"Hey Mom I need sticks." That text, sent at 8:10 last night, is the reason I'm a shoe-in as an extra on The Walking Dead. I'm exhausted. Thanks to autocorrect, I didn't grasp the meaning of that text right away. Where autocorrect put 'sticks', she had typed 'stitches'. As in, 'I've cut myself badly, and am going to need medical attention in the immediate future.'
Around 7:00 last night, WyoGirl headed out the door with two of her best buds and the mother of one said bud. They were headed to the park to a free concert. A park that has a creek running through it. On a day where the mercury sat at 94 forever. At 7:45, I sat down to eat my dinner, leaving my cell phone on its charger in the kitchen. I, who am never more than two feet from my phone, had left it clear across the house. So, when I returned to the kitchen at 8:20, imagine my surprise when I read the above text, saw the two missed calls and voicemail from WyoGirl. She only tries to contact me like this in an emergency or when she wants Starbucks. Also an emergency, according to her.
The voicemail was actually left by her lifelong friend, N, and went something like this:
"Hey Cody, um, it's N, uh, don't be mad or anything, but uh, WyoGirl kinda fell on a rock, and um, she needs to get like two, three stitches, but it's not, she's not in pain, she's not crying, but um, she's doing fine, she's just, I just wanted to tell you so you're not worried, I just wanted to tell ya, just don't be mad, please, love ya, bye." Alrighty then, my child needs stitches. But she's fine, she's not crying. Super. I'll go ahead and not freak out right now.
That part about WyoGirl not crying didn't surprise me at all. Our girl is one tough nut. When she was a baby, and the doctor gave her shots, she would look at him with an expression that said, "If you do that again, I will cut you." End of discussion. When, as a toddler in footy pjs, she slid down an entire flight of hardwood stairs, smacking her head when she landed at my feet, she got up, looked up the stairs as if to say, "What the hell was that?" and just walked away. During a soccer game a few years back, that girl took a soccer ball to the face at least three times. Each time, she would look over to the sidelines and yell, "I'm fine! Don't you dare take me out!"And when she crashed on the last hurdle during a neck-and-neck heat, she popped back up and finished third. She'd been closing in on first, and still finished third, mere milliseconds behind first, after leaving all her knee flesh on the track. High pain threshold. Seriously.
I finally managed to get her on her cell phone, and she said, "Oh, I'm at the...'wait, where am I? The ER? Okay.' I'm at the ER Mom, and so can you come up here? 'Pressure, right here? Okay.' Anyway, can you come up here, because I need stitches?" She was so flippin' calm, it kinda freaked me out. I went to find J, who was in the shower. "Kiddo is at the ER, she needs stitches, I don't know what happened, so let's go." After I repeated myself three times, he said, "Okay, I'm almost done here, give me a sec." A sec? Um, no. Baby hurt. Momma go now. You drive.
As we pulled up to the ER doors, I tried to climb out of the car while he was still doing 10 mph. Stupid new safety locks in cars. You can't get out until the driver shifts into P. Grrr. Let me out, let me out!! I got inside, and was immediately taken to WyoBaby. Y'all, when I saw her, I was blown away. There she was, chatting away with the doctor and doctor-in-training, calm as could be, while blood ran down her leg. This was not my child. I am not calm. I tend to freak out a lot. Blood doesn't bother me, but adrenaline? Oh I'm a mess when that stuff kicks in. Not she. But as soon as I was within reach, she latched onto my hand and didn't let go for the next hour. Remember that high pain threshold? They had to give her three different rounds of Lidocaine to numb her enough to clean out the cut. And that bad boy was deep.
J, who is a former Corpsman of the Marines, treated this ER visit like a bit of a field trip. He was asking questions about which kind of Lidocaine they were using, he wanted to get up close and personal with the wound, and when the doctor asked if we wanted to keep the suturing tools, he was all over it. All the man needs is access to some fresh sutures, and we'll never have another ER bill. And that is one of the things I appreciate about J. He is calm. Whenever there's an injury or crisis, the man is calm. He balances out my crazy nicely.
After they poked and prodded, and determined she hadn't done major damage to any tendons or important parts, they gave her two quick stitches and we were outta there. The sweet mother and the two girls WyoGirl had been at the park with had hung around the entire time, just to make sure she was okay. When they released WyoGirl, they sent her home in the hospital gown, because her clothes were soaked with creek water. Picture it - six of us, one in a lovely hospital gown, standing outside the ER chatting at 10 p.m. on a Tuesday night.
The mom told me she had the whole thing on video, if I wanted to see it. She said the girls had been jumping into the creek, and the first two had gone in just fine. Grace went in, and, according to the mom's account, when she came up she had a glazed look in her eyes. Grace looked down at her knee, saw the blood a-flowin' and said, "I think I need stitches." Just like that. No tears, no freak-out, no screaming or fainting, just a calm medical assessment. Hence the calm, matter-of-fact text she sent me. You know, just hanging out with friends, and oh, hey, I need to go to the ER. That's just how she rolls.
We pulled up to the house and WyoBaby said, "Um, someone's gonna have to carry me, because I'm not wearing any shoes." Enter J. He scooped her up and carried her to the house. For my money, there's nothing sexier than watching your husband carry your sweet baby girl, recently the recipient of stitches, up the stairs and into your house. Our hero. I got her settled into bed, and was watching some t.v., waiting for my adrenaline to wear off, when I got the following text from WyoGirl: "Hey mom, can we go to McDonald's and get some fries, because I'm hungry and I'm really craving some fries. If you're still awake." You know time it was? 11:21 p.m. True, the girl had just been through a traumatic night, but that still didn't warrant an 11:30 run to McD's for fries. I told her I would fix her a snack from our kitchen, and then she needed to get some rest! As I walked out of her room, she was calling out, "It's a mere flesh wound! Come back and fight me!" Quoting Monty Python in the midst of it all. I love her so much.
By midnight, I was under the covers, exhausted. By 12:01, I was out. At 4:00 this morning, I was up. I was up because WyoGirl was standing over me, puke bucket in hand, yelling, "I feel like I'm going to puke and then pass out!" Puke is a motivating word. It inspires action. I leapt from the bed while yelling, "Here, lie down, breathe slowly, drink this water! J, bring me a washcloth!" I don't think I was even conscious at that point, but I was up. We got her settled into bed, J went back to sleep on the couch, and I was up. Why not? It's 4:15 in the morning, time to start this day! I sipped my coffee while J and WyoGirl slept and I thought about how blessed we are. Her injury was minor, her care at the ER was excellent, and she has friends who love her enough to hang out at the ER for an hour and a half, just to make sure she's okay. I have a husband who will carry his thirteen year old daughter at the drop of a hat, and who is level-headed and reasonable when I most need him to be. And I have coffee. I love coffee. I need more coffee. And sleep. I love sleep. I need more sleep.