Maura’s fine, I need a drink.

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.