Tonight was my night to wrangle kids with lacerations.
I hate restraining kids. In fact, I really don't even like kids all that much. Actually, I take that back; the kids are fine, it's the parents who suck. That was why I stopped school nursing.
Kid 1: 2 years old and screeching blue murder. He had a wooden splinter in the bottom of his foot. It took Henrietta 20 minutes to get it out. It was near the big toe. Even wrapped in a sheet with both parents sitting on him and me holding down the foot, that big toe just couldn't be immobilized; it was like trying to nail Jello to a tree. At least his parents were intelligent, helpful beings with realistic expectations. They were tremendously helpful. I stuck a Cars bandaid on his foot and he seemed happy with that.
Kid 2: 10 years old with a teeny, tiny laceration on her thumb from the top of a dog food can. Crying, crying and crying, albeit silently. 2 stitches. Had to work around mom who threw herself onto the stretcher like it was an open casket. Made a WAY bigger deal out of it than necessary. The little girls older sister was more of an adult than the mother.
Kid 3: 18 months old with a chin laceration. It was 50/50 whether it needed sutures or not. Clearly, this child had never heard "no" a day in his life. Mom was busy getting out a picnic basket full of snacks and drinks in triage. I warned her not to feed him ( they cry so hard they usually vomit) but she would have none of it; "how else am I going to keep him occupied?". (Um, I don't know, read him a book, play a game of Parcheesi?). We were busy, it was about an hour before we could take care of him. I refused to put him in the room until Henrietta was ready to see him the minute he went in, By that time mom had moved through the picnic basket and was feeding him a Kit Kat. Mom was, predictably, less than helpful. I wrapped him in a sheet and as soon as Henrietta put in the local he screamed so much he vomited like Mt. Vesuvius. Surprise, surprise. This is why we tell you not to feed them.
But wait, there's more. The kid kept screaming, but in a kind of "It makes me feel better to make noise", self- soothing kind of way. Mom sang, really badly although you could tell she was thinking she could really sing, "The Wheels on the Bus". Only when she got to the "round and round" part, it sounded like a cat in blender.
"The wheels on the bus go MMMMRRRRRRRREEEEEEEEEEEOUUUWW and round,
MMMMRRRRRRRREEEEEEEEEEEOUUUWW and round,
MMMMRRRRRRRREEEEEEEEEEEOUUUWW and round...."
and the kid would MMMMRRRRRRRREEEEEEEEEEEOUUUWW in his own way at the same time, so he sounded like
Mom naturally wanted 4 pounds of antibiotic ointment and 100 bandaids upon discharge. Um, yeah.
Kid 4: Little girl, 5 years old. An older sibling had shut her index finger in a door, avulsing the nail. Both parents, two other kids, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and an endless parade of concerned general citizens came and went. By this time Gil had come in to work and he rapidly did a digital block since the kid was screaming like a banshee. Mom yelled at him because after he injected one side of the finger, he said "another pinch, dear". "DON'T TELL HER WHEN YOU ARE GOING TO STICK HER!!! IT DOESN'T HELP!". Oh, ok. She had about 300 questions, none of which had anything to do with her daughters aftercare instructions. She was very pissy, mostly I think because she had absolutely no control.
Kid 5: Dental pain, 7 years old. Really?? Seen by the dentist yesterday. Given antibiotic. Not Magically Better pills don't seem to be working because it's 10 PM and he can't sleep. Mom gave him Tylenol. Yesterday. Are you serious? A dose of Tylenol and OTFD*. Sorry, we do not give out prescriptions for Common Sense in a BottleTM
*Out the fu**ing door