Extra Life Update!

I don’t like hospitals.

Let me rephrase: Hospitals are great. But oh my god, I don’t want to be in them–hospitals stress me out, big time. They feel chaotic and impersonal and my brain keeps going, Bad things happen here, you know. Maybe down in the base of my head I’m remembering my first visit to the hospital–ten years old with a broken arm and no one would tell me what was happening, because, you know, I’m a kid who’s so wound up they’re thinking general anesthesia. I remember trying not to think I was probably going to die.

So when Tiny Mr. I took a spill this week and split his chin open, my first step–post band-aid–was to call his pediatrician.

“You should take him to Seattle Children’s,” the nurse said.

No. No, no, no. It’s okay. It’s really–see, it’s not that big a cut and he’s a pretty chill kid. You can probably hear him in the background shouting about how he totally landed on his feet like a boss. I’ll get out a ruler–it’s…okay it’s a hair over the half-inch limit. Well…okay, bring him to the pediatrician and they can probably stitch it up.

Readers, they could not. They washed it out and lo and behold, that cut was deeper than it looked. Also, Tiny Mr. I was NOT KEEN on having it washed out.

“IT STINGS!” the tiny mister screamed, thrashing against me and the doctor as the medical assistant irrigated his chin. “IT STIIIIIIIIIIIIIINGS!”

“You should take him to Seattle Children’s,” the pediatrician said. “They can sedate him.”

No. No, no, no. Echoes of being knocked out that first time–I don’t want to traumatize my boy. I don’t want to go to the hospital.

But then, who really does?

“I’m scared,” said Tiny Mr. I on the way across the lake. “It will sting again. I don’t want to go to the hospital. I’m too nervous.”

“That’s okay,” I said. “Hospitals can feel like a scary place. But everyone is there to help you. They’ll give you special medicine to make sure it doesn’t hurt or feel too scary. This is a special hospital, just for children.”

“THEM WON’T LET YOU COME IN?!?!” Tiny Mr. I shrieked.

“No! No, no, no. I will stay with you–I have to stay with you. They know that. But Momma couldn’t get her cut fixed here. They are just doctors for children.”

Seattle Children’s Hospital feels a little scary. It’s a hospital after all. But for an emergency room this place is amazingly calm and peaceful. And colorful. We walked in out of the pouring rain and into a little woodland-decorated room. They gave Tiny Mr. I a hospital gown so he could get out of his wet clothes, and put on a movie for him to watch while we waited.

Good god, these people know what they’re doing: It didn’t even sting a little, and he didn’t have to be sedated.

They let him watch cartoons with a topical anesthetic on while we waited for a Child Life specialist to come on. She explained the procedure in terms a four-year-old could understand. Then while they injected him with the full local anesthetic and stitched his little face back up, she held an iPad over his head so he could watch WordGirl while I snuggled him. All fixed up, she gave him some toys while we waited to be discharged.

In the whole spectrum of reasons to visit the hospital, five stitches on the chin is nothing compared to what Seattle Children’s Hospital does for the many children Extra Life helps support. But I for one will be eternally grateful that they made sure my little boy left his first hospital visit with only one thing on his mind.

He hopped off the hospital bed. “Let’s go get that Slurpee that you said I could have, remember?”

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I have $75 dollars left to raise before I have a character to play in Extra Life. If I don’t get there soon, I’m going to have to pony up the difference myself and just drop all those votes on Raedra. I look fab in a crown.

Donate Here: http://www.extra-life.org/participant/159887

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One Response to Extra Life Update!

  1. Fran Stewart says:

    I was a stitch magnet as a child, and it really impresses me how MASSIVELY far we’ve come. I won’t trigger your phobia by telling stories, but ERs are so much better now. And I’m tremendously impressed with what you described above. I hope that’s a common experience for kids in distress in the years to come.