At around 3:45pm today, BOY and GIRL were playing around with the carpenter's measuring tape. They have been having fun the last couple of days measuring the heights of chairs, couch and the distance to the ceiling. Today they were playing with it, there was a snap, and the metal tape sliced into BOY's finger like a knife. He wasn't crying much when he came to me, just said he had cut his finger and there was BLOOD. I took a look and almost passed out. Where his pinkie finger meets his hand, on that crease of his finger, it was sliced open. Deep. Probably 1/4". There was some blood, but the scary part was the depth of the wound. We put a cold washcloth on it and I immediately knew he would need a stitch or two.
I gathered BOY and GIRL, called E who was at work, and left for the urgent care as fast as I could. We were there about 20 minutes when E walked in and the four of us waited a really long time before seeing a nurse. E went out to get us dinner as by this time it was getting close to 6pm. After a brief taking of vital signs, we were sent back into the waiting room. To wait. Again. A long time. We were called again, and this time a nurse poured a bottle of sterile water in a basin and had BOY soak his hand in it. And we waited. And waited. BOY and GIRL were amazing. E entertained them by pretending to be the doctor and Captain Underpants. By the time the doctor came in the exam room we had been at Urgent Care about 2 1/2 hours.
The doctor determined right away that BOY would need a couple of stitches. And because of the awkwardness of the wound, it would not be an easy thing to do. They had to put him in what they call a "papoose" which kept him immobile except for his one arm. We explained to BOY what was going to happen, but nothing prepares you for the earth shattering shrieks of your own child in pain. It started with the beta dine swaps and continued through the lidocaine injections and crescendoed with the stitches going through his skin. And getting him to stay still while the doctor was injecting him with pain medicine and then putting a needle through his skin and pulling thread through where it appeared the lidocaine had not worked...well, it was torture. Poor GIRL was with us in the room, but by that time neither E nor I wanted to leave the room and have BOY think we were abandoning him. Not only was he shrieking, but he was shrieking for them to stop hurting him, that he wanted to go home now and shrieking for us. Calling out, I want my Mom and I want my Dad...and we were right there. He broke blood vessels all over his face. Poor little guy had to pee in the middle of it all, and we told him to just pee in his pants. He was almost as upset by that as by the pain he had to endure.
He ended up with 3 stitches and as soon as his sweat and pee soaked body was out of the papoose and in his daddy's arms, everything was better. He was incredibly brave. I will never forget looking over at GIRL and seeing the expression and tears on her face. Bad, bad call on bringing her with us. It was only last August when she was in the ER having her head stitched up. She looked how I felt. We left the clinic with two children wearing red, tear blotched faces. All of us wounded. One little boy the bravest of all. There is nothing that makes you feel more helpless as a parent than not being able to protect your children. And today was a day that dictated my helplessness. And those screams, still echoing in my head and heart, will take a long time to go away. A long time...