We spent most of last weekend in the hospital. My teenagers were invited to a BBQ at their aunt’s house so they could hang out with other teenagers ( and escape from their slave driver mother.) Big Daughter decided to climb up a tree. Barefoot. In the dark. Even though Big Son told her it was a bad idea. So at 11pm I get a phone call that Big Daughter has cut her foot really bad and needs stitches.
We take her to the afterhours emergency clinic. We sit and wait for two hours. I read a book on my Kindle.The doctor looks at her bloody foot and agrees it needs stitching. He sticks a needle in it four times so that she wont feel the stitches. She cries. I cry. The doctor is very brusque. He pokes around in the mass of bloody flesh and I feel like vomiting. He says, “I cant stitch it because its too deep. She needs to go to the hospital and see a surgeon.”
We drive to the local hospital. We wait. Its 3am. The nurse tells us to go home and come back in the morning to see the surgeon. We go home. Daughter sleeps. I fret. Worry. Pray. Bargain with God. Read a steamy Nalini Singh novel on my Kindle. The celestial sensualness of an archangel called Raphael cannot distract me from images of Big Daughter crying while people poke and prod her bloody foot. We go back to the hospital. The doctor says, “It’s been too long since the injury. She needs antibiotics fast.” They try to stick an IV line into her arm. She cries. I cry. The nurse looks a little irritated. The doctor is very brusque. Big Daughter has an x-ray. The doctor injects her foot four times again to numb it. Big Daughter cries. I cry. The doctor pokes around inside her foot. “We cant do anything for her. She needs to go to a bigger hospital. She needs an orthopaedic surgeon to operate on it.” She cries. I don’t cry. I now want to hurt someone. Preferably a doctor. I want to stab them with needles. Scrape their skin off with scalpels. Or just run them over with my imaginary Hummer. The doctor checks Big Daughter’s file. Exclaims, “Oh! You’re only thirteen years old. We thought you were much older. You’re still a child. You should be at the Starship Children’s Hospital.”
We go to Starship. Nobody sticks needles in her bloody foot. Nobody cries. A smiley-faced anaesthetist wearing a Winnie the Pooh bandanna puts Big Daughter to sleep. Surgeons cut up her foot, clean it out, check tendons and joints, then sew it all back up again. Me and the Hot Man wait anxiously for three hours.The surgeon says, “The injury just missed an artery and the major tendons. She’s very lucky.” Daughter wakes up smiling. “I feel great! I’ve had such a lovely sleep!” Me and the Hot Man have had zip rest. I spend the night on a mattress on the floor next to her bed. She reads her kindle and I read mine. I zip through two more Nalini Singh books. I check Daughter often to make sure she’s still breathing. You never know.
Big Daughter is now at home. Using crutches. She will get her stitches out next week. She complains a lot and cant do any chores around the house. She is getting on my nerves.
1. I never ever want my daughter to get pregnant. I cannot begin to imagine the suffering I will endure when I watch her struggle through eighteen hours of labor,listening to her screams of agony. (Because of course everything is always about ME.)
2. Tree climbing is lethal. Don’t do it.
3. I had no idea how many different, lustrously creative ways there are to describe “getting it on”. Until I read three Nalini Singh books in a row. I am now well and truly overdosed on “glorious rippling muscular planes.” There are so many hot dudes in a Singh book that I doubt I will ever recover.
4. Get a Kindle. Get your kid a Kindle. Best way to endure boredom, sickness and sleepless nights in a hospital is to spend them with a Nalini Singh archangel.
4. The next time I take Big Daughter to a doctor, I will stick a sign on her forehead. ‘EVEN THO I LOOK LIKE A FULL GROWN WOMAN, I’M ACTUALLY ONLY A KID. PLEASE USE THE HANNA MONTANA BANDAIDS AND SUPER SWEET BEDSIDE MANNER.
5. We are very blessed to have such healthy children. In Big Daughter’s ward were children who have lived in the hospital for months on end. Endured countless surgeries over the years. And sleeping beside their beds every night – are the parents. The family members who must walk beside their child, trying not to cry every time a doctor has to hurt them so they can help them.
I will try to remember all these things. And not get too annoyed with Big Daughter as she recuperates.