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A trip to the ER [Daily Link]
Thursday, September 26, 2002

Every Thursday, Tímea goes dancing. The dance studio is at the Moreno Valley Mall not far from where we live. We eat at the food court in the mall and Tímea will ride the outstanding carousel they have their. (Tímea knows every carousel within 30 miles of where we live. I'll write more about those on some other occassion.)

Tímea has made a friend at dance, Andrejva, whom she would play with after dinner at the food court. They had been playing wonderfully for about half an hour or more, when as part of the game (and with no meanness intended) Andrejva pushed Tímea who fell backwards and smacked her head on the hard tile floor. We have never heard Tímea shriek like that and for such a long time. Also the sound of her head hitting the floor was one the scariest things I'd ever heard. Well, I tried to check her eyes' responsiveness to light, and from what little I could see, they were unresponsive. So we decided to take her to the emergency room. Lívia's health insurance through UCR gives us family coverage through Kaiser Permanente so that is where we went.

As we were in the car and Tímea calmed down, it was clear that she was just fine. She'd never lost conciousness and she was completely and perfectly coherent. W got out of the car at the parking lot by the ER at 8:20 PM. Lívia – with frightening clairvoyance – said, "let's just go home. If we go in, they'll probably make us wait until midnight." I said, "As long as we drove here, we might as well get her checked out." Well the triage nurse checked her out, and she was clearly fine. But he put a wrist band on her. At which point I asked whether that meant that we were staying there for a while. That is when I was informed that if you walk into an emergency room, by law they are not allowed to discharge you until you've been seen by a doctor. Well, given that Tímea was fine, we got put in the Urgent Care queue instead of the emergency one. But even there there were people who genuinely needed to see a doctor. Quite correctly those people got taken before us. The triage nurse was very nice. When he had a break he brought Tímea a toy and an activity book. (Just to make it clear that Tímea's head was okay, she completed a connect-the-dots activity in the book that went up to 72 dots, and she needed only the minimal amount of help to do so.

At about 9:15 we walked out, but went back in again. First they had Tímea's insurance card. Second, I was concerned that the reason that they didn't want us to go was because they wanted to understand the nature of the accident, and so I thought that if we walked out we'd have to talk to the police at some point. So we went back in and waited some more. Tímea was remarkably good with waiting. But by about 9:45 (well past her 8:45 bed-time) she was fading. Lívia was downright grouchy. So at about 9:55 we left. We got Tímea to bed at home by about 10:20.

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