Thursday, May 18, 2006

Ambulance Ride

So, yesterday ... that was an adventure. Around 11:30 a.m., I'm in my office trying to finish some write ups of products that won awards at a recent convention when my cellphone rings. It's Evelin, calling to say that she'd dropped Quinn on her head and that they were going to the hospital.

That's the sort of thing that doesn't quite register at first.

She actually sounded fairly calm (she later said she'd worked hard to compose herself), and I thought she was joking or something. I paused waiting for the punchline. Then, I asked if she needed me to come home.

It only took a second to realize how stupid that was — simultaneously, I started figuring out some of what I was being told — and I was quickly off the phone telling the one or two people who were near by that I was leaving and then running out the door.

As I got to I-395, I realized I wasn't sure where I needed to go. When Celeste had the dislocated elbow, we took her to Holy Cross (where our pediatricians are affiliated), but this time I had Children's Hospital in my mind. I called Evelin, but got her voicemail, so I next called G---, who'd been tapped to help watch Celeste while Evelin and Quinn went away, and she didn't know where they were going. About that time Evelin beeps through and confirms that they were en route to Children's.

About 25 minutes later, I pull up next to the Hospital for Sick Children's* and realize I'm not in the right place. Ten minutes later, I'm not-quite-yelling at the parking attendant to tell me where to park and then not-quite-yelling at him to tell me how to get to the lobby.

I get through the gauntlet of regular lobby and the emergency room lobby — I was told to "calm down, dad; you are dad, right?" twice while the triage nurse called back and asked someone if the dropped baby she had was a one-month old — and the associated security guards to find Evelin nursing Quinn in one of the exam rooms. They'd been there a little while, but hadn't been formally examined yet.

A little later, a resident showed up and ran through a bunch of questions and a basic exam. Her verdict was that things looked okay; that Quinn was acting like a normal newborn at a newborn exam, but that the doctor would be by later to give his opinion. About an hour later, he showed up, was a little concerned about some of the swelling above Quinn's eye, and then said that he wanted to observe her for another hour or two before deciding if we should go home or for a CAT scan.

Long story short: Quinn is fine (although I guess we won't know 100% for certain until she takes her SATs); babies are pretty resilient; infants cannot get concussions (per the resident); a fall from waist-high (Evelin was taking Quinn out of the sling and she slipped) even on to hardwood flooring is scary and potentially dangerous, but not automatically so; and Quinn is fine (that one's important enough to mention twice).

As I mentioned earlier today, Quinn had her one-month check up already scheduled for this afternoon, so our pediatrician had a look at her today and affirmed the ER's verdict: Quinn is doing well.

Evelin is also doing well, although in my bone-headed attempt to be funny I made an inappropriate baby-dropping joke last night that dinnae go over well. Today, Evelin was cracking wise, so she's doing better, too.

Oh, and for those keeping track, this was Eveln's second ambulance ride and Quinn's first. Neither Celeste nor I have ridden in an ambulance.

Now I just need to figure out how to better organize in my mind where all of the area hospitals are ...

The Wary Quinn
*Apparently the Hospital for Sick Children just changed its name to the Health Services for Children Pediatric Center (although the signage outside the place still has the old name). The new name sounds pretty clinical, and while it's "nicer," it's hardly as evocative as the old name.

Me going to the wrong hospital is also reminiscent of a long time ago, before Evelin and I were dating, when she ended up in the emergency room with a broken clavicle after a car-door collision while biking. D---, her boyfriend at the time, called and left a message on my answering machine asking if I could pick them up at the hospital (neither of them had a car).

However, D---'s message said "the hospital by Howard University." I had no idea what hospital he meant. I drove to Howard and checked the ER there; when Evelin wasn't there, I asked the nurse what other hospital was around there. She wasn't much help. I went home and started calling around, but Washington Hospital Center (where they were), Georgetown, George Washington, no one had a record for her. I went and sat outside Evelin's building, hoping they'd show up, but no luck.

After I finally went home, I got another call saying they'd taken a cab home, but we never figured out why WHC didn't have a record when I called ... after going through Children's (which is on the same campus as WHC, but I don't know if they're otherwise affiliated), I'm guessing the desk I was talking to couldn't patch in to see the ER records or something ...

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Johan A said...

Thank God she's OK! But as you say, babies are resilient little creatures.

Anita said...


Thank goodnewss she's ok. And let's hope for no more excitement soon.

T. Carter said...

Yeah, that was no fun ... hopefully we're done with hospital trips for these girls ...

KirstenM said...

Oh scary scary experience! So glad she's okay - baby's are amazingly resilient aren't they?