Friday, January 20, 2006

Of Stones and Staples

It's been another round of kidney stones lately. Painful enough to take a painkiller at night, but not bad enough to keep me down or make me go to the hospital. I'm used to dealing with it by now. Last night the painkiller worked wonderfully, probably because I didn't wait too long to take it for once, and I slept quite well. I even went back to sleep after seeing my daughter off to school at 7:15. Big mistake.

I stumbled downstairs at 9:00 to find four calls on my phone: two from the nurse at my daughter's school, and two from my friend who is the emergency contact if the school can't reach me. That shook me out of my painkiller daze pretty quickly. It turns out that Emma had stapled her thumb, and both the school and my friend (whose husband had taken their only car to work) had been trying to reach me. I never heard the phone downstairs ringing, probably because I was so out of it from the medicine. I quickly called the school and was told I needed to come pick Emma up. Luckily, I reached my friend just as she and her husband, who had left work, were stepping out their door to go get my daughter. Boy, do I owe them!

I threw some clothes on, woke up three-year old Kate, got her dressed, and we were in the car within ten minutes. Poor Kate had to eat breakfast on the way. It turned out that Emma had gotten the staple as far as possible into her thumb and the nurse was concerned that it might have gone into the bone, which was why she didn't just pull it out and slap a bandaid on it. It took another 3 1/2 hours before the staple finally did come out because the doctor agreed and sent Emma for x-rays.

Through it all, Emma was a real trooper. She had a few moments of crying, but that was mainly when the doctor looked at her thumb the first time and Emma was scared of what was going to happen. By the time we'd gone over to the x-ray clinic and back again, I'd convinced her that it was going to be quick and no more painful than having a shot, which she doesn't mind at all. When the final moment came, I held her hand tight, made her look me in the eyes, and told her to count as fast as she could. There were a few tears, but she did great! Afterward, she asked the doctor for an ice pack because the school nurse had given her a baggie of ice (that had long since melted) which had been a great comfort to her, and once Emma had her new ice, she was good to go.

Kate was incredibly patient, as well. Despite being dragged from office to office, she never complained or fussed. She blew kisses to Emma when Emma cried, and she sat quietly looking at a book while everyone focused on her older sister. She's a real sweetheart, that girl. At the x-ray clinic, Emma gave Kate a stern warning about never stapling her thumb, and Kate nodded her head sadly, as if to say she wished Emma hadn't learned that lesson the hard way.

Tonight, Emma's thumb bears nothing more than the most minute pin-prick of a hole. I've no doubt she'll be quite the legend in her first grade class, come Monday: the girl who stapled her thumb.

As for me, I'm still waiting for the stone(s) to pass, but I can't complain. When Emma asked me about them tonight, I told her it was like the pain in her thumb multiplied by a million. Her response was a wondrous and sympathetic "eek!" and later she popped out of her room just long enough to give me a hug and a loan of her pink heart-shaped pillow. I'm good to go.


Ginger said...

Yowie-owie! Bless your heart! Doc forms kidney stones too and as you might imagine, they don't pass politely at all. I know he's miserable when he's trying to pass a new crop. I'll keep you in my prayers, Sharon. In the meantime -- like you don't know -- drink gallons of cranberry juice (not that Ocean Spray cocktail crap) and try to rest when possible.

Oh yeah. It's Saturday now. No chance of resting...


Katie said...

Ow! Poor both of you! I'm glad the stapled thumb turned out alright, but I hope your kidney stones stop giving you trouble.

Your girls are adorable!

Harriet said...

Don't worry Sharon, your Emergency Person loves having a positive balance in the Favors Bank! :-)

rdl said...

What a sweet story and with a happy ending. My sympathies on the kidney stones, especially if they're anything like gallstones which is like childbirth my book.

Sharon Hurlbut said...

Thanks, everyone! Emma isn't going to forget the stapled thumb anytime soon - and she's not going to let anyone else forget it, either. I've no doubt she'll be regaling the kids all day at school with stories about the x-rays and getting the staple pulled out.