Monday, April 5, 2010
A Mom's View of Stitches
I've always prided myself on being tough when it comes to blood and guts. I was an interested spectator as a surgeon dug a cyst out of my ring finger. "If you get light-headed, just look away," he'd said. "Nope. I want to see what it looks like," I'd answered, calmly and curiously as he proceeded to stitch up my knuckle.
My husband, on the other hand, can see my leg hanging by a thread after a chainsaw accident (No! This didn't really happen. Just giving an example, here) and carry out life-saving measures, but blood spilling from any part of his body? He's on the ground, passed out cold.
But, back to me. As I mentioned before, I'm usually tough as nails when it comes to blood and injuries. Tough, that is, until it came to my 10-year-old son and his first bike wreck. I heard the crash on our front sidewalk and ran to the door just in time to see him standing on the porch, shock on his face, holding his chin.
I persuaded him to let me look at the injury. His chin was hanging open and the only thing visible was blood and bone. How I didn't pass out right then is a mystery. I rushed him to the doctor, at least I think I did. Fortunately, it was Saturday afternoon, and we arrived just as the office was getting ready to close.
As the doctor led the patient back to the surgical room, I was told several stitches to close a pretty bad wound would be needed — at which time I almost passed out, again, in the empty waiting room. The nurse smiled and said, "Why don't you sit down and wait. It won't be long.''
I imagined all sorts of horrible things and braced myself for screams of pain coming from my son. But, none came. All I heard was a calming voice talking him through the cleaning and sterilization of the injury, and then on to the procedure of putting in the stitches. When all was done, I heard the doctor say, "You're all set to go, John. You've been very brave."
I sighed with relief until he went on to say, "Now, if we can just figure out how to get your mother home."
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