, so we can go swimming there. When we'd gotten our membership, they were out of his size. I'd called this morning, and they had them, so I wanted to get one before they ran out again.) I debate about taking the umbrella stroller, but decide against it to let Brian get some exercise.

10:45-ish am Brian's happily rulking (a run walk combo) across the parking lot to the shuttle stop, when he trips and hits his head on the pavement. This is not uncommon for him recently. So I am not expecting to see blood when I help him up. And blood there was! I frantically rush E and him back across the street toward our apartment while trying to fish napkins or tissues out of the diaper bag. I lay him on the grass and try applying pressure with little success, since it makes him so mad. The blood is flowing (this is not and exaggeration) down his face. I call Colin, letting him know B had hit is head and was bleeding and that we' ll be up soon. (Colin works at home.)

Colin is taken aback by the sight of bloody Brian. By the time we get inside he looks like this. (NOTE: if you get queasy easily DO NOT look at this picture. Seriously, the really small cut on his head bled way more than seemed possible; the doc said later it was right on a vessel in his forehead.) I get Brian into the bath, the only way I knew he'd be distracted enough to let me wash his face and try to get the bleeding under control.

He's clean and Colin helps me get a non-stick pad on him, held in place with gauze around his head. He promptly pulls it off. I then put band-aids on him. They hold. The bleeding appears to be under control. I let him run around the living room naked for a while to give him a break. I get him dressed.

11:03 am This time is exact because I look at the clock to know what time I gave Brian ibuprofen, to dull any pain he might feel. (Elizabeth brought it to me. I must add that through all of this craziness Elizabeth is calm, collected, and very helpful. I'm still in awe and so very grateful!)

11:10-ish am After going back and forth a little, Colin and I decide Brian needs to be seen at the ER. It is difficult to see how bad the cut is. Brian really does not like to be held down and examined in any circumstance....

11:30 am We are at the ER in Cambridge Hospital. (an aside: I feel like we've been there a alot, and I've always been very happy with the care I, Brian, or Elizabeth have received.)

It's a short wait. The assistant takes Brian's vitals and asks us about the incident. He's a kind older fellow.

11:45-ish am A pediatric resident comes in to see Brian. In the process of trying to examine the wound, the clot gets busted. The bleeding resumes. It's a mess. It's another five minutes before it clots again, but this time Brian cuddles with me and sucks his fingers while I hold gauze on his head to help stop the bleeding. The resident goes to get the attending doctor to check it out, because she wasn't sure what course to take.

12:00-ish pm The doctor comes and manages to examine it without making it bleed again. She says we could just keep a band-aid on it, but thinks a stitch might be a better idea, especially given all the bleeding and seeing how active Brian is. She seems quite confident he'll keep popping the laceration open.

12:10-ish pm A nurse, named Bruce (I remember because it's my dad's name and he took good care of all of us), comes to put on local anesthetic with a cotton ball. Brian's on my lap, quite irritated about having his head touched again. The nurse gets the cotton ball on and taped over. Then Brian pulls it off. Aurgh! The nurse thinks Brian got enough of it and just leaves gauze of the wound. We wait for it to sink in and do it's magic.

12:30 pm They come in to do the stitching. One doctor, one resident, one nurse, and one mommy - all for a 15 month old little boy! The doctor gets ready to stitch. The nurse wraps Brian up in a sheet. The resident is assigned to leg duty, to keep Brian from kicking. I stand by his head, opposite the doctor, and hold his arms and shoulders. And the nurse is above Brian on head holding duty. Brian screams like crazy whenever the doctor leans over him to do anything. He calms when she moves away to do anything at the table. I sing him some songs to calm him. He ends up needing two stitches. Oh yes, and there was more bleeding, until he was fully stitched.

Meanwhile, Elizabeth, who has been given a purple Popsicle by kind nurse Bruce, sits on the other side of the door curtain looking at a book and enjoying her sweet treat. I cannot believe how brave she is to sit alone like that. (She told me later that she peeked during the procedure!)

12:45-ish pm The procedure is done and the nurse tapes Brian up. The resident and I are calmly talking with Brian when I start to black out. At first I think I can shake it off, but no, I'm going to pass out if I keep standing. (This has happened only one other time in my life, when I was pregnant with Brian and really needed to eat. Gladys, you may remember.) I sit down on the floor and the nurse instructs me to put my head between my knees. I feel revived very quickly. He brings me some juice and saltines. Phew, a second crisis is averted. (Did I mention that I love the Cambridge Hospital ER?!)

While we wait for the final paperwork to sign out, Brian rests and eats a cracker with me. And the nurse also brings E a glass of juice and some extra crackers.

1:00 pm We head to the hospital cafeteria for lunch. It's cheap and delicious. I'm glad to get my belly filled up. Brian is acting perfectly normal, but looks funny with the big bandage on his head.

1:45 pm We head home. Elizabeth eats the Twizzlers she got before we left the hospital - all 8 sticks! I devour the Chunky I selected. And Brian falls asleep - as expected.

Now I'm enjoying a cup of coffee and writing this post. It's taking me a long time.

Here's a treat for those of you that read this entire post. If you didn't, I still won't stop you from looking. :)


  1. never a dull moment, right?! glad the little guy is doing okay now...

  2. thanks for not posting the bloody picture...although the kids are sleeping i know i would have passed out at the sight of blood. i can't believe how brave you were to take both kids to the er...i would have told jeff to take the bleeding kid and i would stay with the well kid. you are an awesome mom!!

  3. geez oh man. glad he's okay! poor little guy :(-- michelle

  4. Nothing like an eventful morning! Praise the Lord for availability of doctors, nurses, residents, etc. in the ER! Elizabeth had a lesson on "community helpers" and . . . blood control! I'm glad Brian is okay. MK

  5. Only true parenting professionals are calm enough to take pictures at a time like this. I'm impressed! jenny v