Thursday, July 12, 2012

My first midnight trip to the ER

Yep--my first. I've never had a personal emergency that had me spending the midnight hour in an emergency room. My children, though active and a bit clumsy, have avoided trips to the ER as well (other than a weekend visit for pinkeye on a Saturday afternoon when Amanda was a preschooler).

But the streak has been broken.

Yesterday morning, the manager at the place where my grandmother stays called to tell me that they noticed a bad rather large bruise on her leg when she was getting dressed. She said she hadn't fallen, but her not remembering a fall doesn't mean a fall hadn't taken place. They told me they were icing it and would keep an eye on it. Just before 7:00 p.m., they called me back and said that since the swelling and pain had increased, they thought she needed to have it looked at.


The nature of emergency care is that you can't plan for it. I'm not an ultra-organized, scheduled person, but I also don't respond well to curveballs. It so happened that Terry and Amanda had plans, and I had not one, but two eight-year-olds in my house. It's the responsibility of being Mimi's primary caregiver that has weighed on me. I wasn't exactly sure why. Sure I visit, and I have to make sure bills are paid, but is that such a big deal? And now I know -- it's the unexpected.

People are always asking me how I'm doing with all the change in my life. I'm really okay with it. I enjoy the time I spend with my grandmother in her new home. After two and a half months, she seems to be honestly settling in. In fact, she mentioned several times while we were hanging out in the midnight hour that she thinks she'd be sorry if she had to leave "that place over there." We also had some pretty humorous conversations about some of her "disagreements" with the staff (She's quite worried about all the chemicals they are using on the floor, that it's poison, and they have it all stocked up in the kitchen storeroom). She also told me about one of the staff members who hates her and who she hates.

BUT she spoke highly of several of them by name, the ones who love her. There are 4 or more who she knows -- and I know -- are not just doing a job there. They are letting themselves love and be loved. It's what has helped her settle in and feel sorry if she'd had to leave.

So, they were concerned about her leg. They knew it needed to be looked after, so at 8:00 p.m., Mimi and I were sitting in the emergency room. The hospital was only 10 minutes away, and she was literally in a room before I even finished giving the receptionist her name. Over the next three hours, they took several vials of blood, they took a chest X-ray, and did an ultrasound to rule out blood clots, which it did. They did a catscan, and it also came back clear. Sometime before midnight, the nurse told me that they'd probably keep her overnight to observe, which I wasn't crazy about. She's in a good place where people keep an eye out for her, and since they had ruled out everything, I didn't really want to sit around in a hospital all night and all day.

After midnight, the doctor came in and said we could go home. By 12:30, I was taking Mimi to her home, and after settling her in and updating the staff, I was home at 1:15 a.m. It was a long evening, but all is still well, and I've crossed a "never" off my list.

Am I as unusual as I think? Have you made frequent trips to the ER?


Martha said...

That is called an adventure! You are doing an amazing job of taking care of everyone special in your life. It is not weird to not go to the emergency room. We have only been once when Hannah was 3 months old and got something in her eye. Glad things are well!

Nancy said...

So they don't know what caused the bruise? I hope this was a one time thing!

I can't believe your kids have never been to the ER!

Alex has been to the ER 4 times (forehead gash requiring 8 stitches, glitter in the eye and twice for asthma attacks).

Zack has been to the ER once (bonked his head on a brick fireplace at daycare, if it had been at our house I probably wouldn't have bothered with the ER) and admitted to the hospital once (weird rash that was bright red and hot to the touch covering his entire body, doctor sent us to the peds floor skipping the ER).

Fortunately we've had no broken bones, knock wood!

Jennifer Donovan said...

Nope -- Nancy, don't know what caused it. She probably fell but doesn't remember it. It's looking better today.

edj said...

I have gone to urgent care plenty of times, but never to the emergency room. At least, not for one of my kids. I had to go in once myself, but that was a really long time ago.

morninglight mama said...

I also can't believe you've never had an ER visit with your kids! We've had a few here and there, the biggest probably being the staples JAM had to get in his head after he fell in a store and hit his head on some weights. Fun.

Best wishes to Mimi!