Wednesday, January 17, 2007

I'll Take Three Staples With That Head Wound

headwoundkade

Congratulations Cheeks. You are now the proud owner of three metal staples in the back of your little head.

Thank you Dr. Shumacker for my couch surfing 3-year-old's shiny, new skull bling.

Cheeks learned the hard way two hours ago why mommy says he can't jump on the couch.

As his uncle recently told him, I don't tell him what to do just to be mean. I do it to protect him, because I care. But do you think any of his uncle's chat actually sunk in? C'mon. He's three.

"You CANNOT jump on the couch," I sternly told him. "But I want to," he retorted with a bratty sneer. I reached in his direction to physically remove him from the couch. He jumped back to escape my reach and fell over backwards off of the couching and head-first into the angular iron base of our living room lamp.

Talk about a surreal parenting moment - holding your wailing, bucking child down while an emergency room doctor plunges a lengthy needle filled with a wonder numbing drug into your preschooler's bloodied, swollen scalp. You have to look away or you might faint and need emergency medical attention yourself.

Next the good doc squirts a stream of cleansing water into your child's gaping gash. Finally, he shoots two silver staples into the pinched together edges of the laceration.

"Hmmm," the doctor mumbles, scratching his beard and peering closely at his most recent, still throbbing handy work. "I think I'll shoot one more in there for good measure."

Snap. The staple gun fires again into the wound. Your child's head kicks back in response and he lets out a defeatist whimper. Now three staples shine amidst the dried blood stiffened hairs spiking out of the back of his tender head.

The last step is a smear of glossy antibacterial ointment slathered atop the staples for an extra degree of grusomeness.

We stopped off at Johnny's Frozen Yogurt on the way home. Spiraled frozen sugary things topped with gummy bears and jelly beans make everything feel better. Even wounded heads (and wounded egos). At the emergency room I promised Cheeks one cherry for each staple. Back at home and happy again, he gobbled up all three cherries as I cut his blood spattered T-shirt off with a pair of scissors.

Now onto night watch. The doctor says I'm to wake Cheeks every hour or so to make sure he can wake up at all. Lovely. I think I'll tuck him into bed with me and his daddy, just to be sure.

Concussion. Infection. Strange and unusual behavior. I think I can identify the first two if I must. But that last one, strange behavior, well, we're talking Cheeks here. Most of his behavior is strange. And I mean that in a mostly nice way. Mostly.

Gnarly head wounds are nothing new to the Slackstress home. Two years ago my kindergartner Mouth gashed his forehead with a clumsy crash landing on the corner of a concrete step. Surgical glue came to the rescue that time with maximum fight and maximum forced restraint.

Pigtails fell down the steps and out of my sister's RV over the summer. She didn't walk for two weeks and severely sprained her neck.

Why do these injuries happen on my watch? Must I stand directly behind my kids every second to make sure they don't stumble and fall? How could I possibly be in three frenetic places at once?

There's only so many times you can start your explanation with "I was right there but didn't catch him/her in time," before people start to question your abilities as a care giver and mother? How many wounds can be written off with the old "kids will be kids" or "boys will be boys" sayings?

The countdown to staple removal is on, whether or not I'm busy beating myself up for how my kids accidentally beat themselves up. Nine days to go.

I'm not looking forward to when the numbing agent in Cheeks' Frankenstein wound wears off. Why don't the nurses numb the worried mothers in the ER while they're at it? How about a sedative? Anything.

28 Comments:

At 3:47 PM, Anonymous Estella said...

Everytime I read your blog, I get grossed out.

Why do I torture myself so???

I can totally relate. The only major injury in our house happened when my 3 year old broke his arm pretending that he was Spiderman and jumping off a climber in the backyard. The arm completely buckled. I still have really terrible flashbacks. The bloody injuries really suck though. Why do little kids bleed so much? Especially from the head and the mouth. Bleh.

 
At 3:51 PM, Blogger Domestic Slackstress said...

Sorry to gross you out, Estella. Just telling it like it is can be nasty sometimes.

 
At 5:43 PM, Blogger crazymumma said...

oh your poor sweetie. I am sure he will be back to jumping on the couch in no time...seriously tho' that must have been just awful for you and for him of course.
Hope he is better soon....

 
At 6:02 PM, Anonymous heather said...

Oh, Kim. I'm so sorry you are dealing with more bodily fluids. I always wonder if Ian is going to become less cautious as he gets older, but so far he seems to have inherited my play-it-safe genes (at least in terms of the physical, athletic stuff.)

Hope Cheeks is better soon and I want to talk to you so call me when you get a chance.

 
At 8:00 PM, Blogger The Flip Flop Mamma! said...

Ok, everytime I read the word "numbing" I say the b in my head. I know that the b is silent, but it just won't happen. Anyway...my brother split his head open 3 times in the same year. First he fell off my bike that was way too big for him, and had to get stiches in the back of his head. Then his friend hit him in the forehead with a golf club, stiches in the forehead. Then we were at the park, and there was this merry go round where we would stand inside (hard to explain) and push from in the middle..well, he was small and couldn't keep up, so he fell down under the merry go round and lifted his head back up and got conked right on his stiches in the back of his head. Yeah, he was always getting hurt.

