Monday, March 26, 2012

Expect the Unexpected

As a teacher, whenever I call a parent during a school day, the first words out of my mouth after I've identified myself is always, "Don't worry, your child is okay." I am always aware that an unexpected call from your child's school can immediately quicken a mother's heart and send her into panic mode. So, when I heard my phone buzzing this afternoon and saw that it was Abby's school calling, I tried to calm that immediate fear response, after all she'd been fighting a cold, maybe she was just too sick and needed to come home - that wasn't the case.

I heard the hesitation in the secretary's voice as she identified herself. I think that's when I began packing up my stuff. As I stuffed my computer in my bag and grabbed my keys I heard her say that Abby had cut her finger - that it was bleeding badly- that I needed to come. I told her I was on my way as I grabbed my purse from my closet. I vaguely heard my class asking me questions like, "Are you leaving?" and "Who's watching us?" I think I told them I had to go and that the principal would be down in a minute, but they were all okay, none of them were bleeding - Abby was, and getting to her as quickly as I could was all I could think about. I passed the principal on my way down the hall and gave him a quick explanation of what was going on.

It took me 11 minutes to get to her. I won't soon forget the look on her face. She was surrounded by support staff in the school office and they were tenderly hold gauze to her hand. As soon as she saw me her little face crumpled and big tears began to flow. She had been so brave, but Mom was here. I knew it was bad when they worked to distract her so they could show me her finger. The first sight was horrifying. Her finger was coated in blood and I could clearly see that her fingernail was no longer where it should be, but I couldn't tell if her fingertip was. Apparently she'd been in the bathroom and put her finger down the floor drain. Their theory was that she must have tripped and pulled her finger out when she fell. We gauzed and taped it back up and I carried her out to the car. We were on our way to the hospital.

That's when she started calling for Jason. Mom was there for hugs and kisses, but now things were getting scary, and so she needed Dada. I was trying to get in touch with him as I made a mad dash for the hospital. I finally got the confirmation that he was on his way, and he'd meet us there. I think she made everyone's heart ache in the ER as she cried and called for her Dada. There was quite a line to check in, and thankfully the nice gentleman in front of me let us go first.

I won't go into the hospital experience, or how those that we were counting on to give us the most information and help didn't, but I will say there were some very sweet nurses who were trying to make Abby as happy as possible. They brought the ER dog around for her to keep an eye on, and even gave her a popsicle at one point. She waved to everyone and I could hear people walking down the hall saying, "She's so cute!" And she was - when everyone left her alone, but if they needed to look at her finger that's when the problems started. It's understandable, she was scared and she knew that she was hurt, she didn't want anyone getting anywhere near that hand. Unfortunately, they wanted x-rays, to make sure that nothing was broken or lodged in the finger. After much yelling, screaming, and fighting we were able to get some images.

The doctor (without getting a clean look at the finger - mind you) declared that it didn't need stitches, just some Band-Aids and then home. What!?! Her finger was still oozing blood! At this point though, after hours of sitting in a post-triage holding room, we'd given up.

After getting home she had some dinner and then we knew what we had to do - we had to get her to clean her finger and hand. We tried to make it fun, Jason and I even sat on the edge of the tub and sang songs while she slowly sank into the warm water. Finally, Jason just held her hand in the water and worked at getting it clean. It was then that we noticed there were cuts all down her finger, along with the nail nearly off. It became apparent that she had gotten her finger stuck, and that she'd worked to free it, cutting it as she did so.

We were finally able to bandage it, and she soon fell asleep - exhausted from the day. Tomorrow we head to her doctor to see what can be done about it and to make sure that it will heal well. For now, I'm off to cuddle with my little peanut - I think we both need that tonight.

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