Skye, rather than simply brushing his teeth and attending to other nightly rituals prior to bedtime, added something else to tonight's routine. He decided to check out the new, red Leatherman pocket knife we gave Mark for his birthday last week. It resulted in Mark driving him to the emergency room in a city 35 miles away.
The closing slice landed on the outside edge of his exterior right pinky finger knuckle joint. Not an easy place to hold a compress; Not any easy place to bandage in a way that keeps the edges of the cut together. Thus, his trip to the ER.
Fortunately, the cut wasn't deep enough to sever nerves - well, none we can tell right now anyway. Simply a messy, awkward cut that demanded stitches. Three, I just learned from my phone update.
I was struck by how Mark and I automatically fell into our roles. He comforting while moving into action. (Mark got Skye's hand under water and then attempted to compress the cut.) Me analytically assessing the situation while planning each of our collective next steps as I, too, moved into action. I ran to get gauze, tape and had the task of wrapping the wound for his transport. Oh, and I helped Skye get dressed while Mark got his laptop, Skye's iPod and the car. Priorities, you know. Once they began to pull out of our driveway, I called the ER to let them know who and what were headed their way.
It was all familiar but radically different, for the most complicated son to prepare for such a trip was already snuggled into bed, listening to the drama as it unfolded. Skye, keenly aware of his brother's possible medical-related anxiety, made certain he went to Stross' bedside to reassure him he was o.k. before leaving. What struck me was how Mark and I had first privately reassured Skye in the bathroom that stitches "were nothing to worry about" and "a simple procedure." And, yes, it was "necessary." Then there were words I chose specifically for this particular son: "Don't spend brain time worrying about this. You'll be surprised how quickly this will be over." Mark, a veteran stitch recipient, and therefore, highly credible source, shared similar sentiments.
Fortunately, we were right.
But you know what? As they left, I worried that we had minimized Skye's feelings and situation. I mean, it is a finger cut. Deep yes, but able to be stitched and back in business. This is his first stitch-worthy wound. That's a pretty big deal. But we've been through so much as a family, the whole situation felt more annoying that worrisome. I mean, our nightly routine is already complicated because of Stross' midnight cares and this made it even more so.
Skye's slip-up not only had Mark and I slipping into old roles but having to swap current ones. Mark does Stross' midnight cares; I take the boys to medical appointments. Because this meant a late night drive through the country, Mark became Skye's chauffeur and keeper of medical history. (I talked him through Skye's allergies and prescription medication as they headed out the door.) I became the one staying up to do Stross' midnight cares. Tonight that duty also included reassuring Stross that people who get stitches are not put asleep for the procedure.
They should be home soon. In fact, I hear them pulling into the drive now. I need to go shower some love on our youngest. These were his first stitches. That's a pretty big deal. (But I'm glad not too big a deal.)
Note: Photo added the morning after ...