Tuesday, 17 April 2012

The Heat of the Moment

Warning: Talk of blood and gross stuff, skip this post if squeamish.

We've had a run of head injuries lately.  I've kind of lost count but I think we might be up to 8 in the last three weeks.  I can't remember what caused them all but I can remember the locations of the bruises so working from that the tally sits at 3 for Dragon and 5 for Monkey... Lion has got off easily in this little competition!

Really, it has looked quite horrific around here, they had mirror image bruises on their faces for quite a while.  Each one had a black eye, a bruise on their cheek and one on their forehead.  Monkey's were all on the right and Dragon's on the left.  Monkey's other two were on the back of his head, both creating a little egg and one leaving a bit of a gash... though nothing requiring special attention (well, any more than a cuddle and a kiss is special attention).

For two of these incidents there was blood, and for all of them (that I was around for) I was cool, calm, and collected and assessed the injury and took things in my stride and got stuff sorted.  I checked for any knocked out teeth, I checked pupil dilation, I had it all under control.  A friend cut her finger today at playgroup and I was the same.  She was too afraid to look so I checked for her how deep it was and if it needed special attention (like a stitch or two, not a cuddle and a kiss) and saw that although it was nasty and long, it wasn't deep and would heal quite fine with just a band-aid.  I dressed it for her and took away the bloody paper towel it had been wrapped in and thought nothing of it.  After playgroup, at the shops, is when Monkey got his gash in his head.  He settled quite quickly with some snuggles and we thought it wasn't too bad, then my cousin spotted some blood on his head so we tried to look but it had already started to dry and we couldn't see how bad it was but since it was already drying and stopped bleeding it can't be too bad right?  He wasn't keen on me trying to get near it for the rest of the day so fast forward 5 hours and I decide that I need to clean away some of the dried blood and find out exactly what's going on.  My head starts spinning, my belly does flippy-floppies, I feel queasy and gross.  WHAT THE?  I checked on a woman's finger that had quite possibly been sliced right open with a knife and didn't flinch and now I can't clean away some dried blood without considering if I need a bucket next to me?

He didn't let me clean it up anyway... it hurt and he didn't want me fixing it, no matter how gently!  That was fine, it was obviously not too bad so the clean up could wait.  After his bath I left his hair quite soggy to soften the gunge and then tried to wipe it away, I was prepared to feel queasy again.  This time it was for a totally different reason, my poor little Monkey must have been such a tough little dude!  The thought of how much the ding in his head must have hurt made me want to throw up.  I really can't handle the thought of my kids being in pain.  Anyway, had I seen that at the time I may have trotted him off to the doctors but instead I figure that 7 hours later they are probably not going to do anything about it anyway so he's now sleeping soundly with some Pain Stop to help.

So, are you Johnny-on-the-Spot when someone has an injury and take it all in your stride and do what needs to be done?  Do you then get all queasy when it comes to re-dressing a wound a day or two later? I feel so stupid when it happens! A nurse friend explained it to me like this... "It's because adrenaline pulls the blood flow away from your stomach and sends it to your brain to keep the major organs running in the heat of the moment! So now that it's all settled there's plenty of blood flowing through your gastric system to make you feel queasy."  Well that's great... but I kind of need to not puke on my kid when I'm just trying to clean a little bit of blood off his noggin.

It also makes me wonder how all this relates to how on earth this queasy woman survived as a clinical photographer for 3 months?  And loved it??  I guess I was just in photographer mode, surveying the scene not part of it.  Maybe I need to put on my clinical photographer hat next time I need to deal with one of these post-drama clean ups... 


  1. Your family has had its share of bumps and bruises! Glad everyone's turned out okay.

    I didn't know that you had been a clinical photographer. That must have been interesting. I think we get queasier when it's our own child.... We kind of feel it deep down, don't we?

  2. I am terrible. Absolutely terrible.
    I swear, I freak the moment someone is injured. I go straight into panic.
    It's awful.
    I wish I wasn't like this, but I am .
    It's horrible.
    Good for you handling is well 99% of the time :)

  3. I hope that ends the spate of injuries for a while. Poor Monkey.
    I've seen plenty of blood and gore at work and am pretty fine with it. Some things (like eye injuries or dislocated fingers) still make me squeamish, but probably depends on the day. And I'm calling it empathy.
    I think you did extremely well.

  4. You are trooper, don't worry about the queasy feeling.
    Boys, they always have lumps and bumps. Sounds like they are in good hands.

  5. I worked as the clinical photographer briefly while the actual one was on holidays once when I was a student ~ it was really fun! I'm like you & good when the actual things are happening. I stay amazingly calm & cool in the head, but afterwards not so. I must say though last night I was at a ladies thing & there was this old lady who raced to the toilet with v & d & I happened to go to the toilet at the wrong time & didn't realise what I was walking in. It was one of the first times my stomach turned right then & there. I got a seat for her & made sure she was alright, but was so glad when a friend who is a nurse came & I could leave it to her. I still feel yucky today, but don't know if it's psychological or if I'm coming down with something ;)
    Have a good day ~ you're doing a wonderful job. We Mum's of many boys need to be able to remain calm in emergencies!

  6. Haven't seen a post from you in a while. Hope all is well with you and your family.


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