The one where Carter gets stitches.

Now look I’ve gone and given away the ending.  Today is a landmark day (kind of?).  Carter cut his finger on a cheese grater in our dishwasher this morning, which prompted a trip to urgent care.  Confession:  I was not paralyzed by the fact that my sweet baby was bleeding and might need stitches – I was paralyzed (momentarily) trying to decide whether I was a bad mom because I REALLY  wanted to get dressed before I took him to the doctor.  It had been a typical morning, and I just hadn’t gotten dressed yet, so I literally stood there, trying to dab at his finger to stop the bleeding thinking:

“I really want to get dressed. Is that bad that I want to get dressed before I take him to the doctor for this mini-gusher on his finger?  And seriously, what am I going to do with him while I get dressed, he’s BLEEDING everywhere and he’s TOUCHING STUFF!!  I HAVE to get dressed, I mean, I have on cropped yoga pants and hi, it’s COLD out, surely no one would begrudge me putting on some jeans before I head out into the 21 degree weather.  But aren’t I supposed to just grab him and dash to the car – throwing all thoughts of myself to the wind in an effort to get him medical care as quickly as possible?  But seriously, I really want to get dressed.  EW, when I pick him up he’s going to get blood on my sweatshirt.  Wow, he’s still REALLY bleeding.  How in the WORLD are they going to hold him still enough to look at his finger.  Oooh, do you think he’ll get stitches? How will they do that?”

{yes, REALLY, I thought all that and probably more in about 3 minutes.  welcome to my inner world.}

So, I got dressed.  Hate me if you want to.  I decided, “screw it, he can just get blood on my sweatshirt, it won’t kill me or the shirt. I picked him up and took him to our bathroom, where he promptly said “Hair brush!” and after being given a hair brush, brushed his hair (very calmly) while I got dressed.  Surreal?  Yes.

So, his finger was STILL bleeding, so we headed off to the urgent care – Carter just sat in his car seat totally chill – finger bleeding the entire way – his entire hand pretty much covered in blood.

Got to urgent care – we went to St. David’s urgent care on Slaughter here in Circle C, fyi.  My mom met us there because she had been coming to our house for a visit.  Carter is completely fine, is even saying “Doc-tor, “doc-tor.”  He was fine until he wanted me and my mom (who he calls Honey) was holding him and I was filling out paperwork.  Aaaaand, it all went downhill from there.

Carter, who had been sitting in his car seat chilling out while his finger bled, MELTED DOWN when the nurse tried to take his temperature…with one of those fancy, awesome, forehead thermometers.  OH the pain and AGONY!!!  A brief check of his hand before the doctor arrived and Carter had had enough – saying “All done! All done!”  THIS cracks me up because that is what he says when he’s done eating – but I’ve seldom heard it applied by him to other areas of his life.  But there it was “All done!!  All done!!”  in the doctor’s office.  I immediately felt mom guilt for being tickled with his attempt at ending our adventure by saying “all done!”  Nice try kiddo.

The doctor evaluated him and determined that because he’s a rough and tumble 19 month old, it was our best option to give him a couple tiny stitches to ensure that his “laceration” stayed closed.  Laceration sounds SO much worse than “cut” by the way.  But whatevs.

So, FYI, apparently the answer to “how are they going to hold him still enough to give him stitches” is SWADDLE.  Hello Mr. Swaddle, it has been a while good friend!  How are you doing?  Yep, they got a sheet, and basically swaddled him, leaving the hand that needed to be treated free.  AND THEN, I got to basically hold the swaddle tight and sing songs to him while they gave him a shot to numb the fingertip, waited for the shot to work, and then sewed his finger up.  The shot was the worst (duh) and he actually stopped yelling for me and briefly appealed to a higher source, “Daaaaaadddyyyyy!!!”  whoops, he wasn’t there.  “Hooooooneeeeeey!”  At that point, my mom ducked out of the room because she felt bad that she couldn’t do anything.

FYI – at one point during the stitches, the nurse practitioner told me that he was mainly struggling against me and the other nurse holding him, and that they weren’t really having to do much to hold his arm still.  For whatever that’s worth.  The other interesting thing – I tried singing songs with Carter and trying to sooth him – twinkle twinkle little star, “love you sweetness” – what finally worked was asking him “what does a cow say?” “what does the rooster say?”  “What does mommy say”  (for the record, according to Carter, mommy says “Love you”…the doctor expressed surprise..apparently they expected him to say that mommy says no no.)

After all was done – I walked three doors down, picked up Chas’ drycleaning and dropped off my coat that had spots of Carter’s blood all over it. (all in a day’s work, what can I say)

So, that’s it – Carter got stitches and we both lived through it.

Lessons learned:

-within reason, just get dressed you crazy person.

-blood can be cleaned off most everything

-if you don’t freak out, he won’t freak out (until they take his temperature, then all bets are off)

-swaddling continues to be a useful tool!!

-you CAN put stitches in a finger that small

-the St. David’s Urgent Care on Slaughter is top notch.

A picture of Carter post – stitches (and post change of clothes – sparing you the gory details)

definitely post adrenalin rush

One other funny note:  he’s holding a “Y” in his hand – it’s the kind that they play with in the bath – he was walking around all morning holding up the “Y” and saying “Y”, but it sounded like “Whyyyyyyy” – so it sounded like he was having an existential crisis.  These are the things that amuse me friends.

 

 

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2 Responses to The one where Carter gets stitches.

  1. Janice says:

    Stupid cheese graters. Ben and Ella LOVE to play with them too. Knew they were dangerous. Glad Carter is OK!

  2. Derek says:

    Sorry you and Carter had to go through that. Sounds like the whole experience was perhaps more existential than when you were little and had a scrape. I remember once having to hold a child who needed stitches on the face after a glass shattered and a piece cut her cheek. I felt like the bad father because the nurse made me hold her instead of any medical personnel.

    I bet he’s even forgotten all this already. Nice dressing he has on his finger.

    Very well written story, dear.

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