Friday, August 21, 2009

August 21, 2009: Our latest trip to the emergency room

It's great having friends we can call in the middle of the night, although it would be nice if we didn't need to call them...

To start with, we've just had a somewhat...challenging...three weeks with a visitor, so I started off the evening last night tired. I do know that I've gotten better and better at packing over the years, all the same, it puzzled me how it could take a single guy about 4 times longer to pack for himself than it takes me to pack for seven people. At the end, despite the fact that he'd taken dozens of stones from the beach here (not entirely sure that that's legal...) and bought hundreds of Euros' worth of clothes (much cheaper here than in Germany, apparently--I wouldn't know, as I don't shop either place...), he was surprised to find that his suitcase was seven kilograms overweight. At 1:15 this morning, as my husband (Jörn) was more than ready to leave for the airport, "G" started going on and on about how they'd be sure to look the other way, etc. and that he was just going to risk it. (On the way here he had six kilos too much and got away with it by saying, "Look, I'm visiting a family with five children who moved to Cyprus seven months ago--they need their chocolate and Haribo!" The lady apparently said, "I shouldn't do this, but..." and let him get away with it. He thinks he charmed her, I think she was tired of listening to him talk. I'm not feeling very charitable, I have to admit.)

But we asked what his plan of action was if they didn't (at 22 Euros per kilo too much, that would be an expensive seven kilos!!), and he was quite surprised to realize that Jörn, who was supposed to work at 7:00 a.m. today, only intended to drop him off at the airport and come back home--not hang around for an hour or so. So G decided to re-pack and leave things here for us to ship to him.

Then just before 1:30, as they (Jörn and G) were about to head out the door, half an hour later than intended, Lukas came into the living room and said sleepily, "Jacob fell out of bed." That was rather surprising, not only as Jacob is ten years old and has never fallen out of bed before , but also because he very rarely sleeps IN bed--he usually sleeps on the floor. I asked if he was crying or bleeding and Lukas said yes to both, so I headed to see what was up--Jörn, the less lazy and more compassionate parent of the two, had already gone to Jacob. I found Jacob sitting on the bathroom floor, Jörn cleaning blood from Jacob's face and trying to locate the source of the bleeding to stop it. Jacob had a gash on his cheek over an inch long. It wasn't until we got to the hospital that we realized that the blood caked all over his eyebrow was not from the same wound, but from a similar gash on his eyebrow.

The thought of G missing his flight just did not bear thinking of, and Jacob was dizzy and there was an awful lot of blood on his bedroom floor and leading to the bathroom, so we didn't want to wait for Jörn to take G to the airport and come back, and even though we temporarily (as of yesterday afternoon) have two cars, we also didn't want to leave sleeping children on their own. (I might have been tempted to if they'd all been asleep--I would have woken up Marie and told her what we were doing--but Lukas was still awake and had started crying again because G was leaving. Having no idea how long I'd be gone, it wouldn't have been a good idea anyway.) So Jörn took G to the aiport in the borrowed car and I called Richard.

Richard answered his phone extremely coherently for 1:30 a.m. and came over right away, and I put Helen (who had been awake since 12:30 and I hadn't even bothered trying to get back to sleep, as she was useful in helping keep me awake until G's departure) and Jacob into our car and drove to the hospital.

The emergency room looked crowded when we walked in, but I quickly realized that all the people there were with only one person, who was already being seen to, and we were taken straight into an examining room. When Jörn and I had taken Lukas to the emergency room in April (while, incidentally, Richard's wife, Sue, babysat the other children), they hadn't let me go with him because of Helen, so being there on my own this time I was prepared to fight to stay with him, but they didn't blink an eye at Helen this time. (Well, actually, they all blinked lots of eyes at Helen, flirting madly with her as she flirted back!!) They discussed back and forth about whether they should stitch or use Steri-Strips (I didn't get a whole lot of the conversation, as it was in Greek, but "Steri-Strips" in Greek is...roll of drums..."Steri-Strips") and finally settled on Steri-Strips.

Jacob was great, squeezing my hand tight and groaning a tiny bit, but holding his head perfectly still, as three people worked on him. We of course were asked how it happened, and I said that Jacob said he fell out of bed and must have landed on Legos or something--who knows, as he has a ten-year-old boy's bedroom. The doctor looked rather skeptical, which made me very uncomfortable, and he examined Jacob all over, also finding two bruises on his leg. Jacob said he was coming down the ladder (his bed is a "captain's bed"--higher than a regular bed, but not by a lot--the ladder only has two rungs) and slipped, and he didn't know what he'd hit. After they'd finished with the Steri-Strips and were filling out a form for getting an x-ray, Jörn arrived. Yes, I CAN manage an emergency run to the hospital on my own (have a bit too much experience as it is), but it's SO much easier with my husband there, too, and I was very glad to see him!

Jacob had the x-ray (he said they took three or four, all of his head), they checked the x-rays and said that he was fine, and we were told to keep him quiet and not to let the wounds get wet for four or five days. The doctor told Jacob no skateboarding or football, that this was a time to sit inside and play computer games, at which Jacob looked insulted and said, "I'll read." (That cracked me up, as he likes computer games at least as much as his mother does and plays even more, but I'm glad he also thought of reading!) Anyway, fun fun--keep him quiet and dry. We've gone to the beach nearly every day for the last three months, and on the evenings we don't go, Jacob plays loud and wild games of hide-and-seek and tag with the neighborhood children. I figure I'll at least catch up on the reading-aloud that I've meant to do but haven't, because Jacob is usually running around outside...

To finish the story, we got home and let Richard go home to his own bed, Jacob went to bed in our bed, and Helen and I went to bed in Katie's bed. (Katie and Marie have a bunk bed with a single bed on top and a double bed underneath. On any given night they might both be on the top, both be on the bottom, or one in each--last night Marie was in the top bunk and Katie was in the bottom.) I first removed a coloring book, several marking pens, three stones, and a spinning top, then there was plenty of room for us. Katie woke up and was very, very pleased to see us in her bed, but Helen was not at all pleased to have Katie's arm around her. Despite the fact that it was 3:00 a.m. I had a hard time falling asleep, not being able to read first, but eventually managed, and the next thing I knew it was 7:15. Jörn had set his alarm for 7:00, so he could call and say he's not going to work this morning and was already back asleep. And now it's time to leave to take the children to the last day of holiday club (VBS for U.S.ians), and Jacob wants to go too, so I'm going to be staying. My bet is that within half an hour, Jacob will decide it's too loud anyway and want to come home.