Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Trauma

by Kami Cornwall

(this is an excerpt from my memoirs - a work in progress)

“The Brady Bunch is on! Heather! Matt! Hurry up! The Brady Bunch is starting!” My three-year-old body was jumping for joy because the Brady Bunch was going to start soon. Come on. How many of you weren't jumping up and down like a pogo-stick at the thought of the Brady Bunch starting? We never missed a show! We had to pile in front of the T.V. as soon as possible! Heather and I would argue about which one of us was more like Marsha (nobody wanted to be Jan) and time was running out! I continued to jump like a bunny rabbit down the hall into the living room. That's when my forehead met the metal tipped corner of a shelf on the wall.

While my dad drove like a maniac to the hospital, he explained to me that I'd probably need stitches and explained how that would go down. It seemed sensible enough. Give me a shot to numb the skin, sew it up, let it heal. No problem.

"Dr. Fun entered the room, had me lie on the noisy paper and took a look at my head. He cleaned it up a bit and then just before giving me the shot of Novocaine to numb the area he decided since I was a child, he would make this more kid-friendly. “This is Mr. Bee. He's a friendly bee! He's just going to sting you just a little bit to help things along.” He said with a smile.

Whoa, mister! There's no way on God's green earth that you are pulling bees out of jars and using them to sting poor innocent children! How's a bee sting gonna help? What else have you got in your jars over there, Doctor Death? Leeches? Do you treat people with wasps and worms? I started screaming and my father tried to explain to Dr. Never-will-we-visit-again about my uncanny fear of bees.

He couldn't have chosen a worse mascot. But the damage had been done and he refused to change his story. So sting, sting, sting went the bee and I screamed until I was hoarse. I cried so hard the whole thin medical sheet that stretched over the bed was soaked in tears.

My father tried to bribe me into submission by telling me if I was “good” we would go to Dairy Queen afterward for a treat. I didn't care. Dairy Queen be hanged. No amount of ice cream was going to change my mind about this quack. I screamed until he left the room - adjusting his hearing aid. Dairy Queen was out the window and I couldn't care less.

My stitches made me look like Frankenstein's monster. They were black and ugly. A nurse came in, covered my Franken-stitches with gauze, and released us. Dad hoisted me up in his arms, allowing me to sniffle and bury my face in his neck. We went to Dairy Queen anyway. Big softy.

5 comments:

  1. Well told I could just see it all. I did love Brady Bunch as a kid. Sometimes doctors need to ask parents what works best with their kid or the doctor change their story as needed.
    Good post.

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  2. Too funny because I grew up military so you were told by dad and docs to suck it up and be a good little soldier.

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  3. That man may have been a doctor, but wasn't a very nice person. Not being willing to change a story for a child with a fear of bees . . . he must have flunked Bedside Manner for Children 101.

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  4. I had to get stitches in forehead as a kid, too. Luckily for me, my doctor was SUPER nice (Dr. Johnson) and he told me the story of the Three Billy Goats Gruff while he stitched me up. I hadn't heard it before, and now whenever I hear it I think of him. Nice doctor.

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  5. I also remember getting stitches in my head at the age of 3! Funny how these traumatic experiences just stick, when I can't even remember what I did last week. I've been in the ER more times than I can count for my kids' stitches and injuries, and luckily we've always gotten great doctors and nurses who have never added to the trauma.

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