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  • Elijah Ricks

Inevitable Urgent Care

Updated: Jun 27

In another busy week, we managed to see so many doctors...


We finished up Father's Day last week with me taking Merritt to the splash pad. No one else was interested in going, but then Merritt played in the water for about 3 minutes before deciding to play on the playground instead. We were home for dinner - Kira made a smashing meal of bacon-wrapped pork loin and baked potatoes, which really hit the spot. We opened a few gifts to me that were all very thoughtful and generous. One of them was a brand new UTEP hat, because I had not seen mine in several months and just could not seem to locate. Of course, I found it randomly two days ago in a place I had looked several times, so now I have two UTEP hats!

The Boys Dress Like Heroes

We had a brief family night and then put the kids to bed and went outside to watch for bats. While we were waiting, Jesse came outside, unable to sleep. We let him stay up because it was also the first night this summer that we had seen the fireflies out. Jesse caught a few, and we watched the bats until it was too dark and the mosquitos were getting to be too much, then went inside for bed.


Monday morning I offered to take Avey to school so that Kira could sleep a little longer. She had a full day of clients, so I figured she needed the rest more than I did. I stopped for donuts on the way home to surprise the kids, and then I did some work before Kira left. I cut the grass and did a few other odd jobs before it was time to go pick up Avey with the boys in tow. We ate lunch at home and then I offered to take everybody to the library and the pet store where we'd bought the rats. We picked up Hannah, because she hoped to see the baby hairless guinea pigs that were due at any time. It was a good idea to go when we did, because the workers told us they were born just a few hours before we got there!

It was also a fun trip because they had just finished setting up a new home for a parrot, named Chicken. The boys had a lot of fun with Chicken:

We were there for a long time checking out all of the animals, but we somehow managed to leave all of the rats at the store. The workers asked how ours were getting along at home, so it was nice to report that they are getting along famously.

On the way home, we dropped off Hannah and also said hello to Kira for just a few minutes in between her clients. At home, Merritt read his library books to me and then I cleaned sinks and made dinner. I think each boy came downstairs after I had put them to bed, each hoping that Kira had arrived home from work. She got home closer to my bedtime.


Tuesday was appropriately scalding outside for the first day of summer. Kira took Avey to school even though it was my turn. I got up to help with breakfast a bit later, and then did work and meetings while Kira took the boys to swimming lessons. I then picked up Avey from school while Kira fed the boys lunch, and then she napped. I offered the library again, but nobody wanted to go except Jesse. We got him his own library card and he checked out a book about robots. Kira and I got to talking about things we could do over the summer and then figured out it was cheap movie day, so we planned to go to a movie that night while Avey babysat. We fed them and got them ready for bed, then went to see the new Top Gun: Maverick movie. I have a few critiques, but it was overall very good and true to the spirit of the original. We made a quick stop on the way home to try to find the gluten free cupcakes Carver likes, but they didn't have any. Avey had the house in one piece still, so we said goodnight and went to bed.

Carver Tickles the Ivory

Wednesday I took Avey to school and then went to the YMCA to exercise. I fed the boys when I got home and then showered. While I was working on the computer, Jesse expressed an interest in going fishing. I hesitated, and really should have gone with my gut, but I figured we could probably fit that in. I stopped my work and then got the three poles all set, even though Carver didn't want to go. Merritt didn't want to go either, but Jesse talked him into coming after all. I stupidly thought, "Apollo could really use an outing, dur dur dur," and so I also brought him along, a move I would later regret. We drove to a nearby park that has a playground in one area and a large pond in another. The problem is of course that they are not near each other enough that one boy can be at each place and still be supervised by one parent. Of course what happened is that I got Jesse set up fishing, and Merritt tried it but got bored when the fish didn't bite within 10 seconds (turns out reality isn't quite like his video games). I got a couple of nibbles on my line, but they made off with the bait. We didn't actually see any fish, but we did see two turtles and a frog, so it was almost worth it.

There's a Tiny Turtle in the Center of the Photo

The problem was that Apollo wanted to go explore, Merritt wanted to go to the playground, and Jesse wanted to stay and fish for the rest of his life. I tried moving Jesse closer to the playground where there is a bridge high above a stream, thinking he could drop in his line from up there and I could sort of watch Merritt and Apollo could sort of sniff around in a small area in between. Jesse got his hook stuck on a stick, and so I had to help him with that for a while, but we eventually got it unstuck. The real nightmare began when it was time to go home. I offered to go the scenic route on a boardwalk over the stream and swampy areas, but I had to carry three fishing poles and the tackle box. I asked Merritt to carry the tackle box, and Jesse to hold Apollo's leash...