 
At 9:31 PM, Blogger Adventures in Baby Fat said...

Oh, your poor little Cheeks!!! Fortunately when they're this little they're incredibly resilient!

We have a house relatively free of blood and carnage (okay, free of blood at least). *Knock on wood!* However, when my A was 3, we had the blood. He stepped into our stand-alone shower to get washed up after my own shower -- I was RIGHT THERE -- and he went down! Knocked the side of his head on the metal runner of the door, slicing his ear open.

I was alone. I was naked and wet, except for my own towel. He was naked, wet and gushing blood. Did I get dressed before I left the house? It's but a blur. I might very well have been naked when I walked into the ER. Who knows.

He had three stitches to sew his ear back together. What makes this interesting is the doctor that sewed him up was a midget and the same height as my very tall-for-his-age son. Through his pain, he looked at me like, "You're not gonna let this kid touch me, are you?"

I hope your little Cheeks heals quickly!!!

 
At 9:45 PM, Blogger Domestic Slackstress said...

Thankfully he's a quick clotter. At least we know he's not a hemopheliac (did I spell that right?). He just woke up from a bad dream, perhaps about his ER ordeal. He went back to sleep without incident. He wouldn't let me ice his wound. I wish I could sneak ice it in his sleep. But could you imagine a worse way to wake up?

 
At 12:17 AM, Blogger Domestic Slackstress said...

Head Wound Harry update: Cheeks' daddy just returned home from his biz trip and is now chatting in our bed with our little staple head boy. He's doing great. No throwing up and all that other concussion stuff. Nicely on the mend. Now hopefully he won't be so excited to "guy talk" with his daddy that he won't go back to sleep. Let's see how much nerve I have tomorrow when I'm supposed to wash his staples and shellack them in Neosporin four times tomorrow. Also, Cheeks' older brother and idol read him a 32-page book tonight. Nice to see him fully reading on his own now, especially in an effort to help his hurt brother. Mouth even put him to sleep tonight. Way to step up as the biggest brother in the brood.

 
At 6:30 AM, Blogger Just Me said...

As a person who's had two head wounds (one when I fell out of the back of a truck when the tailgate opened and one from a tree branch falling on me), I feel little cheeks pain. And yours. Hope that the healing is fast and glad that it doesn't look like he has a concussion. Those suck!

 
At 8:48 AM, Blogger Mad Hatter said...

Slacky,
Sorry I've been gone so long but you don't have a feed for your site and I switched to bloglines and somehow I lost you in the shuffle. Sincerest apologies.

As for the post: holy crapola on a stick!! I can't even imagine what you must've felt like in that ER room. Am sending mind-numbing vibes your way.

My kid is phsically timid and cautious. I actively encourage her to jump on the bed and the couch in the hopes it might help her with balance and physical confidence. Am definitely rethinking my parenting strategy now.

 
At 9:16 AM, Blogger Domestic Slackstress said...

I do have a feed - Mad Hatter - through feedburner RSS. Maybe I'll get motivated and email a link to you so you can sign up for inbox delivery on the daily. Thanks for checking in. I too need to see what you've been up to. Long time no lurk!

 
At 7:09 AM, Blogger Mamma said...

We named our guy Staple Head too!

He's the youngest of three boys and he had the first staple and the first black eye (at 2).

After it was removed he would tell us, "I no more staple head." He's so laid back when it comes to injuries he fell asleep while waiting for the staple and slept through getting it put in.

I wish he was that mellow all the time!

 
At 6:56 PM, Blogger JerZ Craz Mom said...

Come on, Miss Slastress, I seem to remember on a certain someone's watch, a finger getting crushed in the door going into the McDonald's playroom. And, of course, to your captive audience, it wasn't just any finger...you were able to show everyone just how you felt for weeks! :) I'm sure your mom felt the same way. All I remember was screaming and everything happening really fast and a whole lotta blood!

 
At 10:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My son is 4yrs and he hhad his first 2 staples on his head.He cried so much and now sleeping and I have to keep an eye on him as the doc asked me not to let h sleep the staple side.Did you have the same situation? How did you manage?

 
At 5:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My son got 7 staples in the back of his head with no numbing injections. Dr. said that that numbing it would take 5 shots plus the additional staples. so they put him in a papoose and did it. I want to know about the removal of the staples so that i can be prepared. Please share

 
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At 2:05 AM, Blogger SUEGIE KIM said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 2:12 AM, Blogger SUEGIE KIM said...

My son got staples on his head today... I can definitely relate.. my question is.. how can they sleep with the staples? Will they come off if they sleep on them? Its 5am and I'm very tired.. but scared to death every time he turns around in bed.. what should I do??

 
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