I should begin by saying we aren’t really Valentine’s-Day-Buy-Stuff-For-Each-Other kind of people. It makes us feel like we’re taking orders from Hallmark.
That said, we didn’t exactly envision stitches and a double check-in to Urgent Care for our V-Day plans. I think Hallmark was tired of our rebellion and started fighting back.
After a prayer service on the night of the 13th, Daniel was running and playing in our (very large) worship center and did something I’m totally shocked hasn’t happened before now: He tripped, fell, and split his forehead open. By the time we got to him the blood really was everywhere and he was screaming bloody murder.
The whirlwind that followed involved a lot of women in the men’s bathroom, a whole lotta gauze and a bag full of Sonic ice. I remember this clearly, thinking how grateful I was that we had Sonic ice because not only was it really fun to chew in drinks, but it worked much better in molding to my bleeding child’s head.
The bleeding stopped but the wound was significant, so we headed to the nearest pediatric urgent care. We had to lay off the “Honey, we need to keep him awake” comments after Daniel started freaking out about what might happen if he fell asleep, so I just wedged myself between the kids’ seats and we just kept everyone laughing all the way there. This meant discussions about spiders and snakes (our collective phobias/weaknesses as parents) and about the way a scorpion digests it’s food. You do what you have to do in these situations.
Daniel was extremely brave. He didn’t resist any treatment even though I know he was in a lot of pain. Once we figured out what was going to happen, I headed to the waiting room with Violet so she didn’t have to see any more than she already had.
Fernando stayed with Daniel and I’m so grateful he did. Apparently the scene that ensued was full of screaming, blood and watching Daniel’s exposed head muscles moving every time he moved his eyes. The numbing process was torture, but sweet D was the bravest he has ever been and came through like a champ.
His sister… not so much. From her first complaint of cold hands in Daniel’s triage room, it was a total of 30 minutes before she was absolutely incoherent, chattering violently and in a world of pain. A nurse took a quick temp, discovered 104.3 and we admitted her alongside Daniel. Rooms 2 and 3, respectively. Because we like to save a trip whenever we can.
At this point, Fernando’s parents decided to head over for the fun. They prayed over each kiddos and kept us sane in the middle of our adrenaline rushes. The kids were happy to see Mema and Papa, too.
Violet had a bad ear infection we weren’t aware of although I will go to my grave believing that she went into shock after watching Daniel’s ordeal which made her immune system all but disappear. She was so scared for him, she cried every time I mentioned his name.
Daniel emerged a new man – happy, chatty and totally high on life and drugs. Fernando said he had promised him “ice cream with m&m’s” in the middle of the worst of it, so when we asked Daniel how he was doing he just smiled huge and said “ice-creamy”. Then he settled into the waiting room to watch the movie, put his hands behind his head and said, “now this is more like it.”
A few hours later, we dropped off the prescriptions at a 24 hour pharmacy (because BOTH kids had ear infections…?!) and headed to the only ice cream place open in the middle of the night: The Walmart McDonalds. It wasn’t our finest moment.
Violet hadn’t believed Fernando when he told her that we were awake so long, it was now Valentine’s Day. She said, “Where are the heart balloons?” (Where my child learned that heart balloons were necessary for Valentine’s Day is a whole other issue.)
So when Fernando emerged a few minutes later from Walmart, he was holding two cups of ice cream and a giant red Valentine’s Day balloon. Our hero.
On the way home, our adrenaline rushes wore off and we had to take turns keeping each other awake.
We have since taken to calling the balloon “our love balloon” and dancing around it as a family. Really and truly.
Next year I think I’ll just buy Fernando a box of chocolates. Delicious and cheaper than two Urgent Care co-pays.