[Originally posted February 2008]
When someone kicks at the locked door between the waiting room and the triage room, it usually isn’t a good thing. Most often it is someone who has been shot, someone who is being dragged in by any available body appendage as a drug overdose, or someone with a bad asthma attack.
So my heart sank when we heard kicks at the door and heard a frantic mother screaming “My baby! My BAAABY!”
Then the door opened and I had to do everything I could to keep from laughing. A rather large mother busted through the door holding her two year old son. The son was holding on for dear life with one hand as the mom shuffled back and forth looking frantically for … ME. The mom would start walking one direction, abruptly stop, and then start walking faster the other direction. The kid’s body would sway back and forth, but he kept his grip on mom’s shirt with one hand. On the kid’s other hand was the source of the commotion … a can of green beans.
Seems that mom used a can opener to open then can of beans, but didn’t completely detach the lid. She drained the water out using the can lid and then left the can on the counter. Junior then put his hand into the can, pushing the lid down and catching his wrist between the bent-down can lid and the side of the can. Every time the mom tried to pull the kid’s hand out, he would scream because she was pinching his wrist against the inside of the can.
So kid is being yanked all around the ED by mom, he’s holding onto mom’s shirt for dear life with his good hand while his entrapped hand is flailing in the air – banging on random objects while mom is running through the ED.
All I could think of was the kid in a cowboy hat riding a bull at the rodeo.
The nurses got mom settled in a bed with Junior. I went up to the kid, pushed his arm into the can a little more, bent the lid in a little further, and out popped his hand – along with a bunch of squished green beans. There was a little scrape on the inner part of his wrist, but he was none the worse for the wear.
The ironic part is that the mom then grabbed the kid out of the bed, muttered “it’s about time you doctors did something right around here” and walked out of the room.
Um … you’re welcome?