Friday, July 3, 2009

2 for 2

I will forever remember that when Josh was 2 years old, he got his first stitches - 2 of them. On the back of his head.

It's the worst feeling in the world when you see your child get hurt. Just before we left for Toronto, I had to take Avery for her 2 month shots and I cried when the doctor administered the shots and she screamed. Well, it's 10 times worse when your child gets injured and you can't immediately assess the extent of the injury.

Josh was playing with the bathtub faucet in my parent's bathroom. Their bathtub has a step up to it. My mom and I were both there and when Josh started splashing water, we told him no more playing with the faucet. He stepped down off the step and when he took his first step away, he slipped and hit the back of his head on the edge of the step. The step is marble and tile.

Josh's first reaction was to cry his lungs out - which, I'm told by the paramedics, is a good thing. My first reaction was shock and then, when I realized that Josh hit hard, I gave Avery to my mom and picked him up. I wasn't thinking of external injuries. All I could think was, "What if he has a concussion? Internal bleeding?". Then, my mom noticed that his head was bleeding and that's when I lost it. I asked my mom to call 911 while I tried to comfort Josh.

The police came first. They said the ambulance was on it's way. By the time the paramedics arrived, Josh was pretty calm. I was the one that still had tears in my eyes! They examined him and said they didn't see any signs of concussion or internal injury - no blackout, loss of consciousness, nausea or vomiting. His pupils were dilating normally and they felt down his neck and spine. They said it looked like he may just need some stitches for the nasty gash on the back of head (I hadn't really looked at it until that point!). That was a relief to hear, but I was still a bit anxious to see what the next 24 hours would bring.

So, Josh got his first ambulance ride. I couldn't go with him because I had to stay with Avery - the ambulance didn't have an infant car seat and my dad was out doing errands with the car that had our only infant car seat base! Josh seemed fine with the idea of going with my mom, so they went together in the ambulance and I waited at home for my dad to get back so we could met them at the hospital. It was the longest hour of my life!

My mom said that Josh was great in the ambulance ride and waiting in emergency. When I arrived, they were still waiting. I thought being admitted via ambulance would get us past the walk-in emergency queue, but apparently not! We waited 3 hours before anyone saw us - I was a bit perturbed that the hospital would make a 2.5 year old child wait that long!

I asked lots of questions about the freezing, because I wanted to be sure Josh wouldn't feel anything when they stitched his head. The nurses reassured me that when the topical anaesthetic kicked in after 30 minutes, Josh would not feel a thing. I was still queasy at the thought of Josh getting stitches! After they applied the topical, I got Josh to lay down and rest. He was SO tired after all the trauma and he had missed his nap (it was 4pm by this time). Well, Josh fell asleep in about 2 minutes. He slept so soundly that he didn't wake up when I moved him from the exam room to the suture room. Then, to top it off, he slept soundly while the doctor sutured his head! I guess we can call that "good timing"! Just so you know, I didn't watch while the doctor sutured - I held Josh's hands and looked at his face while it happened.

All in all, Josh spent 4 hours in the hospital. He did GREAT through it all. Avery was great in the waiting room with my mom and dad, too. It was quite an ordeal and I'm not really sure what I would have done if I was home alone with the kids and that had happened. Something to think about...

As an aside, I was was a bit surprised that the police were the first responders. Usually, it's the fire department, since they are usually closest and trained paramedics as well (and it helps that my parent's house is right behind a fire department!). Well, as it turns out, when a child is injured, the police always respond first to determine if it is an abuse case. I was surprised when someone told me that! Here I was talking to these really nice policemen and they were actually trying to determine if I had abused my child! Well, I guess it's better to be safe than sorry.

Here are a couple of photos of Josh that I couldn't help snapping in the hospital. He can look at them someday and I wonder if he will remember "the first stitches he ever got at Grammy's house...".
Waiting in the FastTrack area of Emergency (but it still took 3 hours!)

Waiting to be sutured


Derek said...

Here's a tip: keep the Kensington Children's Clinic in mind for stuff like stitches and even potentially broken arms. They're open till 9 p.m. and the wait is pretty much always shorter than any emergency room. Other clinics are also an option.

Even if you're nowhere near North Burnaby (it's almost all the way out Hastings to Burnaby Mountain), chances are you'll get your kids treated way faster if you schlep out there. We've been there several times, once when our youngest L got stitches just where Josh did -- but from bouncing off my parents' bed onto a nearby dresser. We didn't call 911, just drove her over there.

Oddly, our two kids' stitches have been like a combination of yours: our oldest M stepped out of the bath onto a terracotta pot and had to get stitches in her foot, while L got the head stitches (plus a set in her chin this January after some horseplay near our hotel pool in Victoria).

This stuff will happen, and you might find it a little less freakout-provoking next time. Maybe.

Yvette said...

Thanks for the tip, Derek. That's a great resource for future reference. This time, however, we were in Toronto, so we couldn't have used the clinic.

Nana/Mom said...

Hugs and smooches from Nana for Joshie and Avery and Mommy heart goes out to you...Brian was about the same age when he got his first a mother you think that the sky has fallen. Thank goodness all went well and he was feeling OK after all that, when I spoke to you. He's a super duper brave little mahn!!

Have a wonderful and uneventful time for the rest of your stay.

Love you all, xoxoxox


Anonymous said...

Glad it all worked out ok and everyone is feeling better, but still a rough time to go through. Hope the rest of your time out there is less exciting!

Derek said...

Yeah, I noticed later you were in TO. Whoops! That said, regular walk-in clinics can often handle less extreme things like stitches or even broken bones, saving long waits in Emergency.

Sarah Prosser said...

Wow! I am so glad that Josh is okay.
We can add to this to the stories we tell at one of our many get togethers!
Hope you guys are doing well otherwise.

Carmen Van Dop said...

Glad to hear that Josh is o.k...and that you survived!

Freia Watts Lees said...

wow, great story to go down in the glad josh is okay...and omg..i can't believe he napped in the hospital while waiting...hope you're ok now too yvette...'that which doesn't kill us makes us all stronger'....i'm sorry you had to experience the front lines of our nation's healthcare system through josh's injury....

Louanne Wong said...

Yikes... that is quite the story and scary too! I'm glad to hear that everyone is okay and he is on the mend :)

Shabana Tajwar said...

Awww...he's a trooper. Glad he's okay!