Country Doctor Surprises Family with Surgery in Living Room

November 1st, 2007

A few years ago, Dewey, my third son cut his head open while jumping on the neighbor’s trampoline. It was a pretty decent gash, but I am the mother of four boys and deep gashes mean very little to me. Unless the child is missing a limb, drowning in a pool of blood, or unconscious, I don’t get too worried. So Drew was upset and I had him lay down for a nap.

Later that evening, we had “Back to School Night” in the city park. This is an evening of games, hot dogs, train rides, etc…where the kids get to run wild one last time before the dreaded end of summer.

When Drew woke up from his nap, his head had stopped bleeding, but during all the running around at the park, it started to bleed again. In fact, as were were waiting in line to ride the train, a lady behind me said…

“Uh ma’am – your son’s head is bleeding”.

Me – “Yes, I know”

Lady in Park – “Um…there is blood dripping on his shirt…”

Me – “Yes, I see thanks..”

Lady in Park – Looks at me strangely

Me – Thinking to myself – hmmm – maybe I should do something…

But Drew was fine – he was running around, playing, clearly not in danger of death, and yet the lady in the park had done her job and I started to feel ever so slight tremors of unfit motherhood. So after another couple of hours of playing I loaded the boys up and we headed home.

The country doctor was on call that night. I called him when we got home and said,

“Honey I think you better come home and look at Dewey – he has a severe head wound.”

I have to use shocking terminology like severe head wound, hemorrhage, car crash, paralyzed, seizure or guts sticking out – to get the Country Doctor to take action. He is 17 trillion times worse at under-reacting to our children’s health conditions than I am.

The Country Doctor came home and had Drew lay face down on the couch. He poked around on his head for a while, as the rest of us sat in the living room and watched.

Suddenly – out of nowhere – the Country Doctor pulled a medical staple gun out of his lab coat pocket and shot three staples into the back of Drew’s head! Ca Chunk!, Ca Chunk!, Ca Chunk! – followed by piercing screams of protest from Drew.

The rest of the family sat motionless in utter silence, our eyes as big as grapefruits.

The Country Doctor stated calmly that he wished he could do all of his E.R. visits the same way – stealth stapling.

“It is so much easier and saves so much time,” he explained, “No wheedling, no empty this isn’t going to hurt promises, no pain meds, no parents questioning the treatment, no panicky mothers making their children freak out.”

We stared at him in horror – while he calmly applied an icepack to Drew’s head.

Drew started first grade with three shiny staples in his head to brag about. He recovered quickly, but I am still a little shaky.


  • Angie:

    How convenient yet disturbing to live with a doctor.

  • Rechelle:

    You can say that again!

  • Jenn:

    Oh.My.Goodness. I am still gasping from laughing so hard. You told it so well, I felt like I was there. lol. wow.

  • Marye:

    You know, your blog is one of my favorites next to COnfessions of A Pioneer Woman…and you both have a fabulous way with words.

  • Rechelle:

    Gosh thanks!

  • Kathy from NJ:

    I’ve read this post ten times and laugh harder each time. I wish you had a video of it – can you get them to re-enact it?

  • Mary:

    Yikes! Don’t you just swoon over a take-charge kind of guy? LOLxoxo,Mary

  • Margaret:

    I just came over here from and nearly cried from laughing at this post. Hilarious!

  • Staci at Writing and Living:

    That is too funny. If my husband would do that it would save me hours of sitting in the ER waiting room. But since he’s a computer programmer, it probably wouldn’t be a good idea.

  • Junebug:

    I kept thinking that the gash was on his forehead and wondered why he had him lay face down on the couch. Then came the staples…I can understand his nonchalance since the doctor knows what he is doing and understands the simple procedure. But that was very funny. I found you in the sidebar of Pioneer Woman.

  • Paul:

    That’s one of the great things about being married, we get to impress our wife with our professional acumen.

  • Funky Kim:

    Now THAT was funny!Have a fantastic day!

  • ~*~ Jennifer ~*~:

    Just look at you — will ya? Advertising on P.W. Woo Hoo!! Up town now…I can say I read you when you were small stuff. ::giggle:: Funny post!! Thanks for the laugh…

  • Donna Boucher:

    Saw your ad!Yay for Rechelle :o)

  • Natalie:

    Rechelle, THAT is priceless!! A true LOL post! I can only dream that one day my spouse will be so calm about a simple head lac.Some day soon when you have over 200 comments in one day, sing a song for us old-timers.

  • Anonymous:

    as the child of a doctor I recall my cousin stepping on something sharp in the lake and severely opening the bottom of his foot. After a little whiskey was poured on the wound my dad suctured it with sewing thread as my cousin lay on the picnic table. Then there was the time my brother ate a christmas ball…. LOL but, the all time evil deed was being told we were going to the commisary at the naval hospital (before moving to SD) and ending up in peds getting childhood immunizations. I put up a bitter and tearful battle for my undies but they still needled my cheek. such is life in a medical family. gotta love it! right?

  • Daisy:

    It’s almost a year later, and I know no one will read this comment, but I can’t bear to leave this blog without exclaiming, “THAT’S TOTALLY MY DAD!”I grew up hearing, “Leave it alone. It’ll get better.” I was ambushed while watching television with tetnus shots and immunizations. And yes, I would have loved to have had a staple gun rather than have my stitches sewn at home. I consider your son lucky. (And you, too. Geez, ER bills are a pain.)Love the story. Laughed, seriously, out loud.

  • becks:

    OMG I am laughing so hard. I bet you were shocked. My son has had two head injuries that required stitches. The first doc didn’t say much and everything went smoothly. The second doc explained every little detail. Why? He freaked him out but in the end did very well. I can’t imagine the surprise stapling though. lol I am new to your blog and loving it! Thanks for the laugh!

  • Hopefully you will see this, as I realise it is an historical incident to which I am responding!

    My husband, an Emergency Physician, is having hysterics re this tale! He could not agree more with your DH’s approach and theory!

    (It takes a lot to get my somber DR to laugh, btw.)