Browsing Archives for November 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.