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Thursday, July 15, 2010

Merit Badge Tales - Amanda

When my two sons were 3-years-old and 4-WEEKS-old, my oldest son was jumping on the couch, after I had repeatedly told him, "Stop jumping on the couch!" (I was single parenting this particular evening because my husband was out of town, and I had invited my father over for dinner and for some extra hands to help with the 2 kids. I wasn't yet used to having 2 children.) My oldest son continues jumping on the couch, I am running around trying to warm up spaghetti sauce for dinner, feeding the baby, etc, etc. Next thing I know, the 3-year-old has (just like I predicted he would) fallen off the couch and onto a wrought-iron floor lamp with big curlicues at the bottom, ON HIS FACE! He's screaming bloody murder, and I race over to pick him up. Sure enough, he has a deep half-inch gash on his face, that nearly missed his eye by about another half inch. It's bleeding all over the place and he's screaming. To make a long story short, my Dad stays home with the baby while I take older son to the emergency room. He ends up with 4 stitches right next to his, after we had to wait for 3 hours in the ER.

Well, that wasn't the end. Oh no! About 2 weeks later, the baby has a REALLY high fever. It's 5:30 on a Friday, of course, so the on- call nurse says, "We recommend any baby younger than 6 weeks old should see a doctor if they have a fever higher than...blah blah blah. You need to take him to Children's ER." So, we head to the ER. They run a huge array of tests on him, including a chest x-ray (have you ever seen a 6-week old get a chest x-ray? It's like medieval torture.) They poke him with needles, stick in a catheter to get a urine sample, etc. etc. They almost decided to do a spinal tap to check for meningitis, but luckily the doctor has a level-head and doesn't go that far. Another very long story short, they say, "He probably has a virus. Give him some fever medicine, and call us back in a few days to get his test results." The fever went away on its own, and he was fine.

But, don't these things always happen in 3's? So, two more weeks have passed. Baby is fine (we made a follow-up visit to our pediatrician on Monday, just to make sure all was well. It was.) Older son's stitches have been removed by his pediatrician a few weeks ago. I'm at work one day, and I get the dreaded call from day care: Your oldest son has fallen and has a cut over his eye. We think it needs stitches. You need to come get him." I race to pick him up and go YET AGAIN to Children's ER. After a long wait, and having one of the nurses actually recognize me ("Hey, weren't you just here not too long ago?"), he gets the skin on his eyelid (not the same eye that got the other stitches) put back together with skin glue. As we were checking in, I asked the triage nurse if we could get a frequent flyer card, only half-joking. The best part was when my son said, "This is FUN, Mommy! Can we come back here again?"

So, in the course of a few months, I made THREE visits to Children's ER, THREE follow-up visits to the pediatrician's office, and lived to tell the tale.

I can laugh about it now because it was two years ago, but let me tell you, I was NOT happy at the time. For about six months after this, I made my husband do all the doctor visits.

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