Monday, March 5, 2012

Fangs bared

Ever have a reaction to a situation that leaves you wondering if you really know yourself? Saturday I did. It began with lunch and ended in my friend's living room after a trip to the urgent care and the whole journey took 9 hours.

My four year old son hurt his wrist a restaurant while we were having lunch. Calmly, we checked him over, asked for some ice from our waitress and finished eating. Poor guy hurt, but was rather cheerful. We drove back to Walnut Creek to take him to the urgent care (after calling a friend who's a paramedic and asking his opinion). That's where IT happened. After waiting for a while in the Urgent Care lobby waiting for it to re-open after lunch, the receptionist came back, late.  My husband and I were worried and stressed and our poor little guy's wrist was showing signs that it could be broken.  It was swollen, painful and he couldn't move it.  The receptionist informed us that he wouldn't be seen because he didn't have an appointment.  Most of the lobby signage said "no appointment" necessary.  If she had shown an ounce of compassion, we probably would have accepted the verdict and called for an appointment, but she was rude, uncaring and lacking anything even slightly resembling compassion.  I lost it and yelled and swore (not my best moment and one that surprised me with the intensity of my anger), which didn't phase her.  She panicked, though, when I walked back over to her desk and grabbed a grievance form.  Then she offered to help.

After securing an appointment (six hours later), we went home to let the little one rest.  In the quiet of the house, I began to process my anger, fear, and frustration.  I always thought I wasn't one of those mothers who bared fangs at the slightest threat, but I had.  I have a monster inside, by biological programming, simple love of my children, or some complex combination of factors, I was capable of letting her take over if I felt my kids were threatened.

Hours later, after dropping our older son off with friends, taking our patient back to the urgent care, x-rays and a brace fitting, we returned to pick up our other child.  The monster was heading back into hibernation, but I am left feeling like I have some work to do to learn myself more fully.  Our son is in a brace, without a broken wrist, and healing. I'm sure he'll be done before me.

7 comments:

  1. It is interesting how things change when one becomes a mother. I almost decked an ER nurse because she started to put a drug in my 2yr old's IV without my consent; and I don't regret it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kat, that is the sort of thing I could totally defend getting nasty over. It could mean the difference between life and death.

      Delete
  2. Ah, I know this "monster" well. Over the many years of single-parenting, "she" has visited me on a few occasions. Typically, I'm a quiet, reserved, by-the-rules-only kind of a pushover - until someone or something threatens the well-being of my children...then LOOK OUT!

    I don't think of it as a "monster" rearing its' ugly head, though. It is instinct. A natural force that shows one of the many sides to what being a good Mother is all about. In my case, I think members of the courts (divorce and friend of the court and so on) were the main "victims" of this unbridled need to protect my kids.

    I'm glad your son will be okay and that his wrist was not broken.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Polly. I'm still trying to integrate this new knowledge into my understanding of myself, and it really helps to have support from lovely people like you who understand.

      Delete
  3. This from Darla Sward on the Facebook page: "Stop kicking yourself. Your son was injured and medical staff were acting with indifference. There is such a thing as a righteous rage. On the rare occasion that I have unleashed a fury, I was all too grateful to discover that I have a warrior princess on the high council of me. She doesn;t rule, but she is there when I need her."

    I love the imagery and I think it may be a really helpful way to learn to accept this part of myself.

    ReplyDelete
  4. The Warrior Goddess within emerged when my son was hurt--but at the time, no urgent med clinics existed, so I called my doc. Three and a half hours later, while my son was still bleeding, we left, because the football physicals kept getting called in. I wrote to my doctor and told him exactly why we left.

    I still have that apology. And the receptionist was fired.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Gaia, how awful for your son and you! I'm glad the doctor did something to rectify the situation. We'll see if Kaiser does anything about my complaint.
      Blessings!

      Delete

Please feel free to comment, share or ask questions, but please, keep comments in good taste and respectful.