Just like peas and carrots

Kids and emergency rooms just seem to go together. All this hoopla over The Mysterious Ankle Injury of Captain Oblivious and the impending trip to the orthopedic folks has brought up flashbacks of horrendous emergency room episodes over the years:

  • the time K, about 5 years old, picked up the grill bars with her bare hands just after the fire was put out;
  • the time when B, 12, got her hand slammed in the closing car door; or fell down a hill to embed a piece of glass in her leg (that year the ER people started knowing her by name when we walked in–bad sign);
  • the night K, also about 5 (that was a bad year, too), jumped off a bed onto the handle of a Fisher-Price wheelbarrow that landed in her privates –try explaining how she got cut THERE to a suspicious doctor…
  • the day I was covering a local election for my newspaper, and I had very young M with me, who decided it would be fun to dash out into the street as a car passed by while her mother was speaking to a candidate. My police officer ex was there to retrieve her from under the car’s bumper, bundled us both, tears streaming, into the car, and drove us to the ER. He walked in carrying the child, announced, “The child needs a CT scan, the mother needs a Valium,” and kept walking. She didn’t even have a bruise-I got a thousand gray hairs.

But the best of all has to be the phone call in the middle of the night during B’s teen years. She was staying in another state with her dad for his custodial time, and I was just climbing into bed when the phone rang.

“Hello?” I said.

“This is the emergency room at Akron Children’s Hospital. Please stand by for the orthopedic surgeon.”


Say what?

I found a chair, quick, and sat down, while they searched out the doctor, wondering what in the hell had happened. Come to find out that dear daughter B had been staying at a friend’s house, playing on her trampoline, and had jumped off into a wall. One of the bones in her left forearm had broken, badly, and they needed permission to treat her.

Okay. The next obvious question becomes, “Um…where is her father?”

Turns out he’s out of town! Can’t be reached. So they’re calling me. Wonderful. I give them verbal permission to treat and then make arrangements to go over the next day, after I find someone to watch the other kids. B has surgery to put in a metal plate to bind the broken ends together again, her dad comes home, too, and all goes well. In fact, she figures out that if she twists her arm just right, the metal plate will poke up under the skin and look all manner of disgusting, and she uses this to gross people out for years. I think she still does.

Come to think of it, K had a trampoline accident too–discombobulated her shoulder when someone fell off a trampoline onto her. Three months of physical therapy there.

Trampolines are evil things. (I say this, confessing that I’m thinking about getting one–with a fence around it!!–because Little Miss would really benefit from the sensory effects.) But they’re still evil.

And think how exciting it would be to have a trampoline, when C.O. can break his ankle just walking across flat ground. Oh well.

But over all, in the eight years they’ve been here, this is the first broken bone or other major trauma among the three little ones. Little Miss goes for an occasional F.U.O.–fever of unknown origin, since she can’t really explain how she feels, and Ditto Boy cut his knee up badly at a flea market one day, but that’s about it. Lots of other families have a worse record. Guess I’ll go cheerfully to the orthopedic office…and start investing in crutches.

UPDATE: Good news: C.O. has a cast now, because it’s fractured, but he only has to use the crutches through today and then he can walk on it.

Bad news: C.O. has a cast now, because it’s fractured, but he only has to use the crutches through today and then he can walk on it.

Remember how Aspies don’t deal well with sudden changes or different routines? Oy.

14 thoughts on “Just like peas and carrots

  1. Hmmm….I think that our exes could be one and the same. Jumping off a tramp into a wall…I have 4 kids and could see each one doing that one…lol.

  2. You know it’s bad when you go to ERs and other assorted specialists (not to mention the PCP) so often that you start having dreams that you work in healthcare. By the end of an ER wait, it almost feels like a career. You certainly have quite a resume!

  3. You forgot about the time that plastic bag melted onto my foot. It wasn’t the ER but it was close. And just as traumatic. Hahaha

  4. Brings back memories… My youngest (The Boy, now 19) went through a run of ER visits, and we were convinced the childrens services people had us on a watch list. Simple things – jumping off his sisters bed (after being told not to jump off the couch, no less) and breaking an elbow, falling out of the book loft at the afterschool facility and breaking his arm only hours before we were scheduled to leave on a family vacation… He (mostly) out grew this…

    Regarding the trampoline – i feel marginally vindicated in telling my two that they were not allowed on the trampoline in the neighbors yard. i watched virtually every kid in the neighborhood get carted off for treatment – one of mine almost got hurt as a spectator (like your daughter). The sorts with walls seem a little better, but you have to remind the kids not to try to treat it like a clown car and see how many people they can get bouncing around at the same time!

    Hope C.O. is doing ok… and that your nerves are settled…

    He’ll be okay once he adjusts. We all just hope it’s sooner rather than later…

  5. Unfortunately this brings back memories of my own slips, cuts and falls. The rusty nail going stright through my toe. The big piece of glass that slashed my palm ( finger is still numb), the light bulb that burned my arm. Oh Lord my poor mother!

    Hmm where was my father? Where is my father? Aah so many of them are similar.

  6. Wow K! You are SO HOTT that a plastic bag melted on your foot. Sweet.



    You’re just jealous because she’s the big sister now.

  7. Such adventures you all have had! I’m glad C.O. survived his ordeal. That’ll teach you for going out!!! LOL! Don’t you know you are supposed to be home ALL THE TIME???


    No kidding! What WERE we thinking!!

  8. I can confirm that, yes, B is still very committed to grossing people out with the metal plate in her arm. But she’s always smiling so broadly when she shows you, that it’s never quite as scary as it could be.

    It’s the man in the mysterious hat. How are you? Still writing, I hope?

  9. Pfft, I still end up in the ER for fun times. When I hurt my back in October, I seriously thought that the French Boy was going to need a Valium or something. Poor thing was freaking out so bad.

    Best time had to be when I was in high school and sliced my hand while washing dishes. The intern was a hottie….

    Glad the boy is doing better. If he wants to walk around on the crutches for a couple extra days just to avoid the change in routine, it’s really not going to hurt him. And, hey, getting yourself injured in fun and creative ways is part of being a kid. It’s normal, right? Remind me to tell you the story of the bunny bank and my first ever set of stiches.

  10. My youngest daughter, who is going to be 12 this year, had a fall from a moving fun-fare machine 20 days ago. I nearly fainted when I see her disfigured hand. An X-ray done showed both her forearm bones broken. The doctor suggested a surgery to insert metal plates to align and hold the bones. My daughter swims competitively and this fall is a major blow for her as her inter-school swimming competition is in July. Her doctor has instructed her not to swim pending her next X-ray two weeks later. With no training, there is really no chance to compete.

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