Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The Amazing Human Body

As a mother of boys, I have had my fair share of visits to the doctor, Urgent Care, and ER. Usually stitches or staples are required though the wound isn't life threatening. And while my mind convinces me to suck it up and take care of the needful, my body doesn't always cooperate. I have come to rely on Neil to take care of ER visits for me because inevitably I pass out once my brain has been given the information that my child is no longer in immediate danger and no longer requires my conscious presence.

Today I asked Nick to empty the dishwasher. This is a chore he has been doing fairly often and does a good job. He had pulled the lower rack out with the silverware then turned to do something with some other dishes. He somehow tripped or slipped, but the end result was a cartwheel over the dishrack and landing on the floor screaming in pain. As I turned to see what was going on, the first thing I noticed was a large knife pointing upwards in the silverware holder. Hoping and praying that this was not a major catastrophe, I scooped Nick up and began to inspect him for injuries. I spotted the slice in his shorts, which didn't seem too bad, but recognized the signs of blood. I plopped him face down across the kitchen sink and yanked his pants down. Sure enough, he had sliced a gash about three inches across his left butt cheek. I yelled at Daniel to bring me butterfly bandaids from the first aid kit, which is luckily in the kitchen and he helped me strip them down to the adhesive and watched me apply them. He admits to almost getting sick. Luckily for me, my brain is in the "You can do this" phase of emergency protocol and so I am both disgusted and enthralled by the blood and meaty stuff (I later learn is fat) that is oozing out of the wound.

After applying four butterfly bandaids and a large gauze pad, I swoop Nick into my arms and we dash through the garage and head for the hospital. I actually had the presence of mind to call my doctor to see if we should bring him there ($20 vs. $100 ER co-pay) but am told that they have no more appointments for the day. I get a call from a good friend with whom I had been expecting to enjoy a long chat, but explain the situation and tell her I'll call her later. We get to the ER and of course can't find a decent parking spot. But we didn't have to do any major hiking and there is nobody in line at the triage desk. I am asked what the emergency is and I briefly explain that my son has sliced his butt open and needs stitches. I'm not sure if the nurse was hard of hearing, or just didn't want to accept what she had heard, but she asked if it was his foot. No, it's his BUTT. Meanwhile a few other people have come in behind me and I can tell they are trying not to snicker. I understand, it is kind of funny. The wording of it anyway, not the pain I am sure my howling son is enduring.

As I am sitting and waiting for him to be called back, my friend shows up. What a lifesaver. She was able to do all those things that I had neglected to take care of. She ran out and got a new outfit and underwear for Nick. She became my calming influence when I started getting the shakes as the shock began to wear off. She carried my stuff so I could carry Nick. She kept me sane by talking to me of things other than Nick's butt wound.

Three hours later, Nick has been stuck, restuck, and stapled. He's been a trooper. Oh, there were tears, but also a morbid desire to see what they were doing - not an easy task given the location of the wound and the fact that the neck only turns so far. He's now a bit loopy but hating that I'm keeping an eagle eye on his every move. I tried to make it fun by letting him choose a movie and ordered out pizza. I probably won't sleep well tonight as I will worry about him sleeping well. I am glad that he is on fall break this week so will have the rest of the week to recuperate. What a story he'll have to tell.

Just in case you are wondering, I did refrain from taking pictures until the doctor was ready to fix him up. The body really is an amazing thing.

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