Maura’s fine, I need a drink.

27 Mar

I blame myself really.  The other day, I thought “You know, we’ve been here over a year now and we haven’t had to go to the ER once.”


I owe myself a Coke.  With lots of rum in it.

Today was pretty usual after-school chaos.  The dog was all hyper-puppy, boys groaning over homework, Maura snacking and trying to sneak out of the house (she’s discovered she can open the front door.  The puppy loves this.)

I shooed puppy and Maura back in and out into the back yard, answered Mim’s questions about Taylor Swift, checked email, heard Maura come in and go upstairs.  I thought about calling her back downstairs because I heard her in my room, which means there’s a possibility of her getting into my make-up. But I didn’t.  I was enjoying the calm downstairs.

And then, I heard it.  That noise I learned as a teenager when my little sister was in her clumsy phase – the sound of a child falling down the stairs.

It ended with a really loud thud and followed up with Maura beginning to scream, which led to myself, Collin, Sean and Miriam all running to the front hall, where Maura was on her hands and knees.

I scooped her up, checked for blood, saw none, started trying to calm her down.  Maura was not going to calm down.  I asked Sean – who was standing to the side  – “Do you see any blood?”

He said “No, but there’s this HUGE lump on her head.”

I looked down and HOLY CRAP!  The boy was not exaggerating. It stuck out about an inch and took up at least a third of her forehead across.

Now, usually, I’m the epitome of calm and collected during child injuries.  But the sight of that huge lump forming – and growing! – and knowing it was on the head of the child with epilepsy sort of made me lose my calm and collectedness.

Poor Sean – he was trying.  But I was babbling.  I knew I wanted an ice pack of some sort and a kitchen towel.

So of course, I babbled “Towel…I need a towel…”

Sean instantly had a bath towel for me.  Probably wondering why I needed a towel, but he was not questioning, just following orders.

I said “No! That’s too big….I need an ice pack.”

Two seconds later, he’s there – with the big ice pack Josh uses to wrap around his knee.

I said “No!  That’s too big!”, took a couple breaths and finally managed to say to Sean that I needed a bag of peas or the like, and a kitchen towel.  He provided them in an instant.

Maura was going to have none of it.  And then she was crying that her knee hurt.

Oh sure, she broke her knee.  Or so I thought.  It made sense at the time.  I decided to just call Josh.  I dialed his number, got his voice mail, hung up while yelling “Why aren’t you answering your phone!” at my phone while redialing…

…see, we have this secret code.  If it’s not important, I leave a message.  If I start calling him repeatedly, it’s important.

He answered the second call.  I said “Maura fell down the stairs, she has a HUGE goose egg!  Please come home.”  Or something like that.

God bless the man, he said “I’ll be right there.”  And a few minutes later, he was.

Maura was calmer (we had turned on Spongebob) and Josh saw her and said “Wow, yeah, that’s a big lump.”

We decided for our peace of mind to have her seen by a medical professional.  Except we realized we weren’t sure where to take her.  See, in Ireland, ER’s aren’t all “Open all the time, all are welcome!” things.  The ER four blocks from our house is only open 8 am to 8 pm Monday through Saturday, and only sees people over the age of 16.  There’s Temple Street Children’s Hospital, but that meant a 20+ minute drive into the city.

That’s when Josh – the smart one of the situation today – said “Why don’t we just take her to the doctor’s office, maybe they can see her?”

So that’s what we did.

I actually ran in first, explained what happened, and the receptionist said “Sure, bring her in, we’ll see who can see her right now.”  I brought Sad Maura in, and a minute later, the doctor called her name.

The doctor was all shades of reassuring, checked Maura out, explained why we didn’t have to worry, how we were actually the best type of parents in this situation because if she happened to have a seizure later, we were prepared, how if we did need to go to the ER, to go to Temple Street, but it was better in this situation to have brought her into the clinic there because the ER’s were full of people with the various viruses and whooping cough that was going around, and Maura would have just ended up catching something there. Plus how if Maura was going to whack her head anywhere, she whacked it in the right spot, as that spot’s the hardest.

