5 For Friday: Grace’s Most Memorable Emergencies and Injuries

photo credit: #274/366 via photopin (license)
photo credit: #274/366 via photopin (license)

Grace sat up, wired and rapping, on the noisy urgent-care bed.

The steroids administered as treatment for an asthma attack now in full effect, she belted out Big Sean’s moment in Justin Bieber’s “As Long as you Love Me.”

“Idon’tknowifthismakessense,” she rambled out at 11:30 p.m. on a school night, “butyou’remyhalleLUjuh!”

She completed Big Sean’s bit in 3.62 seconds. All seven times she did it.

Memorable urgent-care visit? I’d say so. But it didn’t make the top five list of memorable emergencies and injuries she and I compiled and scrawled on a gauze pad as we waited for the doctor.

The kid with the sometimes ironic name has had her share of stories, from this asthma-induced visit to a hyperextended elbow suffered when she tried to slip into a cardboard box by climbing up the side of a couch. (That didn’t make the top 5 list, either).

Here’s hoping there isn’t enough for a volume II – and the top 5, listed in increasing intensity and severity:

1. Lump on her forehead from playing “Man on the Ground”


Metal poles are game-changers for second-graders – especially with her eyes shut tight.

Familiar with “Man on the Ground”? It’s like Marco Polo, only without the soft surroundings of a swimming pool. Instead, the “it” player darts around a playground, eyes closed, picking up audible cues from opponents to tag someone else. It’s no sport for those fearful of manholes, cactus or cliffs normally reserved for Wile E. Coyote.

With what I can only imagine was the sound of a gong, Grace instead found a metal pole, and stumbled away with a sizable egg on her forehead, wobbly knees and a great story to tell – if she can remember it.

2. Dislocated finger

Three of Grace’s fingers pointed north. The other? More north northwest.

Grace walked slowly to the sideline with her hand flat in front of her like a frying pan during a tournament soccer match. I saw her middle finger pointing thataway when the rest were going thisaway. “Oh honey,” the match nurse said, “let me see that,” at which time she yanked the protruding digit back in line with the rest.

A little ice and tape later, Grace was ready for action again, declaring to players on her team and the opponent when she got close enough, “I dislocated my finger!” Like it was her first holy communion or something.

3. Shoulder injury

A chippy match met a sudden injury delay when a dirty tackle sent Grace sprawling.

A nasty slide tackle took Grace’s feet out from under her. She slid several feet on her right shoulder, which pushed unnaturally forward as she limped off the field in tears. A medic on hand secured and iced her shoulder against everything from a dislocation to a fractured collarbone to an upper arm break as the boy who tackled her tearfully apologized.

As play resumed and parents advised me which emergency room to take her to, Grace asked if she could take the ice out of the sling and go back in.

4. Ants take a bite out of Grace

photo credit: Two Queens Dead via photopin (license)
photo credit: Two Queens Dead via photopin (license)

Turns out, the kid’s allergic to ant bites.

An innocent frolic in an ant hill turned a buggy mess for Grace when she was a toddler. They bit, they chomped, they latched on. One bit so fiercely to her rumpus that its body clenched up in defiance when we tried to pry it off. Grace’s face swelled, giving her cro magnon eyebrows and red blotches.

The allergy stopped at distorting her face, leaving us with a homo erectus baby bouncing around in the emergency and seemingly enjoying the trip.

5. A dog, a bite, an ambulance ride and stich in the face

Grace, my sweet little chew toy.

She offered to help a mom with two kids and two dogs. She asked to pet the border collie, who then lunged at her and bit her in the face. The bite opened a small but deep gash in Grace’s lower lip. Responding medics wanted to get her quickly to a hospital for a stitch, in case she needed additional surgery for a facial injury.

Grace cried when she was bit, but kicked back in the ambulance and chilled out in yet another emergency room visit. Even when the doctor stitched up her face, Grace didn’t shed another tear.

Until she told her she couldn’t play soccer for a week and would miss a game.

Not even Beebs could have softened that one.


  1. You know, I’m writing something now about how my child has never been to an ER. Your grace is aptly named. She never flinches, even in the most uncomfortable circumstances. What a blessing.

    1. Can’t wait to see that. And it’s funny, the post was intended to be a goofy look at her ‘luck,’ but after seeing how it’s been received, I admire even more the pluck of this skinny little kid. Thanks for helping me to see that again.

  2. Ilene says:

    In every single one of these examples, it’s Grace’s spiritedness that shines through. The happy romp around the ER with the ant bite, wanting to get back into the game with the injured shoulder, the declaration of the dislocated finger, being more upset about missing a soccer game than getting her lip stitched up from a dog bite – she’s unstoppable, and I just love this about her.

