Let’s just say I’m pretty good under pressure. It’s the afterward I stink at. My daughter recently sliced the top of her finger off with a pair of scissors. Okay, a bit of an exageration. She was trying to cut Duck Tape. Yes, Duck Tape. It’s the brand name of the silvery stuff your father probably used to fix everything in the house with. Now it comes in way better colors and patterns. It’s all the rage and she makes everything out of it including a shirt. Very clever my girl, but I digress.
She put a big slice into the top of her pointer finger. At first I thought she sliced opened her palm there was so much blood, but once we ran water over her hand I saw the cut. I can handle this, I thought. It was my first trip to the emergency room for an injury. For me or for my kids. My sister and I weren’t allowed to get hurt as children, too messy, so I never had the pleasure of braking a limb or splitting my head open.
Now, I know I don’t do well with needles so I didn’t look when the wonderful nurses in the ER numbed her hand for the stitches. My girl seemed to be handling things pretty well and only squeezed my hand a little when the numbing medicine raced through her veins and made her fingers swell. Okay, I took a peak. What kind of a mother would I be if I kept my eyes averted the whole time?
I didn’t see it coming. I thought I was still under pressure and figured I wouldn’t even consider relaxing and collapsing until I was back home with a cup of tea. Wrong. Out of nowhere I’m hotter than an afternoon July sun and I never get hot. Not even in July. All at once every pore in my body spit sweat. And I mean every pore. I soaked my t-shirt through and was sitting still.
The nurse saw me and said, “oh, do you need to put your head between your legs?”
“No.” Never let them see you sweat. Isn’t that the motto? And what would my daughter think about her injury if her mother passed out in front of her?
I rested my head against the wall and thought as long as I don’t move I’ll be fine. But the nurse saw something different. “Would you like me to get you some orange juice?”
“No. Okay, maybe.”
Which was met with my daughter’s crying and “are you all right?” Great. Trying to be strong under pressure here and failing miserably.
The nurse brings me the orange juice, but that’s not enough. Oh no. They also wheel me in a chair that reclines so my legs will be higher than my heart. Now who’s the patient here? Completely embarrassing.
They stitch her up, help me to my feet and send us on our way. I walk into the house on shaky legs and declare to my husband, “You have ER duty next time.”
There better not be a next time. Too messy.