E.R. Finale

Lainey plays hard, then visits the hospital.


My daughter Lainey is five years old and I love her. There was a lot of excitement the other day, some of which was unplanned.

Festivities began with a 9:30 a.m. showing of The Lorax. Lainey said the plot strayed from the book, but she still enjoyed the movie, especially the popcorn for breakfast.

Next, we attended a belated pi/pie party. Everything from Key Lime to Shepherd’s to Whoopie Pie was on hand, and Lainey chose Ice Cream Pie as her favorite.

Then we hit a Mexican themed party. Lainey ate quesadillas, and ran around with her . When the kids moved outside, Lainey had an accident on the swing set.

“Lainey, are you okay?” a father asked.

Once I made eye contact with her, the tears flowed. Lainey had forcefully bonked heads with a little boy, and he was crying hysterically. He even chipped a tooth! Lainey rubbed her noggin, cried a few minutes, and then returned to play.

After a long day Lainey fell in two seconds that night. We all were tired.

Then at 11pm, Lainey sat up in bed and barfed everywhere. Yet she felt cool, no fever.

“Her head.” My wife worried, “A concussion.”

“Can I go back to bed now?” Lainey mumbled.

“Not yet.” I said and called the pediatrician hotline.

While waiting for a callback, Lainey and I played an alphabet game: apple, egg, gum, mud, door. The kid seemed pretty sharp, just tired.

“If she gets sick again soon.” The doctor said on the phone. “Take her in.”

Two hours later, Lainey woke up, yelled, “My head,” and barfed into a bucket.

My wife stayed home with , while Lainey and I sped along the dark streets to the emergency room.

“It’s probably just the flu, but we’ll do a CAT scan anyway.” The doctor said.

One RN took blood and gave Lainey an IV. Another rolled her into the CT room.

“It’s like Star Wars!” Lainey smiled.

Lainey wowed as the CT scanner pivoted and yellow lights raced—while I marveled at her mind-set. It’s hard to say whether kids are brave or just naïve when it comes to hospitals, but that night Lainey was a positive force, didn’t cry one tear, and made everybody smile.

At 4 a.m., we sat back, watched cartoons, and waited for her results.

“I wanted some time,” I said. “Sorry it’s at the hospital.”

Lainey smiled, “That’s okay, dad.”

We were home by 7 a.m. Cat scan was fine. Diagnoses: the flu.

Good news outweighs the bad, I thought, as my stomach gurgled ominously.


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