Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Our First Trip to the ER (or Parenting! Fail!)

Well the whole idea behind starting this blog was to record the exciting things that happen in Lily's life as she grows. I guess it'd be unfair to keep out the "not so fun" stuff. So in the spirit of full disclosure... last night was our first trip to the ER.

It's funny how as Lily gets older and more competent it becomes easy to forget that she's actually only two. She can peel her own orange, carry the stool around the house to better reach items, deftly operate an iPhone, carry her plate to the sink and serve all her stuffed animals tea. She doesn't even need us anymore! She's ready to go out and forge her way in the world. Or so it's easy to think. Then one day, your two-year old decides to take a bite out of a little glass Christmas ornament and BAM - you're reminded that, yeah - she's still only two.

Ironically, this past weekend we finally got around to de-Christmasing the house. With a fake tree it's really easy to put such tasks off until Gordon returns from his company trip and I recover from death-sinusitus 2009. So on Sunday it all came down, got packed up and put away. All of it, that is, except some fake fruit that I "artfully" arranged in a pretty glass bowl on the console table that sits right behind the couch.

Lily loves this fruit bowl and is always trying to get into it. We always tell her no. It was an issue at first, but she's mostly gotten over it. So I really didn't think much of my idea to leave it out a little while longer. It's not really "Christmas" decor after all and January is so damn dreary. I had totally forgotten that at the bottom of the bowl, under all the fruit were these little, 1" diameter, purple glass ornaments. You know, for color.

Last night Lily and Gordon are on the couch and I'm standing nearby talking to Gordon about how annoying it is that we still can't find our Tivo remote. She gets into the bowl and digs below the fruit, pulling out an ornament. Gordon tells her no, that it is glass and dangerous and takes it away from her. Then he turns his attention to my important musings about the potential whereabouts of our remote. Suddenly Gordon he's a crunch, we look back and Lily's got an ornament in her mouth - it's in about 20 pieces. Apparently it looked yummy and she decided to take a bite.

We spring into action - grabbing away the pieces and trying to get whatever we can out of her mouth. Lily, starts getting upset "I don't want to eat jingle bell!" she says. I'm trying not to totally lose my shit while Gordon takes control. I manage to get all the pieces we can and he goes after an elusive one that he's pretty sure he saw on her tongue. Lily and Gordon run off to the bathroom while I put in a call to the pediatrician and start taping together what I can of the ornament to assess how much is missing. While waiting for the doctor I google "toddler ate glass". I find this story. It helps my state of mind a bit. I also find a lot of mean responses to questions about what to do when your dog eats glass. People can be very strange.

Although most of the ornament is accounted for there is a decent-sized hole and a bunch of pieces that are too small to ever hope to reassemble. Lily's doctor calls back and basically recommends that we go to the ER for an x-ray - for peace of mind. As much as I don't WANT to go sit in the germ-infested ER in January I know that the only alternative is to try to go to bed with visions of glass shards doing a tune on Lily's insides. So we start packing up our stuff.

I should mention that in the meantime Gordon was NOT able to fish out the piece he thinks he saw, making our decision a little easier. Also, Lily seems fine - like TOTALLY fine. There is no blood, she is not in the least affected by the whole thing. Mostly she seems excited that we are going out at 8:15PM instead of going to bed.

So we drove to Boston Children's Hospital and got ourselves checked in. It's a pretty awesome hospital. Everyone is really nice, waiting room is bright and cheery. We get checked in and through triage pretty quickly, then we wait for the X-Rays... and wait and wait. It becomes clear that Lily's pretty much the healthiest kid in the waiting room. I start feeling a little stupid for being there - like maybe we just thought a family field trip to the ER would be a fun Tuesday night activity. Gordon makes friends with a 5 yr-old whose brother suffered a head injury and gets invited to her birthday party. I figure they are safe to play with because head injuries are for the most part not contagious. We try our best to keep Lily away from the boy in the corner who looks like he's about to puke his guts out without seeming too rude. At some point I have to pry Lily away from Monster's Inc 2 or whatever because she's getting really upset about the fact that one monster seems to be torturing another with a horrific-looking machine (really? is this KID'S stuff? I don't get it).

Eventually, a man named Bryan calls our name and we go for X-Rays. Lily is AWESOME during the X-Ray. She totally listens to Bryan's instructions, holds still for him, places her arms/head in the right positions etc. She looks so grown-up lying there on the X-Ray table - it's a bit strange for me. Gordon remarks on how now we KNOW she totally understands what we ask her to do and just chooses to ignore us most of the time. After the X-Rays, Bryan gets our hopes up by suggesting "maybe they have a room open for you". But they don't - and we go back to the waiting room. It's after 11 now and I'm getting really tired. Lily seems to be unaffected by the fact that it's 3 hours past her bedtime.

Shortly after midnight we get called to an exam room where a resident pretty much tells us that the X-Ray showed nothing and she'll be fine. Apparently such things "happen all the time". I don't even have to bother digging through poop for the next 2 days. Seems the odds of finding anything would be pretty low anywhere - it was a pretty small piece. So yay - we get to go home now. Lily is bummed about leaving the hospital. She wants to see Bryan and the doctor again she tells us.

And that's the story - we get home a little after 1 and pretty much fall into bed. Of course, the minute I lie down and get comfortable Baby Koi decides it's time to host an after-hours dance party. Apparently s/he enjoyed the ER experience as well. I do manage to catch some sleep before having to drag myself up at 6:20 this morning. Lily, does not do so well with getting up and poor Gordon finally gives in and puts her back to bed, letting her sleep until nearly 11. She went to Mimi's after that, had a nice normal poop (I know you were dying to find out) and seems totally fine. So I guess we're all good. Tonight I got rid of those damn ornaments - fruit is still out though. It's not glass.

All in all I guess it wasn't a TERRIBLE experience. There was no blood, no horrific screaming and Lily is just fine. But ugh - how scary is it to think that something terrible might be happening to your kid. I think I'm still a little too tired to process the whole experience, but really I'm just glad everything seems to be okay. And at least now, we're reminded that we still have a toddler on our hands who still needs to be saved from herself occasionally.

1 comment:

Robin said...

wow! It's amazing the kinds of things they do that you never even think of.
It would never occur to me that a kid would try to crunch a glass ornament. I'm glad she's okay. Your story helps me think about baby proofing in a new light.