Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Sticks, stones and stitches

That's Ben in his element. No shoes. Sticks and rocks all around. Near water. He's all boy. He moves constantly, like until the moment he crashes into his bed at night. We take the naps when they come these days.

So, yes, I'm surprised we made it three years and almost nine months before needing to take our boy to the emergency room for an injury. Yes, made it. Passed tense.

Ben has five stitches in his shin. And, honestly, they haven't slowed him down.

Ben had been throwing rocks and hitting trees with sticks earlier in the afternoon when we were out at the lake this past weekend with friends. Yet he was injured up close to the house when he slipped off a landscaping rock he had been standing on. It was flat and smooth on the top and jagged around the sides. One of the jagged portions sliced his shin open.

The four adults hadn't seen it, but I knew immediately upon hearing his cry that he was hurt. And then I heard Greg say, "Oh, son, you're bleeding." So Greg and Jaclyn, who earns major friend points, started cleaning him up in the bathroom sink while I gathered supplies. I came up with gauze, Neosporin, and peroxide.

He screamed as they cleaned him up. I got nauseated just looking at it, but managed to take a picture. I texted it to a nurse friend and my mom. Jaclyn's husband, Bryan, and I wondered aloud if we should take Ben to the ER, but I was convinced because the gash had stopped bleeding he was fine. And once they stopped with the peroxide, soap and water, he stopped screaming.

So, continuing to earn major Daddy points, Greg wrapped it in gauze and we turned on "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory" for our combined five kids in five years. Seemed safe. And calming. And then they all went to bed.

Ben slept all night. We changed the bandage in the morning and headed to church a few hours later. We did have in our minds we would have one of the medical professionals at church look at his sliced open leg.

But, y'all, I have to tell you. By this point, I was convinced he was missing a big chuck of skin and wasn't sure what they could possibly sew up anyway. In our small congregation there are two ladies with nursing backgrounds, a gynecologist, and an emergency room doctor. While one stands out as being the best for our given scenario, I would have showed any of them. {I did ask the gynecologist about a spot on Ben's arm once, wondering if it was ring worn.}

After the service, when the ER doc took a look he immediately said, "This needs stitches."

Nineteen hours after the injury, I learned my boy needed stitches. Yes, there was some momma guilt that I should have trusted my instinct, but, you know, I could really stare at the wound.

So we did what any good parents would do and we feed our kids lunch and then took Ben to the emergency room. But, really, who wants to take a hungry kid to the ER when you know it's going to hurt?! Yeah, that's what I thought.

So about 20 hours after the injury, Ben lounged in the bed with a remote control on his chest like any official man and acted like we'd come to watch Disney Junior. He was thrilled "Jake and the Neverland Pirates" came on and seemed happy to be introduced to the "Octonauts." He happily picked out a blue teddy bear from the bin offered to kids at the registration desk and stickers from the nurses.

Two hours later, his leg was ... closed up.

{I have pictures of both the gash and the stitched up leg, if you're really interested. But for my friends who don't want to see such things, I've got your back. For those who do, I can send them by text or email at your request!}

A few days in and he's proved to be a champ. Perhaps he's just created to be a warrior. He's fearless and tough. And if he'll stand up for women and families and his friends and injustice as confidently as he stood on that landscaping rock, this world will be a better place. If he gets right back up, unafraid of some scars and bruises, they'll he make it and be stronger for it.

God reminded me that we aren't in control of our kids' falls or the hurts they cause. But we can help and love and be there, even if it makes us cringe to see. They're resilient. And they heal.

Ben's a boy who isn't slowed by some stitches. The pediatrician will take the five stitches out next week, but, hey, he'll have a good story to tell and a scar to go along with it.

Technically, Ben went to the ER once before. He was not quite 7 months ... and constipated, apparently. And he has another scar, thanks to pizza. Oh, and the same ER doc at our church fixed Cate's elbow once. 

Yes, even knowing my son, somehow this emergency room trip still caught me by surprise and it showed me even more of who my boy is created to be. So I'm linking up with Kristen Strong's Out of the Blue series.

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  1. Oh you totally have to msg me the pics... :) Glad he is healing quickly and doing so well!!

  2. KristinHillTaylor8/20/2013 9:56 PM

    Coming right up ... :)

  3. I'll pass on the pics, but thanks for the offer. ;) Glad he's doing well, though...and I'm all for eating before the ER, too, if it's possible. (In fact, I had to go in last year after being up all night with a gall bladder attack...and I ate first. It stinks to be stuck in a hospital bed and starving.) :) Have a great day!

  4. KristinHillTaylor8/21/2013 1:20 PM

    I would pass on the pictures too! :) Enjoy your day!

  5. Elizabeth Anne May8/21/2013 1:42 PM

    Ah, that sweet boy! I'm glad he took the ER visit in stride, er, as a personal vacation :) I'll have to tell you about the time Adam cut his finger open in the middle of Christmas eve festivities at our house when he was only 9 months old and we ended up at urgent care....

  6. KristinHillTaylor8/21/2013 1:48 PM

    You should send me a Voxer on that. :)

  7. Glad he's ok! He sure is adorable on that hospital bed :) Oh also, it might be good I don't have boys. Don't think I'd do too well with all the risky business (nor the gashes and blood!). :/

  8. KristinHillTaylor8/22/2013 1:51 PM

    Boys are a different kind of adventure, at least mine is! :)

  9. KristenStrong8/22/2013 6:30 PM

    Ohmahword, if he isn't the cutest.

    And I love that you see the encouragement even in stitches. I pray that warrior spirit stays with him forever!

    Love this, Kristin!

  10. KristinHillTaylor8/23/2013 2:55 PM

    I'm thankful he's tough, Kristen - otherwise being a boy mom would be REALLY hard for me. :) Thanks for your kind words.

  11. Oh poor baby - and poor mama! It's so hard to know what's serious and what's not with kiddos sometimes! We took Annalyn to the ER this summer because we thought she might have appendicitis. She did not and is, instead, scarred for life and terribly afraid of hospitals now. (Thank you, nurse who just HAD TO KEEP TRYING to get that IV in her arm!) Ugh. But, like you, I can't dwell in mommy guilt too long. We just do the best we can and remember we are not really in charge here.

  12. KristinHillTaylor8/26/2013 1:37 PM

    You are so right, Mary! We aren't in charge. Those are words I tell myself every single day. Thanks for visiting over here!