First ER visit on Saturday night

A tired girl and a moment of carelessness.

After hiking all morning, we went to a birthday party. It was almost time to go home. We had already served the cake and sang happy birthday. Kids were playing hard and they were all sweaty.

In comes jackie, crying hot tears. A kid bumped into her on the one-story-high triple-wide-slide. That slide is asking for crowds.

She showed me where it hurts, her elbow. It didn’t look bad. I held her and she decompressed. The tiredness caught up with her and she cried and cried. Now I was getting worried. She usually brushes off the accidents and moves on, even if there is blood. She would not allow herself to be cheered up or soothed.

Two lovely friends, doctors, guest and host of the same party, came and assessed the situation. I am still learning, to navigate the emotional charge combined with actual hurts.

As she was still crying, all this talk about the ER and what they would do there, encouraging stories about when other people had twisted their arms, and how it all got better, only fed her heightened sense of fear and pain. Jackie even contributed with the story of her daddy breaking his leg.

After 20 minutes of poking and cold water on the elbow, we packed up and off we went to the ER.

It’s the end of November. I sit in the back with her shivering. She is still tired. We simply drive across town to the ER. I call my doctor friend and she kindly asks around to see who is on call in her department of radiology. Around the hospital there is no parking because there’s a concert in the vicinity. Conrad drops us off and he goes on to see about the parking. We wait in one building. Jackie needs to pee. Still shivering. My friend calls and we walk to another building down stairs and then up, in a maze of hallways. It’s completely silent there. It’s night time.

We find the bathroom first. She pees. Then we find the cabinet of the radiologist. He is super nice! Jackie is already calm. She emptied her bladder. [I’m telling you, parents, everything feels better with an empty bladder!]

They scan her arm. I’m in there, blue lead apron on, holding her steady. The results come out ok. She is fine. Just twisted her arm and bruised the muscles.

She is already chipper and chatty with the doctors. Quite delightful. Conrad took a turn around the packed city just in time to pick us up. She is making plans about not going to school on Monday. Throwing herself a pity party. Relishing in the attention.

It’s now morning. She slept like a baby. She can now move her arm better though still sore.The pain is more localized. The muscle of her forearm.

I’m not sorry for the adventure. It will be a reference point of pain and cooperation. Knowing nothing is broken helped us have a goodnight sleep. Life happens. And there are a few things I’d like to keep in mind:
-no should’a would’a could’a is helpful
-stay calm, hopeful and realistic
-do what needs to be done
-better safe than sorry
-keep on the empathy
-enjoy the adventure.

She asked me in the car to tell her a story of when I had to rush to the ER for a broken bone. I told her I never broke a bone. But I had to go the the ER once when my molar was hurting like crazy. She asked me to tell her about how I was crying. I told her I didn’t cry. But I remember driving through the city at night with my dad, and forgot all about the pain as I watched the lights. It was a fascinating trip. And I was very brave at the hospital. Just like Jackie was brave. I remember my dad being patient and kind. And he never complained about the inconvenience. The memory of him being in control and kind is still vivid with me.

So here we are, making precious memories with our daughter, driving her to the ER at night, forgetting all about the pain as the car warmed up and we watched the city lights.