Tonight I had to take my daughter to an Urgent Care because she spiked herself in track. That sounds like something illegal or immoral. It doesn’t sound like the name of a rock band, however (inside joke).
I’m not sure how you spike yourself on the side of the leg just under the knee, since it has to be done by one of your own feet wearing a track shoe with spikes, but she was pole vaulting and found a way. She came home limping and bleeding with a bandage the size of a sheet of paper on her leg.
Unfortunately, her timing couldn’t have been worse because my son was coming over for dinner for the first time since he moved out, so I was preoccupied making hamburgers. “We’ve got 24 hours to get you stitches if you need them, so we might as well all sit down and eat,” I told her.
I don’t know where I got the 24 hour rule, which is much like the 5 second rule of letting food drop on the floor and being able to pick it up and eat it. Within 5 seconds it doesn’t get any dirt or germs – after that it’s infested. This is a handy rule with small children because they are constantly dropping food, either by accident or on purpose. If it’s an accident, like if it’s candy, they cry but you can cure that immediately by saying in a very chipper voice, “5 second rule!” and pick it up and give it to them. If they’ve dropped it on purpose, like if it’s broccoli, then you can say in a flat voice, “You know the 5 second rule,” then pick up the broccoli and put it back on their plate so they learn they’ll have to come up with something more creative to get out of eating “healthy” food.
If some of you reading this think it’s disgusting that I have picked food off the floor, let me assure you that it is a common practice among the mothers I know, and we are not meth moms.
Anyway, we had a rather pleasant dinner, and fortunately for my daughter, my son was chomping at the bit to leave because he had a friend coming over, so we went directly to the clinic. They looked at her gash and said, “Yep, she needs stitches.”
A rather cute, very young doctor, who I had passed in the hall earlier and, I’m telling the truth, he winked at me, came in and examined the wound. He smiled with dimples before he told us that he would be injecting pain killer right into the wound itself. We gasped.
“It’s a very short needle,” he said reassuringly.
“Oh yeah,” I said, “like that’s going to make a difference.” I continued to joke and kid around, getting a snicker out of my daughter here and there. Apparently to the medical staff, however, this was no laughing matter.
Part of the reason my daughter was snickering was because I had informed her earlier that the gash, swollen and on the soft, puckery tissue of the inside of her leg just below the knee area, looked like a woman’s private. She shushed me, of course, but as the doctor squeezed the wound and prepared to stitch, there was no denying the resemblance. I told her to take pictures with her phone, and when she showed me the first one, a close-up of the gaping wound just prior to the first stitch, it looked like pornography.
We watched him sew her up, which he did with delicate precision using a needle shaped like a U, pulling at the skin on the side with tweezers that made us both cringe, and slipping the U through then repeating on the other side before tying the whole thing in several carefully engineered knots. If I had been young and single I would have said, in a heavy southern accent, “Oh, doctor, you have such wonderful hands.”
Instead I made pleasant conversation. “Good thing she’s within the 24 hour rule of getting stitches,” I said to show how medically astute I was.
“Oh no,” he said. “Only 6 hours,” after that she risks serious infection.” My daughter scowled at me because I had forced her to sit and eat before getting medical attention. “Well, we’re still safe then, since it’s only been two hours since it happened.”
I did not mention the 5-second rule.