Yesterday afternoon began in a fairly routine fashion.
Talmage got home from school and he and Lincoln played together while I worked on stitching up a ripped chair cushion.
Wesley had been difficult to wake up from his nap so, after making several attempts to wake him up,
I told Lincoln enthusiastically, "Go wake up Wesley!"
He eagerly ran up the stairs to where Wesley was sleeping on our bed.
Seconds later I heard a crash and screams began.
This is a fairly common occurrence at our house, so I didn't even blink an eye.
I continued stitching the chair as I called out, "Did you crash? Come here!"
As Lincoln appeared at the top of the stairs I glanced up from my sewing and saw his face covered in blood, both hands held up to catch it as it ran off his chin.
I dashed up the stairs, thinking perhaps he had gotten a bloody nose, but soon saw that the source of the blood was a perfect, lightning-shaped, Harry Potter-esque gash right between his eyebrows.
I took him into the bathroom and tried to clean him up and soothe him, my attention no longer fixed on the stitching of the chair but instead on the potential of stitches on my boy.
(I would later learn that he had been running into our room and tripped and fell, hitting his head on the corner of our bed frame.)
After a couple of minutes, I determined that I would call "Doctor Mom," as Sam calls her.
After raising 7 kids, my mom has had a lot of experience with sickness and injuries, so she is always my initial go-to when I have health questions!
After visiting with her about the injury for a few minutes, she told me she would come see it and give me her opinion.
The next hour and a half was a flurry of activity--visiting with my mom, trying liquid bandage to close the cut, my mom handing out goldfish and juice to 3 boys who were very happy about the good fortune that resulted from the accident, teaching a piano lesson, getting more opinions from friends on Facebook, picking up Sam, and finally determining I should take Lincoln to Urgent Care while Sam went home with the older boys.
They ushered us back quickly, poured some saline solution over the wound to clean it,
and immediately told me he definitely needed stitches but, because of his age and the location,
we would need to go to the ER at Primary Children's to get him sedated.
So, off we went to the hospital where we were quickly checked in and shown to a room in the ER.
A nurse came in and saturated the wound with a topical anesthetic, taping a cotton ball directly to his forehead.
And then, for the next 2 hours, I tried to keep my exhausted 2-year-old happy in a stark hospital room with a few toy cars and a dinosaur from my purse. Eventually a child life specialist came in and visited with us and provided us with some more toys, and finally, after numerous chats with various doctors and nurses, they were ready to prepare to begin the procedure.
Lincoln soberly explained to every person who asked what happened, "I was running and I fell...and hit...corner...of Mommy's bed," or "I go wake up Wes-wee!"
While we waited for everything to get lined up, I pulled a roll of masking tape out of my purse and Lincoln proceeded to "fix" the stool in the room by putting tape on every single crack in the vinyl.
Masking tape and a metal measuring tape are two items regularly in my purse, and they are truly some of the best toddler-toys to keep on hand!
The child life specialist came back in with a box full of equipment that would be used on him to show it to him and let him play with it to help normalize the whole experience.
The doctor thought we might be able to get away with using Versed and explained that it was given as a nasal spray and made the child very loopy and distractable and act drunk.
Most importantly, he said, it would make him forget everything that happened.
I had my doubts that it would be enough sedation given the late hour and his tension about the wound,
but he suggested we give it a try before we move onto something heavier and I agreed.
And so it was that I found myself holding down my writhing 2-year-old while 2 other nurses held him down as well, the child life specialist tried her hardest to distract him with spinning, light-up toys and "Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood" on an iPad, a resident doctor began preparing to stitch him up, and a doctor observed.
The Versed had made him sleepy, but it hadn't created much of a change in his behavior. He still answered all questions we asked him correctly and pointed out various colors. He laughed slightly harder than normal at the funny toys shown him, but other than that seemed totally normal.
And because of the location of the cut, they didn't want to inject with lidocaine, so they were relying solely on topical anesthetic. I was skeptical about the situation and, sure enough, as soon as the needle poked him he began screaming and jerking all around.
It was made very clear that he needed something heavier to knock him out. So, about half an hour later, they placed an IV, put monitors all over him, and injected some ketamine.
And within 5 minutes, he had completely relaxed and gone to sleep (or, as the doctor put it, he was "with the pink elephants"). It was about 10:30 by that point, so I was very relieved that he was finally relaxed and getting some rest as they stitched him up!
And 3 stitches later the job was done!
My relief was short-lived, though...one of the hardest parts was yet to come.
Before we could go home, they had to see him awake.
It was now 11:00 pm, he was pumped full of medication, and it was my job to make him wake up and talk--not an easy task! I tickled him, undressed him, poured water on him, coaxed him with apple juice, jostled him around, and tried just about every trick in my book to get his eyes opened,
and finally...finally...he opened his eyes and said a few words.
The nurse left and said we could leave an hour after they had administered the ketamine, so I waited while Lincoln drifted back into his very deep sleep.
About 15 minutes later she came in and said, "Oh no! Is he asleep again?? He needs to be awake for the doctor to see!"
So I got to torture the poor boy some more and eventually got him to wake up fully, talk to us, drink some apple juice, and express his desire to go home.
And with that, we were off!
We arrived home around midnight and this morning he woke up bouncing off the walls with exhausted energy,
excited to show off his battle wound.
And so it is that our sweet little toddler earned "real boy" status
with his first round of stitches.
One wonders if this is simply a taste of what is to come!
With three boys, that possibility seems somewhat likely.