The other day, I remarked to my friend Natalie, "now that they've shown the last new episode of Grey's Anatomy that they shot before the writers' strike started, what am I going to do to get my hospital fix?"
One should be careful what one says within earshot of the Universe.
Turns out that I got my hospital fix last night after all.
ER? In a manner of speaking.
The girls and I spent the evening and a big chunk of the night in Emergency at the Queensway-Carleton hospital. Rachel had a neck and head so painful that moving was causing her to scream. One minute she was fine, watching TV with her sister while I cleaned up after dinner, the next she was crying and screaming and holding the back of her neck. I gave her some ibuprophen and the three of us set off through blowing snow to the hospital.
Sunday at swimming lessons, after I had finished ogling the neighbourhood children, Rachel had fallen on the poolside tiles and given herself a goose egg on the back of her head. She was fine Sunday night and all day Monday, but the proximity in time of the two events had my Grey's-fuelled imagination in overdrive -- skull fracture? Meningitis? Visions of ambulance transfer to CHEO danced in my head.
It was not the most fun few hours I have ever spent. The waiting room was full and I was trying to entertain two girls up past their bedtimes, one in pain, and the other sad with empathy for her sister during waits to see the doctor and X-rays.
It was torticollis, also called wry neck. Spasms in the muscles that run from the scalp down to the shoulders. X-rays confirmed it -- instead of the neck vertebrae being in a curve (normal) they were straight, pulled like that by the tightness of the spasmed muscles. No wonder the poor thing was yelling every time she moved. Very painful, but not long-lasting, and treatable with ibuprophen and rest. Rachel is fine today, although not going to school. A day of movie watching and lounging are on her agenda.
As a replacement for Grey's, the Emergency experience was kind of a bust. Although the suspense level and emotional involvement were much, much higher, the doctors were nowhere near as hot.