Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Don't count your chickens...

Along the same lines of "Don't count your chickens before they hatch" my sister came up with a new phrase to describe last Wednesday. "Don't count your good days before 10pm."

The day started lovely. David was home in the morning as he had a mid-morning flight from BWI. He stayed at home while Ruthie napped while I took Esther to get some blood drawn. We were in and out quickly (I drove about 15 minutes to a lab that's further away but with much better service than the one close by. Last time I was at the one close by some guys were getting drug tested and I think they were switching out a bottle of urine between them. Nice.) She predictably cried (it hurts!) but was quickly cheered up with a visit to the thrift store on the way home.

We get home, Ruthie had had a long nap, we load in the car, drop David at the airport, and head out to the big mall to return a hat to L.L. Bean and pick up pictures from J.C. Penney. (Idiot that I am didn't know that the J.C. Penney a mile away has a portrait studio too!!!) Have a lovely time at the mall, everybody eats a huge lunch, no crazy buying frenzy at Gymboree, and on the way out we stop at the fountain to throw pennies in. Esther threw in two and I threw in one and literally, here's what I said to myself "I wish every day could be as good as this one." We walked out, got lots of smiles from some old people and I was beaming with pride.

What was that last phrase? ...beaming with PRIDE? And what goeth before the fall? Mm hmm, that's right. P.R.I.D.E. and I don't mean the gay kind.

Still, things are good...Esther has to go pee when we get to the car so I help her pee on the grass in the parking lot (secret: taking off shorts and underwear is key). Still feeling pretty good. Everyone gets in the car with sippy cups and cheerios, I start the engine and look at the clock.


Oh sh.it. 3:40, and my kids go down for a nap at 2pm and sleep for 2-3 hours and I've got a new mother's helper/babysitter coming at 4:30pm. Still, things are good... I call new mother's helper/babysitter and ask if she can come later. She can't so I cancel. We get home, everybody naps, I wake them at 5:30pm and they are CRANKY AS ALL HELL.

Ruthie starts climbing on and off a little kid's Ikea chair, just like she does 17 times a day, except this time she stumbles as she gets off. She cries but settles down when I pick her up, so I go off to get dinner. I put her down, she screams. I sit on the floor with her, she's fine. She goes to pull up on the kitchen, she screams. I feed her sitting in my lap, get her calmed down and she finishes dinner in the high chair. After dinner we go into the living room to play and I sit down on the couch and then go to set her on the floor and she screams. The wheels finally start turning. I set her down again, watching her feet. Right foot goes down, fine, left foot touches...SCREAMINGSCREAMINGSCREAMING.

(I've often joked with our neighbors (see previous post) or with other people at the park "You know someone is going to fall/get hit/get their fingers pinched so let's just be ready for it when it happens.)

I remain calm. I put in a DVD for Esther, call my sister and leave a message asking her to come up. I call neighbors and ask them to come over until said Sister arrives. I call pediatrician's office and get no help and in fact, I got BAD advice. Neighbors come over and watch kids and help me pull stuff together cause we all know this is going to be a loooonnnggg visit in the ER.

I drive nicely to Children's, remembering the speed trap in the 25 mph zone on the 4 lane road on the way there. On the way there I remember an article from the Post about 6-8 months ago where some people took their child to the ER after a fall and the ER found other signs of trauma and child was placed in protective services. I panic, call Elaine to see if she will take Ruthie if they want to remove her from me because Elaine has a freezer full of breastmilk and I'm not sure if they will let me pump in jail. Luckily, Elaine is not home, her answering machine shocks me back into reality, and I calm down. Elaine has breastmilk in her freezer and Ruthie can have that until David can get home from wherever he is and deliver our frozen breastmilk to her. (hmmm, don't think calm had actually reached me at this point.)

I find the hidden parking area for the ER (note to others: DO NOT follow the signs for the ER - no parking there. Park in garage and then wander garage aimlessly looking for elevators to ER). We get in, get checked in, get called back, get vitals taken, dose of motrin administered and then...wait. Ruthie refuses to nurse or fall asleep. Nurse Practitioner verifies that Ruthie will not put weight on her foot, orders x-ray. Wait. Get VERY THOROUGH x-rays taken. With a SCREAMING, SOBBING, THRASHING baby. I stay calm, cool, and collected. I sing her "special song" and tell her the rhyme of "monkeys jumping on the bed." Radiologist joins in with monkeys. The x-rays are finished and as I hold her sobbing, shuddering body only now do I let myself cry a little.

Now we go to a special waiting room where we wait. and wait. Wait. Wait. Ruthie finally nurses (it's now about 11pm). NP comes back, a little something funny around her hip, ultrasound tech is still in building, she order ultrasound to check fluid around hip. Wait. Get taken to ultrasound and have fabulous ultrasound taken by nice Kenyan man. (Forgot to ask him and radiologist if they were single. Not for me of course.) Go back to special waiting room. Wait. wait. wait. NP shows up, does brief exam of Ruthie's knees, hips, ankles and feet. Concludes a sprained ankle. Asks if I want a dose of tylenol before we go home. I say yes - stupid considering I've got my own damn tylenol in my diaper bag. Wait. wait. Get tylenol, get discharged.

Ruthie falls asleep as soon as I turn on the car. I forgot about the speed trap on the way home, only remembering as I saw the bright flash of the speed camera in my rear view mirror. (Hey honey, a ticket will be coming in the mail.)

Ruthie sleeps until 10:30am the next day. She really protects her foot for a couple and days and now it's like nothing ever happened.

We got excellent, really thorough care and so the waiting, although horrible with an exhausted hungry baby, was really very, very minor in the grand scheme. I am just so, so grateful that we dodged a bullet. We saw a little girl in really, really bad shape in the ER and her very young mother looked even worse. I really don't even like thinking about it.

Thank you God.

Note to self: Next time you go to the ER bring $1 bills for the vending machine. They don't take $5 bills.


Sandy said...

Oh Ellen, thank you for sharing. I am SOOOOOOOOO happy that Ruthie is fine! I am sure you were exhausted after such an emotional ordeal. It is wonderful that you have you sister close by and such wonderful neighbors!

JessTrev said...

So glad your little one is all right. It's *so* stressful to be in the ER. Hope you get some rest and peace soon .

Laurie said...

I'm so glad that this all worked out and that Ruthie is doing well. By the way, if you ever get thrown in jail, I have some frozen breast milk you can have too :)

Elaine said...

I'm touched, Ellen. Breastmilk supply is down to 800 ounces - so you get about 40 days to get yourself out of the big house.

The Lowe said...

Having done 2 trips this year to ER - 2 trips too many I might add - I recommend Holy Cross. Almost no waiting!

Marya said...

Ellen, I am so sorry about all of this. We also had a great experience at Children's. Please kiss Ruthie for us and you handled it like a trooper! Try to get some rest.

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