Thursday, July 05, 2007

A Visit to the ER

I have a combined total of 27 years of raising kids - my kids are 11, 9, and 7 - and last night we had our first-ever trip to the emergency room. Considering my history, I think it's quite impressive that it took "27 years" for me to take someone to the ER.
When I was a pre-schooler I was with my mom at the grocery store, slipped and hit my head at the check-out counter, and had to go get stitches.
In kindergarten I slipped on the ice (on the way to ballet lessons, no less!) and fell and cut my head open on the porch. More stitches.
In first grade I was picking up a toy from underneath my dresser and when I stood up I hit the back of my head on the corner of the dresser. Stitches again.
In second grade I broke my elbow when I was "sledding" during recess at school.
In third grade my friend and I were playing kickball and as I was running backwards I tripped and fell, hitting my head on a pile of rocks. Yep. More stitches.
In fourth grade I fell during indoor recess at school and broke my finger.
Finally, in fifth grade I really did it. I was trying to fit in with the boys by riding bikes over a jump. I ended up with a concussion and was in the hospital for a few days following surgery to reattach my lip to my gum line. Now I have a pretty funky scar inside my mouth!
Can you understand now why I am so impressed with my children's lack of need for emergency room care???

So, yesterday we came to my mil's house to celebrate the Fourth of July. Last night I told the kids to all use the bathroom before we left to go see the fireworks display and that's when the excitement began. Joshua screamed for Brian and I from the bathroom and when I went in, I saw blood running down his forehead. We got him cleaned up and were debating whether or not he needed stitches when my bil came in with a bloody head. He'd had a little accident on the dirt bike. So now we had two heads possibly in need of stitches, and two guys who did NOT want to get stitches.
We bandaged Joshua's head and went to the fireworks, deciding to "wait and see" if further attention was necessary.
Being the worry-wart that I am, I kept watch on Joshua like a hawk. I wouldn't let him go on the playground, preferring him to just sit with me on the blanket. As time went on his wound began to bleed again and we decided he needed to get those stitches after all. So at about 11:30, after we'd gotten home from the fireworks, Brian, Joshua, my bil and I all went to the ER.
My little guy was so scared. It was all I could do to not cry with him. When the doctor told him she would need to give him stitches, the flood gates opened and he cried his little eyes out. At first the doctor gave him a topical anesthetic but he could feel her suturing him so then she injected one and that worked. I sat with Joshua praying and singing to him, doing my best to look in his eyes without looking at what the doctor was doing. I wasn't sure I'd be able to stomach watching her sew him up. Yuck.
Finally, about 2:00 A.M. we were finished at the hospital, came back to Grandma's house, and fell into bed.
This morning Joshua is feeling better. We have talked about our adventure in the ER and how, although it wasn't "fun," now Joshua has a memory to share with his kids the first time he takes on of them to the ER.

It was interesting to me to do my own reflecting about my response to this whole situation. Perhaps part of it was fueled by a quote I read on someone's blog yesterday. I don't remember who said it and I probably won't repeat it accurately but essentially, it said, "To be a mother is to choose to watch your heart walk around in someone else's body." When Joshua was hurting, I was hurting. When he was scared, I wanted to cry. My protective nature went into overdrive as I thought about how much I didn't want him to hurt anymore. The same little boy, who was driving me nuts with his complaining during the drive from Lansing to Holland earlier in the day, was now the object of my deepest concern and affection.
It is amazing to me when I think of how much love God can fit into this heart of mine. At the same time, I realize His love for me is far greater still. Though I complain about this or that circumstance, though I struggle to be the woman He wants me to be, though I am imperfect and broken, He loves me. Now that is amazing!
My friend, please remember today, He loves you, too!

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Lauren@Baseballs&Bows said...

Oh, no! I am sure that was not the way you wanted to spend the Fourth! I hope Joshua is in no more pain. He deserves to get to tell the story to everyone! :)

mcewen said...

Fingers crossed that it will be plain sailing now.
Best wishes

annie said...

Reminds me of Matthew 7:11 "If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?"
We have discussed often how we would give so much - anything - for Izzy and this scripture is evidence of how much God loves us.
I'm sorry that Joshua was hurt, but thankful that it was something easily fixed.

Jenileigh said...

Oh Karen! I'm so glad that Joshua is alright! You are such a great mommy!!And that statement is so true about our hearts being carried aroudn inside of our children!

And OMG! I can't believe you were that accident prone! I have to laugh even though I know it surely wasn't, but my dear lil sis was the accident prone one when we were little. I use to feel so bad for her! This was a great blog! :) God Bless You Dear Sister!

Deborah said...

You are such a brave mommy! hope he is feeling alot better and they will say when his older as my son says when I say becareful, mom chicks dig scars. love always me

Leigh Gray said...

wow oh wow - i hardly have words to say about your childhood accidents. that is some serious head trama - i would say you were ready for brain surgery, weren't you!! "All things work together"

Glad to hear your kids are ok. I think you are doing well too for no more accidents than that!!

have a great day!!

Char said...

Wow - sounds like you had a really memorable 4th of July! :o) Glad that your little one will be ok. I can't imagine how it must hurt to watch your kiddy hurt... But awesome to have a mom who sings to you and prays for you while you're hurting! What a great mom you are!

Angela said...

We haven't had too many trips to the ER, but your post brought back all the memories as I read. We hurt so badly to see our little ones hurting. Lord willing, they will someday feel the same with their little ones.

Thank you for the reminder today of how much God loves me. Hope your little guy is feeling better very soon. Have a blessed day!

Coach J said...

I have to say that I laughed at all those stitches in your head. Wonder what all those scars look like under your hair? He,he, :)!!
Anyway, glad your son came through the ER experience. Did your bil get stitches too??
And, your reflection on our love walking in their bodies is soooo true! And how in the world can God's fit in our tiny bodies? Except, that He is God, and that's how it fits. Totally overwhelming!

Sonya said...

I love that you sang and kept eye contact with your son while the doc was working on him. I would like to think that I would do the same. I know it has to comfort our children when we do things like this. I hope he is recovering nicely still!