Friday, September 19, 2008

snips and snails - the fine print

Did you know there is more to that nursery rhyme? It has something to do with the emergency room.

What are Little Boys Made of?

What are little boys made of?
Snips and snails and puppy dog tails!*
That's what little boys are made of!

*Little boys are also made with some gene or chemical which makes them prone to certain kinds of activities which due to the level of exuberance in which they engage any such activity will have a possible tendency to land them smack dab in the middle of your local ER. Have a nice day, and I'm sure we'll be seeing you again.

* * * * * *

So yesterday was my day off. Meaning, I have no preschool or dance lessons or church responsibilities to take care of. It's a day that I can hang around in my pajamas all morning long if I want. I can think about going up to my mom's to borrow her sander and then not actually do it.

What Thursday is not a day for is walking into a bedroom where your little boy is crying and making a mess of things with all of the blood gushing from his mouth. And yet, and yet, that is what happened to me.

We made it to the Emergency Room (I'll spare you the details of getting there- because it consists of lots of blood and a slightly panicked mother changing out of her pajamas) and by that time Oliver was pretty calm, holding his blanket, three little stuffed animals and requesting to watch "Nemo" swim around in the fish tank.

Do you think it's a law that there be fish tanks in medical facilities? Cause most of the ones I go to have them. And my kids really like them. If it's not the law, then it's a good idea.

Fortunately my neighbor had taken my girls until my sister could come over to watch them, so it was just me in the ER while they sedated my boy and stitched up his poor little mouth. Because of the anesthesia, they brought down a respiratory therapist and had oxygen at hand along with some sort of pump should he stop breathing. They hooked him up with various things to keep an eye on his oxygen level, his pulse, his blood pressure and his breathing.

I was only a little nervous. I mean, knocking the kid out was the best and easiest way to help him, but still.

I held him close to me and looked in his eyes. "Stay close to me." I said. Because you never know. "Okay" he said.

He split open his lower lip--an ugly sight. And then hit his upper gums and ruptured an artery that had to be tied off. His poor front teeth looked a little wonky and they were loose, but his gums should firm up and take care of that. Still. Lots of blood. Not pretty. The doctor came in and chatted about his grandkids and stitched while my son lay there cooperating and looked glazed over (which he was) and then they were done.

And then I sat in a darkened ER room with my little boy sleeping on his side for over an hour and a half. Every 15 minutes the blood pressure machine would send out its low buzz and take his blood pressure. I held his warm little hand, wiped the blood and saliva from the corner of his mouth, and waited, watching the little blips of his life on a monitor up above the bed. Finally he woke up, a little woozy but fairly cheerful considering the whole thing. "Mom" he said, smiling. "Teeth hurt."

And then we went home and watched The Incredibles and ate popsicles.


  1. How awful, give him a hug and a kiss for me! This is exactly why I am so afraid to have this little boy...I am sure he will liven things up at our home! I hope you are surviving your adventure.

  2. I am glad he is OK.

    What is with the ER and 911 calls lately?!?! This is the third post in a just a couple of days I have read with such trauma.

  3. That kid is ALL BOY! I love him to pieces!

  4. Poor poor mama! Poor poor boy! I dread the day. We've been so lucky, no serious injuries round here. Oh if I could keep it that way forever!

  5. So sorry - hope he feels much much better really soon.

  6. Oh my heck....this is totally what I have to look forward to with my little guys isn't it?!? I can't believe we've actually made it this long without at least one trip! (did I just jinx myself there?!?)

    How on earth did you hold it together as well as you did? I'm so afraid I'll pass out if something like that happens - I'm a total weenie when it comes to blood!

    Hope he feels better soon :)