Sandy J. Green
THE EMERGENCY THAT WASN'T REALLY
Last weekend, the Green family had our first emergency. Although, truthfully, it may be more accurate to call it a dry run of an emergency since nothing actually ended up being wrong. Allow me to explain.
I had been looking forward to Saturday afternoon for months. A while ago, a client of mine had given me a wonderful suggestion of a way to stay in touch with old colleagues. Although she and her group of colleagues had moved on from the job where they met and their lives had moved in different directions, they committed to seeing each other once a year. She argued that anyone could work their busy schedules around just one day and it was enough to help them stay connected. I immediately reached out to a group of women who I worked with several years ago in New York City. We had been a uniquely close group of colleagues, but marriage, kids, and life circumstances had taken its toll and it had been over 4 years since we were all together. I texted these ladies and suggested we make a commitment to meet once a year in the city and that we choose a date in the spring. So to say that I was excited about Saturday was an understatement. I couldn’t wait.
But as so often happens, my life had different plans. Around 8am, while Jared was at a yoga class, Avi decided to balance himself on his Thomas the Train so he could see the kitchen counter. Before I had a second to see what was going on, the train has slipped out from under him and Avi crashed down to the floor. Luckily, it didn’t look like he hit his head, so I picked him up, gave him some water, and rocked him on the couch. I asked him to wiggle his fingers and he did. I asked him for a high-five and he did. I asked him to clap ‘hurray’ and he did. But all with his right hand. I couldn’t get him to do anything with his left arm. I tried to stay calm - I called Jared, but no answer. I called my mom, but no answer. I called my dad and my best friend, but no one was answering. I tried again to get Avi to give me a high-five with his left hand but he cried and said, ‘heavy’.
I’ll be honest, I learned something a little upsetting about myself that day - I’m not great in an emergency. At no point, did I think to call his doctor. It didn’t even occur to me to get ice. All I could think was, “at what point do we go to the hospital and is it safe for me to drive him there?’ I put on Sesame Street and got dressed, trying to think through my options and wishing that someone would call me back and tell me what to do. Finally, my mom pulled through. She suggested I call our pediatrician, which was 100% the right move. We go to a medical group that can do x-rays in the building. So I made an appointment and we prepared to leave.
Shortly before we had to go, Jared came home. Now, he is a person who’s good in an emergency. He immediately got Avi an ice-pack, changed him into a button down shirt (knowing that we’d probably have to take his shirt off throughout the day and this way we could just put one arm in) and made Avi a little sling. I sat in the backseat of the car with Avi, feeding him crackers to keep him happy.
Our pediatrician was wonderful. She took such time and care to examine and observe Avi and then sent him down for x-rays. At this point, I was still holding out hope that I would get to my lunch date, but unfortunately, the x-rays were inconclusive. There was a slight abnormality on his wrist that neither the pediatrician nor the radiologist felt comfortable diagnosing. And so we all got back in the car and headed for a pediatric orthopedic surgeon across down (and I canceled my lunch). We checked in and proceeded to wait for 2 hours. I don’t know if you’ve ever waited for 2 hours in a waiting room with a 20 month old who hasn’t napped...but it isn’t fun. And the most annoying part was that Avi seemed to be getting better by the minute. He was playing and climbing; using both hands perfectly without any hesitation. Don’t get me wrong, I was thrilled that he was feeling better, but it was at this point that Jared and I both started to lose our patience. Neither of us had eaten for hours, Avi was devolving into a maniac from the lack of nap, and it seemed like he was perfectly fine anyway. We finally got into see the doctor who confirmed that Avi was in fact fine. The abnormality was nothing to worry about, a vein or something like that.
Needless to say, it was a stressful day. I’m grateful that Avi is ok and I’m grateful that our doctors took him and us seriously. But it was definitely a long and stressful day. And if you know Avi, you know that it’s only a matter of time before something is actually broken, so I guess this was a useful dry run. If and when I’m in this situation again, I think I’ll have a better idea of how to handle it and I hope I’ll be a little more calm and a little less panicked.
And in the end, the friends were wonderful. They decided that it wasn’t worth it to have lunch without me and so we decided to reschedule. Hopefully, it won’t take another 4 years for us to find a date!