Saturday, January 30, 2010

First visit to the E.R.

You knew it was coming one of these days, right? What with Lauren's love of climbing, and lack of fear of dangerous and sharp objects? Well, on Wednesday, when she was supposed to be picking out her outfit for school, she climbed up and got her ceramic piggy bank, accidentally broke its ear off, and cut herself on it. She came and said excitedly, "hey Mommy, look what I have!" and showed me her bloody arm, with a deep gash a few inches below her wrist.

I put a Band-Aid on it, stopped the bleeding, and called her doctor. They could see her in an hour, so we went in. Dr. Ho said it was borderline for needing stitches, but since it had stopped bleeding and wasn't in a place where a scar would matter, she could glue adhesive strips to it instead of stitches. I was to call her if they came apart or if it bled through the tape. In that case, I'd need to take her to the E.R. since the pediatricians didn't do stitches in the office.

Wednesdays are my in-office day, and Lauren stays at school all day, so I took her to the classroom right as the children were finishing lunch, and gave her teachers instructions to call me if it started bleeding or the strips came off. Then I left her for naptime (she doesn't ever fall asleep but "lies quietly") and took off for the office. I'd gone about 1/4 mile down the road when the phone rang. I needed to come back to the school because she'd already pulled the strips off and it was bleeding. They'd given her a new Band-Aid and it stopped, but I knew I had to take her in to get sewn up.

So, we went off to UCLA Ronald Reagon Hospital in Westwood. We parked with my ride-share card, in my regular parking lot and walked over. They "fast-tracked" us in when I put on the form that Dr. Ho had sent us. They took all of Lauren's info and let us into a room, where they told us the plan was to numb her arm with topical cream, then an injection, then stitches. So they put the numbing cream on, then left the room to wait for it to take effect. And proceeded to leave us for two hours!

During the two hours, we had several very nice nurses and volunteers come by to entertain us. They gave Lauren her very first Polly Pockets doll which she was thrilled about. (It is the Mattel Children's Hospital, after all.) They also gave her some eye wash cups to stack into pyramids, and two empty, needles-removed syringes to play with. She ended up taking the doll and syringe in to share day at her school, to tell her class about the experience. When they finally came in to do the stitches, a medical student did it, under supervision. (No, it was not one of the med students I work with.) They did a really good job keeping Lauren calm and entertained. She never freaked out even for a moment, and no tears. (Lauren OR the med student!)

During the stitches, we kept talking about what we were going to eat at Rubios afterwards, and so immediately after paying, we went to Ackerman to fulfull the promise. Lauren actually had a fun day and lots of giggles and treats. The next day at school she had a little conversation piece, and ran up to each of her friends and said "look! Look at my Band-Aid, I have 3 stitches under there! I had to go to the HOSPITAL and they gave me a Polly Pockets doll and THIS!" after which, she whipped out the needle-less syringe and I had to explain to the parents that no, we were not heroin addicts or anything, it was just a little souvenir from the hospital.

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