Friday, July 25, 2008
It was a great trip. No pun intended. We didn't win the jackpot, but when Anna went face-first into the gravel at Cedar Breaks National Park (moments after the photo below was taken) and ended up not needing stitches, I felt like we'd won the lottery.
I'm sure if we had a 3 year old boy visits to the ER would be second nature, but Anna has never done anything worse than scrape up her knees or poop a barrette, so this was a new experience.
I kept telling myself that head wounds bleed a lot, but that still doesn't prepare you for the moment when your hands are dripping with your child's blood. Plus, we had nothing in the car to take care of it, no antiseptic, no band-aids, only beef jerky and M&Ms.
We patched her up as best we could, and within about 3 minutes she'd stopped crying and was starting to specify what colour M&Ms she wanted. While the bleeding had all but stopped though, the wound looked like the petulant mouth of a Hollywood movie star and we knew it would need putting back together. We headed out of the wilderness and well over an hour later ended up at the fantastic hospital in St George Utah. Brand spanking new, and we were the only people there. Not so implausible when you consider that driving through St. George there are no signs to the hospital?! WTF St. George. You were inviting us to any number of fast food restaurants, places to fill up with gas and get a comfy bed for the night, but emergency services? Nada. After driving through the entire town we had to pull off and ask for directions at a gas station. A little less alarming if your 3 year old is happily asleep in the back of the car, head wound gently weeping , but not so great in a true emergency. Come on St. George Hospital, splash out on a sign!
Anna was a star. She was happily oblivious to the weeping gash above her right eye, probably because she couldn't see it, and we were careful to keep our blood-stained clothing away from her. Of the 5 medical professionals we saw (welcome to a hospital in the United States) the only one who didn't question her footwear was the registration nurse, and then probably because she was also wearing crocs. We must have been asked at least four times if 'those were the shoes she had been hiking in'. A little unfair considering we were actually on a road trip and had only popped out of the car at a 'look-out point' to take a photo. *Whatever*. Apparently, crocs aren't considered suitable hiking attire. Imagine that.
Throughout the entire procedure I sat there with a grin as frozen as a 50 year old air hostess and LK kept shooting me covert glances that read 'if you freak out or freak her out you're leaving you know that don't you'. I managed to keep my maternal and pregnant hormones in check through giant force of will but the entire time I felt like excusing myself to go and have a massive cry. Nerves of steel, me. Meanwhile Anna is having a whale of time saying 'this bed has paper on it, that's silly' and 'can we go back outside and get those Skittles from that machine. I looovvee Skittles'. The docs kept asking if she'd lost consciousness but Ms. K. performed like her usual precocious self and when asked her name said 'Anna Rose, A-N-N-A'. Many points on the Glasgow coma scale I think you'll find.
The end result was her forehead glued back together and stern warnings not to get the wound wet for 5 days, which was a little sad as one of the highlights of the trip, the pool and lazy river at the MGM Grand in Vegas was yet to come. So in true Vegas style we kitted our daughter out like a chuffing freak in two waterproof band-aids, shower cap (oh yes), a sun hat, armbands and ladybird water ring. She looked like a moron:
.....but a good time was had by all.