Tuesday, January 13, 2015

The ER, twice in one day

Today, I took two of my children to the ER within an hour of each other.

Magdalena split open her chin on Sunday when she slipped on the monkey bars. We left the ER with four stitches and instructions to come back on Tuesday to check the healing progress.

This afternoon, I took her in and they checked the wound, re-dressed it, and sent us on our way with instructions to come again on Thursday.

An hour later, I was on my way back to the ER, this time with Sterling. He was running with salad tongs (SALAD TONGS) and somehow fell on them and impaled himself in the eye. It was so bloody that I couldn't even stand to look at it closely. Jeremy wiped him off a little bit and said I should probably take him in to make sure there was no damage to the eye itself, and to take care of the deep cut across his eyebrow and down to his tear duct.

The parking spot I had vacated earlier was still open, so I parked there. The same guy checked us in. Sterling sat on the same bed in the same triage room that Magdalena had been on an hour before. It was surreal.

Poor baby will be fine. The eye itself is unhurt, thank goodness, and the cut could use some stitches but since he's 15 months old (CANNOT SIT STILL NO NOT EVER) and it's so near his eye, it's not possible. So they glued and taped it shut (not with, like, Elmer's and Scotch, but with medical stuff) and sent us home with instructions to come back on Thursday to check the healing progress. Which I already had plans to do, with Magdalena! So thanks for making my life that much easier, ER.

Two endnotes:

1. When I say ER, I do mean the literal ER, but it's not quite as emergency-y as the ones in the US. There is no Urgent Care here, so if you don't have an appointment with a doctor but you need to be seen right away, you can go to the ER. For us, the cost is the same as if we had an appointment with a regular doctor.

2. Looking back, I cannot recall ever going to the ER as a young child, or any of my siblings going, at least not for stuff like this. Either we were just lucky, or maybe we had these injuries but our parents didn't take us in??


Kitty Crazy! said...

Oh, my poor little grandkids! How scary for you, Bridget! I can't believe you didn't go to the ER as a child. When we had 3 little boys, they knew us by name--broken arms, legs, noses, cut-off fingers (2 or 3 times), etc. Hope everyone heals well. Janice

Nancy said...

Ahhhhh! Poor baby! Eye injuries are the worst!

And poor Magdalena as well, though chin injuries aren't quite as dangerous.

I've been to the ER for splitting my chin open (age 9, at a skating rink) and for an eye injury (age 16, at work as a lifeguard). Neither was fun.

Sterling's eye is just killing me!

Myrna said...

Ditto about Sterling's eye!!!!

I went to the ER once as a child, also for an eye injury.

Jessie said...


Crys said...

I was reading along...totally fine, oh chin injury, ok, sad but OK....then I got to salad tongs in the eye and I was like...yikes!!!! I'm proud of you for not freaking out. I think I would have made things a million times worse. I'm not the best in emergencies. I love surgy tape. So much better than stitches but I think the glue is just medical grade super glue ;)

Liz Johnson said...

OH NO!!!! Those poor kids! And eye injuries are just horrible. I'm so glad that they're ok-ish.

I went to the ER three times as a kid/teen - twice for a broken arm, and once for a fractured ankle (and I drove myself to the hospital, because my parents were out of town, and also IT WAS A STICK SHIFT). We've gone for stitches twice... I think. Once for meningitis. It's horrible.

Steven said...

I might be wrong, but I don't think I've ever been to the ER. And I don't think I've gone to the doctor when I'm sick. I've always wondered why I'm so against going to the ER/doctor, and I think maybe it has to do with how we were brought up? Or maybe I just want to save money by not going? I know that's flawed thinking, but I don't know where I get it from. Like that one time last year I was barfing blood nonstop, I refused to go to the ER. And I ended up being fine.

Bridget said...

OK, I am really sorry if that picture grossed you out! I just replaced it with a smaller version. It was so much better than how he looked at first that my judgement was off.

Liz, the thought of you driving to the hospital in a stick shift with a broken ankle is equal parts hilarious and terrifying! OUCHIE OUCHIE OUCHIE.

On the upside, we think Sterling might have a promising career ahead of him as a Bond villain - scary scar across the eye, possible ability to cry blood tears, etc.

Bridget said...

Steven, I wonder, too. I think it's a little bit how we were brought up, but I also don't think we're one of those weird anti-medical families. I remember going to a regular doctor plenty of times. It was just the ER or Urgent Care that I don't remember any of us going to. How did none of us break arms or legs??

Barfing blood????

Hannah said...

Oh my goodness. I'm so sorry to hear about this spate of injuries! I hope Magdalena and Sterling recover quickly.

I think I may have had an ER visit once as a child to make sure I didn't have appendicitis. Then, as an adult, I had two ER visits in 2011 and one in 2012. 2013 and 2014 passed without similar incidents, I'm happy to say.

Suzanne Bubnash said...

No we are not one of those weird anti-medical families! We were mostly lucky. No broken bones that I remember. One time Blair got slammed by a sled that steered into him and the impact echoed across the hill. He hardly even had a bruise from that, let alone a broken leg like I expected.

Blair was in the ER twice for bicycle accidents when he was a teenager. Daniel spent so much time at the doctor that the doc suggested we rent an apartment near by. Bridget, don't you remember being taken by ambulance to St. V's when you were about 14? Steven ate some medicine one time and spent a few hours in the ER.

Suzanne Bubnash said...

Steven, if you are ever barfing blood again, get your butt right down to the ER!

Aimee said...

Oh my goodness! Sounds like a crazy day! Poor Sterling, I am glad his eye is not injured.

Regarding most illnesses and many injuries my parents took a wait-and-see approach. I don't remember going often, if ever as a kid. I had my first ambulance ride with Calvin's birth. Then Tobin had an ambulance transfer over Christmas break in Portland from St. V's to Children's for croup. Zero to two ambulance rides in one year is too many for me!

Caitlin Carroll said...

Scary about his eye!! Tallulah has had two busted forehead incidents. The first in Germany they didn't do stitches they did a steri-strip thing, but the second time the resident tried to stitch her up, twice unsuccessfully, before doctor finally did it. I will definitely ask for the glue/strips next time if I have an under-2 with head injuries. SO worth the maybe little bit more of a scar as opposed to the trauma of forcing a toddler to sit still that long for stitches. It was terrible.

Kathy Haynie said...

Yes, medical grade super glue. When I face-planted into a boulder while hiking 4 years ago, that's what the ER doc put my forehead back together with. Amazing. Chins move a lot more, so the stitches are probably best there.

My middle daughter fell and broke her arm with a "green stick" fracture when she was in elementary school. The arm is kind of bent at a slight angle, but it's not awful like a compound fracture. I thought she was being whiney about her arm. Finally, A WEEK LATER, when another one of the kids had an ear infection, I took her to the doctor. I had to tell FIVE medical professionals (2 nurses, doc, x-ray tech, and casting guy) that she had broken it a week earlier. Very embarrassing, but they assured me it's not that unusual with a green stick fracture.

Bridget said...

Interesting stories! Kathy, I sympathize with you having to repeat your "a week ago" over and over again. I have never said "salad tongs" so many times in my life.


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