Thursday, December 16, 2004

No lights or sirens, but we got to keep the neck stabilizer!

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, Meg got to take her first trip to the ER in an ambulance with a kiddo Wednesday afternoon.

Perrin (the six year old) fell, and witnesses say he must have hit his head. Because he didn't get up, and he didn't respond. A kindly neighbor checked on him, then called 911 when Perrin wouldn't answer whether or not he was ok. Meanwhile, without a coat, I'm running out the door to see what is up.

Two fire trucks and an ambulance later, someone tried to put an oxygen mask on his face. His eyes popped right open, and he said, "Whoa! What's that?!" Mmm hmm. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, this is where you can start to wonder - quite seriously now - if the kiddo was faking it.

They got his neck stabilized, and strapped him onto a backboard. I ditched the other two kids with a neighbor (Tai wasn't home from work yet.), grabbed the power of attorney that allows me to obtain medical care for Perrin, and grabbed his military ID card (insurance card). I wrote a quick note to Tai, and headed for the hospital in the front seat of the ambulance.

Ooooooh - the front seat of the ambulance had its own shocks. I didn't feel a single bump while in that seat! Oh, and did you know that they carry little maps of each street that shows which house is which, so they know right where to go? I thought that was damn cool. But they didn't run the lights or sirens. :(

Anyway, back to the story. We waited a good long while in the hospital. Perrin started to let me know, in small little ways, that this had all been a big joke on his part. Not a flat out confession yet, but...hints.

Now Perrin is allergic to the adhesive on most tapes, and they'd taped his head to the back board. The woman who registered us (She came to us, not vice versa...kinda nifty.) noticed the itching and asked about it, then offered to get a doctor to see if there was something they could use instead. Me, being The Mean Mommy, told her, "Oh no. That's not at all necessary. In fact, I'd rather you not. It won't HURT him, and I think right now would be an EXCELLENT time for him to be a bit uncomfortable. In fact, if you'd like to see to it that everyone else gets seen before we do? That'd be just grand." She understood - I wanted him to be uncomfortable and really notice the consequences of his little game.

After about an hour and a half of him being strapped down, able to look at nothing but the ceiling, complaining that his head hurt because he didn't have a pillow, and that his head itched because of the tape...he finally confessed. "I didn't hit my head when I fell down. I laid it down softly." Aha!

We had a nice long discussion about how not telling the truth can be the same as a lie. Like when someone thinks you're hurt, and they ask if you are ok, and you stay quiet? That's lying. And this was a big, big deal. TWELVE emergency workers came to our neighborhood to try to help a little boy who wasn't really hurt. And they could have been out helping other people who really were hurt or sick. Blah, blah, blah, insert more responsible mommy stuff here, blah, blah, blah.

Anyway, finally made it home around 7:40. What a long evening! And what a shame - we were going to go to IHOP for dinner and go Christmas shopping. *sigh* Oh well. I'll count my blessings that we don't have to spend Christmas money on ambulance and ER bills - the kiddo's insurance will take care of it all.

Now I just need to figure out where to get that Emmy award made for him...cuz that might be all HE is getting for Christmas!