It began like any other day. After enjoying one of my final days with Mom before she went home to Texas, I picked up the kids from school & they all settled down for snacks and naps. Within 15 minutes of our arrival home, I heard the most terrified scream ever coming from Gideon. He came back to my bedroom, screaming that he'd cut himself. In my usual unconcerned manner, I got up slowly and nonchalantly told him to go rinse the cut off in the sink while I got him a bandaid. As I watched him rinse off of his hand, I noticed that the blood didn't seem to wash away. It just kept coming. And coming... And coming. Then it occured to me that a bandaid was not going to contain all of that blood. A hint of panic struck me, and as I went back to my medicine closet to search for gauze, I pondered what my next step of action should be. This didn't seem quite serious enough for me to call 911. On the other hand, I just couldn't figure out what to do about all the red stuff that seemed to be flowing endlessly out of his thumb.
Adrenaline is a funny thing. It heightens your heart rate, and makes your mind do all sorts of crazy things. Some people get panicky& start yelling, and running in aimless circles. Others get into a zone of clarity, & work super-efficiently. Me, I freeze. (this was a moment of self discovery for me, as I've never been in such a split second emergency type of situation before). All I could do, was let my mind wander in circles as to the best course of action: bandaid? too much blood. 911? they would laugh at me. Call chris? he's working - and besides, what would he do? He can't see it to tell me what to do, and it'd take forever before he got here. By then Gideon will bleed to death. Maybe I *should* call 911. WHERE IS THAT GAUZE!? what on earth am I going to do once i find the gauze? I wonder if his blood is spurting with his heart beats like it does in the movies? 911? Call chris? Call mom? That's it! I'll call mom! She'll know what I should do!
And so I called mom, who was visitng a friend just down the street, and in my calmest voice - choking back tears (because apparently, extreme adrenaline surges make me want to cry), I said, "mom. I need you. NOW. Gideon's cut himself."
Mom: "is that Gideon screaming in the background? I'll be right over"
While waiting for Mom to arrive, I wrapped the gauze around Gideon's thumb, and asked the other kids how this had happened. "He was cutting a frozen orange." what??
Within the few minutes it too mom to get here, the blood had soaked all the way through the bandage. After a quick examination, she said that I should take Gideon to the local med center. So i shoved a bunch of toilet paper into his hand to catch any more blood that may be spewing, and we got in the car to drive to the med center. As we drove, I called chris to tell him to come meet me, and Gideon occaisionally interrupted his nonstop screaming to ask questions about what the doctor was going to do to him and how much it would hurt. I could tell that he was beginning to go into shock because his speech was getting slurred and he was shivering like crazy. We parked in front of the office & i carried him to the door. It was then that i noticed that I hadn't bothered to bring any shoes for him. Oh well. Who need shoes in an emergency? I walked in the door and told the receptionist that my son had cut his finger. She took one look at the bloody wrappings and sent us straight back to and exam room.
By this time Gideon had stopped screaming and put on his brave face. The nurse who examined him asked if he would be having pizza and video games that night - and then informed me that it was standard practice for all mothers to pamper their traumatized children with pizza and video games once the ordeal was over. Good to know.
10 minutes later, the doctor came in. 10 minutes!! didn't anyone tell him my son was bleeding to death!? He was very casual about the ordeal. Took a quick look, and then informed Gideon that he would be giving him a shot to take away the pain. "It's going to hurt when I give you the shot. But only for about 5 seconds and then it won't hurt anymore. I never lie to children. Only adults." After the pain was gone, and Gideon had a groggy smile, the doctor took a closer look at the wound. "Well, the skin is still attached, so that's good." He looked at me, "If he were to cut off the whole thing, you would need to be sure to bring it in with you, so we could sew it back on." Mentally noted. Then he turned to the trainee who had come in with him. "usually when this happens, they cut through the fingernail, too." USUALLY?! how often does this sort of thing happen!?
As the doctor stiched up Gideon's finger, Chris came in to join the fun. We nervously chatted while Gideon's flesh was mended. Then it occured to me that this was the first time that Gideon had ever had stiches! A momentous occasion! Of course, it needed to be doccumented with photos. The doctor loved this idea, and covered Gideon's hand in red iodine to help make it look more gruesome.
When everything was done, Gideon decided that he didn't want pizza for dinner. He wanted pancakes. So we went home, and I made pancakes for my brave little boy. And Chris was very kind to take all the kids out shopping with him while I cooked. This was greatly apreciated by me, because i really needed some time to come down from my adrenaline high & recover from my traumatic experience. I think it was harder on me than it was on Gideon.
And of course, we had to take one more picture, for Gideon to show off to his friends, while the bandaid conceals his "battle wound."
3 weeks ago