Now, I somehow knew that going fishing with the boys that day meant that we were going to go to the hospital, but I just figured it would be because somebody got hooked as they were haphazardly flinging the sharp little eye-lancers about. As we were walking toward the car, I almost thought that we had gotten away from this nonsense unscathed. But then, Apollo saw something scurrying. His little dog brain then required him to bolt at full speed toward whatever he saw, in the hopes that he might catch it. Jesse, who was holding the leash, saw Apollo bolt and then instinctively held on for dear life. When the leash reached its limit, Jesse was pulled off his feet by our little speed demon of a dog, and he unfortunately landed on his right knee. I saw him hit, and knew it must have hurt, but I was not prepared for what it would look like. He had a large flap of thick skin cut loose from the rest of his knee, and blood was trickling down to his foot within a few seconds.


It was the stuff of nightmares. He held it together pretty well, given the circumstances. I had my hands full now that I had to take the dog back and didn't dare ask Merritt to take on that little liability. Jesse hopped on one leg back to the car where I used my 17-year-old first aid kit to try and clean him up. Of course, nearly everything in the kit was dried out or otherwise useless, but I did get a large bandage on him, and the bleeding stopped pretty quickly. Still, the more I looked at his wound, it seemed clear that it would probably need the attention of a medical professional, so I figured we'd go home, drop off the oblivious cause of the chaos (Apollo), and then I'd take both boys to the Urgent Care nearby. Jesse said that his knee stung quite a bit, but he was handling it about as well as anybody would.


I got him better cleaned up at home, and Kira told me that she was almost home from her errands with Carver (including picking up Avey), so we waited for her to get there. He asked her to take him in, so I fed everybody. He came home with much better bandages and an ointment, but narrowly avoided getting stitches. They said they could do one stitch, but Jesse decided he'd just deal with a slightly bigger scar. We are keeping a close eye on his knee now, changing the bandages three times a day, and hoping he'll be able to join swim lessons on Tuesday. I learned that I need at least two adults if we ever try fishing again with more than just Jesse.


Kira was home in time to then take Avey to an appointment she had, and then they stayed to do some shopping after that. I got the two uninjured boys bathed and cleaned up some of the house.


Hannah came over for some TV that night and told us that her eye appointment gave her a scare as they saw something funky in her retinal scan. She was a little worried about what would happen at the specialist the next day to check it out. Turns out it is a common thing that can show up, but is actually harmless, so at least that.


Thursday, Kira took Avey to school and then did breakfast for the boys. I did work and then Kira took Carver for a followup appointment with his Celiac doctor. She said that, according to his blood work, he either doesn't have Celiac or he's following his gluten-free diet very well. We know he has Celiac because we got the biopsies years ago, so that's good to know that we're following his diet well in our chaotic house. While they were gone, I took the other boys and a neighbor kid, along with Apollo, to a park where Avey would be with her summer school. The boys played, and Apollo and I found Avey in a big group of teenagers. Avey saw us, Apollo ran to greet her, and then the whole group of teenagers descended upon Apollo with warmth and affection. I think Avey rose in popularity several points after they met her dog. I opted not to tell them how he lusts for the blood of rats and nearly took off a kid's leg earlier in the week.


We brought Avey home with us from the park and then had lunch. Kira told me she and Carver were going to be much later than they had hoped, so I needed to take Avey in for her followup x-ray for her toe. I crammed the kids into the truck (which has no air conditioning), and offered to pick up Hannah to come with us so that she could run an errand near where we were going. The whole trip was very stupid, because we took forever waiting for the doctor after the x-ray, and he spent about 2 minutes with us telling us to keep doing what we were doing. We then went to the store to get several things on our list, and then came home in pretty heavy traffic. The more we thought about it, Hannah could have just sent her task with me and saved herself a couple of hours, but we at least got home in one piece.


Kira and I were up at 2:00 a.m. with Carver when he had some tummy problems, so that made for a rough night. He was fine after that, so we don't know what it was. Kira fed everybody breakfast while I slept, and then I worked until 2. Kira then worked on some projects she had while I took Carver and Merritt to the pool for a little while. Merritt wanted to go to the splash pad after that, but Carver didn't, so I took him home and brought Merritt back. He spent a couple of hours going back and forth between the playground and the splash pad, so he had a great time while I roasted in the heat. Kira felt like she got a lot done while we were gone, at least.


I took Avey downtown to hang out with friends. When we got home, Merritt and Jesse were trying to figure out a way to push their beds together so that they could have sort of a mini-sleepover or something. We finally decided to put their mattresses on the floor next to each other (rather than rearrange the entire room), so that satisfied them.

Naturally, they kept each other awake, which is exactly what I told them would happen, but eventually fell asleep. We'll see what happens tonight.


We watched the new Doctor Strange that night, but it was just ok at first and then went off the rails near the end.


Today it finally rained after a long dry spell. I did breakfast and then went to play racquetball with Hannah, but when Carver went to the table to eat his breakfast, he found Apollo standing over his plate, finishing off his egg. That dog is really pushing it...


We'll see if we can avoid seeing any more doctors for the week, but I can't make any promises...

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