My Intimate Relationship with the ER



There are days when I wonder how my kids ever grew to adulthood all intact. And I was grateful to live in a town that had a hospital around the corner from my house.

From my eldest upchucking a pizza and then somehow correlating that experience with never wanting to drink fluids again (never could figure that one out) and winding up in the ER being dehydrated at the age of six or so, to my youngest almost living at Hartford Hospital’s ER from multiple bladder infections that would double her over while she was in college, I should have been on a first name basis with some of these docs!

There were always the scrapes and bruises and bumps, etc. that keeps any mother from going to the grocery store for fear someone will call DCF on you for being an abusive parent, but then there were a number of events that I can remember that I wish I could forget!

My second oldest daughter was the accident waiting to happen. From running into brick walls to having to call the ambulance, Trish was my adorable kid who always managed to scare the tripe out of both her father and me.

There was the time that her father was in the cellar and heard a little voice at the top of the stairs saying,

“Daddy, I’m gonna fly!”

My poor husband almost killed himself trying to make it across the cellar to reach the bottom stair and flew up himself to catch her in mid air! Close call.

Then there was the time she decided to grab a wooden spoon out of the kitchen when she was three, put the handle side of the spoon in her mouth, and ran into the living room where I was nursing her newborn baby sister (Kate). The words didn’t even get out of my mouth to tell her to get that thing out of her mouth, when she tripped on a rug, went face first into the floor. In a flash she got up and blood was everywhere. I don’t know how my poor husband made it so fast into the room, but he whisked her up and we all ran for the car and got to the ER in record time. We were terrified the entire ride.

Come to find out that the spoon handle had ripped off her Palatine Uvula. That’s just a fancy medical name for that thing that hangs down from the roof of your pallet at the back of your throat. Lucky kid.

But the very worst nightmare came when she was a young teen. Our neighborhood was full of kids and they were roller-skating on the sidewalks. I was in the kitchen of my big Victorian house washing dishes when one of the neighborhood boys banged on my door to tell me that Trish had fallen.

“So tell her to get home and I’ll put a band aid on it!”

Trish probably fell six times a day and I should have bought stock in Band Aids, so I was not at all concerned if Trish tripped for the first time today.

I finished the dishes, dried my hands and wondered why she hadn’t come home. I went to the front porch and looked up the street to see half the neighborhood kids standing in a circle looking down at the sidewalk. I ran up the street to find my daughter lying on the sidewalk, eyes rolled back in her head, and foaming at the mouth. She was having a seizure from a fall that I later found out was caused by one of the kids pulling her from behind. She had hit the temple of her skull on the cement and this was the result.

“CALL 911,” I screamed. “Why are you all just standing around???”
No cell phones in those days.

An ambulance arrived and we rode to the ER where I ran into some docs that I knew and they had her strapped to the board in one of the ER rooms. All I could see in my head was that my kid might wind up in Rehab Hospital with a traumatic brain injury! I was shaking.

But somehow she slowly came around and started to remember what happened and started to act normal and I couldn’t believe how lucky she was. All she was left with in the end was a bad headache.

She will soon be a mother herself as she and her husband are expecting their first child in April and I’m grateful that she made it through all the crazy visits to the ER.

I wish all you moms out there as few bumps and bruises as possible in your children’s growing to adulthood.

9 comments on “My Intimate Relationship with the ER”

  1. Oh man. My youngest has already broken an arm (at 2…) and the ER doctor just said “It happens! Don’t stress. You should plan to be back at LEAST once a year for the next 18 years…” really put it into perspective. Ha! Glad everything turned out well!!

  2. Oh, there are plenty more of those stories! Like me falling off the retaining wall, the attack of the killer bees, and the bunk beds. First falling out of the top bunk at my aunts and second taking a nose dive out of my own top bunk! You’ll be happy to know I am 35 years old now and as my mom said “expecting in April” but it’s been a long time since I’ve seen the inside of a emergency room. So, don’t fret mom’s us “klutz” do change!

  3. OH MY GOSH. I was terrified reading this entire thing. I’ve learned that I’m not the best in emergency situations when they come to my kid, I freak out! This stuff scares me.

  4. This terrifies me. A friend of mine once said “get cozy with the ER because you will see it at least a few times per kid…” Yikes

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