Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Scarred for Life

What was already promising to be an eventful week started out even moreso.  Last night we went to a friend's house for dinner.  I made rolls, so we also brought our butter bell and a jar of apricot jam.  Ed and I carried hot pans of rolls from the car; Ginger carried the butter bell, and Hazel carried the jam.  The sidewalk was dark, and Ginger was concentrating so hard on carrying her dish, that she accidentally tripped and crashed not steps from the door.  She started screaming, "I'm sorry!  I'm sorry!" when she saw the broken dish.  We all rushed to her, and when she looked up, her face was covered with blood, and gushing into (or out of ) her mouth and down her coat.

I picked her up and ran to the door - this was our first time at their house, and what a way to arrive! We rushed in and asked where the bathroom was.  I had her around the waist with one arm and the other hand cupped under her chin, hoping not to spill blood on their floor!  There were a lot of people there, all was commotion, but I got her in the bathroom.  I tried to hold her over the sink to contain the blood but when she saw herself in the mirror she started screaming, so I had to put her down.

I wiped her up with toilet paper enough to see that it all came from a large, clean cut on her forehead that was bleeding profusely.  We put pressure on it and started to wipe up her face, mouth, clothes, and the floor.  She said her head didn't hurt, but her knee did, so Ed started doctoring the large scrape there.  They brought us a first aid box, and we continued to wipe and press.  I was afraid she'd hit her mouth, too, but then remembered she has so few teeth in the front, there couldn't be much damage there, and in fact there wasn't any.  Her hair and coat were crusted with blood, and my hands were covered.  She kept crying how sorry she was, and of course we kept telling her it didn't matter, we don't care about the dish.

We waffled over stitches, but decided to just give her a tight band aid for the duration of our visit (they didn't have butterfly bandages.)  She was shaken up and melancholy for a little while, then cheered up and played and ate with the other kids.

On our way home, we stopped at CVS to get butterflies, but they didn't have any.  So we went to another one.  Ginger and Hazel fell asleep in the car.  That store didn't have them either.  We finally drove to a third drugstore, and also called my brother-in-law, who's a doctor.  As we'd been driving, doubt had crept into our minds about home gluing or bandaging it, and he confirmed that with a cut so long, of unknown depth, and in such a prominent place, we should take her to the hospital.

We dropped off Ed and the other girls, then I drove to the hospital and parked in the last ER spot, but not before getting into a fender bender in the parking lot (awesome.)  I woke Ginger up and took my exhausted, disoriented, almost-6-year-old in for the lengthy runaround that is the Emergency Room.  Did I mention tomorrow is her birthday?  That's why our week was already going to be eventful.  Family and school festivities on Wednesday, then a friends party Friday night.  We've been preparing for weeks.
Luckily the ER wasn't crowded, so we got in quickly and took a look.  She definitely needed stitches.  They slathered on a topical anesthetic ("Tinkerbell's Magic Fairy Paste" - I told the doctor she could talk straight about everything, that Ginger was cool and wouldn't freak out if she told things like they are, but we still liked calling that stuff Tinkerbell Paste.)  Then we had to wait 40 minutes.  At home I'd armed my purse with a banana, the iPad, and a handful of lollipops, so we were good.  We played games, then I took the opportunity to film her 6-year-old interview on my phone.  Adorable.  Candid.  Sweet.  She said she wanted to give me her saved allowance to pay for the butter bell.  I told her too bad because I was going to order a new one on my phone before we even got home.  I'll put some excerpts from the interview in her birthday post.
 They finally came in and gave her five stitches in blue thread.  She cringed a lot so I don't know if the whole area was anesthetized or if it just felt strange.  We put her blood-crusted coat back on, with our marching orders for laceration care and blood stain removal, and came wearily home just after midnight.
When she first found out she'd have stitches, she said she didn't want to go to school until they were gone and she was all healed; she didn't want anyone to see them.  Then I told her about how when I was little, I was so envious of kids when they had stories of going to the ER and getting stitches or a cast.  I never once got to do that, and I thought it sounded like such an adventure.  She must have thought about it, because on our way home, after being built up by the doctor's praise of her bravery, she said she did feel like she'd had an adventure.  And this morning, after she slept in as late as she wanted, she proudly regaled her sisters with tales of the ER, and was excited to go to school with a big bandage across her forehead - a bright pink Barbie band aid.

I'd been a little sentimental earlier, as we drove from drugstore to drugstore, that our perfect little girl was scarred just before her 6th birthday, but Ed put it in perspective.  Everyone gets scarred, he said, sooner or later.  It's part of life, and each scar tells a story, and now she has a story to tell.

I have a feeling she's having a good time telling it today at school. 


Our family said...

Holy Moly!!!! I got my huge scar through my eyebrow when I was 5. I remember it like it was yesterday! :) Great job on being brave, Ginger!

Greg and Michelle said...

I hope that you got some rest to day too - what an adventure!

Shaunel said...

Oh my goodness! How scary. I can't believe she lasted through dinner!

Celeste Elaine said...

Whew! Reading this even felt intense. You have a great family, and I love how well you take care of them!

GR82BAMOM said...

Wow! So sorry this happened to sweet little Ginger. Hope it heals fast. To aid in the healing, try some vitamin E and aloe. The scar might not be noticeable. Liam has two scars on his face (nose when he was a year old and forehead at age three). I put vitamin E on them when the injuries got crusted over. He has the scars, but they are barely noticeable.

Lindsay said...

Aw, poor Ginger. But I'll bet she'll never forget her 6th birthday! ;)

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...