Tuesday, February 28, 2012


My poor boy!  I got a call at work yesterday at 2pm that there had been a run in on the playground at school and that Bryce had sustained a black eye and they wanted me to come and get him.  I raced to school and there he was in the nurse's office with a cold pack on his face looking utterly thrilled.  He seemed in his normal spirits but the nurse was very concerned.  I called our doctor right away but he had just left for the day and based on the injury they thought he might need an x-ray so it was probably best to take him to the ER.

In his 6 1/2 years, Bryce has been to the ER 5 times, so this is no sweat to me now.  Although as we walked into the ER at 3:15pm on a Monday afternoon, I could tell this experience was going to be a little different.  This was the first time we ever have really had to wait.  The place was over run - the wait time for adults was 4 hours and for kids was 2 hours. (Thank goodness they have a pediatric ER that is separate from adults!)  It really is a nice ER but when you have that much volume, there's not much you can do.  Another patient sitting in the waiting room told me that Patient First down the road was just as bad.  I guess it was a bad day to be sick or injured.  And I can honestly say, a crowded ER waiting room is quite a sampling of American society.  Good grief!  Bad language, people almost completely devoid of intelligence, rudeness....I could go on.  I get that most people were frustrated by the wait but it also struck me how many people there seemed not to be that sick.  Makes you realize how many people use the ER as their physician.  Sad, really.

Anyway, we sat in the waiting area for an hour and a half.  Bryce was uncomfortable and grumpy.  A kid across from us was coughing up a lung, it was loud, crowded, a little smelly and the Power Rangers was on TV.  I wasn't exactly in the best mood either.  It was so loud that you could barely hear the names they were calling out to call you back for triage or for your insurance information.  Thankfully, I'd thrown a snack and drink in my bag for Bryce so he was sustained a bit.  I was so happy when they called us back.  Once you're back in the actual exam area, everything is so serene and well organized.  Great nurses and doctors and we saw a doctor within 15 minutes.

Bryce gave her his story and she thoroughly examined him.  Based on the fact that he wasn't that sensitive around his eye, she determined an x-ray wasn't necessary and after a neuro exam, that he didn't have a concussion.  (Thank goodness because I was a little worried when he complained of some dizziness when we walked to the car.) She gave us the all clear to go to school the next day too but just to be careful and avoid getting hit in the face again - uh, yeah.   I tried to take a photo of him to send to Jason but he wouldn't let me.  He was very self conscious and wanted an ice pack more for camouflage rather than for the cold.

We were home before 6pm and was met by happy sisters to see that he was okay.  Even a few neighbor kids were out and came to check on him but Bryce met most of them with one hand covering his eye.  Of course we updated the grandparents and made plans for today.  I went into work late so I could take the kids to school myself and pop in to see the nurse and Bryce's teacher.  Bryce's teacher, Ms. R was very concerned about him and even sent me an email late last night because she had been thinking about him.  When we walked into school this morning the nurse was so happy to see him and to hear he was okay.  And then when we got to class his teacher was just all over him and so concerned.  It's nice to see how much attention and care he gets at school and I knew I was leaving him in good hands.

The funny thing is that aside from a lot of swelling still and his eye not being completely opened, he doesn't seem that fazed by it.  More than anything he's self conscious about it and often walks with his hand over his eye.  When we were walking down toward school from the car, as soon as kids started seeing him he covered his eye and when he went into his class he covered it as soon as any kid mentioned it.  I had suggested earlier that maybe he needed a pirate eye patch to which I was quickly told that I was being dumb.

And here is the best photo I could get last night.  It doesn't really do the swelling much justice.  It was slightly darker blue/purple this morning but definitely more swollen. His left eye doesn't look like it's open the whole way and he says it hurts when he looks down in that direction.  When I tried to take a photo of him at home with my phone he said, "NO!  You'll just post it all over the internet."  Touché, Bryce.  I guess he's figured out my tricks.


Anonymous said...

Better safe than sorry. Glad it turned out okay. I feel like they should treats accidents before illnesses at the ER. I got annoyed with a woman who brought her kid in with a suspected strep throat. ER? For possible strep? Really? I guess they triage for that, but still, if my bleeding child had to wait an extra second for a possible strep throat, I would have been ticked. I wish they had separate waiting rooms too for illnesses. It's gross. I asked the woman why she didn't go to Patient First or Kinder Mender and she said it was more expensive on her insurance to do so, so clogging up the ER with her non-emergency was the cheaper route.

Anonymous said...

~^^^^ Katie ^^^^

Erika said...

That's weird about insurance - it's much cheaper to go to Patient First on our insurance than to the ER. But when a possible x-ray is involved and the chance that they'd send me to the ER anyway comes up, I have to choose ER. (We had that happen when C scratched her eye, so I only use PF for illnesses now.)

I was super annoyed too b/c there are 2 separate waiting areas for peds vs. adults and b/c the adult side was so overrun, adults were sitting in the peds side. They really shouldn't allow it but no one seems to care.

I told Bryce I'm hoping to avoid the ER for a while. He has been 3 times in the past year alone. (Penicillin allergy, smashed finger, and now this.)