Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Five Stitches

Tuesday evenings are pretty busy for our family. I volunteer with my church's RCIA ministry, Son #1 has his Boy Scout troop meeting (also at our church), and Dear Hubby sometimes has his Cub Scout committee meetings at church. Dear Hubby's committee didn't meet this week so we rode together and he took all three boys to Son #1's Boy Scout meeting.

Somehow walking to the meeting place, some scout accidentally bumped into Son #3, who fell on the concrete. He got up complaining that his knee hurt. Okay, so why is blood spewing from his chin? Dear Hubby takes him into the bathroom, gets a wet paper towel, cleans the boo boo and tries to assess the damage. Son #3 wanted nothing of it.

Dear Hubby brings Son #3, now holding a wad of wet paper towels uner his chin, to my meeting to get my opinion. Hard to tell how bad the cut is because of the initial swelling, but we come up with a plan.

The Boy Scout meeting was an important one - they were planning which merit badge classes to take at Summer Camp in June. As for my meeting, they could manage without me. I called Father-in-Law to see if he could pick Dear Hubby, and Sons #1&2 up when their meeting ends. He can.

I take the van and drive Son #3 to the emergency room. We check in with admitting, Son #3 balked at the hospital bracelet (I later snuck it on him when he wasn't paying attention), we met with the triage nurse who promised he wouldn't touch the boo boo. He was just going to take a look. "Oh yeah," he said. I knew what that meant, and we were escorted to Room 8.

We waited a little while, checking out the smiley/frowny pain indicator poster (Son #3 said he was at 6 earlier, but he's at 4 now). Dr. Luis comes in, assesses Son #3, and informs me of our options. The traditional, fast-acting shot to numb the area, or this blue gel applied topically that works well on deeper wounds like Son #3's. It takes about 45 minutes to completely numb it.

I had 3 stitches in my knee when I was about 8 and I still remember that first needle. YIKES! Blue gel it is. Dr. Luis soaks a cotton ball and tapes it to Son#3's chin. It burned initially but not for long. We settled into our 45 minute wait. The clock in Room 8 was broken. I sat on the bed leaning against the wall, Son #3 laid in the bed with his legs across my lap. I check out the knee that hurt so badly at first - a teeny brush burn about the size of a pencil eraser.

It was around 10 pm when Dr. Luis returned. He took this little needle and poked Son #3 in the boo boo. "Feel that?" "No." "Feel that?" "No." I was checking out that smiley poster again.
Dr. Luis showed Son #3 the special scissors used only to cut thread, and the thread itself. You couldn't even see the tiny curved needle attached if you weren't looking for it. Dr. Luis gets to work - again I'm memorizing the smiley poster. For a while, it seemed like Son #3 was dozing off, propped up on the squashy pillow he liked, eyes closed, obviously feeling no pain... I held his hand the entire time, peeking only occasionally. Son #3 didn't flinch at all. I did once or twice.

Son #3 was so brave and so good. He's generally pretty stubborn so I was surprised at how cooperative it was. Medicine sure has advanced since I was 8.

He's the first of my kids to require stitches (he needed 5). He's also the first to have any type of surgery (adenoidectomy). Son #1 holds the record for first limb broken (an arm). Ah, life with boys....


Anonymous said...

I only have girls, but I grew up with a brother and I remember how much we were in the ER!!! Boys!

Tracey said...

ACK!!! I had stitches in my chin as a child and MAN did that needle hurt. I'm liking the gel idea. Glad it wasn't more serious...

Jenmomof4 said...

I am glad he was such a tough little boy!! That could have been a long night for you!! Hope he heels well with a little scar.

Elle*Bee said...

Flip Flop Mamma, between Son #3's birth, Son #1's seizures, and Dear Hubby's heart procedures, they know us pretty well at the hospital.

Tracey, the gel was amazing. I was skeptical but it really worked. I held Son #3's hand the whole time the doc was working on him, and he didn't flinch once. Definitely worth the 45 minute wait.

jen, fortunately our area is more suburban/rural than urban so our emergency room isn't typically very busy. He'll have a chin scar to match his dad's.

Chicky Pea said...

I got stitches on my chin when I was 6 or 7. I can remember it like it was yesterday. I still remember them putting the sheet over my face with the hole cut out for the chin. I'm glad your son is doing fine. ((HUG))

Elle*Bee said...

chicky, in this case, they just put the sheet under his chin and went to work. I was very happy to have gotten the blood out of his favorite fleece pull over.

Jules said...

this injury seems to be very common of late. Samantha
had that happen last month and a bunch of kids in her preschool did it too!

Is this generation more clutzy?


Nadine said...

Boy those boys are tough.

Hey I love to give you some tips on scrapbooking. Getting it organized is the first step. Magazines with ideas of page setup also help get the creative juices. Hey maybe you can come over :) I'll show you in person.

Sue said...

Ouch! Glad the gel worked and he didn't seem to mind getting the stitches. Do you have to go back to get them out, or are they they dissovable kind?

Anonymous said...

Well it sounds like he took it like a champ! Bless his heart! I've had stiches a few times..and I still hate it!

Elle*Bee said...

Jules, how long did Samantha have to keep her stitches? Our hosp. discharge instructions contradict one another. One sheet (and ER doc) says 7-10 days. Another sheet says no longer than 5 days. Pediatrician says 3-5 days. (I'm not an expert but 3 seems kind of short to me....).

nadine, I have a couple of books and magazines with sample page layouts pictured, but I just can't bring myself to do it. Maybe I'm a commitment-phobe!

sue, he has to have them removed - just not sure when (see my comment above to Jules). I hope to get clarification this evening from a family friend who is also a pediatrician. I wish they were the dissolving kind, though.