Tuesday, June 1, 2010

The Cut Lip

The three-year-old had fallen off the trampoline and cut his lip quite badly. The doctor had some trouble assessing it – “No no no you can’t look at it, it hurts!” but his Daddy held him still. It was his lucky day – the GP proceduralist and the GP anaesthetist were both on duty. They decided to give him intranasal Midazolam before injecting the local anaesthetic into his lip ... this was also quite difficult – “No you can’t put that in my nose, I don’t want it!” but his Daddy held him still again. It was worth it – within minutes the boy was laughing and pulling faces at everyone in the room (see diagram).

As we were preparing the suture trolley, the boy looked over at me and asked, “is that lady going to do it? Is she going to fix my lip?” After being told that the man doctor would be sewing his lip, he spied my stethoscope and exclaimed, “Daddy look, that lady has pink on her!” I came over and said, “that’s my stethoscope, I chose it myself”. He asked if I liked pink – I told him I loved pink, and then asked what his favourite colour was. He thought for a moment, “ummm .... pink!”

He wasn’t too happy about having his lip sutured, but with the nurse, the anaesthetist and his Daddy holding him still, it was all over in a flash. As his Daddy was finalising the paperwork, the boy started pulling at his lip. Everybody in the room drew in their breath, anxious to stop the boy from destroying our hard work. When his Daddy told him not to pull the stitches, he said, “but there’s a bit of dirt on there!”

He was adamant that he should walk out of the trauma room and not be carried. His Daddy carefully shepherded him out as he drunkenly weaved his way towards the door, barely avoiding crashing into the doorframe on his way out. Looking after a drunken toddler was probably not the Sunday morning anyone had in mind for this family ... but at least they can remind him about it at his 21st.

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