A rough ending to our family vacation

I know from reading around other people’s blogs that there are no real unbloggable topics. But I wanted to wait to make sure our doctor said he was on the mend before writing putting anything Out There. Call me superstitious.

My most vivid memory was of clutching Holden’s head to my chest with blood spurting out with his every heartbeat. I couldn’t tell exactly where on his head it was coming from — whether the dog had taken his ear off or if it was coming from multiple places. I already know that heads bleed a lot, but knowing doesn’t prepare you for the fountain coming from your child’s head.

The next clearest image in my head is of the moment earlier when the dog got spooked and snapped at Holden’s head. They were playing together gently (hugging in fact) when the dog heard a noise (made by Alec in the other room as he scooted over the scale to weigh our suitcase) and freaked out by biting and clawing to get away. I don’t know whether Holden will have a greater fear of dogs because of the event, but I sure do. He didn’t have to see that scared dog’s face coming at him.

I scooped up the crying child immediately and then we noticed the blood.

I raced him into the bathroom past the mirrors so he wouldn’t see the blood streaming out and we tried to get it under control. “Call 9-1-1” – “Where’s Milo?” – “Get some ice” — I was barking orders from my perch on the toilet. Alec put Milo in the pack n play then returned every minute with a different configuration of ice and dish towel. I applied pressure with my hands, towels, and my motherly body.

By the time the paramedics joined us, the crying and the blood were greatly reduced. It was still impossible to tell exactly where the wounds were but I could see he had both ears and was acting more like himself. Thank God. Once we were in the ambulance, he was looking around out the window and pointing to cranes and other landmarks. I exhaled and took a couple pictures.

We were treated promptly and carefully by the excellent folks in the Pediatric ER at Suburban Hospital — it was really the fastest service I’ve experienced.

Once we got back to Alec’s folks’ place, the doggie went to camp for the rest of the day and we fed Holden some lunch and put him down for a nap. Adrenaline and anxiety were still coursing through my body, so I aimed Whitney:

12:08:01 PM: Holden was bitten by the family dog while his grandpa was watching him. we rode in an ambulance and went to the ER and missed our flight. we’ll arrive at midnight instead of 6pm. get me the F out of here.
12:08:03 PM: xoxo
12:08:14 PM: oh yeah, in the HEAD in two places.

The unscheduled stop in the ER, swift as the service was, caused us to miss our return flight back to Oakland. We were able to pay extra for a flight change to get on a crappier flight we had paid extra to avoid in the first place. So with head wounds still open, the four of us got on a 9pm flight back to Oakland returning some time after midnight.