well, i guess the lord knocked a little pride out of me this weekend. almost a decade into parenting i had never had a major injury (broken bones, stiches, etc.) and i was feeling good about that. anyway, that is no longer the case in the stoll house! joe got 2 stiches in the back of his head yesterday!
here's the story: it's about 9 am. we have to leave for piano lessons in about 10 minutes. kirb is still not home from warroad where he and rebekah went for his grandma's funeral. i am not yet dressed . . . at least not in clothes i would wear out of the house! i am in the basement making a card (surprising, i'm sure). i hear a loud crash and some crying. this is not at all uncommon and causes me no real alarm; i plan to go upstairs in a minute or two anyway. jacob screams at me "mom, it's an emergency. joey is gushing with blood." i don't panic at this point, but i DO jump up and run up the steps! i get upstairs and joey truely is gushing blood from his head. i still don't panic, but grab a paper towel and put pressure on the boo boo, which he is not too happy about! i try to see what the state of things is, but there's just too much blood to tell. finally it's slowing down and i check and to my unprofessional opinion it looks iffy. i immediately call dan -- our friend who is an ER nurse and who glued joe's head back together once in the summer of '07 when he had a little run-in with the back steps. dan is not home! argghhh! honestly, WHERE ARE YOU? so next i call my grandma to tell her we will be late for piano "joe fell and hit his head and he'll be fine, but i've got lots of blood to clean up before i leave." i tell her i'll call back when i'm ready to leave the house. next i call our pediatrician's office (they have saturday urgent care) and ask their opinion, knowing full they can't see the injury (duh!) and won't give me an opinion over the phone, although she did ask me if i could see "fatty tissue." yikes, i'm not that dumb. if brains were showing from the cut i would NOT be on the phone with you, i would have called 911. then i call my mom to get her opinion. she says my aunt, denise, who is visiting from massachusetts (and raised 4 kids: 3 of them boys!) is good at knowing if you need stitches or not. denise is leavning any minute for the airport to go home, so i pile the kids in the van and buzz to my mom's to have denise assess the situation. we get there and denise seems to also think it could go either way. after everyone looks at it and goes back and forth . . . stitches, no stitches, stitches, no stitches. we finally settle on no stitches. it has stopped bleeding, joe seems fine and really who wants to spend all day in the ER. just as we are about to leave mitch and ruth come out of their house. mitch and ruth are my parent’s neighbors and normally live in the Philippines where they help run an orphanage that houses about 75 at a time and has had over 500 kids in their 30+ year history; i think they are also qualified assessors (i can't imagine how many injuries these people have seen!) they agree he’ll be fine. so off we go to collect our piano books and head to my grandma’s. our pediatrician’s office is on the way home from my mom’s and i decided to just swing in to get one last opinion because i’m not completely convinced and if he really does need stitches, i want him to get them. so we stop in and i introduce myself as the lady who called earlier about the head injury. the nurse on the phone told me clearly they would not do the stitches there. they do do stitches, but would not do a 3-year-old with a head injury without some form of numbing stuff or sedation . . . which they don’t do in the office. so, i tell her that i know they won’t do the stitches, i just want a doctors opinion on whether or not it’s necessary before i take my 4 kids to the ER to camp out for a few hours only to have them tell me he doesn’t need stitches and put a REALLY expensive bandaid on it or something! anyway, our pediatrician isn’t there, but we see another guy who we have seen before. he says we DO need stitches. shoot! so much for those “expert” opinions!! on the way home i call kirbs to see where he is (i know he’s enroute to home, but not sure how far out). amazingly he left much earlier in the morning than i expected (4:30!!!) and he was almost to cambridge at this point. so, when i get home i feed anna a little (poor thing hadn’t gotten fed with all the drama) while calling literally every person i knew who lived within 10 minutes of my house. i want someone to come stay with the other 3 kids so i can take joe to the ER without all them them coming along! NO ONE is home! NO ONE! nice! i even knock on the doors of a few neighbors that I’m not sure would be all that excited to watch my kids but hey, i’m a little deseperate. i want to get this show on the road and not put it off any longer. joe is pretty “normal” at this point and i don’t want to put off any longer what i know will be a traumatic experience. anyway, getting no one to help me i wait for kirb who, as it turns out, has been speeding and makes it home in record time! at 11ish we leave for the ER at children’s hospital for some stitches in the head.
