Dream Shard Blog: The Scintillating Adventures of Our Household

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Nov '11

Carissa’s Ouchie

Last weekend we were on a family outing to a store. Carissa was having so much fun circling the apparel racks, waiting for me to peek around each one to find her. She’d shriek and giggle and then run away for more.

One of these times, she tripped and fell head-first onto a display rack, hitting her head on a long metal rod that hangs merchandise. When I pulled her from the floor I saw blood streaming down her face. I went to the front and asked the single clerk for a tissue. The young lady was totally flustered and not only couldn’t find a tissue but also couldn’t direct me to the bathroom when I asked her for that instead. Thankfully the manager was close by and led us back to the restroom where I cleaned up Carissa’s face and hands. The manager brought us a first aid kit and I put a Band-aid on the wound. The bleeding had slowed, but her bandage was fairly bloody and her forehead was still splotched with blood. By the time I finished cleaning her up, Carissa had stopped crying and seemed to have forgotten what happened.

So we went on with our afternoon. Next on the list was grocery shopping. Adults and kids were staring at Carrisa’s face and saying things like, “Wow, ouch!” when we passed by.

After a while John asked me how deep the cut was. I didn’t really know. He mentioned that we may want to see if she needed stitches. This hadn’t occurred to me.

We stopped at an instacare facility and had a nurse examine her owie. She thought Carissa could use stitches, but that she’d need to be sedated and they didn’t do that there.

We went home, fed the kids dinner, got Wes to a neighbor’s house to play, and then headed to the ER.

Carissa was in a good mood at dinner…

…and even in the waiting room of the emergency room.

And then her happiness came to a crashing halt. We went back to meet with the nurses and the doctor right around 7 pm–Carissa’s bedtime.

She screamed while they took her weight, her height, her temperature, her oxygen levels, and her head circumference. And then she screamed more for good measure. After a while the nurses started to stand several feet away as we talked to give Carissa more space.

The doctor gave us some options. He could give Carissa stitches with local numbing, but we’d have to hold her down. He could sedate her with a shot. Or he could sedate her with an IV. We didn’t want to sedate her, so we opted to just get it done.

The nurse put a topical anesthetic on the owie and let it sit a few minutes while they set up for the stitches. When it was time, they swaddled her up so she couldn’t move her arms and they assigned a male nurse to hold her head and another nurse to hold her arms. John and I stood right by her as the doctor worked.

He gave her a shot to further numb the area, and that made her cry louder, but after that she was really pretty good. She was still crying, whimpering, making noise, but she was actually calmer than all the time the nurses were taking her vitals and preparing her for the stitches. She did really well, all considering.

It took only a few minutes for the doctor to give her four stitches. The second he was done he said, “Mom, pick her up” and I did. I gave her a bottle of milk and within a few minutes she was sound asleep in my arms, even before we had left the ER.

She’s been wearing a bandage with Neosporin on it all week long. It looks like the wound is healing well. It hasn’t bothered her at all. Here she is the morning after, just after bathtime and before church.

We go back tomorrow to remove the stitches. And hopefully that’s the end of our experience with stitches and the ER!

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