With 5 children, we are very lucky we don’t spend more time at doctors and hospitals. The children sensed that we were overdue for an ER visit and set out to remedy the situation. I knew it would be Amy or Evan who had the next big boo-boo. Watching the two of them interact is like watching a see-saw. They’re sharing, they’re fighting. They’re shoving, they’re hugging. They’re happy, they’re sad. Back and forth they go, all the day long. Saturday night, Doug and I were out searching for Fancy Nancy hair when the phone rang. The story on the phone was confusing, but we understood the message that Amy had hit her head and was going to Children’s Hospital. Several more phone calls during the drive explained that Amy was somewhere between sitting and standing in a chair in her grandmother’s kitchen. Evan deliberately pulled the chair over or accidentally knocked it over and Amy’s head clonked on the floor. Hard. With a basic grasp of the scenario, we reached the hospital area and were immediately reminded that UT had a home game playing. Roads were blocked and parking lots were full. The normally $1 an hour lot was now a flat $20. Doug circled the emergency room lot until someone left while I went inside. I understand that the businesses in that area need football crowds to survive, but something is wrong when the emergency room parking lot is filled with football traffic.
It doesn’t matter the day, time or crowd in the Children’s Hospital ER, I always get triaged instantly and wait minimally before going back to see a nurse. The nurses and doctors know exactly how to communicate with small people and calm parents (and distraught grandmothers). The only consequence of Amy’s fall was an actual egg sized lump on the back of her head and a hospital bracelet as a badge of courage. All we had to do was wait for discharge, so we waited. and waited. and waited some more. I think there must be exactly one employee per hospital who does discharges and that person spends their entire shift racing from floor to floor trying to process everyone out. It seems to hold true at every hospital I have ever been in. You put the first real clothes on your new baby and change their diaper every five minutes in an attempt to make it out of the hospital before mustard or tar has stained that first outfit. Still, given a choice between slow admission and slow discharge, I’ll take slow discharge. Now I just need to make Amy and Evan wear helmets and football pads when they are in the same room.