Yesterday Mark and I were up at 3am, getting the kids out of bed and on the road for a trip North to visit the family. The Mister's mom is having a significant birthday this week and with Lily on Spring Break, we figured it was perfect timing.
After about three hours on the road we pulled off for breakfast in a small town, hoping to jump back on the road and keep North as quickly as possible. As Anya and I returned from the the bathroom after our meal she tripped, went down hard and smashed her face into the corner of the booth seat. I expected to find a bump and rapidly swelling bruise but instead pulled her hands from her face to discover a gush of blood streaking down her face. “I need some help!” I called to Mark, who had already started moving when he heard the smack. Anya was screaming, Lily had burst into tears at the sight of blood on her sisters face and the waitress came running. We got her iced, cleaned up and Mark got the first aid kit from the car. Unfortunately, it had no butterfly closures and we could see this was not something that would heal nicely on it's own.
Luckily the waitress happened to be a mother of six, five of which were boys. She gave us our options, “You can drive 40 minutes to Bakersfield and go to the ER there or, in about 45 minutes, the community clinic will open up.” She assured me we could get stitches there, she'd had them do stitches on her kids before and so we decided to stay local and drove an exit up the freeway to find the clinic. We had to wait in the parking lot, Anya snuggled on my lap and calm by then, her thumb stuck firmly in her mouth.
The first through the door, we were seen right away and with excellent care. The nurses were fantastic, explaining to Anya what was going to happen, how they were going to put her owie to sleep so they could sew it up, how it would hurt but Mama would be right there. Mark took Lily out to walk the dog while they numbed Anya up, which really was the worst part of the whole thing. They had four staff members there to hold her down if needed but she held perfectly still, crying out and gripping my hands ferociously. They'd never seen a four-year-old behave so well during pain, but we had told her what was happening, why it was happening and given her permission to scream her fool head off. She was amazing.
The minute that owie went to sleep, Anya perked right up and was herself again. Lily and Mark came back in to see the stitches going in, which was a little uncomfortable for Lil until she realized her sister was giggling and talking under the drape. We were back on the road an hour later with three neat and carefully placed stitches covered over by a band-aid. I only wish the clinic had pediatric medical superglue on hand, something we could have gotten in Bakersfield I suspect. But I also suspect we would have had to wait a whole lot longer, been in less of a relaxed atmosphere and wouldn't have received the individualized attention we received at the clinic. It was just about the best experience you could hope for when your child has to get stitches.
Back on the road I asked Anya to let me know when her owie woke back up so we could pull over for a painkiller if she was hurting. An hour or so later she happily announced, “Mama, my owie is waking back up!”
“How does it feel?” I asked her.
“Just like my old skin!”
Yep. Just fine. Today she's totally unconcerned but we'll make a trip over to the health food store to pick up some supplies to minimize the scar on her face. She's truly been the most amazing wounded child I have ever seen and I couldn't be more proud of her.
ETA: photos added later in the day, so if you were here earlier all you saw was the one crappy cell photo photo.