He’s Going to be Okay!

We made our first emergency room trip with Christian today.

Is there nothing worse than your own child being hurt? I can’t think of anything that would hurt me more.

I’ve been at the La Leche League conference in Newport this whole weekend. This afternoon, just pleasantly stuffed from a Mexican-themed buffet lunch, and heading into a seminar about the rise of allergies in today’s children, I got this alarming text from my daughter:

Just got a call from the
sheriff’s office. Nothing
serious but Christian
bumped his head. He’s at
the mission hospital

I was puzzled and worried and tried calling both our home phone and her cell phone with no response.

I tried to decipher the non-information in the text.

Did “nothing serious” mean that Chad was just being careful to check a bump? (When I’d led bike tours, every time a fall involved a child’s head, I’d been required to take that child to the hospital or clinic.)

Why did the sheriff call and not Chad? Was Chad riding with the sheriff? That meant it wasn’t serious enough for an ambulance. Perhaps there had been a tumble off the bike? I knew Chad was careful about using helmets while riding.

By the time I’d reached Bella another 15 minutes had gone by. At which time, I’d decided that whether or not it was “not serious” I needed to ditch the $100 conference and drive down to the hospital. I reasoned that Christian would be frantic and would need me for any situation.

Had I known that Chad had called 911 from the playground, and that his shirt was covered in Christian’s blood, I might have left sooner.

As it was, Christian had fallen from a playground ladder and busted open the top of his forehead in two places. Due to the amount of blood involved (I know the head bleeds a lot) and also due to the fact that Chad spied what he horribly suspected was the white of bone, he regretted having left his cell phone in the car and had a stranger call 911, while he staunched the blood flow with somebody’s t-shirt.

Is your stomach lurching yet? That’s how mine has been all day.

Christian could not be prised from his dad’s shoulder, so Chad was strapped down to a gurney in the ambulance and away they whizzed. Apparently Christian was given some mild sedatives, but still only had brief moments of calm during the ride. Poor guy, he needed his mama.

I arrived at the hospital, worried, but not frantic,


I heard the operator refer to Christian as “the little guy who came in with facial injuries in cat scan room 2.” That’s when I basically went to the brink of tears and my knees went wobbly.

Dear God.

In that extremely frustrating bureaucratic way of large institutions, it was time-consuming and hard to locate Christian. He was in cat scan room 2 in the end. And finally Chad walked in to get me where I’d stopped for more directions. Too scary to see the dried blood on Chad’s shoulder and all over his shirt.

I saw poor Christian. He’d been fully sedated because he was too upset to hold still for the cat scan. He’d been given shot after shot, but in the end the anesthesiologist was called in for the job. His shirt was off and he was lying on the table looking like a little little boy in front of a big machine.

You know what I really hate? I really hate seeing my son’s eyes taped shut.

We, the parents, were ushered to the waiting room. The plastic surgeon was on her way.

While we were waiting we were comforted by the chaplain, whose comfort was easier to accept once we’d heard that the cat scan of his head and spine was ALL TOTALLY FINE.

We also accepted her material comfort by way of sandwiches and juice. Thank you, Chaplain, for thinking of our bodily needs. (Chad was in sore need of caloric intake.)

Time passed. I don’t know how long.

The plastic surgeon, a bustling beaming woman of indeterminate race, came in to reassure us.

Everything was fine, fine, fine.

For a moment we thought we were going to have to stay the night. But that moment passed. Christian was carried in to us. He began to whimper.

I was very grateful at that moment that he wasn’t weaned. Nothing is better comfort than breastfeeding. He nursed and nursed. And then he nursed some more. I had an involved conversation with the nurse about the benefits of extended breastfeeding.

We came home. He perked up when his Aunt Corrina came by with an inflatable light saber and a Darth Vader balloon. We had pho for dinner. And he fell asleep early on his dad’s shoulder while listening to dad read Dr. Seuss books.

Everything is okay. Everything is okay. Everything is okay.

The hospital provided us with before and after pictures.

Christian down for the twelve hours he needed.


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