i should back up and tell you what caused the head wound . . . jacob told me that lydia pushed him into the coffee table. seeing that lydia had fled to her room, under the covers and was sobbing, I believed him. she later said it was an accident and while that may very well be true, there have been times that she pushed him and i’m quite sure it was NOT an accident, so there you have it! the love of siblings. she did feel bad though, sincerely. but i’m not sure whether it was because she hurt him, because she was afraid of getting in trouble or because she was genuinely sad she’d done it. joe also confirmed the story and has been telling everyone “whiddy pushed me.” (whiddy is his pronunciation of lydia in case you were wondering).
now we get to the ER, go to the bathroom (“mommy, I REALLY have to go potty!”) and then check in: weight (in kg, mind you!), blood pressure, temperature, etc. we then wait in the waiting room watching jungle book for surprisingly short amount of time. we get called back by a nurse and taken to our room. the nurse asks again what happened (possibly checking for child abuse . . . could i tell her some stuff about child abuse! see this post if you don't know what i'm talking about) and talks to joe for a while and then asks what kind of movie he wants to watch and she’ll bring it to him. he answers a “crane” movie (how he pronounces train) and she brings a thomas video (yup, i said video. saint paul children’s is not quite up with the times as far as entertainment goes). we watch the video for a really, really long time. finally, joe has to go to the bathroom again. we leave our room and seeing no one in the hall hunt around for a potty. we both use the bathroom since i don’t know how long we’ll be here. when we come back a doctor and nurse are waiting for us (ha ha, the tables have turned!) in our room. the doctor is great and she talks to joe about what will happen and makes it clear that he has to hold still or she’ll “have to tie you to a board”. apparently he doesn’t quite comprehend all that because he really, really does not hold still. i lay with a good deal of my body weight (which isn’t nothin’!) on his torso and legs while the nurse holds his head down and still with all her might. the doctor cleans the area and stitches him back up.he is not having fun!! although i cry at the drop of a hat about some things, i have remained pretty calm through the whole ordeal and have yet to shed a tear. but the pleas of “mommy, help me. i don’t like this” over and over do get to me. i have to look away and I get pretty teary, but not like the tears running down my face kind of crying like I did at church this morning (par for the course! i always cry at church!) but i am pretty emotional at this point. It’s not easy to get the stitches in, but finally they are done! praise the Lord! 2 stitches. the doctor give me some instructions (give him a bath tonight to wash the rest of the blood out of his hair then don’t get it wet for 5 days . . . no swimming lessons on tuesday, I guess!, watch for complications from a head injury: puking more than 2 times, can’t wake him up and stuff like that), she gives him a very cute stuffed gorilla and the nurse brings a popsicle and we are free to go. oh, i forgot to mention that joe had on his very favorite shirt which just happened to me a very tight-necked blue and green striped turtle neck: “i want the turtle shirt mom, I want to look like a turtle!” (why his shirt-of-the day couldn’t be a button-up, i’m not sure?!?) i want to remove this shirt under medical attention, so as she is bringing in my discharge paperwork (can you believe i just wrote that?? for those of you who don’t know, i HATE the word discharge . . . it gives me the creeps, but anyway, that’s what they call it!) i carefully take his shirt off. If I’m gonna rip out the stitches i most definitely want to do it at the hospital and NOT at home! it comes off ok and since he still is under the effects of the “goop” that make his head numb, i don’t even think it hurt too much! they gave him a little hospital gown to wear home so he wouldn't be cold . . . he wore it to church this morning!!
we go home and joe quickly returns to his “normal” self!! that is that!
i know this was a super long post and i didn’t feel like proofing it, so i hope it all came out alright. here is a little visual of the injury today . . . sorry i didn’t snap a picture while the blood was running down his head. you’ll just have to use your imagination for that. oh, and i successfully got all the blood our of his favorite turtle shirt! yeah, oxy clean!
oh, one more thing. when we got home from the hospital lydia presented joe with some money (i forget how much . . . 4 or 5 biggish coins) as some sort of atonement or something. or maybe she was afraid of a lawsuit, who knows!