    1. Like I said to Renee, thank you for helping me to see this again. She *is* unstoppable, and I learn so much from her.

  3. Ah…memories…like “My mommy told me not to put beads in my ears”….(I know it’s supposed to be beans but Big Guy changed the words for us)…

  4. Ha! Allergic to ants? Wow. Those little athletes manage to find a way to come home with a bump or a bruise everytime! 3/5 of mine are the same way. I spend at least 10 minutes of a game shaking my head wondering if we are going to have to send some paperwork into Aflac…

    1. It’s almost as the game doesn’t really count unless they have a wound to prove it – preferably on the other kid. Aflac should make an app for soccer parents to submit a claim from the field, the ambulance or emergency room waiting area.

  5. Rosey says:

    My husband has never outgrown such instances, and yet he still continues to play ball (and he’s very good at it…when he’s not getting hurt). 🙂

    1. Here’s hoping Grace never ever outgrows them, either.

  6. Oh man. At least they were all minor-ish injuries – which is also the case in my house. I think the worst was when my oldest bounced himself right off of one of those bouncing balls with the handle that the kids are supposed to bounce on. He landed right on his tailbone and we thought he broke it. I’ve since banned those things.

    1. There definitely could have been worse things to report. I’m glad I could tag this one for ‘humor’ if I wanted to, and not ‘coping.’

      Roughly 86 percent of all toys our kids own can send them to the hospital if they really try their hardest.

  7. Chris Carter says:

    I tell ya…I wanna be JUST like Grace when I grow up. Can I have her autograph please?? I want it now for future fame. Does she get this unstoppable courage and stubborn passionate will from her daddy? I bet so!! 🙂

    1. I want to be like her, too. She’s kind of my hero, and she’s just learning cursive, so an autograph would really look cool soon. Her mama’s also quite courageous.

  8. Your Grace sounds like my Nico. Nothing is as upsetting as missing a game. He once went from a sound sleep with a fever to playing one of his best basketball games to date. When I casually mentioned that maybe he was too sick to play, he looked at me like I had 10 heads and said, “I can’t let my team down.” Grace’s tenacity is going to serve her well in life. She sounds like someone I’d love my kids to be friends with. 🙂

  9. Tough kid, that Grace! We’ve been to the ER twice for my oldest son. One staple in the back of the head after rolling off an exercise ball onto the cast iron radiator and 7 stitches after putting his arm through a plate glass window. I almost passed out with the amount of blood for the second one. G didn’t shed a tear in the ER. Go figure.

    1. She’s bragging about the ER visits during warmups the other day.

      Isn’t it cool though how tough they were when things happen, though? Not me, as a kid. I fell off my bike once and screamed like I’d broken both arms, both legs and bit my tongue. It was all so that my mom would hear me. My neighbors ran into the street because they were sure I was going to die.

      I’m sure mom was proud that day.

  10. What a trooper! And love the last part of it about crying only about the soccer game!

  11. Mel says:

    You guys are BUSY! My favorite (can I have one? Is that not PC? I’m NOT laughing AT her, I promise.) Okay. My favorite one you wrote about was the ant bites. The allergy stopped at distorting her face, leaving us with a homo erectus baby bouncing around in the emergency and seemingly enjoying the trip.”

    Oh my word. Poor kid. She’s a tough cookie!! Sooooo, how does she like the bubble you’ve put her in now? Spacious?

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Always an adventure, Mel. And we have our own favorites.

      In fact, Grace talks about these injuries with a lot of pride. “Remember when I dislocated my fingers?” she says with a smile.

      The ant one was good – she had the swollen eyebrows, but was bouncing around like a toddler. People probably thought she was the missing link.

      Honestly, there’s no bubble. Despite all that has happened, and all that didn’t even make the list, I wouldn’t dream of constraining this kid.

      The sky’s the limit with her. I’m honored to be along for the ride.

  12. Okay. Let’s start with the fact that I suck. I blame summer! So what does that say about the next 2 1/4 months?!!? (Summer is ridiculously short around here!)

    I’m so sorry to hear about your sweet girl’s many maladies. The first and only time I’ve ever ridden in an ambulance in my life was my daughter’s first and only time, too. For a breathing issue. Kids!!

    Thanks for playing KetchupWithUs, Eli. Which is, ironically, what I’ll be doing all day today! Come back and see us again on the 1st which is (hanging head in shame) today! 🙂

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      I don’t see any indication of suckiness in your part, Michele. Not even a little.

      We’ve gotten to the point the ambulance drivers ask Grace “what would be the quickest way to the ER?” They have an Esquire and Sports Illustrated ready for me in the waiting room.

      Always happy to play Ketchup with y’all. I’m ready.

      1. Esquire. (snicker) You are TOO funny. Too funny for your own good, Eli.

      2. Eli Pacheco says:

        I feel dirty reading Maxim.

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