Saturday, June 16, 2007

Pre-Father's Day Festivities



Friday Night was Family Pot Luck Shabbat at the Bay Ridge Jewish Center.

First there are services, then blessings, then pot luck dinner. After dinner, the kids run around and play, and then we usually go around the attendees and express what the best and worst of the week was for each of us.

We never got to the last part.

Melanie and I were sitting, finishing our meals. Shayna was in the lobby area in front of the ballroom where we were all eating, and Jolee was playing with some other kids nearby.


Shayna came in crying holding her head. This is not new for us. She's a tomboy and rough-houses with the best of them. I went to the kitchen to get some ice. When I came back into the ballroom, Melanie was holding Shayna's head. Her bright yellow shirt was now multi-colored, it was now bright yellow and red. Between the point when I went into the kitchen and came back, the blood had decided to flow. And flow it did.

Fortunately, in attendance last evening was the co-president of our congregation, Dr. Joel Sokol, an established Bay Ridge dentist who is a true mensch, in every sense of the word. He checked Shayna out as we dabbed at and wiped away the alarming amount of blood, icing her head as we sat her on the half-freezer in the kitchen. He examined Shayna and determined that she did not have any apparent head trauma of a serious nature (i.e. concussion, etc.). He suggested bringing her back to his office nearby and taking a closer look. He'd have better light to examine her under.

So off to Dr. Joel's office we went and after much swabbing and rinsing, he isolated the laceration, a nifty inch-and-a-half gash in my youngest spawn's scalp. At which point, Dr. Joel recommended two courses of action: the emergency room or, if we wanted, he'd sew her up then and there. Just be glad I shrank this image a bit:

We opted for Dr. Joel.

Sure, he's a dentist, but he's a mighty fine one.

He was great, distracting Shayna with leg-lifting games while he gave her scalp novocaine injections around the wound. After some time to let the scalp numb, he clipped some hair around the cut and applied antisceptic. Then I became more involved.

Here was my daughter, lying in a dentist's chair, and I was using the "sucky-thing" (duh, suction) to help drain the wound. The sucky thing worked and I really got a close-up view of not only the length of the boo-boo, but the depth too. Wow. The suction tugged at small loose bits of skin and hair. I was amazingly stable considering the gaping chasm I was facing. This was my daughter's head, this hole did not belong there. I was astonished and shocked. I cringed anticipating that I might see skull (I didn't, thank heavens), but I stood by patiently with the sucky-thing as Dr. Joel sewed the first stitch of fine nylon that matched Shayna's hair.

The problem with that first stitch was that it matched Shayna's hair a little too well. Dr. Joel switched to silk. The dark threads were easier to see and work with. Dr. Joel started sewing. He handed me tiny scissors to cut the threads after they were done. I never cut an umbilical cord, but I helped trim stitches. If you count the first nylon stitch as well, Shayna needed seven stitches in all to close the wound neatly.

It was an amazing start to a father's day weekend. We were home, we guessed, at about the time when we would have finished filling out the forms at the E.R., had we chosen that less palatable route.

Shayna met her pediatrician today to follow-up and make sure all was well. The doc was impressed with Dr. Joel's stitching and commented that he most likely had done a better job than whatever E.R. doc had done as well.

We are very fortunate that this was not as bad as it could have been, and that Dr. Joel was there to save the day!


Leon said...

Happily Shayna has come through with flying colors. But, the curious grandfather is interested in knowing: What transpired to place such a significant wound on my youngest granddaughter's scalp?

Mellomouth said...

And... of course no mention of the fact that our friend Kelly lives upstairs in one of the apt's above Joel's office. Bill brought Jolee upstairs to play with her best friend Emma (Kelly's daughter) instead of watching her sister get her first and only set of stitches.
Her mom had 4 sets by this age with 2 more sets to come by the age of 18.

Oxypoet said...

There is no video tape to go to. Several kids were playing with Shayna, there was jumping, collisions, and Shayna's head had a date with destiny with a marble step. That's all she wrote.

Grandma Cyndee said...

Since just about everyone in our family has had at least one set of stitches, Shayna finds herself in good company. Welcome to the club, Shayna!