Then she got Maura a “magic plaster” – aka band aid for her booboo knee – and Maura asked for “M” (McDonald’s) and Maura left in a good mood.  Yes, she got “M”, plus flowers and a Barbie magazine.  If there had been a pony or puppy there and Maura wanted it, we’d have gotten it for her.

Now, she’s happily playing, dancing and watching Spongebob.  Josh and I are a pair of limp noodles, slightly drained by it all.  Though once again, I am thrilled with the choice I made in medical clinics.

I’m also not looking forward to the many colors Maura’s face and forehead are going to turn.  Because once she settled down, we realized some of the red spots on her face weren’t from crying, but from the fall.  And the doctor warned us that with a lump that size, it was going to bruise and drain downwards, so Maura could wake up with raccoon eyes tomorrow, and we should be prepared for questions.

So that’s been my afternoon.  All calm, then all hell breaking loose.  And for the record, Maura didn’t fall down the stairs because of a seizure, nor did she have a seizure afterwards.  She was just normal kid clumsy, and normal kid bumps and bruises.

As we were leaving the clinic, the doctor joked that we shouldn’t have anything caffeinated to drink as we had enough adrenaline rushing through our veins.   That’s fine.  I don’t need caffeine.  Liquor maybe.  Yes, a nice stiff drink could be in order tonight!

what Maura's head looked like at the doctor's office. It looks much better now.


45 Responses to “Maura’s fine, I need a drink.”

  1. Rachael March 27, 2012 at 2:16 pm #

    Wow – that is a huge lump! That would have had me panicking too!

    • phoebz4 March 27, 2012 at 2:45 pm #

      Yeah, it’s impressive, isn’t it? It isn’t as bad looking now…but her eye’s looking puffier. She’s going to be quite colorful tomorrow!

  2. Jenn Brees March 27, 2012 at 2:35 pm #

    Oh, poor sweetie! (And poor parents!) Yes, I think a nice rum and coke might take the edge off after Miss M is in bed tonight.

    You guys are awesome parents. I can’t wait to see you!

    • phoebz4 March 27, 2012 at 2:44 pm #

      Thanks Jenn! I’m counting down the days to your visit on this side of the ocean…Josh is counting out the bail money 😉

  3. kimchifeedme March 27, 2012 at 2:36 pm #

    Glad to hear that she’s none the worse for a fall down the stairs! Kids do their best to keep our hearts healthy and beating.

    • phoebz4 March 27, 2012 at 2:43 pm #

      LOL – yes! The doctor checked Maura’s pulse, stated how calm it was, then joked that ours were probably much higher!

  4. Hannah March 27, 2012 at 2:38 pm #

    umm… yeah…. Get a really big stiff drink! ….. Make that 2 really big drinks……

    • phoebz4 March 27, 2012 at 2:43 pm #

      Thanks Hannah! Yes, Josh could use a drink as well.

  5. Holly March 27, 2012 at 2:46 pm #

    isnt it ironic when a child with health issues winds up in ER with issues completely unrelated, it’s like you plan for something to happen related to what you know could happen and then the unexpected happens.

    • phoebz4 March 27, 2012 at 3:30 pm #

      LOL – sadly, our family history is things like smacking heads – usually though it’s accompanied by the need for stitches. I’m so glad we didn’t need any this time!

  6. lexiemom March 27, 2012 at 2:47 pm #

    Yep, you deserve a drink, or two.
    Glad Maura’s going to be okay.

    • phoebz4 March 27, 2012 at 3:30 pm #

      thank you!

  7. Courtney March 27, 2012 at 3:09 pm #

    Wow, that’s a huge goose egg…poor baby! Our daughter fell down the stairs when she was 22 months old and got a concussion. After the CAT Scan came back okay and we were able to leave the ER, my husband lifted her up and banged her head into the exam light stationed above the table. The RN asked if we wanted to see the doctor again, my baby whimpered, and I glared at my husband. She ended up throwing up/dry heaving 17 times in 24 hours. We felt like the worst parents in the world for ‘allowing’ our baby with neurological issues to fall down the stairs. They deal with so much it seems extra hard when typical childhood injuries happen.

