So I had mentioned briefly on Facebook that we had an Emergency Room visit with Scarlet on Thursday. It was incredibly uncool. Here are the basics: We have a Honda Odyssey minivan with an automatic sliding door. The door closes slowly enough that you can probably stick your hand in there and out seven times before it fully shuts. Scarlet was having a tantrum. A loud tantrum. It was so loud you might not be able to tell the difference between it, and say, true pain or fear. She stuck her hand back into the van for whatever reason I’ll never know – to retrieve a doll or teddy bear? To retrieve a rock or straw or other piece of trash she put in the car? I’ll never know but her hand was stuck in the door. I was on the other side of the car trying to call a friend and tell her we were late but on our way. Scarlet was screaming and carrying on. I wasn’t listening because it was no different than pre-putting her hand in the door. This went on hauntingly long.
I turned off the phone call and walked around to the other side of the car. Saw her hanging there with her hand stuck. I screamed and threw myself in front of the car and opened the door to pull her hand out. I held her in my arms. I couldn’t tell anything right away. It looked..terrible and crushed. I just kept apologizing over and over. I couldn’t get a good read on what was going on with her so I thought an insane thought that I’d never carry out – I wanted to shut the door on my own hand to see what would happen. I just didn’t know. She was upset, sure, but I couldn’t tell if it was from pain or fear or anger. She did fall into my arms plenty of times. I asked her to wiggle her hand and she could. I figured this was a good sign. I looked at her hand and it seemed to be swelling by the second. It did not look good. I buckled her back in the car and we headed to the ER, calling Cassidy to meet us along the way. She kept crying this really sad, pitiful crying and I knew it was because she was in pain and she was scared and it killed me. Like, it’s one of the reasons life is sometimes too painful for words, or existence – hearing that cry. She kept saying, “It’s all better now. It’s all gone. I want to go home. I want to go home.” I kept thinking about how I’d never in my childhood ever needed an ER visit, and here she was on her second one. I knew it wasn’t as bad as her first visit, luckily. Still, I was scared I’d go into labor or a panic attack from the guilt and trauma.
Truthfully, I never even came close.
Cassidy met us there soon after I had calmed Scarlet down in one of the private rooms and then it was my turn to cry. I just felt so guilty. I felt the worst about those missed seconds in which I didn’t know she was in trouble but she was surely in trouble and she was calling my name and I was ignoring her. How scared she must have felt. How in pain.
I felt like a colossal failure as a mother. I still do, but it lessens day by day.
She got the most adorable X-rays in the world. I had to wait outside, due to my pregnancy, and I stood and cried and SEVERAL amazing hospital employees offered me assistance – a chair, a tissue, a shoulder squeeze. The whole ordeal was honestly under an hour. I knew things were ok when instantly the doctor let us look at the X-ray and told Scarlet to read it for him. I knew he wouldn’t do that if anything was wrong. We were sent home with instructions to ice it or in the worst case scenario, give her some children’s pain medication. He said it would heal in three days or so. So then we set home to spoil her and love her even more than usual. If possible. For an hour or two, she’d call it her “owie hand” and her “good hand.” Then we told her that she actually had two good hands and one was just a little bruised. You could literally see it get better. She went from dangling it uselessly to going back to 100% full usage. Three days later, there’s no indication that it happened.
We talk about it, of course, and maybe this one is unfortunately going to be locked securely in the memory banks now that she’s about three. She talks about how brave she was at her “checkup.” She talks about how much I cried. She talks about getting her hand stuck in the white car door. She talks about having two good hands. And she talks about how getting X-rays are just like getting your picture taken. Later that afternoon after a lot of the swelling (her, physical. me, emotional) had gone down, we went outside. I took my camera. Instead of her usual ignoring it she said, “Take pictures of me like X-rays.”
“Take a picture of my face.”
Something about this below picture reminds me of Janis Joplin. Anyone else see it?
“Take a picture of my butt!” (I don’t know where she gets it…)
“Take a picture of my belly.” This is also a shot of her poor right hand..bruised and battered but not broken.
I think it’s safe to say I learned a few things from this event:
1. Honda does have safety in mind, it seems. They obviously realize that kids do things like this and there is a rubber lining in the door frame that saved my daughter’s poor little fingers from being anything but bruised.
2. Cooley Dickinson Hospital is a class act. Looking forward to delivering a baby there shortly.
3. Kids are magical, elastic unicorns. Amazing, magical, elastic unicorns.