Friday, August 26, 2011

What kind of week has it been

So, going into this week, I figured I would mention that I hit 500 miles after a year of lunchtime walks, but thought Jen's sister's first baby would be our big news. Then I thought it would be Hurricane Irene. Then we had that little temblor on Tuesday and I thought I might write something about that. (I first noticed it through ripples in a glass of water on a nearby desk, just like in Jurassic Park and I thought that might make for an interesting hook.)  And then Lily had an accident and everything changed.

On Tuesday, I did my morning routine, grabbed my lunch bag, kissed Lily and Jen on my way out and started my drive out to work. I got there an hour later, turned on my computer, put my phone into airplane mode and got a cup of coffee and settled into my morning work routine. (The reason I put my phone into airplane mode is because connectivity is so awful that it runs down the battery while searching for a signal.) I got back to my desk with my coffee and I noticed that I had an email from Jen. I thought that was odd, as I'm the one who usually sends her email and she only tends to write as a reply, but she's sent early morning emails in the past, so it wasn't unheard of. This one just said: "Please check your phone messages", which didn't sent off any alarm bells, but the subject line was "Lily", which did.

So I reactivated the phone and called into voice mail and Lily, shortly after being dropped off, had reached for a lunch bag full of goodies on the counter overhead, pulled it by the strap and pulled down a mug of hot tea on herself. It was just the kind of silly accident that happens even to the best little kids when you take your eyes off them for a second.

Just the day before, Lily had been sitting on the couch, not watching what she was doing, and she kicked over a full glass of chocolate milk on a big pile of Magic: The Gathering cards I had given her because she liked the art on them. We cleaned it up, and I made a little joke about Lily continuing the family tradition, because when Jen and I first started dating, she had left the window open in my car and it had rained and ruined a bunch my cards. So I told Lily that she needed to be more careful so we can avoid accidents like that.

Jen works a lot closer to where Lily was than I do, and I figured that I couldn't give her anything she wasn't already getting from Jen, so I made the difficult choice of staying at work for the rest of the day. At first it looked like they'd be in and out, and then we learned that they wanted to keep her overnight, and then it looked like it might be several days in the hospital. So I quickly swung by home on, packed some stuff and then hit the hospital.

Lily wasn't as bad off as I had been afraid and not nearly as bad off as she could have been. She was playing with a family of potato heads with Jen when I walked in. She had second degree burns on her neck and chest and where it wasn't covered by gauze, it was lobster red, but the water missed her face, so we're counting our blessings.

Lily's in the pediatric ward. The place where she eventually wound up has a good burn ward, but not a dedicated children's burn ward. They just send the specialists up from the regular burn ward for the kids.

Jen went home that night and I stayed with Lily overnight. We couldn't get the TV in the room to work, but I had brought our laptop and we watched movies on that. They had a pretty complete library of DVDs in the playroom just across the hall from us. We were sharing a room with another family with an even younger kid who had been burned, but I just had Lily put on headphones so as not to disturb them. We watched a lot of fairy tale movies and a Batman animated movie, Batman: Mystery of the Batwoman, which wound up being pretty good. After watching it, Lily decided that Batman was one of her boyfriends. She's up to thirteen now, and that total just climbs daily. I told her that I hope Batman has some aloe in his utility belt, but she didn't appreciate that.

I caught some sleep on the couch there, but I was mostly awake all night. I had some books and my e-reader. There had been some trouble establishing an IV during the day, so they waited until she was asleep. I knew she was a deep sleeper, but I was rather amazed that she slept through the whole process. 

Jen came back early Thursday morning and we present for the scrubbing of her wounds.  We had the option of either sedating her and doing a deep cleaning or giving her a general anesthetic and dressing her with a biosynthetic material called biobrane. I was nervous about a general, as things rarely go wrong, but there's always the chance for something to go catastrophically wrong, so we opted for sedation and comprehensive wound cleaning when he was loopy. That went well enough. She came out of it fine and was chatting with the nurses and offering them make-believe princess outfits and magical castles twenty minutes after the procedure.

She got a lot of visitors during that time and I managed to catch a little bit of sleep while she was napping. Jen works near the hospital so she put in a half day of work, and then came and took over the parenting duties when she finished there. I headed home and collapsed on to the bed. I woke up, showered and shaved for what felt like the first time in weeks and came in to work. I talked with Jen since getting in and learned that Lily gets to come home today. It was a tense couple of days, but our friends and family were very supportive and all things considered, we got off pretty easy.


  1. Hey Josh -- I hope Lily heals soon and well.

    --Chris DeVito

  2. Awesome use of the word "temblor"!

  3. Thanks, Chris. She's kind of cranky and bratty right now, which is understandable, given the circumstances, but she doesn't seem to be in pain, and the doctors say that if there is any scarring, it will be minimal.

    Tim, thanks! I've always liked that word, though it seems that everyone wants to make it into "tremblor".