Friday, June 02, 2006

Emergency

No HNT yesterday, as I never got around to borrowing a camera. I was up late with my first official visit to the ER. Bigglest Boy was spinning and spinning in the mud after school, and fell and landed on his hand in such a way that it bent and hyper-extended down and either sprained his wrist (most likely) or broke it.
We were at the school. I heard them playing outside while I was inside, chatting with a friend and waiting for Monsieur to come and pick us up after work. I heard them get into the garden area which is now pretty much a mud pit and just as I was running outside to get them out of the mud, he spun around on his toes, fell over and screamed. He got up holding his arm in a real unnatural position and my heart leapt into my throat.
“It just hurts!” was all he could say. His elbow seemed OK but I didn’t want him to move. I called Monsieur immediately.
“Get him to sit at a desk and hold it still, if you can,” he told me. “I will call to get you a ride to the county hospital.”
A hew minutes later a pickup truck showed up carrying J, who thank the goodness was at home and came immediately with her little girl, E. Since she was a teacher before, everyone knew her. Also E’s still in the school.
J tossed me her keys and said, “Take him; I’ll stay here with the other guys till we know more.”
I made grateful noises while I got Bigglest Boy together and headed out.
Bigglest Boy was petrified, understandably, since most of what he knows about hospitals was that his mom went to one right before she died. “I am NOT going to have an MRI,” he announced to the intake nurse.
“Darling,you’ll do what your Mama tells you,” she said.
“She’s NOT my Mama!” he cried. The nurse asked me what my status was.
“I … I’m his guardian,” I fibbed. Well, I kind of am, anyway.
“Here’s a different release form for you to fill out, then,” she said, and I did, signing and affirming things that I’m not sure if I had a legal right to do.
The exam and X-rays were an ordeal. He is as stubborn as his father, and as difficult a patient as his mother. He wanted to know the exact amount of radiation that they would be using for each X-ray exposure. In kilowatts. The radiologist looked at me. “He’s a scientist,” I explained. “He’s been studying radiation.”
The radiologist was extremely patient, and she explained to him where the radiation was going to emit, how long it would come out, and she even looked up exactly how many kilowatts would come out on each shot. She showed him the lead apron that would protect the rest of his body, just in case. “It’s perfectly safe,” she said. “I do X-rays for dozens of boys and girls a day, and I have never hurt a single one.” But when we got ready for it, the radiologist wanted me to stand behind the barrier, “for safety.”
“If it’s so safe then how come Peppermint can’t be here next to me?” he wailed. “Is it safe, or not?”
The radiologist looked at me, and I said, “I can stand here, if it’s allowed.”
“You’ll have to put on a lead apron, too, then,” she sighed, and got it out for me. Which I didn’t mind.
We got three exposures and were sent out to wait. We got to see them come out of the film developer and look at his bones.
“Is there a break?” he asked her.
“I don’t see one,” she said, “but I’ll give these to your doctor and he’ll look at them and tell you.”
The ER physician didn’t see one either. “But there could be a hairline fracture that won’t show up on film, so I’m going to recommend a splint and sling, and a visit to an orthopedic surgeon tomorrow to make sure.”
By then it was already almost 5 o’clock and Monsieur had already gathered up everyone from the school, dropped J and E off at their home, and brought the Two Littlest Boys back home. I called him and gave him a report. He was mostly worried about Bigglest Boy’s state of mind, his anxiety level.
“He’s incredibly agitated,” I said. “I really can’t get him to do anything. He’s a very difficult patient.”
When I got to check out, I had our insurance provider cards and paid with my VISA card. One hundred dollars, with co-pay. “My daddy will pay you back,” said Bigglest Boy, sniffling.
“I’m not worried about it,” I smiled. “I know he will.”
After Bigglest Boy was finally put to bed, at about eleven, Monsieur came downstairs and hugged me. “Thank you for taking care of my boy,” he whispered.
“It’s my job,” I said simply, then told him about the whole legal guardian waiver I had to sign. I wasn’t comfortable with it, and told him so.
“Well, it turned out all right,” he said, “but I can see where it could have gone badly.”
“I don’t ever want there to be hard feelings about how I handle anything in an emergency,” I said.
“I am not worried about how you handle emergencies,” he said.
“Well, thank you for your confidence, but I also don’t want anyone to give me trouble because I’m not their legal guardian. This is a pretty small county, you know, and everyone knows everyone. We’re just lucky that we didn’t know anyone at the hospital who could have caused us any snags about guardianship and rights and responsibility.”
“Yes,” was all he said for a while. Then, eventually he added, “Let me talk to someone, and perhaps we can get some kind of legal status for you, if that would be acceptable.”
“I just don’t want to have to lie and then sign my name to it,” I said.
“I do not blame you for that.”
“I’d be willing to adopt them, if that is the easiest way,” I said.
He looked at me. “Are you quite certain?”
I nodded. “Quite certain.”
“We will find out the best way to do this, I promise. And I will include you with any discussion that will lead to any decision.”
We were sitting at the kitchen table. I held his hand. “I really think that would be good; and don’t worry. I really am here to stay,” I said.
He held my hands in his. “I am glad. Let us cover the legal matters, then move deliberately towards a better status for you.”
“Can we get married?” I burst out, then I saw his face and I immediately regretted it. “I mean – oh gosh I’m sorry. I mean, later?”
He looked cornered. “Give me some more time, on that idea.”
“Is it a good idea?” I asked.
“On the surface, yes, for me, a very good idea.” He looked at me. “I want it to be advantageous to you, as well. I still have an idea of you going to finish your MFA, even if you don’t. In any case, we have had a very emotional day, and I think it would be best if we would go to bed.”
“All right, fair enough,” I said. “I’m sorry I mentioned it.”
“Don’t be sorry,” he said, standing up.
I smiled at him. “Can we, maybe, go to bed and stay awake a little while longer?”
“Not tonight, chère,” he said. “I have had a very emotional day.”
Like I haven’t? I thought, but smiled and held him, then we went to bed.

2 comments:

Wenchy said...

What does one say? I'm kinda emotional tonight so maybe now isn't a good time to leave comments? :o)

jackt said...

Very poignant.