Wednesday, August 04, 2004

Emily had a wonderful birthday party on Monday. The rain held off long enough for all the kids to swim, play in the sprinkler and have a waterballoon toss. By the time it started sprinkling, we just moved inside for cake and presents. The birthday girl sure had a lot of fun with all her friends!

After the party, things got really exciting: Julia fell off her chair while climbing up for some dinner and cracked her head on the table. She cut open her eyebrow, which I didn't realize at first. I just knew she hit really hard, so I was just hugging her tight. By the time I pulled her back to see how bad she hit, we were both covered in blood! We got cleaned up and calmed down, put on a butterfly stitch and prepared to head to the ER. I threw on a fresh shirt and toasted a bagel for her, then gathered a banana, water cup, blanket and some Polly Pockets to play with. We were ready to hunker down and wait.

And wait we did. We spent about 3 hours in the ER, and Julia was such a trooper. We played rhyming games much of the night to pass the time. Once we headed back to our triage room, we played Polly Pockets going to the hospital--she had cut her cheek. I think the role playing helped Julia process everything that was happening. I have to say, everyone there was so kind and respectful of her. They talked to her, not me, explained and described what they were going to do before they did it, and showed her what they would use. I was very impressed, and the whole time Julia was in excellent spirits. We talked about the biohazard trash bags, sharps containers and where the laundry goes as we watched the triage nurse clean up after his patients. Nothing like unschooling in an ER--though the triage side was a bit less hectic than the emergency side.

The PA checked Julia's eyes and ears, and we learned that in head traumas, brain fluid will leak behind the ear drum. The triage nurse cleaned and irrigated the cut with a saline solution, which we learned was the same concentration as the saline in our cells--.9%. He showed Julia the catheter tube that would inject the saline, and she was so brave while he did it. He watched it for a little while to make sure it wasn't going to start pulling apart and need stitches, and the doctor came in to check it also. Finally, they decided to glue it, which seems to be an intermediate kind of step and much less invasive than stitches would have been. When we got home, everyone asked if she got stitches, and Julia just said, "No. They glued me back together!"

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