Worried Daughter, Proud Mother

Nothing Richard-related here. Just an update on my crazy week of highs and lows.

First, the lows… Wednesday morning brought a brief but tremendous panic when I got a 6am phone call from Mom, who was making gurgling noises yet couldn’t speak. I briefly debated whether to call an ambulance, but figured if she was able to call me, she either didn’t think an ambulance was necessary or had already called an ambulance but still needed me. Having just stepped out of the shower, I threw on clothes, texted my earliest-rising employee to tell her I had an unknown emergency, and drove like a bat-out-of-hell over to Mom’s house.

When I arrived, I learned Mom had woken up to a pillow soaked in blood (not the pillow-case… the whole pillow) at 4am and had a gushing arterial nose bleed that she’d been trying to stop for 2 hours. If she tried to plug that side of her nose, it came out the other side. If she plugged both nostrils, it went down the back of her throat and out her mouth. I’m not kidding you when I say there was a blood spatter pattern like a crime scene all over the bed, the bathroom, the mirrors… I’ve never seen anything like it.

I loaded her up and off we sped to the emergency room, with one quick stop along the way when I apparently blew through a school zone and was stopped by a police officer. (I didn’t see the light flashing and didn’t realize the school zone speed limit was in effect at 6:30am!) The officer thankfully took one look at the big, bloody towel on mom’s nose, and sent us on our way with only a verbal warning. Miraculously, the nosebleed finally began to subside just as we were pulling into the ER parking lot. As the nosebleed began to subside, she began to get a worsening sinus pressure headache. Apparently a huge clot had finally formed in the nasal and frontal sinuses, which at least stopped the bleeding, but became very painful.

I’m not a huge fan of the E.R. I’m sure they do know how to be fast and efficient when a critical trauma arrives, but for anything else, they really seem to mosey around as inefficiently as possible, taking 5 hours to do what would have amounted to about 45 minutes of work for a typical emergency visit at my vet hospital: get baseline cardiopulmonary parameters and history, physical exam by a doctor, set IV catheter, draw and run bloodwork, give some pain meds, do diagnostic imaging.

One bright spot came that morning when my little girl arrived on the scene. Mom needed to call some of her patients to explain why she wouldn’t be in to see them that day, but needed her iPad for their contact info. I called Hubby and asked him to swing by her house and get the iPad after he dropped our young love off at school, so he showed up midmorning with our 4-year-old daughter in tow, and that was rather a highlight for her Grandma Dee. Just as they arrived, a nurse came in to take Mom off for her CT scan, and as per hospital policy, Mom had to ride in a wheelchair. The nurse saw little sister, who was looking pretty snazzy in her little skirt and leggings, and said “Hello! Don’t you look cute in that skirt!?” Little sister beamed and replied, “Thanks! And doesn’t my Grandma Dee look cute in your stroller?” This caused everyone to laugh, and Mom said the nurse told the “stroller” story to several other nurses and CT technicians while they were gone. Isn’t it amazing how a child’s innocent comment can brighten an otherwise rather awful morning? =)

Mom was eventually discharged and sent to see an ear-nose-throat specialist, and he was able to use his scope, suction and cautery unit to cauterize the artery and hopefully prevent another massive bleeding episode. She now has to see about another surgery on her nose to repair a hole in her nasal septum that he found on the rhinoscopy, but at least they figured out the problem and it’s not something really ominous, like a tumor. (I am of course able to come up with a scary list of potential sources for non-traumatic severe nosebleeds, such as bleeding disorders, severe fungal infections, tumors etc. by pretending mom was a dog or a cat… lol).

YoungLove1On to the highs… that same day, the young love was to test for placement in the GT program at the school. Of course Mommy and Daddy were excited that he’d been recommended for testing, but we were told not to be disappointed if he didn’t test well, as many gifted/talented kindergarteners are unsuccessful at that age because they don’t necessarily know how to take tests well. We’ve been aware that he is (sometimes scarily) intelligent ever since he was a toddler, but he’s also always been a bit of a challenge. He’s prone to going off into his own head, becoming distracted, or just perversely deciding not to cooperate with the program. So we’d told him we were excited and proud and thought he could do well if he applied himself, but privately we had a few chuckles, saying (out of his hearing) that he’d probably either ace the test, or get the worst score they’d ever seen.

