Not long after I posted my last few entries, on the 3rd, Josh was crawling around on the kitchen floor just beneath my feet while I was heating up Ethan’s dinner (post-gymnastics). Josh didn’t cry but I looked down and saw blood, lots of it. While picking him up I yelled at Ethan to go get Chris, who was out in the garage adjusting car seats. Chris and I tried for 45 minutes to stop the bleeding coming from Josh’s right index finger. Ethan crawled around on the ground and couldn’t figure out what Josh had cut his finger on (later, after we returned, Chris discovered a nail that had not been pounded in all of the way sticking out from the molding under the island). After 45 minutes, it was clear to me that the bleeding wasn’t going to stop on its own, so we headed to the ER. I think Josh’s injury was triaged to a low status (there were many head injuries coming in that night). After a couple hours of waiting (and one completely blood-soaked dish towel later), we finally were brought back to a room to see a nurse. He looked at the wound and said they might just put a pressure bandage on it. He gave us a new towel and told us that a “service provider” would see us soon. (Chris and I both noted the movement of language in the medical profession away from “doctor,” as if the healing arts are now no more than a big box business and we had a number to wait for the next available customer service rep who would push us through the process). About an hour later, when the new rag was completely soaked with blood, a nurse practitioner saw us. It was about midnight at this time and Josh had cried himself to sleep on me in the tiny “service” room. She looked at his finger, which was still bleeding profusely, and said he’d need a few stitches. About 1/2 hour later, she returned, waking Josh yet again, to give him two shots of local anesthesia. Poor Josh screamed at that and the “service provider” assured us that it was very painful as she had had to undergo stitches to the finger recently too. She left us again and Josh went back to sleep until she returned about 1/2 hour later. Chris held Josh, an accompanying nurse held Josh’s hand tightly to keep it as still as possible, and I sang “The Wheels on the Bus” over Chris’s shoulder, while the nurse practitioner stitched up Josh. It ended up being about 5 stitches–quite a bit for a little baby index finger. Here is how it looked today.
After the nurse practitioner finished stitching Josh, it was about 1:30 a.m. She asked if we had a family history of hemophilia because Josh had bled so much more than the wound merited and his blood failed to clot properly. She wanted to do a test for hemophilia that night. So we waited for the nurse to come back and draw blood (again about another 1/2 hour later). More tears and crying for a very tired little boy. We were promised results in 15 minutes–but again, we waited over an hour for these results (which itself was a bad sign). Somewhere around 3:o0 a.m., we were told that the results were indicating a blood disorder and were referred to a hematologist. We then were sent off to the pharmacy for a prescription, to help Josh’s blood clot, in case Josh starts bleeding again. It was about 4:10 a.m. when we finally got into our beds at home.
Next week will be quite the week, with a pre-op physical with Josh’s pediatrician on Monday, an appointment with the hematologist on Tuesday, and a sedated ABR with the audiologist and CT scan with the radiologist on Thursday. Josh certainly does have his fair share of service providers. Josh’s finger seems to be healing well, we are recovering from the sleepless night, and are learning to provide some space in our brain for this newest health condition. I am quite worried but trying to wait until we know more details before I grapple with it mentally. Right now, the thought of a blood disorder is just such an abstraction–and the brain really doesn’t handle abstractions well. I am just going to try to enjoy the last week that Josh may be without medical interventions, equipment, injections etc. Let the baby be a baby, but of course watching him much more closely, trying to prevent any further injuries from this active baby (who learned to climb up the stairs today–yes, he is one driven baby!).