Saturday, July 05, 2008

Head Trauma

Tuesday night before we left for vacation, I heard a scream from the boys room. Not any cry. It was That Cry. The one that means serious bodily damage has just been done. Nathan had cut his head open. A jagged and deep canyon of skin had emerged on Nate's forehead and dipped into his right brow.

A few phone calls later (set an appoint with the on-call doc and arranging babysitting for the other 4 kids since Wendell was at work), Nathan and I were off to the doctor's office.

"How did you get hurt?" I asked him. He was supposed to be putting new sheets on his bed with Anson help and I was feeling guilty that I hadn't helped him myself.

"I was jumping from Anson's bed to mine," he admitted with all the innocence of a 5-year-old.

He missed the end of his bed and instead hit his "bedside table," a plastic drawer system to contain his toys and treasures. The force of his contact popped the drawers apart and the exposed connector "reached up and cut" him.

It took six stitches to pull the skin of his forehead together. As the doctor gave me final care instructions he said, "His stitches need to come out in 5 days, so make an appointment with your regular doctor."

"Um," I said. "I have a problem. We leave for San Diego on Saturday. Can his stitches come out Saturday morning before we leave?"

No. Well probably not. Perhaps that's the best option given the length of the trip. It would be better if they stayed in 5 days...

Nathan and I were sent home with this puzzling question overhanging our trip preparations.


Sunday night, after an excruciatingly long drive, we've arrived in San Diego. After we settle in, a bit, to our hotel room we begin preparations for a small medical procedure. We clear a section of table and pulled out alcohol soaked wipes, a sterile kit with special scissors and tweezers, and steri strips.

Wendell does the tweezing and I do the cutting. We try to remember all of the doctors orders and cautions: cut the stitch not the knot, leaving the stitch in will lead to infection, pull up and toward his forehead for the best view of the stitch, when all the stitches are out rub with alcohol wipes to remove skin oil, apply the steri strip horizontally so that it sticks better. If the strip got in his eyebrow it won't stick, no swimming, the incision can pop back open if it's hit...

My head was spinning and my hands were shaking. Nevertheless every one of the stitches were removed. Now we just needed to be careful for the rest if the trip and we'd be OK.


Nancy said...

Kids will keep you jumping for sure. We had a ward picnic last week and a 3 year old girl tripped and hit a metal picnic table. It tagged her right between the eyes. Boy do head wounds bleed. The next day she looked just fine, with 7 stiches.

Jennifer @ Fruit of My Hands said...


I don't know if I could remove stitches from my own child, but I've removed them from my dogs many many times.

queenieweenie said...

Just another thing to add to the list of never-ending "mom"jobs!

D-dawg said...

This post gave me chills because of my post traumatic stress syndrome over Macey cutting her head open last fall. I hate head injuries.

I am impressed you got the stitches out yourself! I could never do that!