Taking any kid to the ER to get a cut mended is stressful, taking an SPD kid to the ER is REALLY stressful.
Today T was invited to a play-date at Chuck E Cheese, one of his favorite places in the world. It is his own personal heaven, he loves the games, the playground, and the food. He never seems to feel out of place in his SPD “gear” and he plays so well with others there. Anyway, today we had been there for a grand total of 10 minutes when he ran head first into the “Deal or No Deal” game machine. He hit it so hard that he was knocked down to the ground. At first I though he just had a bump, but my friend asked me if he was bleeding. Sure enough there was blood coming from a cut, about an inch long, right above his right eyebrow.
When he saw the blood he freaked out! Screaming for his blanket, which of course I forgot (way to go mom) and that he didn’t want blood, an ice pack or stitches!! You see, he got stitches 2 years ago when he bit through his lip in a fall, and he’s never forgotten it. Every time there is blood he is convinced that there will be stitches.
I took my screaming, bleeding ball of 50 pound kiddo into the bathroom to see if I could clean him up. Sure enough, when I got some of the blood cleaned up, I saw that the cut looked deep and the edges weren’t coming together. He probably needed stitches, or at the very least butterfly bandages.
When I told him that we needed to go to the hospital he lost his mind. Screaming, and clinging to me, T begged me not to take him to the hospital. He promised that he felt better, and that he was ready to play. Never mind the blood trickling down his face. So off we went.
In the car T refused to use the ice pack, no surprise there. Cold is painful to him, like burning, and sharp pain at once. This was to be a theme for the afternoon.
By the time we got to the ER (about 10 minutes) T was completely calm and was almost excited to get his cut fixed. Though he asked everyone he saw if he needed “a stitch.” They took him back and started cleaning him up. When the nurse asked about his pain he told her, “what pain? There’s no pain, just blood and a cut.” They told him how brave he is, but I don’t think they realized that kind of pain doesn’t really register for him.
They decided to numb the cut with lidocaine gel, which T was fine with until he found out that they kept it in the refrigerator. Apparently for most people the cold gel doesn’t hurt as much as room temp gel, or something like that. Ms. Nurse put the gel on T’s cut and he screamed, “Ouch! The cold! It hurts, too cold!!” She patiently explained to him that it was “just cold” and that he was okay. I informed her that he has SPD and that, to him, cold is incredibly painful. That’s when I was reminded again how few medical professionals have ever heard of SPD. To her credit, she listened and made a comment about how she would have to look “that” up.
After two more cold gel treatments (and screaming jags) it was time to clean the cut and see what the treatment would be. T did really well until he was told that all he needed was to have the cut super glued. He did NOT like the prospect of anyone gluing him. He cried and screamed and struggled to get away. Afterward he told me that he was scared of the glue because he thought that it was going to be in him forever, and that they were going to use Elmer’s glue. Also, that the smell of the super glue made his skin hurt.
Minutes later we were given our discharge papers and T was so anxious to leave that he walked out of the room with only his Crocs and underwear on. (he had been in a hospital gown to keep his clothes from getting bloodier.)
Right now he is proudly showing off his hospital bracelets and his cut with the “magic, invisible bandaid” on it.
Not only did my kiddo get fixed up, but he left happy and we may have spread some SPD awareness. Not bad. Not bad at all.