Trauma

Filed under: Kaelin,Parenting — Amy @ 7:44 pm

“Is it the doctor that gave me stickers?”
“No, Dr. Seibert isn’t working right now.  We’re going to see a different doctor that we haven’t met before.”

She chattered cheerfully on the way to the after-hours clinic.  The bleeding had stopped and the pain had subsided.  It was past her bedtime but she was wide awake.

“What’s the doctor’s name?”
“I don’t know.  We can ask when we get there.”
“Is it Rosa?”
“Probably not.”
“Is it Dora?  It might be Dora, but it wouldn’t be the same Dora.  And there might be a doctor named Boots but it wouldn’t be the same Boots.”

When we reached the clinic, she marched in with her Little Lamb and her enormous blanket.  The staff was immediately taken with the bouncy little girl in pajamas, and I heard, “Oh, you ought to come look at her, she’s adorable.” 

She looked around with interest at the colorful room and the large TV as I spoke with the receptionist.

“I called a little while ago about having someone look at my daughter’s chin.  She tripped and fell into a chair and it seems to be a fairly deep cut.”

When we were quickly ushered into Room 8, her demeanor changed.  Her well-founded suspicion of doctor’s offices was aroused, and she suddenly became very clingy, trying to hide behind my legs.

She struggled and cried through the rinsing of the wound and the doctor’s examination, despite the sweet words and “magic wand” offered by the nursing staff.  The verdict was as I feared: she needed stitches.

They had to strap her down.

She cried.  I held her hand.

She screamed.  I stroked her hair.

They stuck a needle directly in the wound again and again to administer the anesthetic.

The screams turned into sobs.  “Please stop hurting me… Please, please stop hurting me…”

I offered useless words of comfort and tried not to look away as the needle made the blood flow again.

As the anesthetic took effect, her hysteria lessened.  But the fear of pain, the fear of the unknown, did not.

As the doctor stitched, she whimpered again and again, “Is it over yet?”  And each time everyone would tell her “Almost.  We’re almost done,”  followed by a question for the sake of distraction.

“How old are you?”
“Two.”
“Do you have a brother or a sister?”
“A brother.”
“What’s his name?”
“Koren.  He fusses all the time.  Ow, you’re poking me!

The anesthetic hadn’t sufficiently reached that part of the wound.  The tears came flowing out again.

One, two, three, four stitches.  It felt like entirely too long to have only been four stitches.

The moment when I could answer “Yes, it’s over now” was like reaching the surface and taking a breath of air a millisecond before drowning.

She got a popsicle.  And a toy.  And four stickers.  And a lollipop.  And she got to sit in the lobby and watch Lilo and Stitch while I filled out paperwork.  By the time we left she was exhausted, but smiling.  On the way out the door she asked all the doctors and nurses what their names were.

We climbed in the car and I buckled her in the back seat.  I kissed her on the head and told her what a good girl she had been and how proud of her I was.  She smiled and closed her eyes.

As I started the car, I exhaled for the first time in an hour.  There, in the safety of darkness, I wept. 

I’m still weeping.

6 Responses so far.

  1. Grandpa says:

    Amy – This is such a heartfelt re-creatioin of the events of last night that it almost made me cry too – I remember all the times we had to take you in to the hospital for the prep for surgery – It was always more difficult than you can imagine and it just got worse as you got older – The last surgery was when you were just a little younger than Kaelin is now and it was the hardest for you and us – I hope Kaelin doesn’t wake up with too much pain today – I will be praying for you all – Love you – Dad

  2. Melissa says:

    Poor, sweet Kaelin!  Hope she is feeling much better today!!!

  3. ana says:

    my poor little bug! and poor mama! boy this brings back memories of jens’ traumas. i am so sorry that you both had to go through this. well, now she and daddo will have matching scars and can swap war stories.

  4. Amy Tague says:

    Shelby came up to me while I was reading this and said “Mommy, why are you crying??”

  5. Zephra says:

    Oh 4 stitches. Must have been a nice size boo boo. It is the hardest thing to watch someone hurt your child. I cry more than they do sometimes.

  6. trish says:

    such a sweet story….I agree with grandpa…It was wounderfully retold,you have a knack Amy.
    That is why I keep coming back to your site.

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Hi. I'm Amy. I started this website in 2005 as a place to deposit my journal and photos. It has gone through a few incarnations and masquerades as a family site, but since I'm the only one who contributes to it, it's really all about ME, ME, ME.

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