Thursday, July 10, 2008

Poor Peter

Peter being carried inside after 4th of July festivities.

On Sunday, Peter suffered a mini tragedy.

Right before church started, with Jocelyn on the stand ready to conduct, Peter made a too-quick move in a pew and either bit his lip too hard or hit it on a sharp corner of a hymnal holder.

The result was an immediate spurt of blood (mixed with banana, which he had been munching on) and he cried out in pain. I didn't see the blood at first, but I realized he was in more pain than usual, so I picked him up to take him out. Then I saw the small, scattered blood stains on my blue button-up shirt.

I rushed Peter to the restroom, and by the time I had rinsed his mouth and wiped his lip, he had stopped bleeding and started to laugh. He's a brave little boy. I noticed that the cut on his lip, though small, might be deep enough to warrant stitches.

Just then, the missionaries entered the restroom asking me if I could go on splits that Friday with them. I told them that I would have to check with my wife, as we might have a date. But otherwise, I'd be happy to. (Now that I think about it, we don't have a Friday date so I need to call them).

Then Elder Tobey asked, "Did Peter spill chocolate on your shirt? Nah, I guess that was you eating the chocolate right?" He chuckled.

"Actually, it's blood." My short response had the intended shock effect. I then showed the Elders Peter's wound and asked their opinion. The second missionary told me that if it started to scab over within 10 minutes, I probably didn't need to worry but that I should take him in otherwise. Better safe than sorry.

I agreed, but I took Peter (still happy and already having forgotten the whole incident) to Jocelyn to show her what had happened. We agreed it was best to take him to the Emergency Room just to check it out.

I went home and got Peter's Medicaid card (and took a second to change my shirt), and then drove a block to the local hospital.

Waiting for the doctor to call us was painless, since Peter was happy running around, although he did manage to knock over a tall magazine rack. ("Uh-oh," he said.)

The doctor decided the wound would heal more efficiently with two stitches; first, he wanted to place a numbing pad on the site for half an hour, and this did not make Peter happy. Peter freaked out the first time the nurse taped the gauze pad to his lip and his quick hands had it off in less than a second. I tried to hold his arms the second time, but when I thought he was sufficiently distracted by a book I let up and he immediately had it off again.

So the third time I held him tight while he squirmed and cried. I cuddled his face against my chest so he wouldn't be able to easily reach the bandage, and after a minute, he settled down and started to rest easy. He fell asleep in that position while we waited for the doctor to come back and finish the job.

The actual stitching was the worst. Peter was placed on a board/gurney, and his arms were wrapped in a sheet and secured by big velcro straps. All that was peeking out was his small head, with his hurt eyes staring up at me as he cried.

Two nurses helped me hold Peter's head still while he screamed and while the doctor attempted to delicately inject a shot into the wound before doing the stitches. Though his jaw was being held more or less in place, he kept saying "Daddy! Daddy! Mama!" It was heart-breaking.

The doctor successfully inserted both stitches, and then I released Peter and comforted him as he sniffled against my shoulder.

He was very curious about the threads tickling his mouth for the next few hours, but he forgot about those eventually as well as the cut itself.

Now he's back to his happy self. He gets the stitches out on Monday.


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