Friday, November 19, 2010
Stitches Before Age three
Around 7 pm this evening Johnny was playing with Mommy and Daddy and avoiding going to bed. He tripped in the living room and fell chin first onto the living room table. I had never considered our table dangerous, in fact I always took pride in the softly rounded edges. When Johnny stood up from his spill, screaming at the top of his lungs, there was blood pouring out of his mouth. Daddy picked him up immediately and rushed him to the bathroom to get the first aid kit. Johnny had bit through his bottom lip...again. He calmed down after a few minutes and we where able to get the bleeding to stop.
But we weren't sure if this was as slight of a cut as the last time, so Mommy took Johnny to Patient First expecting to be home in an hour. Patient First is not my first choice, since they are not equipped to take children and when we went there for Johnny's burn, literally everything they told us and had us do turned out to be wrong. But I didn't think this would be a big deal and this new Patient First was so close. We where taken back quickly and Johnny was in a good mood telling everyone about the table and his chin and lip. But when the P.A. came to see him she said nothing to me, but turned around and asked some one in if they want to help her "stitch up a kid." Then employees began to gather around Johnny (preparing to hold him down) and I saw a needle of Novocain. No one talked to me about anything. This is not just some "kid," this is my TODDLER! My very young child who had never been had stitches before. I asked why they wanted to stitch him up since the last time he had this mouth wound they didn't want to stitch it since it heals so fast. She said it would get infected if they didn't stitch up the inside and they would do the outside as a second thought, but I was welcome to take him to the hospital if I was concerned. So I did and I vow that Patient First is no place for any issues involving a child! They just don't know how to deal with it.
I stopped by my parents house and picked up Papa since I didn't want to be alone if they did have to give Johnny stitches and we headed for Upper Chesapeake Medical Center. Though the waiting room was very full we where taken right back. There was an entire ward for pediatric with special nurses and doctors who only work with kids. From there everything was so quick and smooth. We where there less then two hours and Johnny had his own room where he could watch Shrek and wait in peace and quite. The doctor did decide that he had bit through and through and that they needed to stitch the outside to help keep infection away and help it heal easily. She talked to us a lot and gave us the option of using the glue, but didn't recommend it. She was very clear with the procedure and preparing Johnny for it, saying she only stitches up children and has lots of experience toddlers between 1 and 3 years of age. The doctor (whom comforted me just by having an MD next her name on her badge) was sweet, calming and informative, promising no more then two stitches done very quickly.
Johnny was given some Oxycodine (since we knew he handled that well) and some numbing gel on the cut and left to let those settle in for 30 minutes. They came right in at the end of the 30 minutes, and explained each step before they started and as they went along. They wrapped Johnny up in a sheet, they swaddled him, and I hugged across his middle with Papa behind me in clear view of Johnny. The doctor cleaned out the wound and then created a "sterile field" around it with special towels, that is what upset him. He did not flinch when the needle went in, but he knew something was going on and kept asking for everyone to get off of him. He handled it all very well in my opinion and I will always be proud.
He was given some restrictions, soft food, no citrus, no sucking sippy cups or straws, no showers, and basically keeping him calm so that the wound on the inside of his mouth has a chance to close up. Wounds on the inside of the mouth tend to heal fast on their own, however they are also at a higher risk of infection, our mouths are dirty. So he is on some antibiotics and we will be cleaning out his mouth with some mouth wash on a q-tip as well as keeping antibacterial ointment on his stitches. He should get his stitches out on Wednesday!
I don't like the new trend Johnny has created. Every three months or so he gets injured, twice now trips to the ER and once to the burn unit. I know he is a boy, a high energy, rough and tumble, strong boy...but I feel like that is no excuse to keep getting seriously injured like this. Even this incident I don't think that the playing before hand was abnormal or crazy, he just fell, like he and many other kids have fallen, just this time with his chin first and his mouth open. I am scared at this young age getting stitches and what that means for our future. I didn't get my first stitches till I was 17 years old! Shawn has other stories of a crazy boy two year old covered in blood, like father like son? Is this normal? It was hard to hold back my own tears as I held Johnny and watched the needle close up his wound, I can't imagine if it was any worse...and each time he gets injured I will say that and each time it is a little worse then the time before. I am scared.