Katy is developing a love of hospitals, but a definite dislove for needles. This morning we were supposed to pick Katy up from my parents' house, but they called to let us know that she had fallen, cut her lip, and that it looked like she needed stiches. We had Mom bring her down to Marion, and Shawn (thank you!) looked at her. He advised that since it was through the lip/skin border, since she is a girl, and since the wound was on her pretty little face, that we go to the ER and have a plastic surgeon do the stitches. For the second time in five months, we went to the ER. We arrived around 11, and the plastic surgeon was there by 1. In the meantime, we (Mom, Stephen, and I) valiantly attempted to entertain an injured toddler in a room full of medical equipment and not toys. When he did get there, though, I experienced the worst feeling I have ever felt as a parent. The process to put Katy under anesthesia, according to the dr, would have been just as terrible as doing a local to put in the stitches. In retrospect, I have my doubts.
The nurse brought in a mini-surfboard child restraining device (see right - infant size). We had to put Katy on it and strap down all her extremities so that she couldn't move. She screamed and cried and gave us looks like we were killing her, and pled with us to help her escape this terrible place. The nurse held her head as still as possible while the dr numbed her and prepared the sutures. That's where I lost it. One look at the curvy needle he was about to stick through my daughter's lip was indescribably hideous. I felt like a witness and a party to torture instead of a mom who was helping her daughter not have a disfiguring scar. I recovered soon after, only to note that at the first stitch, Stephen lost it and couldn't watch any more. The whole time her stitches were being put in, she raised a royal ruckus, squirming in her little burrito sack, eyes leaking such large tears I thought all the fluids in her body were being lost. Because she was so agitated the nurse said that if she had a favorite song, singing it might help. Right. Like I can think of a song when seeing the worst thing I've ever seen in my life. Fortunately, Mom was a little more collected, and the two of us -- Stephen was too overcome -- rendered such Veggie Tales classics as "God is Bigger Than the Boogeyman" and "Busy, Busy." I don't know about Katy, but I felt better after that. I watched the remaining stiches be put in - six in all, I believe.
Katy is recovering now, but she has to go back for follow up visits every few months since scar tissue can take that long to form. We have to be extra careful with cleaning her mouth, and we'll have to be extra diligent with sunscreen this whole next year. In retrospect, I have a lot more admiration for parents who cope with life-threatening diagnoses for their children. I had trouble with a lip cut. I can't imagine their pain. May God help all parents. It's a big job.
Here are pictures of our Supergirl: