Monday, February 23, 2009

Did I Say 5? Make That 6.

That would be emergency room visits. Seems like I just finished that other blog post - you know, the one about Matthew's nose "falling off." Well, fast forward a few days and we come to ER visit number 6.

For those of you more acquainted with our personal lives, you know that we just got back from Cancun. Hmmmm, maybe THAT's why I haven't posted in awhile! Nonetheless, we just got back yesterday from 6 days in Mexico, plus a few more days tacked on either end to get back and forth from the airport, and to drop Matthew off at Grandma and Poppy's house - he didn't go to Mexico with us - call us crazy, but taking this particular 2 1/2 year old on a plane is, trust me, nobody's idea of a good time.

Anyway, dropped Matthew off, then me, Mark and Jonathan headed down to DC to stay overnight in Crystal City by Reagan National Airport, where our flight left at 3:30pm the next day. That particular night happened to be Valentine's Day, so we took the metro, went out for a nice meal, then got Jonathan back to the hotel and we all got a great night's sleep, woke up ready to hit Cancun. Of course, we had a few hours to kill, first.

Did you know that underneath the hotel/airport district in Crystal City is an underground network of malls, hotel access, parking garages, restaurants and metro access? Well, you do now. And underneath the Marriott you can walk for miles and find just about everything you need, without once seeing the light of day. So that day, we went down there to grab some quick lunch for Jonathan (we were still stuffed from breakfast) and to buy some last minute stuff to cram in our carry-ons. Headed back to the hotel lobby to catch the shuttle to the airport and get there in plenty of time...when the unthinkable happened. Jonathan tripped and fell. Hard. On his head.

I'm still not really sure what happened, but he was a few steps ahead of us, doing his usual hop, skip, jump routine, and he must've gotten his feet tangled up. He managed to break his fall a little with his hands, but that didn't prevent his head coming into full contact with the cement floor. Took us a good 5 minutes to get him to stop screaming hysterically. Next, we saw a huge lump on the side of his forehead. Now when I say huge lump, I'm talking huge. Bigger than any lump I've ever seen on any kids' head, my own included. We're talking sticking out a 1/2 inch. Horrible.

Man. What to do? Get on the plane? What if he had a hairline fracture? What if he had any kind of swelling inside? What about hematoma? What if he started seizing or passed out at 40,000 feet? We were beside ourselves. And by now it was about 12:30. We needed to be at the airport SOON.

Long story short -- eventually, with the encouragement of the hotel staff, we called an ambulance to at least get a professional opinion. Unfortunately, the paramedics felt he should go to the hospital so off we went. I rode with Jonathan in the ambulance, while Mark got our car and followed. On the way, I made my appeal to the ambulance guys: please, oh please, is there any way we can make this really, really fast? Bless their hearts, they called ahead and put us in "expedite", and to make a really, really long story even shorter, we were in and out of there in half an hour.

Happily, nobody felt there was any reason why he shouldn't get on a plane, there was no fracture and it was only classed as a minor head injury. By now, though, it was 1:45. I dragged Jonathan through the ER doors, hopped in the car, got LOST on the way back to the hotel, but somehow got righted again, parked the car, threw ourselves into the airport shuttle, and made it through bag check and security with time to spare.

So to the staff at the Marriott Crystal City, the ambulance folks, and the staff at the Arlington Medical Center, thank you. Your hard work and diligence and respect of our time and schedules allowed us to make our plane and enjoy a wonderful vacation, worry-free. And Jonathan is fine - still pretty bruised even 8 days later, but no worse for wear. And if anything, the whole ordeal made me more cautious for the whole trip, which was probably a silver lining. And maybe, just maybe, Mr. Jonathan will learn a lesson or two about hopping around so much!!

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