Battle scar

We have a crazy week this week. Monday night, I had a meeting for the Co-op committee I am a part of. Tuesday, Zak had a committee meeting. Tonight, he has a Board meeting and I have my prenatal fitness class. Thursday, Zak has to bike to go get our veggies from our CSA and he’ll probably have to do some extra shopping to prepare for the trip he and our son are leaving on Monday morning. Oh, and Saturday, there is a work party at the Co-op.

So since we thought we would have lots of spare time during those evenings, guess what ended up on the agenda last night as an added bonus? If you guessed “Having to go to the clinic to get a toddler his first-ever stitch”, you guessed right!

Yeah, yesterday just before supper, our son was playing hockey in the courtyard with his best buddy, like he has done countless times before. They both have small plastic hockey sticks, but his friend’s hockey is missing the top on the handle. Did you know the plastic edges on those handles can be rather sharp? Me neither… But I found out when they were in a scuffle for the ball and suddenly, my son went “Haaaa!” and ran to me in tears. He was bleeding quite a bit from his upper lip, and after wiping out the blood, we could see that it was quite a wide gash. Not a bad cut: it was clean, not too deep and not too long. But it was on the face, and the edges of the cut were several millimeters apart. So we thought a suture may or may not be necessary in order to minimize scarring.

I left for the walk-in clinic, to be told that there was a 2-hour wait. I left my name, went back home (fortunately it’s only a few blocks away), rushed to help Zak finish supper. Zak dug in the first-aid kit and found one of those strips of bandage made to close wounds. He put it on our boy’s upper lip so that the wound wouldn’t start healing open. We had to eat really quickly, then rush back to the clinic, where I had to remove the bandage. Zak couldn’t come with us because of his meeting. And let me tell you one thing: I hate wounds. Zak is so much better at the whole first-aid thing! Of course, he has experience, having received his fair share of stitches, not to mention the fishing hook that had to be removed from his thumb a while back. I’m afraid the apple never falls far from the tree!

So anyway, I was unfortunately alone (and quite shaken) with our boy at the clinic. The doctor was wonderful, but our son totally refused to talk to him. Normally, he’s pretty good with stranger. Sometimes he needs my encouragement to answer the first question, but then normally he stops being shy. Not last night. He would not say a word, so the doctor became convinced that he spoke only French (since he would respond to me) and I kept having to reassure him that no, don’t worry, he’s not going to miss anything you say! I mean, he was asking things in English, like “What is he gonna do?”. But he was talking only to me…

The doctor put a numbing cream on the wound, which was fine, and then when he came back he asked me to lie the boy on the bed. That’s when he started bawling – quite unexpectedly. I asked if he was scared, and he answered “I’m just tired!”. I guess it was about bedtime by then, but he was probably scared, too, now that he couldn’t sit on my lap anymore. Still, he was really good: he didn’t move while the doctor put the needle in his lip – twice – which, believe me, did not look like fun. He cried, but he calmed down afterward when I was able to give him a big hug. Then he let the doctor do the stitch, only starting to move at the end when the doctor was trying to tie the knot.

The doctor said he was really impressed with how well our son behaved, and he did say something about “Mommy did good, too”, which I have to say I think is true. I believe I managed to hid my disgust pretty well, and I looked at my son for most of it (he didn’t have a cloth on his face or anything so he could see the needle and everything that was happening. So could I, of course, but I’m an adult so I’m supposed to be able to take it. And I didn’t want to see all that. He’s not even 3. I was impressed). I did turn around for part of the actual stitching, because I think it was better than my son didn’t see the expression on my face. But the whole time I was sitting by him, singing a song or telling him how good he was doing. Then it was over and we were relieved!

The doctor recommended giving him something cold to eat to help with the swelling, so we went to the drugstore next door and found some ice cream (chocolate, of course). We were so happy with how good our boy dealt with the whole thing that I would have given him anything he wanted, quite frankly! Then I gave him Tylenol and he went to bed. An hour late. And he woke up early. I suspect he’ll be really tired today! But all in all, my first “emergency” visit with him was much better than it could have. We avoided going to the actual emergency, which would have taken hours I suspect, and he doesn’t seem to have any pain from the wound.

Only downside is, the stitch has to come out “in a week” and the boys are leaving Monday morning for a tiny island with not much in terms of medical facilities. The doctor said Monday morning should be fine as kids heal really fast, so I made an appointment. I’ll have to go with him while Zak picks up the rental car and packs up for the trip, then he’ll meet us and take me to work before leaving. Hopefully everything has healed nicely by then! We will take some photos today and try to post them – if we have time. I was supposed to do laundry and dishes last night. Let’s just say I had other priorities.

Now we’ll see if our boy will end up with a battle scar or not!

4 Responses to “Battle scar”

  1. Brooke Says:

    I’m surprised they said a week. They told us 4-5 days to get the stitches out, so I bet they could take it out on Friday because I can promise you that Kellen’s gash was B-A-D! Glad my post was able to prepare you! Stitches are hard on mommies!


  2. sophie Says:

    Interesting! I wonder if you saw doctors that were more used to dealing with children. Mine was a GP and he did great, but maybe he doesn’t see that many children and doesn’t know quite how fast they do heal!


  3. Anne Says:

    Emmanuel had his first, and only, stiches when he was about 2 1/2 years old. We had to wait 8 hours in emergency because it was a holiday. They had to tie him up because he wouldn’t even let the doctor look at the wound, much less stich it. And the doctor did tell me I could leave the room while he would do the stiches, which I think would have been quite childish. So I stayed, hurting too. It’s not a good souvenir though.


  4. sophie Says:

    What a story… I am just so happy that my son was calm and let the doctor do the stitch. I think I only had to put his head back straight once, and I caught his hand once or twice as he was trying to reach for his face. Apart from that, he lied there quietly. I really feel for you!