In 2012, my husband and I found ourselves in a hospital parking lot debating over which one of us would take our child in to see the physician. Neither of us wanted to go, yet our daughter sat in the backseat with blood coming out of her ear. You see, this was our 4th trip to the hospital that year.
The first time we took a trip to the ER, we thought our 3-year-old’s arm was broken. My husband and my daughter were playing in the family room. She squealed in delight as he held her hands and spun her in circles. She looked like she was flying as he gripped hands and spun quickly, zooming her feet off of the ground. She laughed and giggled and begged for more until POP! Her arm fell limp.
The second trip to the ER involved my 4-year-old. She had been “skating” in socks on my freshly polished wood floors. Her feet flew from under her and she fell directly onto her face, piercing her bottom lip with her tooth. Blood gushed. That isn’t even the bad part. The bad part was being in the room with the doctor when my 3-year-old spotted a discarded piece of previously chewed gum on the floor. It was like a scene from a horror movie. We all lunged for her with outstretched arms yelling NOOOOOOOO!!! But it was too late. She plopped used gum, found on a hospital floor, into her mouth. To make matters worse, the doctor determined stitches were not needed and sent us home. That unnecessary trip to the ER caused severe sickness in my 3-year-old days later.
That same year, as I was changing out my kids’ fall/winter wardrobe for the spring/summer wardrobe, I stepped out of the room for 1 minute. In that minute, my 6-year-old scaled the mountain of clothes and storage bins on the bed and took a tumble. She cried out in pain! A 3rd trip to the emergency room revealed an arm fracture.
So no, on this 4th trip to the emergency room that year, neither my husband nor I wanted to get out of the car and explain that another child had been injured in our home. Blood coming out of the ear is pretty scary. Walking into the hospital AGAIN and being judged, felt scarier. Instead, I pulled out my cell phone and called the after hours nurse at the pediatrician’s office. We explained what happened, and the nurse said that it sounded like a trip to the hospital was not necessary. Then she strongly rebuked us for putting cotton swabs into her ear. We felt double relief. Not only was our child OK, we also avoided the dreaded quaternary trip to the hospital!
Living the JACK'd Life
I am a certified birth doula (BAI) in Charlotte, NC . I provide information and support to pregnant individuals and couples so they can have satisfying and empowering births. I am a married mother of 4 trying to navigate life, unafraid of sharing my truly JACK'd up missteps.