Wednesday, November 01, 2006

A Bloody Tale

In view of the interest that seemed to be generated in my bloody finger, I thought you might like to know that it runs in the family. So here, for your delectation and delight, is a tale from three years ago, when no 3 then aged three (it's all three to me) decided that putting an umbrella in your mouth was a really, really good idea... (Do look away if you are of a feeble disposition!)

No 4 who was then quite small, was asleep and as no 3 was happily pottering about in the hall, I decided to whizz upstairs to do some tidying.

Suddenly there was a bloodcurdling yell. Holy shit, what's she done? I thought, detecting a certain panicky note that sounded like something really really bad. I flew down the stairs to see no 3 kneeling on the floor, screaming her head off with an umbrella handle stuck firmly in her jaw. (And yes, the question, Whyyyyyy? does spring to mind) I gingerly tried to get it out, and failed. I could see she was bleeding, so applied a little more force, to considerably louder yells. A pool of black blood was welling up in her mouth, and I couldn't see what damage she'd done, but it looked pretty bad to me. I ran to get kitchen roll, repeating the mantra long drummed into me by Spouse that mouths bleed a lot and they heal quickly. As I applied the tissue, and the bleeding didn't appear to be stopping, I was trying to ignore the panicky messages flying to my brain, saying helpful things like: "Are there any arteries down there?" and "How long does it take a three year old to bleed to death?"

I eventually stemmed the flow, after what seemed like hours, and inspected the damage. There was a nice big tear in her bottom palate. It probably needed stitches, but by now it was 2.15 and in an hour I had to collect two children from school. I rang my neighbour who is a nurse, to seek her opnion. She was out. I rang my friend to get her to pick the girls up. She was also out. By this time, no3 was saying she felt sick (well I suppose you would if you had just swallowed a pint of your own blood), and was shaking like a leaf. Now I was panicking about anaphylactic shock. "Don't go to sleep whatever you do!" I admonished her, but cheered myself up by thinking that as she was still yelling loudly, it couldn't be too serious.

I managed to get another friend to pick the girls up, and flew to the hospital. No3 was in such a state by the time we arrived, I had to carry her, and try to stop no4 who had only recently learnt to walk from falling over. We got there eventually, and then (at this point let me sing paeons of praise to the NHS), were miraculously seen straight away, by a wonderful nurse who produced calpol and lollipops, and a rather gorgeous young medic, who cheerfully told me that though it was a good tear, it didn't need stitches. So all's well that ends well...

The next day on the way to school, I met one of my friends. "You were the talk of the playground yesterday," she informed me. "You have such an exciting life. Mine is so boring by comparison."

This kind of excitement I can do without.

But it is a testament to the fact that my life has finally moved on, that now it is more likely to be me providing the bloodfest...

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