An Evening In The ER (**originally posted 10/13/2009)
***WARNING***THIS POST IS NOT FOR WEAK STOMACHES.***GRAPHIC PICTURES BELOW!***
Today started out like any other. An uneventful Tuesday full of housework, school work with Joshua, a trip to the grocery store, and even an afternoon nap. Around 6:00pm I started supper. Owen had only been awake from his nap for about 20 minutes and all three boys were playing in the back yard. I had curly fries in the oven and both of my hands were covered in raw meat as I was making burgers in the skillet. Joshua ran into the kitchen and said, “You need to come out here. Jesse is crying.” I quickly put the meat down and washed my hands. As I’m lathering the soap, Joshua is trying to give me more details. “He fell out of the treehouse…I think he’s bleeding…I think he maybe knocked his tooth out.” By now, I’m pushing him out of the way and running through the backyard to the treehouse where I find Jesse on the ground crying, blood pouring out of his mouth. Oh no. I lift his upper lip so I can see exactly what has happened. There it was, the tooth next to his two front ones, completely bent upward and sticking out of his gums, straight into his upper lip. It was the most disgusting thing I’ve seen first hand in a very long time…if not ever! This picture just doesn’t quite capture the gaping hole in his gums where the baby tooth had been and how mangled everything looked with his tooth shoved up so far into his gums.
I immediately call Josh and ask him to meet us at the Children’s Medical Center parking deck. I can’t remember exactly what I said…something to the affect of, “Jesse fell out of the treehouse, busted his face, his tooth is sticking out of his gums…lots of blood…hurry up…don’t ask me anything…I can’t talk…”
Then I called my mother-in-law. Thankfully, she answered on the first ring. I quickly told her what happened and asked her to please talk to Jesse and pray with him over the phone while I got dressed. That really calmed him down for most of the ride to the hospital. Josh met us there and took the other boys back home with him, where, thankfully, the house had not burned down. I couldn’t even remember if I had taken the skillet off the stove or turned the oven off, which happened to be on 450, with the fries still in there!! Thank you Lord for your protection!
As we’re walking through the parking deck to the ER entrance, I felt something on my foot. I looked down to see that someone’s GUM had somehow found it’s way to my flip-flop and was stuck to my TOE!!! I kicked my shoe off and was frantically wiping my foot through the grass. As we entered the pediatric waiting room, I notice there are about 20 people already in there and most of them are wearing blue masks. Great. Just great. We don’t get flu shots. We never get sick. But here we are, in the ER, in the middle of flu season….and we’re the only healthy people in here!! My heart is racing and I’m just praying that my wimpering, bloody-mouthed, pitiful little boy will somehow be pushed to the front of the line! If only I had known then…it was just the beginning of a long night at the circus.
We’re sitting patiently in the waiting room as new patients walk in by the minute. I’m amazed at the way some of these people are dressed. I mean come on people…your child has a fever and you need to take him to the ER…I think you have time to put some shoes on…or at least a BRA!! Not too long after we arrived, the cops walked in with a teenager in handcuffs. This kid did not look hurt, nor did he look sick. We sat there and minded our own business until a cute little boy with ‘no filter’ turned to his mommy and very loudly said, “Uh-oh Momma. That boy’s goin’ ta jail when the doctor get through with him!”
The waiting room began to fill up. There was one seat left and it was right next to me. I don’t know about you, but if I’m a little nervous about my surroundings, I’ll put something of mine in the seat next to me so no one can sit there. Well, low and behold, a homeless man walked in and plopped down right next to me and my purse. He was about 6’4″, 140 lbs. He reeked of alcohol, smoke, and body odor. Just as I begin to pray even harder that God would speed up this process and get us OUT of the waiting room, I hear an announcement over the P.A. system…”Pediatric Trauma–Level Two–Penetrating…” Oh great! That sounds really bad and probably makes Jesse’s injury look like a stubbed toe…we’re going to be here all night. Then three young ladies walked in, pushing strollers that each had at least one child in them, and then there were several kids walking behind them as well. As they checked in at the front desk, the lady asked their names. One by one they responded, “Moore.”…”Moore”…”Moore…” I could see the look on the nurse’s face, and then she asked, “Um, are you cousins?” One of the girls said yes. I’m thinking, OK, what did ya’ll do, call each other up and say,
‘hey cuz, I’m bored and my baby got a fever, how ’bout your’s?”
…”yeah girl, my baby has a runny nose, you wanna meet up at the emergency room?”
…”sure! don’t forget to call your sister, I bet she’ll wanna bring her kids too!”
…”okay, cool, we’ll meet you there!”
People are coughing, sneezing, sweating, crying. I felt like an OCD, hypochondriac. I thought for sure I was going to break out in a hot sweat and have a panic attack. I began looking through my purse for hand sanitizer and wipes. I had to de-contaminate quickly…Oh my gosh, you’ve got to be kidding me!? No hand sanitizer? No wipes?? What kind of mom am I??? I probably looked insane as they brought us back to a room and I spotted the anti-bacterial foam on the wall. I ran to it and held the spout down until both of my hands were full of clean, white, disinfecting foam. I felt a little better after that; as if someone had removed us from the ‘line of fire’, which was the waiting room.
While looking through my purse for sanitizer, I realized that Joshua had left his Nintendo DS in my purse with a game and the charger. By this time, the bleeding had stopped and Jesse was able to put the towel down and play the DS for a while as we waited on the doctor.
The ‘resident’ had to get her ‘attending’, who had to page the pediatric dentist on call, who basically said, “we’re going to have to pull his tooth and send him tomorrow for x-rays.” The dentist was so sweet. She had to have been in her 20’s and was being shadowed by a young, male dental student. They did a great job helping me hold Jesse down as they gave him a local anesthetic and pulled the damaged tooth out. It was disgusting, bloody, and very loud. I’m pretty sure Jesse’s screams were heard all over downtown Augusta. By the time it was all over, the dentist was so shaken up, she could hardly sign my discharge papers. Her hands were shaking and she had this nervous smile on her face like she was about to pass out. All in a day’s work!
Jesse was such a trooper. I promised him ice cream on the way home. By this time it was 11:00pm. He wanted Sonic, but the first one we drove to was closed. He asked me to try another Sonic by our house. By the time I got there and realized it was closed as well, Jesse was fast asleep. I drove through McDonald’s instead and I tried to wake Jesse up, but he was OUT.
The lady at the drive-thru window said, “Um, is he asleep?” As I bit my tongue with the many different funny and sarcastic ways I could’ve responded, I just smiled and said, “yes, it’s been a long night.”
When we finally got home, Jesse didn’t want his ice cream…just his bed, and his teddy bear, Mr. Fatty. I pray he’ll get a restful night’s sleep followed by lots of soup and ice cream tomorrow.
Thank you to all of you who saw my mother-in-law’s facebook updates and prayed for Jesse while we were at the hospital. I’m so thankful it wasn’t any worse than it was and that Jesse did very well overall.
It’s 1:20am and I think the adrenaline is finally wearing off. I’m going to bed.