Friday Flashback: Stitches
Despite evidence to the contrary, my family is neither clumsy nor careless, we are simply accident-prone. The Teenager is simply the latest in a long line of family members who require an occasional trip to the emergency room in order to maintain the balance and equilibrium of the world as we know it; her father and her brother can’t handle it all by themselves you know.
Me? I’m a slacker in this particular regard, not having had stitches since I was, oh, maybe a couple of years younger than The Teenager is right now although; I can remember the incident that required them quite vividly and, I would be willing to bet that my older sister does as well.
It was summertime and my mother was at work, leaving my older sister to care for my younger sister and me.
I was responsible for cleaning out the dishwasher that day and, in an effort to do so in as lazy a way as possible had climbed up onto the counter to put plates in a cabinet rather than taking the extra fifteen steps to obtain a step-stool.
Once the plates were in their proper place, I jumped from the countertop, not realizing that the door to the lower cabinet was slightly ajar, ajar just enough to catch my thigh on the top corner, tearing the flesh in a most brutal way.
I don’t recall feeling any pain, really. I do, however, recall the look of abject horror on my older sister’s face when she happened around the corner and spied the mess.
At that point in time my sister was not good with blood.
She has come a long way since then, courtesy of her eighteen-year old son who mastered the art of self-injury and, really, puts us all to shame on the Trips to the Emergency Room scale but, I digress.
Back then, as I said, she was not so great with the blood and, blood pouring from an injury that happened while on her watch was particularly distressing to her; she rushed me and my gaping leg wound to the neighbor’s house where my mother was called and, I don’t remember, maybe pressure was applied to the wound or something.
The wound, by the way, didn’t appear to distress my younger sister in the least; she commented on its’ resemblance to a leg of bar-b-qued chicken with a giant bite taken out of it and left it at that.
My mother was equally blasé’ about the injury, making small talk as we drove to the emergency room (you didn’t get any blood on the carpet, did you?). she was, however, less blasé’ about the stitching process, electing to turn away while I watched in fascination as the doctor pulled the needle through my skin, leaving two neat and tidy rows of black x”s, connecting at a point in an inverted v shape (I am less than fascinated by the scar left by said neat and tidy stitches; it is raised and puckered. Needless to say, doctors have come a long way in their stitching prowess since I was a youngster).
As we left the ER, the doctor instructed my mother to keep me out of the water, lest the stitches dissolve or come loose or whatever it was that cat-gut stitches did back in the day and, I was thrilled; no water meant no 5:00 a.m. Swim Team practice! No 6:00 p.m. Swim Tram practice! No competing in that weekend’s swim meet! Hallelujah! I should impale myself on cabinetry more often!
I didn’t. As I’ve said; I seriously lag behind the rest of my people in trips to the ER.
Not surprisingly, I’m ok with that and, if you aren’t quite sure why, please feel free to scroll down and look at that picture of my daughter; she's damn lucky our ER staffs doctors who have training in Plastic Surgery, otherwise the picture might be even less pretty.