Miss M has a lovely pair of metal staples in her scalp, as of yesterday.
We've now had one set of hand stitching (Mr G), one glued-together (Mr B), and now one stapled. We're done, now, right? One of each? We've experienced the full set. I don't need any additional experience on that.
Plans for the day yesterday of course were set and solid. I had a MUST DO meeting at work, that was crucial enough to keep me from going to the parent-teacher conference for Mr B (epeepunk was going, so we were covered). And of course, that's what epeepunk had planned (plus some other important things for finding work and keeping on top of the house and finances - he makes a better wife than I do).
Toss in one child with croup (Miss R), and things got a wee bit more complicated. Backup plan one launched - Baba to take Miss R during the conference. Okay.
Then I get the dreaded call at 12:30 (meeting is at 2) - Miss M fell, hit her head, after falling down was sitting (back up again), then toppled backwards into a pole and is now bleeding. Ep was en-route to get her, he'd call to let me know what the next step was.
Whee. Lurch goes the innards. That crunching sound was the sound of my priorities shifting into gear without a clutch. Kids first.
Now, ep can handle a hospital trip. He's not super comfy with the stitches stuff, but at least he knows now to not look directly at the wound while they're working on it (experience is a good teacher, there). But head trauma can have some issues, and we'd also like someone to make the parent-teacher conference (did she just feel dizzy? or was it a loss of consciousness? and that last time she lost consciousness after a minor head-bump, now that's creating a pattern! It sounds like she went shocky for a moment, had a blood pressure drop, and ... I'll have to ask the doctors.) And then there's the stitches, which might be more of a problem for him than for me, and I also have the entire mental file for medical stuff in my brain (the wet brain, not the electronic one) ...
Yeah, I scarpered. Called my project manager en route to the children's hospital (which happens to be about 15 minutes from work) to let him know that I was not going to be available for that meeting. Got there just as ep was walking in. Did the hand-off at the registration desk, and carried on.
I have had some issues with the local children's hospital - they were the ones who didn't diagnose the Fructose Malabsorption with Mr B. But that was just the GI doc that was at issue, really. The other docs were great. And the ER is much better than the others around - granted, it's just for kids, so they know what to do with little people who don't have a deep understanding of how this works.
We did have a lot of waiting, but it was broken up in bits - 15 minutes here, 20 there, another 20 after this person saw us, then 15 before the next person came in, etc. Usual hospital time rules apply - take any estimate, multiply by 3, be happy if they come in before that. They were spot-on for things they estimated directly - when they said 30 minutes, they were there in 27 minutes. Extra sharp, since they were also busy - besides walk-ins, they were getting a lot of ambulances in. The morning had been unusually slow, they said. But it was rainy and cold out, and that means later-day accidents, both auto and general roughhousing from being cooped up too long.
Miss M did a perfect job of being a patient. It's funny - having had trouble with the anxiety issue in the past, we've managed to find a ton of coping mechanisms for her, so now she's much more competent with anxiety-provoking situations than one would expect of the average child. She kept her hands off the injury (just tried to keep the bandage on, which kept slipping around on her silky hair). She observed the people going by, and we talked about how hospitals work (that's one of the mechanisms - give her something to explore and understand). I coached her on what to expect, she asked questions about what might happen next, I answered her questions with range-based options (I don't know, maybe they'll do this, or maybe that; The said they'll be back in X minutes, but there are also other people here who need their help, so they might not be able to come back right away), and I helped her find interesting distractions (the coloring pages, the tv). And I kept myself from cycling into anxiety as well - granted, her behavior kept me from worrying, too.
She had no identifiable mental deficit - she was cheery, engaged, silly, emotionally responsive, a little flirty, a little shy, and spent a lot of time counting things. She got a bit more sucked into the tv than usual, but she also doesn't usually get to watch spongebob. We had to turn off the tv so she would answer questions. Oh, and since she had been very good on the diet lately as well, she had a very low anxiety pre-set (the fermentation sets up anxiety for her). Double bonus. Actually, triple bonus, because I got to explain to the resident that Fructose Malabsorption can lead to anxiety behavior. Educating people everywhere I go...
Miss M also answered questions, laughed when the docs and nurses were silly, and cooperated with having her head wrapped even though they had to wrap under her chin and she said it was choking her (not badly, just uncomfortable). She didn't complain about being papoosed to keep her hands out of the way and her body still while they were cleaning and stapling. She also didn't totally shut down - she was very quietly making fish faces at the nurse, then suppressing smiles when the nurse finally noticed. Everyone kept saying how helpful she was, how calm, how easy a patient, and (something Miss M noted) that when a kid is calm, they can finish up faster than if they're really upset and screaming or fighting.
They have a child development specialist whose job is to go from room to room to entertain and distract the kids, especially during procedures that might be troublesome. She came in during one of the wait periods, and got Miss M started on some puzzles and a necklace kit. Miss M finished the necklace while the woman was out of the room looking for more puzzles, and then she didn't make it back even for the procedure - which had the nurses kind of jumpy, since most kids do NOT want to sit still - even papoosed - for having their body stapled back together. But... no problem. The nurse just chatted with her about animals she liked, and I asked Miss M if she remembered when I used to wrap her up like that as a baby, so she could sleep, and she made fish faces any time the chatter lagged.
She was happy to leave, of course. But mainly because she wanted to go back to school and show them the necklace she'd made. She was totally pissed off that I said no, because I had to pick up Miss R from mom's and then get the boys and go home and all that. NOOOOOOooooooo! She griped about that while I was talking to my mom about how she'd done, and we had a moment's chuckle about how exactly FINE she was.
She did get a little sleepy sooner than bedtime. But the ER docs said that this was normal and expected for the first 8 hours or so. The concern is when the sleepiness extends past 8 hours, and/or gets worse, and/or develops into difficulty to rouse from sleep. They also said that any vomiting in the first 8 hours is also totally normal and not a sign of additional danger - it is just a neurological reset response. I'd heard that somewhere else (I think from someone on Ask Moxie?), so it was more a reminder that this is the new expectation. Head injury will have sleepiness and vomiting as normal symptoms, but if they continue past 8 hours or start after 8 hours, you've got a bigger problem (fluid or a bleed or something).
She's happy that the staples mean no hair brushing for a few days. She's kind of interested in the idea that the doctor will have to take out the staples later. She quite logically decided that even though she doesn't like pain medicine, it hurt enough that she would take some before bed. Her left brain seems to have completed a major bit of development recently, which was quite clear all around - you could almost hear the therefore's and I deduce's in her conversation.
Meanwhile, back at the ranch ...
The parent-teacher conference went fabulously, too. Mr B is a joy to have in class, he's never a problem, he's engaged and interested, the whole bucket of praise. The teacher has never seen a rage lockup occur, and can't even imagine him ever having one (we've been pretty good on the diet, so he hasn't had significant fructose fermentation episodes except on the odd weekend or holiday excess), and he's doing a good job of keeping the school child at school, and the home child at home (that is, he behaves in the manner appropriate to school at school, and lets out any frustrations or upsets after he's home - which means we get the brunt of it, but it allows him to focus on his schoolwork during school - not that he's been particularly challenging at all, really - he's even not doing too bad on being 7). Easy conference.
Miss M slept pretty well and is eager to show off the necklace she made (and the staples in her head - I've never seen them before, so I was surprised at how very much they look like staples - funny, that), Miss R still has a fever and croup, ep has his entire to-do list from yesterday to complete (plus today's items, minus two items from yesterday), and I will have a lot of extra editing work to do today.
Ah, well. Life does that.