A Tough NIght

ER and the ‘Zeke Experience’

It has been a dry summer for writing. A drought. A summer of living the stories, but no words to tell it. I have been wondering would  be the storm to break this dry spell? What will bring the flood of words? It happened last night.

6 hours in the ER with a 5 year old. 9 stitches in his chin.

That is basically the story. So if you just need the facts, you can move on to the next blog on your reader. However, if you like the telling of the story, the dam has broken.

So far in Zeke’s 5 years of living, he has broken his foot, killed his two front teeth (two different accidents), had 2 concussions (within a month of each other), had surgery on his foot for an embedded piece of glass, another surgery (when he was a baby that was not his fault) and now split his chin. I needed 3 children before him to prepare me for the ‘Zeke experience’.

It was a great day. Pick the kids up from school, have a yummy snack on the way to the pool. Gonna give ’em a good swim, shower ’em and take ’em home relaxed, clean and tired. Richard has burgers ready to grill and a good bottle of Rose. Made it all the way to the locker room. Everyone had their bathing suits on. Zeke was doing some ninja moves. He was jumping and flipping from one granite topped bench to the other. He missed.

We put our clothes back on, apologized for stealing a club towel (when they saw the blood they said we could have it) and drove to the ER.

All good. We got this. Hannah did the same injury at the same age. Just gonna be a quick set of stitches, then home to eat ice-cream and watch a movie. I ask the girls if they would like me to drop them at home on the way. Nope. They are gonna BE THERE for Zeke! Hold his hand, support him.

Hour one: 4:30 pm. We walk into a completely packed ER. Sick and angry, very sick and very angry, and grossly sick (too sick to be angry) people sitting and laying all over the place. We put our name on the list. The girls start FREAKING OUT!! Hannah begins to cry and shake with PTSD from her own chin stitching memories. Micah goes into full blown panic when she sees a gross sick woman laying on the floor moaning. She begins to hyper ventilate. I send them outside to breathe. They come back in FREAKING OUT MORE as an ambulance pulls up with a sick AND OLD person.

I am so so so thankful that this is the rare week that Richard is home. He comes to get them. Zeke is fine. He is just hanging out. (He has been here before)

Hour two: 5:30 pm Zeke sat in my lap and asked me 179,842 questions. I have answered 78,999 of them. Made up answers to most of the rest. Got away with “um humm” to the others. All the sick angry people are done thinking it is cute. I am praying Zeke doesn’t ask me anything politically incorrect that might offend sick angry people. I am starting to wonder why I am sitting here in the ER with a 5 year old and his questions, while Richard gets to be relaxing at home with the girls who are NOT freaking out anymore. I am the one who had cancer! This should trump everything from this point forward for the rest of our lives.

Hour three: 6:30 pm Zeke is now doing all his ninja jumps from chair to chair. Over and around the sick (now angrier) people. Sick angry people are now missing Zeke sitting in my lap asking questions. I am begging him to please let us get the first injury fixed before he has another. People are cursing and yelling at the nurses. Some people stomp out after saying some very impolite things to the nurses. (When I am sick, I don’t have the energy for that kind of stuff.) I don’t know how to sew up a chin, so we stay put. We move up in line. I apologize a few times to sick angry people that Zeke is jumping over. I ask the nurses very nicely when it will be our turn. They say they don’t know.

Hour four: 7:30 pm ER beds are full. More sick people coming in. Nurse checks other ER’s. They have just as long a line. It is a full moon. Zeke is beginning to whine. I talk Richard into bringing us some food and a phone charger. I give in and let Zeke play on my phone. This goes against every bone in my body. It is my PHONE!!! He does stop jumping over sick people. The sick people stop giving me dirty looks and coughing on us. Richard comes and then wants to leave after 10 minutes. I protest. He argues that he is having some emotional discomfort being there. I tell him that I had cancer. He stays.

Hour five: 8:30 pm ER beds still full. I hang out near the nurses station. I talk real nice to them. I try to do some spying into the back room where I want to go for chin stitches! I see the ER doc is a fellow Schechter parent. I tell the nurse he is a good friend of mine. She tells him I am out there waiting. He tells her he doesn’t know me. I tell her he will remember when he sees me. She is not sure. I tell her that he is gonna feel real bad when he sees me (sooner or later) and he remembers he is a good friend of mine. She tells him.

Hour six: 9:30 pm The nurse calls us back to the place you get stitches. Marc sees us and remembers we are good friends. He says how he was just thinking about us the other day. He asks why did we sit out there so long without telling him we were there! I just smile. I want to get stitches over with and go home. ER beds are still full, so we get a gurney out in the hall. We have a good view of all the sick people and all the tired nurses and doctors. In between saving people from dying, they begin to stitch up Zeke. I am having some flashbacks of recent needles, pain and that smell of the hospital. I sit down and put my head between my knees. Richard makes lots of inappropriate jokes. The nurse sewing up Zeke tries to keep from laughing while stitching. She seems a little punchy to me. Zeke holds very still and doesn’t move or cry so we can go home soon. He does a lot of sweating though.


10:00 pm We made it!!!! Marc gave us his home number so next time we need the ER we don’t have to sit out there for 5 hours. We hope we don’t need the ER again anytime soon!  We agree to keep in touch anyway.


We go home to eat ice-cream before bed like it was just another day at the pool.

11:00 pm I am crying myself to sleep. I think I am tired.  Richard comforts me and agrees that he is probably not gonna get lucky, even though he DID stay with me in the ER in spite of his emotional discomfort.  This settled, he falls asleep with lightning speed.  I say a prayer of thanks that I am ME and not one of those other people in the ER. I pray we do not get whatever they had.  I am truly thankful for this day and my family even though it was tough. I decide I really need to start writing again.


One thought on “ER and the ‘Zeke Experience’

  1. Joan Shaffer says:

    What a nite. Been there done that more than once. All of the boys have cuts on their faces. Gives them character and something to talk about to their friends. Joan

    Sent from my iPad


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