    • phoebz4 March 27, 2012 at 3:34 pm #

      Oh my! I bet your husband felt horrible! Our older daughter fell from the second floor to the first when she was 16 months old – she was fine, but that took ten years off my life!

  8. maryct70 March 27, 2012 at 3:21 pm #

    Oh Dear! You do deserve a drink, a stiff one.
    On a lighter note, to give credit to your writing, I got a nervous pit in my stomach reading this. I watched my daughter tumble down the stairs when she was 2, gut wrenching. Luckily she didn’t have a scratch, but reading your post brought the vision right back.
    Here’s hoping she doesn’t have too bad a headache in the morning!

    • phoebz4 March 27, 2012 at 3:35 pm #

      Thanks – she’s been her bright and perky self all evening, and just went off to bed happily, so I don’t think she’s in much pain. I guess it pays to be flexible!

  9. Betsy March 27, 2012 at 3:25 pm #

    Holy cow! I don’t think I’ve ever seen bump that big. I would’ve been freaking (with a capital F!) out. Phew! I’m glad to hear she’s alright. 🙂

    • phoebz4 March 27, 2012 at 3:36 pm #

      Thanks and yeah – that lump was scary looking! I’m not sure I’ve seen one that big, and my kids (and brothers) have had some head wounds!

  10. Isobel March 27, 2012 at 3:29 pm #

    Whoa that’s big bump, poor thing! I can answer any question that Miriam might have about Taylor Swift 🙂 I’m somewhat of an expert!

    • phoebz4 March 27, 2012 at 3:39 pm #

      I did pretty well myself – I actually met Taylor Swift once so was able to answer the questions thrown at me instantly.

      (and Taylor Swift? Total sweetheart!)

  11. Liz Fowler Dow March 27, 2012 at 3:36 pm #

    Oh my! That reminds me of the time my now 10 year old, who was 2 at the time, climbed out of her carseat in my minivan and then catapulted to the front of the car hitting her head on the dashboard. Result was a huge goose egg on her forehead, an MRI, and McDonalds after…lol

    • phoebz4 March 27, 2012 at 3:42 pm #

      McDonald’s fixes everything, huh? LOL!

  12. Sharon Hoover Weidemann March 27, 2012 at 3:37 pm #

    Poor Maura. Enjoy your drink… When the adrenaline wears off, it’s a beast.

    • phoebz4 March 27, 2012 at 3:40 pm #


  13. Christine March 27, 2012 at 3:39 pm #

    Yikes! Stiff drink for you, props to Josh for his supportive manliness and kudos to Sean for rising to the occasion as well. At least you have the where-to-go issue all sorted out.

    • phoebz4 March 27, 2012 at 3:41 pm #

      yeah – I kind of knew our options, but in the crisis, wasn’t sure. Now? I’m sure. And my guys are pretty awesome, I can admit that 😉

  14. Nicole guerra March 27, 2012 at 3:50 pm #

    Oh man! My 7 year old had a lump that size in the same spot from trying to stand and “surf” on our hammock in the back yard. I too am usually calm and collective but the sight of his bump almost brought panic as well. Hope the rest of your day was relaxing 🙂

  15. Karin March 27, 2012 at 3:56 pm #

    That is quite the goose egg. Thankfully they have “M” in Ireland! You are a great mom!

    • phoebz4 March 27, 2012 at 3:59 pm #

      Thanks Karin!

  16. Nancy March 27, 2012 at 4:05 pm #

    Poor kiddo; and poor parents. Reminds me of when my older daughter was learning how to walk & fell. She bumped her head on a side table and ended up with a dent that turned into a lump. Scary as all heck but all turned out fine. I’m happy Maura is doing fine (as are the parents after a drink or two!).

    • phoebz4 March 27, 2012 at 4:08 pm #

      thanks! We all have btdt, haven’t we?

