We all hope are children will stay healthy and fit, and most of us are lucky that that is the case. But when an injury or accident happens it always seems worse when it’s a child. I am usually a pretty calm person in these moments, after all N has had a lot of bumps over the years. He’s not been the most careful child in the past. But we’ve never had broken legs, broken arms or any other of the childhood injuries that so many children experience.
Playing tennis, it should be a non-contact but there is quite a bit of contact issues going on. Bumps happen, some falls over, and sometimes you get knocked by a racket or ball. In fact, one of the coaches even caught him with the racket a few years ago, presumably because N had been standing too close to him.
The latest injury saw us ending up in the emergency eye clinic at the hospital. The children are always told to either stand or sit down when the coaches talking to the group of them. They’ve told to hug their rackets or put them on the floor and not swing them round. But of course children are children and they don’t always listen. N was the one that got caught in the eye with a racket. Two or three of them had been stood up rather than sitting down, and the person next to N swung their racket which was at N’s head height.
He’s a pretty hardy child but a racket in the eye was always going to hurt and he came over crying. It was painful, but I thought it’d caught his cheek as that was a little bit red. Apart from hurting he didn’t seem to have any other issues with his eye, he just had a good moan about children not doing as they’re told. After joining back in with the tennis for the last 5 minutes we thought he was probably ok.
N woke the next day with blurred vision in that eye though, along with a bit of a cold and an aching leg which had come on earlier in the week. We decided against him swimming, so nipped to do a food shop. Because his eye was still blurry, we popped in to the opticians to see if they could have a look. I thought it was more likely that they’d be able to see if anything was wrong in the eye than a GP, and plus getting a weekend GP appointment would be a nightmare.
It seems nowadays that some opticians have minor injury eye clinics, so we were directed to a different optician. They were able to do a quick triage of his symptoms and check with an optician what they thought. Although he had no other symptoms, because his vision was blurred, they sent us straight to Oxford eye hospital to get him checked out in case there was anything else wrong.
At least with a Saturday clinic there’s parking at the hospital, because it’s renowned for people spending hours trying to find a parking space during the week. It was easy to find but very busy and typically a lot busier than they usually expect.
We waited to see the triage nurse first and got to see him within 20 minutes. He was great but he had a student nurse in with him, so it was probably took a bit longer then it might have been without. I did learn lots about why they ask everything though. They were very thorough and N sat very nicely in the chair and was able to answer all of their questions. He did look so nervous but the male nurse put him at ease and told him all about how bad he was when he went to have his eyes checked was a child, and that he also had a year 3 child.
Because of the blurred vision they wanted to get him checked out by the doctor as well. When we arrived it was a 2 hour wait if you needed to see the doctor, but by the time we were out of triage, that 2 hours had increased to 3. We were in for the long haul.
We headed down to get some food from the coffee shop so at least our bellies were full. I joked on the drive in that my work friend lives around the corner, but once we were in the hospital it didn’t even occur to me to try texting her to see if she was around. Afterwards she messaged and said we should have called her and she’d have brought us some entertainment. Because we hadn’t realised we’d be going to the hospital I had nothing in my bag other than a pen and a scrap of paper, my phone had some charge but no signal at all in the hospital, and we had no books with us. There is a children’s play area but everything was aimed at younger children so there wasn’t anything for N to read.
N did moan he was cold although I was the other extreme feeling too hot. I don’t know whether it was his cold or just the wait and not having had much to eat and drink through the day. It was lucky that he’s a sort of child who does just sit and wait patiently, with just a bit of moaning in between every so often. What he didn’t understand was how other people were coming in after us and being seen first, so I was having to explain that the eye clinic has appointments as well as the emergency drop in we were there for.
He finally got seen 3 hours 45 after we arrived. We were in and out within 10 minutes. He had more drops put in his eyes, a thorough check done on the front and back of his eyes, and then had another drop put in to turn his eye orange. He was a little disturbed about the fact that he was looking a bit jaundiced afterwards but it soon disappeared. Thankfully there was no other issue with his eye and we were told that the blurred vision would soon go. It’s a big relief because the thought of struggling with eyesight isn’t one that any of us would want. It does mean he won’t need another eye check for a while as I was just going to book him in for one!
We arrived home to find that the OH hadn’t wanted to wait for me to come home and cook what I’d planned, so already had food in the oven. Unfortunately not what’s I’d defrosted so I had to cook that and freeze it the next day to have another time. I also had to throw out the chicken I’d bought because it had been in the car all day rather than the hour I’d expected.
Because we’ve been sitting around all day N also ended up with a headache and was so tired, he was in bed by 6:45 p.m. It’s amazing how sitting around most of the day can make you feel even more tired than being up on your feet and out and about.
Thankfully the next morning he woke with his vision back to normal, the headache gone, and his leg feeling better as well. Hopefully we won’t be having any more emergency visits to the doctor or hospital anytime soon.
It didn’t put him off tennis. He was back playing 2 days later to help out some prospective coaches being assessed.
Are your children always back and forth to hospital for accidents?