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Sunday, August 16, 2009

Ambulatory Care

We spent the morning in the Emergency Room with my son after he--in getting down from a chair--went sprawling and smacked his head loudly and with colorful results upon the chair at the next table in the restaurant where we were having our Sunday brunch.

He falls and gets up so cheerfully so often that it took me a fraction of a second to realize he was crying--but I'd heard the crack and was at his side faster than anyone else. And saw the blood streaming down his face.

I'm grateful to many years of training in working with children for presence of mind in an emergency. It's not something, I realize, that comes naturally to everybody. It's not precisely natural to me either, but I don't lose my head when something like this happens. I shouted for my husband, who realized there was a lot of blood and went in search of paper towels. I grabbed a napkin off the table, grabbed my son's head, took a deep breath, prayed I hadn't wiped anything really horrible on that napkin earlier, and applied pressure. A person from the restaurant brought some brand-new table-washing-cloths, fresh from the package, and asked if I'd like them wet. I would. I got the waitress's attention and asked for ice. I kept applying pressure. My husband returned with some of those brown paper towels from the washroom; knowing that something cleaner was coming I asked him to use them to clean my son's hands. The clean cloths arrived. I discarded the icky napkin. I used the clean cloths to look at my son's head. Eew. The waitress came with... now, look, I don't want to crow too much about keeping my head in a crisis, and I was grateful for the ice, but honestly, should I have had to specify a plastic bag to put it in? She brought a handful and tried to apply it, in a napkin, to my son's head. I asked for a bag, she brought it. It was a fun moment, especially when we were distracting my son in the ER later.

Time elapsed? Two minutes, perhaps. So often in life they happen: moments which alter us permanently, spinning nearly out of control, over in a minute or two.

Emergency room, triage nurse, nice child-friendly ER room, complete with complimentary TV, friendly prompt doctor, no stitches, but rather glue (something I don't want to think about too much). It has a fancy name: dermabond. But it is still glue. Has it slowed my boy down? Not one whit. It's 11:00pm our time, and he is literally bouncing in his room.

This in complete contrast to our week: days spent in the company of family, feeling that cushion of people who care around us like a much-needed hug. Fun, happiness. Support when tragedy strikes or emotions run high. We really do have a bit of a tendency to include emergency care visits in our family vacations, though. This has to be the fourth ER visit during or adjacent to a family vacation in the last five years. We waited to get home for this one, but it was still within 24 hours of hitting the road, so in my opinion, it counts.

In contrast, too, to knitting. Here there is no spontaneous coherence, no sudden change. Knitting takes time, patience, and love. You may well knit fast--many people knit faster than me--or choose small projects to finish quickly, but knitting isn't something to be done in a flash. Knitting up the ravell'd sleeve of care isn't a work for a few moments.

A friend jested that perhaps I should have had a new crocheted Pokemon for my boy to comfort his pain, and indeed I did: introducing Jigglypuff. I got the pattern from Bizzy Crochet, but I made the microphone.

In addition this week I modified some shoes, and made a matching hair scrunchie. The shoes were cheepies from Target; I love the soles but the uppers were scratching and irritating my toes and feet, so I used some cool Lion Brand ribbon yarn to make 'em both cuter and less painful.

I also made another string bag, but it looks kind of like my first string bag, so it's not very exciting, and I haven't taken a picture yet.

And now I'm off to bed to knit up some ravell'd sleeves of my own. Unfortunately my son hasn't decided to join the ranks of the tired yet... but at least I know he doesn't have a concussion.