That evening, we asked him how it went, and he confidently proclaimed he’d gotten every single question right. (This is typical for him. He is nothing if not self-assured!) Hubby has a friend who administers these tests in a different school district, who said that statement meant exactly nothing, as a lot of kids think they did great when really they missed quite a few, and others leave thinking they bombed the test, when really they nailed it. So we were really delighted when we found out today that the young love really did get every question right, and tested into the program! Yes, I am one very proud, very happy mama… =)


  1. Servetus · February 21, 2015

    Wow, that was really really scary about your mom. I hope they can fix her up solid. My heart was beating faster the whole time I was reading. Glad she’s okay now.


    • jholland · February 21, 2015

      Yes, it was horrifying before, not knowing what was happening, and just as horrifying to get there and find the bloody mess! She did apologize profusely for the scare she gave me… apparently she had thought she had the bleeding down enough to be able to talk, then it ramped up again after she’d dialed. I just wish she’d called sooner rather than waiting until she thought I’d be awake!


  2. Sue · February 21, 2015

    Yikes! Poor Dee!! Please give her my best regards, I hope she recovers quickly.
    (Brave you, you must have been very scared!)
    And many congrats on son’s acceptance to GT program-let the fun begin!!😏


    • jholland · February 21, 2015

      Thanks, Sue… we’re taking her out to dinner tonight and I’ll pass along your well wishes. She’s doing fine so far… knock on wood! As to the kiddo, I’m still so excited. We took him down to the new climbing gym today and signed him up for lessons as a reward for his efforts =)


  3. Esther · February 21, 2015

    Wow, yes, that was a scare! Glad all is OK and congrats to your young love! 🙂


    • jholland · February 21, 2015

      Thanks, Esther. Looking back it all feels surreal, but I am very thankful it wasn’t something life-threatening. At least she woke up when the bleeding started, though. That scares me, thinking of something like that starting when she was sound asleep.


  4. obscura · February 21, 2015

    So glad to hear your mom is on the mend! I totally concur with your ER assessment…

    Your son sounds a lot like my son ten years ago. I wish we’d had a GT in our district. He is still scary smart, but not terribly interested in anything he deems beneath his intellectual notice. (Including several teachers over the years 😦 )


  5. jholland · February 21, 2015

    I could do a whole blog post on my ER rant! Not just on this occasion, either. Sigh.
    Yes… that’s my kid exactly. I truly hope the GT program will keep him engaged. His teacher is obviously fond of him, for which I’m profoundly thankful, because he does try the patience. But she’s had to call for advice on how to communicate with him, because he tends to just tune out when he gets bored, which happens easily, or if he doesn’t see why he ought to participate or follow instructions. I offered the only piece of advice that works at home… try explaining a rational reason why he ought to do the “task” and asking him to think of a potential negative ramification if he or others don’t do the “task”, rather than just telling him to do it, and it (usually) works. Key word, usually. So different from my daughter, who is naturally a people-pleaser and will go out of her way to be helpful or engaged for nothing more than a smile or a kiss on the cheek. Lol


  6. Hariclea · February 21, 2015

    oh my, all that in a day… Glad your mom is better and hopefully she’ll be spared any other incident like that, must have been so scary and urgh on the emergency room! My own experience had been rather different here thankfully. Glad it all ended ok, phew. And your little ones are amazing, both of them, you are lucky :-))))) and all the reasons to be proud 🙂


    • jholland · February 21, 2015

      Yes, all’s well that ends well! Glad you’ve had better ER experiences… nothing so frustrating as waiting and waiting and waiting as you listen to nurses and doctors laughing and chatting it up at the nurses’ station. I’ve been at slow-service ERs more than once, and when they’re super full, it’s understandable. That morning, though, there was only one other occupied room. Sigh. But we are pretty lucky to have kids to lighten the mood and make our hearts smile! =)


  7. Herba · February 23, 2015

    So glad to read your mom is better now!!!
    And Congratulations for your son, so cute and so smart 🙂


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