Emergency Room Visit – Charlie
Charlie has been to the ER three times in his eight and a half years of life. I am not sure if that is a good or not. I just hope that it is the end for a while.
His first visit was when he was two. When he dipped his hands in anti-freeze and licked them. A story I am ashamed to even mention and a very scary moment for me. Thankfully, this is the one and only time I have ever had to call Poison Control. The woman on the other end of the line was very kind and patient with me. She told me she would alert the ER that I was on my way. She strongly stressed and reminded me to drive SLOWLY many times during our conversation.
Charlie had a close call when he was about five years old. We were playing in the barn with a friend, when Charlie got pushed off a round bale and landed on his feet and then fell to his knees. A stick or piece of wood from the floor jabbed into his knee. The clinic had an opening with one of our favorite PAs.
Charlie’s second visit to the ER was for many, many bee stings (click here for that story) on his birthday camping trip when he turned six. We never got a count of how many times he got stung. In the photos that Jack took I can count about 32 on his back and on his front in this photo I can count about 35. There were more stings on his sides, his ears, head and arms that we can’t see in the photos. His lower part of his body was not stung as much because he jumped in the water. Smart boy!
The third visit to the ER happened last week.
Our school had a two-hour delay because of bad weather – cold temps, drifting and ice-covered roads. Instead of the bus coming at 6:30 it would be picking the boys up at 8:30 with school starting at 10:10. I had to take bars to church for a funeral, go to the library, and grocery store so I decided I would drive them. Long before we needed to leave I fed the dogs and started the car to take the chill out of the car and melt the ice on my windshield. At 9:15, I asked Charlie to run out to the car to turn it off. I was finishing up frying eggs for breakfast. My back was to the door that goes outside. He ran out, I heard “that sound” when something gets in the way of the door closing. I held my breath waiting for screaming and then the door slammed shut. Then a second later Charlie came running into the house screaming bloody-murder with a very bloody finger. It took him a second or two to realize that his finger was hurt from slamming it in the door. The first slam was his shirt and the second slam was his finger. His nail came out of the nail base and was hanging from his finger tip. I grabbed a napkin and got him comfortable on a chair. Robbie brought me a wet cloth, an ice pack and a couple of towels. Charlie put a little pressure on his finger, it hurt really bad. We peeked at it and it looked really bad! I started to freak out. I called Jack first and left a message. I called the clinic next. A nurse was available and we talked about what happened, what his finger looked like and the nurse, bless her heart, very gently said, “You will need to take him to the emergency room. I will call them and tell them you are coming.” Before we got off the phone the sweet nurse reminded me, “This isn’t a life threatening emergency for Charlie, so please drive slowly!”
I needed to drive slowly the roads were ice-covered and in a place where there is a huge open field, the snow drifts were all the way across the south bound lane, and the snow plow was heading north. I had to come to a complete stop for him to go by and so I could drive around the drifts.
I kept telling myself to drive slowly and prayed for us to get there safely. I met a lot of cars as I was leaving town because everyone was taking their kids to school. Once we got through the next town the on-coming traffic wasn’t constant. That is when we came upon four cars following a snow plow at a very slow speed. I cried all the way there, tried to take deep breaths and kept apologizing to Charlie. I was thankful for snow plows to keep me driving slowly and clearing our way. There were many times when the snow plow would disappear into a puff of snow when the plow would hit a snow drift.
When we arrived at the ER we were the only ones there and they took us right away. I was thankful for the tablet as a distraction because I think he would have just sat there thinking about the pain. I was able to calm down and prepare myself for the rest of the visit. I like gross things. This injury was pretty close to sending me over the edge. It could have been the stress, worry and the hot emergency room that was making me feel like I was going to throw up.
The nail is still on in this photo. The doctor cut it off after his finger was numb. His finger was poked at least 10 times to numb it. Charlie did very well, slowly counting to 10 with me for all the poking. Dr. Bob was the same ER doctor we had when Robbie got stitches.
Charlie got his first set of stitches. I am not even sure how many. I will have to find out and update this post.
Lidocaine – $35.20
X-Ray Exam – $166
X-Ray Reading – $23.21
Procedure done in ER – $133.00
Emergency Dept. Visit – $580
ER PHY-Minor – $73.00
Repair of nail bed – $274.00
Total – $1,284.41
As we were getting our discharge papers Charlie said, “This wasn’t as bad as all my bee stings!” Really? I am so thankful I was not there for the bee stings!
Charlie didn’t want to go to school to finish the day. (I wouldn’t have let him go to school.) He told me, “Because when someone comes to school with a owie everyone stands around them and wants to see it. And I don’t want to talk about it with them.” He was very uncomfortable for the next 24 hours.
Twenty-four hours later his finger still looked horrible and not so gross to me. We soaked it on and off all day in attempts to take the bandage off. The gauze was stuck. I should have asked for the non-stick gauze because that is what I use at home and it works! We needed to pull the last three layers of gauze off strand by stand.
We have given it air, kept it clean and a bandage for the day time.
On Monday Charlie came home from school and told me, “I showed everyone in my class my finger. The only person that didn’t get grossed out was Gavin.”