When Lee was a child Granny had to take him to the ER so many times, I’m surprised they haven’t yet named a wing after him. He’s broken bones, had concussions, gotten hit by a car, been in a car accident, and gotten stitches so many times he’s practically the bionic man now.
This hanging out the ER syndrome is something Lee passed on to his boys. Especially Caleb. Caleb’s had stitches in his head three times. And on his face twice. He’s also broken his arm. And he’s only 8. He hasn’t even really started playing sports yet. I shiver just thinking about what lies ahead for us.
Last Tuesday Spencer had a friend over to play video games. I have really thought about giving our xbox away to charity because the boys fight over it so much. “Mom Spencer won’t let me play Red Dead Redemption.” “Caleb you’re supposed to go to the left.” “Why did you just kill me.” It’s enough to make my head explode right off my body.
Caleb swears he wasn’t mad [but I don't really believe that...I think they were AGAIN fighting over the video game] when he threw a pair of Spencer’s shorts. He says he was just trying to throw them in to the laundry room [which really is just a throw away from their bedroom]. But the shorts hit Spencer friend.
The friend reacted by throwing the shorts back at Caleb who had turned around and was walking away. The shorts [along with the belt attached] hit Caleb in the back of the head, cutting it open. I was upstairs straightening my hair for my upcoming meeting and I heard them yelling at each other but tried to drown them out. I could hear the friend telling Caleb, “Go tell your mom.” I figured he was just making fun of him for being a tattle tale or something.
But when Caleb reached the bathroom and told me his head hurt, I sighed and told him we’d get him some ice. That’s when I noticed the blood dripping down his neck. I yelled, “OH MY GOD! WHAT HAPPENED?” and then remembered I needed to stay calm or else I’d freak him out.
Caleb was whimpering “Do I have to get stitches? I don’t want to get stitches.” I started to clean up the cut. At first it didn’t look too bad. I said, “No I don’t think it’s bad enough for stitches.”
But after I got all the blood cleaned up I realized he had a pretty deep gash in his head. And YES it likely did require stitches.
It was after-hours for the doctor’s office so we headed over to the closest walk-in clinic. The place was empty so we got right in. The nurse took a look at it. Cleaned it up some more. And then told us the doctor would be in to either put in stitches or staples.
Caleb’s eyes got really, really big. STAPLES! He was horrified.
When the doctor came in Caleb meekly asked, “Are you stapling my head?”
The doctor assured him he was just going to use stitches. But as he was answering the question he turned sideways and Caleb could see the big needle with Novocaine in it. He gasped. The doctor turned to try to hide the needle. But the damage was already done.
We assured Caleb that it would just pinch for a minute and then it would be all numb. All he’d feel after that would be maybe a little tugging. The doctor put in the needle and Skyler & I held Caleb’s hand. That kid sure has a tight grip.
A few minutes later the doctor poked Caleb in the head a few dozen times with the needle. Caleb didn’t even flinch. So the Novocaine was working.
Caleb ended up with three stitches in the back of his head. He was so proud of himself. He doesn’t remember any of the other times he’s had stitches. So he went home and bragged about how brave he was. Now he has a war story to share with all his friends.
Today we went back to the walk-in clinic to get the stitches out. The place was packed today. And it smelled like sickness. You know me and my OCD. I was freaking out. I had to go outside for a little bit to get some fresh air. After about 30 minutes in the waiting room they finally called Caleb’s name. With relief I signed “THANK GOD.”
Caleb’s hair is dark. And the stitches are dark. So the nurse tried to cut them out without also giving Caleb a haircut. She struggled a little bit with the first one. But eventually got it out without Caleb even realizing it. She went to through it away, but Caleb was trying to see it. So she set it next to him. I’m pretty sure he would have taken those stitches home for show-and-tell if she would have let him.
The next two stitch removals were a little bit painful. I could see him tense up a little so I grabbed his hand. He told the nurse, “That one hurt a little bit.”
But the last one came out easy too. So he’s all stitched up. And all better. He’s such a brave kid.
I hope this is the last emergency visit. But somehow I doubt that.