(I give unto thee kitchen supplies, a clean bathroom, a kid in the Emergency Room, and cold pancakes.)
So, the day started off well enough. Jess roused me around 8, as usual, and I went into the living room to peer blearily at my computer. Instead of my computer monitor, there was a big green box.
Kevin got me a nice sushi-making kit complete with condiments and all the stuff I’ll need to make sushi (except, you know, all the raw fish and vegetables.) I really like sushi. The big problem is that Kevin can’t eat it, since we never know exactly what’s in what pieces. This gives me a chance to make our own sushi so that I know Kevin’s not about to poison himself.
And then he got up about an hour later (9 am? On a Sunday? Wow!) and cleaned the bathroom and mopped the floors as part of my present. We ran some errands (the shower curtain finally decided to stop pretending that it was in one piece and like 4 of the ring hooks broke) and then got ready to go out to dinner.
My father was planning to treat us to dinner at Les Most Expensive Thing on the Menu Ristorante. A nice Italian place down near Va Beach, which actually has a dress code. We got dressed up and drove down, finding the place by only having to make one illegal u-turn. We were a little early. That’s typical, as if you don’t plan for at least 20 minutes of traffic, you get an hour. It’s nearly impossible to be ON TIME around here. You’re either late, or early.
We go in and first thing they’ve got the reservations wrong. I said on the phone that I needed a table for 5. They didn’t have one available, but were going to try and work that out. I took Jess to the potty while Kevin waited for my Dad and Denise. We were coming back from the bathroom and Jess ran ahead to see her Daddy…
To compensate for the lack of a table for five, the restaurant put a chair in the aisle and Kevin was sitting in it. Jess ran towards him and fell. She struck the chair with her head and lay still on the floor for a minute before letting out an unholy wail. I shoved a waiter out of the way to kneel on the floor. Jess flung herself into my arms, screaming. I held her for a minute, trying to calm her down, then pulled back a bit to look at her.
She was bleeding. My god. The blood. It painted her cheek and was in her hair, running out of a gaping cut on her face, just over her eye.
It didn’t take more than a minute or so to decide that we needed to take her to the Emergency Room. I tried to call my dad on the way out to the car, but he wasn’t answering his cellphone. Fortunately, the hospital wasn’t far away. They were unexpectedly not busy – I can’t remember the last time I was the ONLY person in an ER waiting room. Jess had mostly calmed down by the time they showed us into the back room, and while she wasn’t exuberant or anything, she was talking with us and smiling a little.
The lady across the hall from us had come in because her engagement ring was stuck. On her finger. She’d slid it on and couldn’t get it off. She’d cut her finger trying to get it off and the knuckle had swollen incredibly. A pulse-ox test showed that her circulation to that finger was completely cut off. Despite that, she argued with them for nearly forty minutes, trying to get them to NOT cut the ring off. Finally, the ER doctor looked at her and said “Ma’am, it’s the ring, or the finger. One of them is coming off in the next few days. If you’d like to have a finger to PUT a ring on, I suggest you let us cut the ring. The jeweler can fix it.”
Another doctor came in, looked briefly at Jess’s eye and said “Yep, she needs stitches.”
I winced. (Karen, go away for a few paragraphs, ok?)
He went off and got the suture tray and a papoose. This is a child’s backboard and they proceeded to strap Jess into it so she could barely move. Let me tell you, Jess did NOT like this. Not even a tiny bit. As soon as her ankles were locked down, she started struggling. By the time they’d wrapped her all the way up, she was whimpering at me “Body stuck! Mama! Stuck!”
The nurse held her face still while the doctor gave her several injections of numbing medication around her eye. Jess didn’t scream, she just struggled, barely breathing, trying to free herself. After he’d finished numbing her, the doctor started stitching the cut closed. Jess continued to struggle the entire time, turning completely purple in the face because she was so desperate to get out that she was barely breathing.
(Ok, Karen, we’re safe again)
I’m not very good about this sort of thing, but Jess was so scared, I didn’t want to leave the room and make things worse for her. On the other hand, as I almost passed out, I’m not sure I did her any good at all. After they were done with the stitches, I had to sit on the floor for a while.
My dad and Dee were out in the waiting room (still empty) when we were done. It was almost 10 o’clock by then. We decided to grab a quick bite to eat at the IHOP that I’d seen on the way to the ER. My dad and Dee had never been to an IHOP before, so it was a dining experience for them.
I barely touched my pancakes. The staff made much of Jess and brought her a free milkshake. She seemed mostly in a good mood until the numbing started to wear off, and then we went home. On the way home, Jess started picking at her stitches, and I didn’t see, so by the time we got to the apartment, Jess was all bloody again. We cleaned her up as best we could, gave her some Motrin and put her to bed.
Yeah. Not the best of days.