Thursday, April 2, 2009

Mr Adventure

All of us moms have one kid who is adventurous. This child is brave, inquisitive and very bright. They are also the offspring who allow us to get all the holes punched in our Frequent Customer card-- at the ER. OK, don't ask, there isn't such an item but wouldn't it be cool if there was? Twelve visits and the 13th IV is free? Or 20 visits and get a free tube of skin adhesive?

Meet Noah. My Adventure Child. He is four. He loves to run and jump and manipulate small objects. In the past year alone he has had two ER visits and one almost visit. If he was not my 3rd child there would have been more, but his mom has learned a few first aid maneuvers.

He is the child who discovered that a pencil eraser could be popped off a pencil and shoved up his left nostril. He realized it was a perfect fit. On a Sunday night. After I was in my jammies. He said he was bored as we drove to the first ER. Yes, the first. It was technically Urgent Care and they were unable to sedate him. He had gotten it too far up his nose. So I got to drive to scary downtown Big City at night, wait in the Scary Big City Children's Hospital ER for 2 hrs before getting into an exam room. 30 more minutes until we were seen by a doctor. 20 minutes after that while waiting for the anesthesiologist Noah sneezed, and out popped the eraser.

My very first thought was to shove it back up his nose. Waiting all that time with an active 3 yr old who was mesmerized by the new nasal quality of his voice makes the word " sedation" sound like " day spa visit."

My second thought was to grab my kids chart and run. Why should I pay for treatment that was not performed? But alas, I am an honest sort who likes to write copay checks. Ok, the second part is a lie.

Noah's second ER visit was on Daddy's watch. Daddy does not handle blood very well. Noah ran, misjudged the distance of a a toy on the driveway and took a header. Big slice, right over his eye. LOTS of blood. I had just traversed our town during a festival, dodging beer tent visitors - to get my daughter to her first Jr youth event.I was 20 minutes away and relieved that I got to my destination without running down anyone.

Did I mention that Daddy doesn't handle blood well? We have those nifty walkie talkie cell phones. Great for quick questions. Excellent for free convos from out of state. Not so cool when others are listening to rantings of a hysterical Dad.

Just as I arrived with all the other Jr high parents and youth to the designated Jr youth festivating spot-- he beeped me.

" SUSAN!!"
" Yes!?" (smile smile smile) " I'm in a room full of parents" (smile smile- grab bag - run for the door)
" I don't care where you are!!! Noah is bleeding!!! You have to take him to the ER"

It was only in retrospect that I learned what he said. It actually came out " MMUuummbbblee Muuummmlle bleeding... muuummmble ER"

" What?" I beeped back

" Get your..!!!!!" Out of respect for Brian, I will not print what he actually said because he was in shock. As were all the church youth group parents and youth within earshot. This is when we got the the "Christians aren't perfect, just forgiven" bumper sticker,and coordinating t-shirt. And matching tattoo.

Noah had a gash above his eye that required skin adhesive and another ER co-pay. He was able to tell many people that he " tripped over an elephant"- a line he never tired of repeating. He also ended up with a neat wound washing squirt-er thing he now uses as a bath toy and a nifty scar.

This brings us to today's medical urgency. Noah was bored and decided to stick his finger in a whiffle ball. And it got stuck. He brought it to me very calmly and I thought it was just a matter of soap and cold water and it would pop right off. But Noah was very thorough. That finger was jammed in there tight. I didn't start to question the ER visit until I had tried soap, cold water, Windex, oil, and sticking his hand in a cup full of frozen peas. I did manage to cut part of the ball off with wire cutters, and got a slice within 1/4inch of his finger. Then I must have pinched him because the screaming started.

Maybe this was a job for someone smarter than me. Fortunately that describes most of the people that I know. One is training to be a nurse. And has 8 kids. Certainly she had some experience in whiffle ball removal.I called her first. No answer.

Then I did as any good mom would do and put it on my facebook status. While waiting for answers ,I called up my neighbor/friend who I knew was home. Between her and the moms on my friends list a whole list of options popped up in minutes. The one who offered up some KY Yours and mine shall remain nameless. But I'm sure Noah would have enjoyed the tingle.

None of them worked. Neighbor /friend also offered up a margarita so that seemed like as good a place to start as any. Noah and I climbed into the Mystery Machine and headed to her house. She tried to distract him while I worked a file and wire cutters on the finger. No luck.

In all the excitement, Noah realized he had to go potty.I'm not sure if it was pee that got on his finger, or the cold weather outside, or the ice pack I had made him hold had shrunk his finger..but when I helped him wash his hands I just slid it right off. Gee soap and cold water. Why didn't I think of that the first time?

As I type I see him playing with a pair of tweezers and know that another ER visit is in my future. Not today, but soon. It is inevitable. I accept that.

I also sit in awe once again of the speed at which a mom in need can get assistance from her Chain of Moms. Of course it wasn't life threatening, or disastrous, but I know in my heart that if it were those same women, and more, would have come through for me. With whatever I need. Even if it is KY Yours and Mine.


  1. For the record, I was NOT the one who suggested the KY.

  2. I was in the after hours peds office all the time. I had gotten stitches 4 times before I turned 5.
    Love the little pouty face he is making on the pic.

  3. That was so great! I can definitely relate. The consensus in my community of mothers is it's definitely the 3rd one! (especially if the child is male.) This must be kid catastrophe week....erasers up noses, kitchen shears and plugged in cords, straight pins and one year olds, yeesh.

  4. I laughed so hard I cried, or was that tears because I know exactly how you felt? Either way you are way awesome.

  5. Susan, I know you're going to eventual decide I'm that gushy, insincere friend whose compliments are meaningless because she always tells everyone how awesome they are no matter what. But I'm going to say this anyway -- you are freaking AWESOME. I want to print this up and put it under my pillow, so I can read it at 7 am when I'm just waking up and very grumpy.

    Usually I would cite my favorite part, but it kept changing. Okay, I know it: "My very first thought was to shove it back up his nose."

  6. I would never say that Tracy-- ever! ( My ego needs positive reinforcement entirely too much) The rest of you, thanks for reading this and commenting! It really means a lot to me.. A LOT! You have no idea how much. And no, Jen was not the one who offered up her KY... this time. ;)

  7. LOL! Glad I could be part of the drama. What a great story.

  8. You are so going to be my go-to mom when the ER visits start over here. Audrey is my adventure child. Ruthie is my accident-waiting-to-happen child.


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