  17. Renee Anne March 27, 2012 at 5:18 pm #

    Wow. Just…….that is one HUGE bump on the forehead. Poor kid. She’s probably going to be none too happy to have random weird bruising on her face 😦

    • phoebz4 March 27, 2012 at 5:25 pm #

      Oddly enough – she hasn’t noticed it. She’s more concerned about her knee – which is pretty bruised up too.

  18. Alzbeta March 27, 2012 at 5:22 pm #

    That bump! AUGH! The calmest mommy would have flipped out over that one! I’m glad a band-aid and some “M” fixed it right up :). You’re great!

    • phoebz4 March 27, 2012 at 5:29 pm #

      aw thanks! It is funny how quickly she turned around once the doctor gave her the band aid!

  19. Beth W March 27, 2012 at 6:00 pm #

    OH MY Goodness!! That IS a huge bump!

    I’m so glad she’s OK and all has turned out well. And since everyone else is relating their horror stories…it reminds me of the time my daughter (now adult, at the time in late elem or early junor high) went on a camping trip with her dad (my ex) the weekend before schol started fall semester. She was playing in the stream at the camp, started turning cartwheels through the water, slipped and hit her forehead – getting a puncture wound and a lump. He brings her home to me at the end of the weekend – tells me she hit her head and “they kept an eye on her”, but didn’t seek medical help at the park. The wound broke open during the night and masive amounts of infection start to drain down her face, I take her to the ER, they did xrays and gave her huge amounts of antibiotics…and told me she’d have a couple of black eyes for the first week of school! As it turned out, no black eyes, but the bridge of her nose got so wide when the internal fluid drained down, that she looked like a lion (she has a mane of blonde hair to boot). I swear she looked as if she was ready to go onstage in The Lion King! I NEVER knew what to expect after her visits with him – but that one took the cake!

    Get out the bubbly-bath stuff and take a good soak – you’ve earned it!

    • phoebz4 March 28, 2012 at 3:17 am #

      A puncture wound? Ack! I’m glad it all turned out well for you guys! And only tween girls would do cartwheels in a stream, lol!

  20. Courtenay Bluebird March 27, 2012 at 6:01 pm #

    Oh my gosh! What quick-thinking parents you are! I’m so glad you decided to go to the doctor’s office— that sounds way, way less stressful than the ER. (And I am so glad the doctor’s office was open!) All’s well that ends well. Your Maura is a tough one! Thank goodness!

    • phoebz4 March 28, 2012 at 3:19 am #

      I am so glad we went to the clinic too! It was a lot quicker and calmer…as we checked out, the receptionist said “That’ll be 65 euro.” and I plunked down my card and said “Money well spent!” LOL!

  21. Kristina Scarborough Knight March 27, 2012 at 7:42 pm #

    Dear, sweet baby girl! And poor frantic mama 🙂 Glad things turned out for the best. My son is usually a things-are-fine-if-mama-kisses-it kinda guy, but I don’t think even a mama kiss would help that kind of lump! Bless you both and hope you get lots of rest after such a draining day!!

    • phoebz4 March 28, 2012 at 3:20 am #

      Honestly, the lump really freaked me out. I don’t know if I could have kissed it! LOL!

  22. ntouch2cher March 27, 2012 at 10:43 pm #

    OUCH! How utterly frightening!…and sounds like your son was pretty darn grounded and a great help too. I agree, your writing is superb! I was tearing just feeling the emotions you described so well!! Bless you all and Maura.

    • phoebz4 March 28, 2012 at 3:22 am #

      Thanks – yeah, my older three are pretty darn good about this sort of thing. Probably because they’ve been the kid with the large bump/gash/getting stitches – they know what it’s like. And we’ve obviously have had enough training for this sort of scenario!

  23. Darcy Pennington Arnold March 28, 2012 at 5:59 pm #

    Poor Maura! I don’t care how reassuring doctors are……when you’re a mom you’re sure your kid is hurt MUCH worse than they say.

  24. Gail Jones March 28, 2012 at 11:14 pm #

    OMG! So glad she is ok. My Abbie has fallen down the stairs and it left a sickening feeling in my gut. I blamed myself as well. Like your Maura it was the normal kid clumsy.

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