On Saturday, I had to take our Miss Em to the ER, where she received two stitches for a gash on her upper bottom.
It all started when she came home from grocery shopping with Daddy around noon. I was sitting on the couch and had just set an empty water glass on the floor next to me. Emily was hanging on me and telling me about the grocery store when she suddenly lost her balance, tripped, and sat very hard directly on the glass. The glass shattered upon impact and Emily began crying. It all happened so fast, I didn’t have any time to react.
My first thought was that Emily was just whining and exaggerating (which she often does, being a 3 year old girl.) But as she continued to whine and say her “butt hurt,” I finally checked her over.
Sure enough, there was a nice gash on her upper bottom. It wasn’t very big – only about 1/2 inch long, but it was opened up pretty wide and bleeding. We were able to get the bleeding slowed down and pretty much stopped, but the width of the gash concerned me as I knew it wouldn’t heal very well on its own.
I grabbed Emily’s puppy, a Disney princess book to read to her, my purse, and we headed over to the ER. I wasn’t sure how they were going to take my explanation (it seemed like one of those things where the truth might not be quite believable, but it really was the truth!) – were they going to flag us? But the triage nurse chuckled when I mentioned it was rather bizarre and assured me that very little surprises them, especially when it comes to kids.
They took us back to a room pretty quickly, where I read Emily stories for 1/2 hour. Then the nurse came in to move us to a shared room with a curtain divider. There was a dad and his boys, one of which seemed to have sprained or broken his leg. Emily, of course, was very curious and asking me “What wrong with the boy, Mom?”
After about an hour wait, the doctor finally came in. I’m not really sure what took him so long, as there was literally nobody else at the ER – and the boy with the hurt leg got discharged just a few minutes after we arrived, but that’s the ER for you. He took one look from about 3 feet away and said it would need stitches. He said that glue wouldn’t hold it together very well. He explained that they were going to put on a numbing cream that would should numb the area enough so that Emily wouldn’t need a shot. It would take about 15-20 minutes to work and then he could sew her up.
The doctor wasn’t overly friendly, but he seemed nice enough…but just wait…
Forty-five minutes after the nurse applied the numbing cream (remember the doctor said 15-20 minutes, so we waited twice as long,) the doctor finally came back. He & the nurse began searching for the right “suture kit.” After waiting a few more minutes while they looked, I overheard the nurse saying “Well that one’s too big” and the doctor said “Well we don’t have the smaller kit, we’ll just have to make do.”
I wasn’t sure what to think about that, but ok…
We had Emily lay on her stomach, and they placed all the blue drapes around her. Then the doctor pulled out the needle and thread and without testing the area first, stuck that needle right into Emily. She immediately began screaming that it hurt. I could tell it really did hurt her so while trying to comfort her, I watched for the doctor to stop. He didn’t. He kept stitching and pulled the needle out through the other side. Emily was really screaming by now.
I said “Um, I THINK that is hurting her! That numbing cream wore off!” The nurse, who was helping me hold Emily, said “Yes, I think so too.”
Then the doctor stopped and said “Oh” like it hadn’t even occurred to him.
He pulled the thread out. He could have just tied it off at the point, he’d already made the first stitch. They called another nurse in to help hold Emily who was pretty upset by this point (who can blame the poor thing though!)
Time for the lidocaine. The doctor pulled out the big needle. Instead of one or two jabs, he poked that needle into Emily’s wound a dozen times (no exaggeration), in all different directions. It was sheer torture for poor Emily. I was in disbelief. I was so close to saying something, but sometimes that just makes it worse, so I kept quiet. Emily was understandably screaming once again.
The doctor immediately started stitching again (what happened to waiting for it to kick in?) and finished up. Two small stitches for all that. And not a word to me or Emily about what happened. He told me to bring Emily back in 10 days to get the sutures removed and then he left.
The nurse helped me clean Emily up and kept apologizing for what happened. Emily kept sniffling “I want to go home, Mommy!” I assured her we would very soon. After the nurse gave Emily four Barbie stickers and me the discharge paperwork, I went to pay the $85 copay and we went home, where I comforted Emily with hugs & a special Drumstick ice cream cone treat.
Come to find out, after talking to our neighbor, this particular doctor is known for – well let’s just say not being so great. I’ll tell you though – if I ever have to take one of the kids to the ER again, if this doctor is there, we’ll leave and head down to a different ER, even if it is 30 minutes away.
Emily did really well all things considering, but it certainly wasn’t the easy and painless experience which the triage nurse said she hoped would happen (and me too.)
All that from a little glass.
This was Emily’s 3rd trip to the ER: – the first trip happened when she was 18 months old and knocked out her front tooth, the 2nd trip when she was almost 2 and got ahold of some children’s tylenol and then this. Hopefully it will be her last for awhile… I’m hoping!