on taking my daughter to the ER

The worst part of parenting, I’m convinced, is dealing with the paperwork, particularly the medical paperwork. Can I get a witness?

Or preferably, can I get someone to come over and take care of this paperwork for me?

There will probably be a lot of it coming up.  Yesterday Rosie ran headlong, full-speed into a park bench. Her legs hit the seat-edge, and her head crashed into the back.  Blood spurted, Rosie asked if she was going to die, and if not dying, would she have to get a shot? Jack called 911, and then me, and I drove like a madwoman from the coffeeshop to the park.  The sheriff arrived before I did.  He asked Jack where we lived, and then said, “Yeah, I thought y’all were on Bragg.”  We live in Mayberry.  We do.  

When I got to the park the medics were wrapping Rosie’s head, so I didn’t see the wound until the ambulance let us off at the Blackford County hospital.

Her skin was torn from eyebrow to eyebrow, the wound triangle-shaped.  It didn’t look like a slit.  It looked like something had pulled a chunk of flesh off. I could see bone.

Rosie remained remarkably calm and brave at that hospital, and then slept as we took another ambulance 80 minutes into the city to a plastic surgeon.

After eight hours of waiting, of no food and drink, yes, she melted down when they came at her with numbing needles and an IV of sedatives and painkillers. She cried and fought and curled up into a ball. Finally she sat on my lap on the hospital bed, leaning back against my chest as the surgeon stitched up her.

We left the hospital, and I was struck by the inadequacy of saying “thank you” to nurses. I may hate dealing with our health care system and insurance, but God, I love the nurses and doctors.  Their enthusiasm, kindness, dedication and professionalism astound me (except, you know, those nurses who didn’t know how to use the machines in my L&D room when I checked in to deliver Owen...not those nurses, but all the others...), and thank you just doesn’t seem like enough for people who care for your kids and enable you to get through the most trying of circumstances. Tiffany brought us a homemade snickerdoodle cupcake, for crying out loud.

In the darkness of the car, I cried from hunger and exhaustion and the gaping wound, the blood, the scar on my perfect baby’s face.

But I mostly cried with thankfulness that it wasn’t her eye, or her brain.  That where we live, health care is available, and we can afford it. That Rosie’s scar will be minimal. That her wound won’t get infected.   

That I don’t have to worry about bombings.  That my kids will not go hungry. That we have a place to sleep tonight.  Not to be dramatic, but that’s where my mama-heart goes, from praying for her to praying for those mamas in the Gaza strip tonight and around the world who are forced to be stronger and braver than I ever am.

Rosie woke up this morning, and told me that God answered my prayers, because she was feeling fine. She ran around all day and tripped and fell and jumped and sang, and my heart was in my throat.  Friends brought balloons and coloring books. We made roast chicken, biscuits and gravy, chocolate chip cookies. Our times are in his hands, and today I am grateful, and also praying that if someday the circumstances are harder, my weak heart will learn to be steadfast.