Sunday, April 17, 2011

Grace's first visit to the ER

Last night we had a little mishap and we ended up at the emergency room.
You see, Grace wanted some candy from an Easter egg.  So she got a knife from the kitchen drawer and tried to open that egg.  Only she stabbed herself in the thumb.  In that really fleshy meaty part of her thumb where it meets the palm of her hand.  She screamed and I knew immediately something bad had happened.  I ran to her and she was crying, "My hand!  I hurt my hand!  It's bleeding!"  When I looked at it, I knew it was going to need stitches.  So we loaded up and headed to the hospital. 
All the way to the hospital we reassured Grace that everything was going to be okay.  We were going to make it all better.  And she believed us.
The doctor told us if it was his child, he'd go ahead and stitch it up.  So that's what we decided to do.
A sweet nurse gave Grace a bear.  And we sang songs and talked and played little games while waiting.
We named the bear "Stitches Bear."  Then we were told only 1 parent could be with Grace while she got her stitches.  So, David and Faith left the room while I stayed.  The doctor told me that they would wrap Grace tightly like a mummy and then two male nurses would hold her down while he stitched her up.  And he told me to be prepared for a lot of screaming, that it was normal, and it wouldn't bother them.  Then he left to get ready, and I held Grace in my lap and talked to her.  I explained that the doctor was going to put some stitches in her thumb.  It was going to hurt just a little bit but then it would be all better.  Grace simply looked at me and whispered, "I don't want to."  And my heart broke a little bit. 

I looked back at her and replied, "I know you don't want to, but we have to."  Then I showed her my arm and where I had stitches when I was a little girl.  And I played it up like stitches are the coolest thing ever.  I don't think Grace bought it, but she played along.  Then the nurse came by to mummify Grace.  And I helped Grace stand up and told her we were going to wrap her up like we were going camping.  She was going to be as snug as a bug in a rug.  And we were going to pretend we were in a tent.  Grace went along with it without complaint.

Then it was time for Grace to get a shot in her thumb.  I continued to distract Grace by talking to her about anything that came to mind.  We talked some more about camping outside.  And bears and birds.  Maybe seeing a snake or alligator.  Then the doctor started on the stitches and Grace winced and whispered, "That hurts,"  and a little tear rolled down her cheek.  And my heart broke a little more. 

So I told Grace that we were going to have to go to the beach when Mammee comes to visit.  And Grace could push her in the water.  And Grace smiled a bit and agreed.  Then I said and Aunt Hope is going to go to the beach with us, too.  And we would bury her in the sand so she can't get out.  Then we would tickle, tickle, tickle her.  And Grace grinned a little bigger and even let out a small chuckle. 

We continued talking about Grace's cousins Stephen and Luke, Pappy, Aunt Jennifer and Aunt Bethany, Queenie, Seth, Granddaddy, Nanna, and Gran.  Anyone and everyone that I could think of to keep her distracted.  Some of our relatives ended up splashed in the swimming pool.  Others got tickled.  Some were scared when we jumped out and yelled, "Boo!"  I don't even remember what all we talked about, I just wanted her thinking of anything other than that needle and thread going in and out of her thumb.  And it worked!   Grace kept talking quietly with me and never moved her hand once while the doctor stitched her up. 
After three stitches, we were finished.  The doctor wrapped her hand to keep it stable, and Grace looked down at it and then at me and said, "Look, mom.  Teamwork!"  That's what Grace calls a thumbs-up.

The doctor was quite impressed with us and said that he has never seen a child Grace's age get stitches without screaming and yelling.  And the fact that I was able to get her to smile and even laugh a bit was even more amazing.  He offered me a job working with the kids that come to the ER.  But I have to admit, it was more to Grace's credit than mine that she didn't cry.  I think she must have an incredibly high pain tolerance.  And she trusts me and David so much.  When we told her she was going to be okay, she believed us.  It's as simple as that. 

I am so grateful for Grace and love her so much.  And I am so humbled by the sheer amount of trust she has in us.  She is one brave little girl and makes me laugh in so many ways.  I love her more than my heart can hold.  And I hope we never, ever have to go to the emergency room with her again. 

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