Christmas in the ER

Christmas Day memories can be made in the darnedest places. Most are at home, Grandma’s or Aunt Susie’s and typically involve Christmas presents, gingerbread men and big family feasts.

But a few others involve less favorable locales and experiences. My 5-year-old found that out the hard way Tuesday morning.

Sophia was playing in the woods behind our house with her sister and a neighborhood friend when she took a tumble. I had just gotten back from a refreshing Christmas morning run when David said, “Sophia hit her chin on a rock.”

On Christmas Day? You have got to be kidding!

Sophia was a trooper as she waited to get stitches at Crestwood’s ER on Christmas Day.

I’m not always good at determining how bad an injury is, but I saw raw flesh so I made the call. I scooped up Sophia and put her into the truck. She cried all the way to Crestwood Medical Center’s Emergency Room.

“I don’t want to go,” she said. “I don’t want to go.”

“We are going,” I insisted. “Just in case.”

When we arrived, gracious medical and administrative staffers were on hand to help.  The pastoral team was even handing out holiday cards to patients. Fortunately, there weren’t many people waiting and we quickly moved from triage to a room.

Before long, Mindy Wilson, PA-C, came in and looked at Sophia and determined she would need several stitches. It wasn’t easy. It took two nurses and me to hold Sophia down while Wilson gave her the anesthesia injection!

Despite Sophia’s squirminess, Wilson stitched her chin beautifully. I thanked her for working today—on Christmas. She said I was the first person to tell her that in the past two days.

“That made my day,” she said.

That surprised me. And bummed me out a bit.

Going to the ER is never pleasant, especially on a holiday. But most of us get to leave after a couple of hours, while those who are working must complete their 12-hour shifts. They are spending time away from their loved ones so they can tend to ours… just in case.

Take Aaron, our R.N., for instance. He surely would have preferred spending Christmas Day with his young child.

Instead, he was at work, caring for mine.

Thanks to all of you—doctors, nurses, police, 9-1-1 operators, firefighters, EMTs, support staff—who spend your holidays protecting, healing, serving and saving. Though many of us don’t say it often enough, we appreciate you.

About minndixiemom

I'm a Minnesota native with an Alabama heart, reflecting on the past while looking toward the future. My husband, David, and I landed in Huntsville in the late 90s through my former career in TV news. We have two amazing girls, Serina and Sophia, whom we are raising with God's guidance and grace. Besides faith and family, my passions include writing, walking, mental health, and recovery. By day, I'm the Director of Development for WellStone (another passion), North Alabama's largest and most comprehensive mental healthcare provider.
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