The Price of Peace of Mind...there is no number too great.
I feel terrible posting a blog about our trip to the ER tonight without informing any family members...but the short version is...Sam is fine.
Now for the long version...
Tonight, after returning home from Tiggy and Pop's house, we began our evening routine. Our evening routine includes about 20 minutes of potty time while we wait for something to happen. In the middle of these bathroom antics, Samuel sat on the ledge of the bathtub, fell backwards and hit the back of his head. The sound was loud. Samuel started to cry hysterically, and I screamed my head off. I was not the calm presence my son needed at that moment. I have never heard him cry like that and he's never had a knot that big. It was several moments of frantic and terrifying decision-making.
Because this story ended well, I can tell you that the few minutes of running around the house before getting into the car to go to the ER are somewhat comedic. It's that feeling like you should know what to grab to take with you but you don't. You feel the need to act in a quick thinking, rational way...but really you are trying to decide if the four extra seconds it takes to put back on your bra is, in fact, an act of selfishness that would take valuable response seconds away from your screaming child or is he going to be fine and you will be in the hospital painfully aware that you are without support (and not the emotional kind). I'm not gonna lie...it's a tough call.
I began to prioritize this way. "Okay, I can change from pajama pants into jeans, throw on shoes but only ones with no laces, and I have no idea where my jacket is." Unfortunately, the fleece pajama top covered in sledding polar bears that was never meant to be seen by other humans has to stay. I couldn't rationalize one more second of potential head swelling for me to complete an ER appropriate ensemble. Nope, the pediatric ER will have to see the fleece. On the way out the door, I grabbed a blanket. No one knows why you do this...but everyone does. Emergency rooms are filled with cumbersome "life-saving" blankets.
As we drove to the ER and Sam started to perk up I beat myself up for worrying about being partially in pajamas. It's an ER for crying out loud. Who has time to get dressed? Flash forward to the actual ER waiting room, however, and I quickly realized that we were there on the one day everyone had time to get fully dressed and bring in their sick, lethargic kids. It was a completely calm room of quiet children and fully dressed parents. Andy and I entered frantically with crazy hair and looking very, "ma in her kerchief and I in my cap," donning half of our pajamas. Andy had on his pajama pants. The worst part was the fact that Samuel was now laughing and reciting all the words to "Fox on the Run." I'm sure they were wondering why we didn't get fully dressed before bringing our well child into the ER.
On the way home tonight, Andy admitted that after we sat down and he realized Samuel was probably fine, he spent several minutes trying to determine if he even had underwear on under those pajama pants.
The waiting room, like I said, was filled with pitiful looking children laying on their mothers and whimpering quietly. Samuel chose to spend his time spinning around on his chair, screaming at the Little Mermaid to, "Watch Out," on the tv screen and trying to figure out how to get his hospital bracelet off his leg.
Ah, the hospital bracelet. A few minutes after arriving, we were called back to get the dreaded bracelet put on. A month ago, Samuel and I got into a wrestling match on the ground of a certain corn maze over the orange bracelet they wanted you to wear to tell what you paid to participate in...and I lost the match. So when the nurse looked at me and said she was going to put it on his leg, I wished her luck and did not volunteer to help. Three seconds, a fistfight and some screaming later, someone named 'Big Sam' was called in for back-up. My Sam continued to scream his head off. The waiting room must have thought Sam was having needles driven into his arms because we got sympathetic nods from the entire waiting room as we walked back to our seats. Nope, it was just the hospital bracelet. At one point, Sam told me - in so many words- to go find a doctor and tell him to take off the bracelet.
By the time we actually saw the doctor, we knew our child was fine. The goose egg on his head had reduced dramatically and Sam was saying things like, "Erryone...Erryone....Uh Oh, all the people disappeared," and waving to himself in the mirror on the ceiling that hides the security cameras. The doctor asked Sam what happened...Sam told him that he fell in the bathtub and bumped his head. The doctor asked him if he felt okay...Sam felt like that was the cue for this:
Five little pumpkins sittin' on a gate.
The first one said, "oh my it's getting late."
The second one said, "There are witches in the air."
The third one said, "But we don't care..."
Not only did he recite it, but he had apparently choreographed it at some point in the waiting room because there was an array of hand motions that neither Andy nor I had ever seen before. Through his laughter, the doctor said we were in the clear and left.
When Nurse Tracy came in to take some vital signs, Sam had this conversation with her:
Nurse: Ooh...what happened?
Sam: I fell in the bathtub and bumped my head.
Nurse: You fell in the bathtub and bumped your head?
Sam: Yes, right.
Nurse: Oh no, (pointing to her own head indicating for him to show her the bump) Where did you bump your head?
Sam: (pausing, to be sure she understood this time) In the bathtub.
I'm not sure when he had time to work up that "Who's on First?" bit, but let's just say the pediatric ER loved it when he played there.
Tonight, Sam had the time of his life. For a copay of $200, we received a popsicle, some stickers, and some much appreciated peace of mind. As we walked out of the ER in our half clothes, half pajama outfits, our superfluous blanket and a perfectly healthy child over our arm, Andy patted Sam on the back and said, "I'd gladly pay $200,000 for peace of mind any day."