When does it take 6 hours to make 3 stitches?

In the ER of course. I can almost laugh about this now because it happened last week. It was nearly midnight when we heard a loud thump from the kids’ bedroom, followed by screaming. We raced in to find the boy on the floor, sleep dazed eyes wide with fright, blood running freely down his chin, screaming like a banshee. He was struggling to sit up and move so that was reassuring but I ran to get a warm wet washcloth so that we could find the source of the bleeding. I held him and patted at the blood to discover a deep gash in his chin where the soft skin had suffered the clash between his jaw bone and the hardwood floor. Thankfully I am generally quite calm in emergency situations but this was no fun. In the process of cleaning up the blood I got his pajamas rather wet. As we put dry pajamas on him I wondered at the wisdom of doing so, later I would be very glad we had taken the time. Sleepy girl was concerned for her brother and asked, “Is my boy okay?” “Yes, sweetheart, he’s going to be okay but we are going to have to go to the hospital so the doctors can fix his chin.”

It was confirmed that the wound would indeed need stitches as I had guessed. The boy was having none of the idea of putting a needle anywhere near his face however, so the doctors discussed alternative strategies in between running off to stabilize other patients. Because the boy had bumped his head, it was also important for them to watch him for signs of noggin injury. I can’t quite say “brain”, that’s just too scary, even now.

The girl was wired and the boy was a bit on edge but alertly curious to everything going on around him. Patient nurses were able to talk him into an IV which allowed the doctors to administer a conscious sedative rather than a full anesthesia which they did not want to do given the longer recovery time and the bump to the head. The girl eventually fell asleep on her daddy’s lap. After several near starts, the beepers finally stopped long enough for the doctors to put in three stitches. It took all of ten minutes I think. We made it home near 7am, and crashed. We huddled together in the house and took it easy for the rest of the day.

The wound healed well and the boy seemed unconcerned about the blue “hairs” on his chinny-chin-chin. This morning we went into his regular pediatrician’s office to have the stitches removed with the promise of a treat afterwards. I knew this was not likely to be an easy task. That’s probably why I didn’t sleep much last night. As I feared, the closer we got to the actual removal his anxiety level rose to the point of utter refusal to cooperate. But having confidence in this particular NP, I asked to help restrain him rather than plan another trip to the hospital involving sedation. He yelled and fought but she managed to remove the stitches, griping that they had been done so tightly and apologizing to the boy that it took longer than she had promised. He demanded a mirror before he would allow her to put a bandaid on. Strangely satisfied, he calmed down. The girl hugged her brother in relief after it was over. We left the doctor’s office, tears dried, Batman and Dora stickers in hand, and he enthusiastically counted down the floors as the elevator descended to the parking level.

136687819_6dc8292c4cI consoled him with a trip to a favorite store for new sneakers, and an unheard of treat–ring pops, the sort of candy I would never normally get my kids. They enjoyed these thoroughly, sharing with each other, intently discussing the flavors and colors, and imagining themselves as royalty wearing jewels. Half an hour later the candy was gone but I still had the jitters. And why can’t I sleep tonight? I don’t know. I didn’t even eat one of those things!


  1. Amy Wilson’s avatar

    We are just now reading this! What a week! Wes says “she’s a great writer…I can imagine the scene entirely…” We really miss you guys and are especially glad that your precious boy (and girl) are ok.

    1. Cindy’s avatar

      Healing up nicely. He is so funny checking his chin in the mirror!

    2. Nikki LaCrosse’s avatar

      All that adrenaline has to go somewhere! I suggest going for a run but that’s probably not a good idea in the middle of the night. Hope you get some zzzzs.

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