Tuesday, May 8, 2012

$500 steri strips VS. $2 butterfly closures

image from coloringpagesforkids.info

$500 Steri-Strips VS. $2 Butterfly Closures

So I have finally graduated to that stage of motherhood where I had my first real injury.  Mr. C has been the best little boy avoiding all manner of injury in his past 10 years.  Granted, he is continually bruised up, but he has never had stitches or broken any bones.  However, his luck ended last Wednesday at the campground.  Racing your sister on your grandfather's bike will do that to you.  Pavement is unforgiving after all.  When I drove up to pick him up (he was staying with his grandparents), his grandmother met me and started with, "Now it isn't too bad of a cut..."  I knew that it had to be more than your average scrape if she started this way.  So I went into the camper and looked at it.  It was bloody and icky, but didn't seem to be too bad.  We then went on to AWANA's with him having the instructions to not "run and play."

After AWANA, he was limping on his leg, but I didn't think to much about that.  After all, he is likely to limp just for the fun of limping.  At home however, I went to clean his cut and noticed that it looked much worse.  In fact, it looked so much worse that my first thought was stitches.  It was gaping open and still oozing blood and such.  The next morning I got an appointment with our pediatrician.  His tetanus shot was due so I figured I would just get his tetanus updated and have the pediatrician peek at it.  The first thing the pediatrician said was that it should have had a stitch the night before, but now that wasn't a possibility.  He said he would just put some steri-strips on it.  I figured that would be a good plan too.  He left to get the nurse and Mr. C says, "I sure am glad we didn't go to the doctor yesterday!"  Now, I need to stop a minute and tell you that I had dropped both girls off at the lake to stay at the camper with their grandparents so it was just the boys and I.  And I figured the baby wouldn't be a big deal.  Our nurse is the fastest shot in the west and how long could it possible take to look at a cut and possibly put on a steri-strip?  So after the terrific temper tantrum in the lobby because I would not let the baby play with the cool toys that all the sick kids play with, I thought we were in for smooth sailing.  A shot, a peek, and then we would be on our way.

Nurse Monica came in to clean up the cut.  Baby C was starting to get a little fidgety.  He was still disgruntled because I would not let him play with the germ laden toys in the lobby.  And now he decided the red haz/mat trash can was looking especially appealing.  However, as soon as the nurse started cleaning the wound, Baby C sat right on the exam table to supervise.  He is very fond of Mr. C after all and he needed to make sure this nurse person didn't hurt his favorite big brother with her big swabs of betadyne. During the cleaning and discussion about the accident, Mr. C admits that he didn't "run and play" at AWANA.  No sir.  He just rode the carts and walked during game time. See how that is totally different than "running and playing?"  Yeah, me either. So if you want your child to sit out on the sidelines during game time, you apparently have to state it exactly like that.  Children are a lot like pharisees and lawyers, looking for the loophole and the letter of the law.  Well, during his not running and playing, he had popped that cut open further and now the fat under his skin was sticking out.  It looked nasty.  The nurse swabbed the cut well and got instruments ready for the doctor.

That went well and Baby C made appropriate oohs and ahhs during the cleaning process.  When the doctor came back in Baby C held up his finger with the cut (from weeks ago), just in case Dr. O needed to see it too.  Mr. C sat silently still not sure what a steri-strip was and hoping that it wouldn't hurt.  I think he was concerned about the sterile scissors and what their part in the whole process was.  Thus started the next hour of a circus, I mean appointment.  Imagine the doctor dropping the first sterile tool, the steri-strips not sticking, trying 3-4 more kinds and sizes of steri-strips and each time sending the nurse out for fresh tools.  Each time Baby C LOUDLY exclaimed "BYE!" to which the nurse stops and tells Baby C each and every time that she is in fact not leaving, but coming right back. I'm thinking, "Really?  Just get moving sister!  Baby C is like a time bomb...we only have so much time!"  Then imagine me trying to keep Baby C out of the red haz/mat trash can with the nifty foot press that magically opens it, reading him the whooping cough brochure ...3 times, no less...and letting him color with the germ laden crayons that are in every exam room and then taking said crayons away when he decides that the white walls are boring and need some artwork and for the final moments appeasing him with a flavored tongue depressor.  You can only imagine how small that exam room felt after an hour with the doctor, nurse, Mr. C, Baby C and myself in it.  Finally, Mr. C had his cut steri-stripped and his whole foot was numb from being still so long and it also hurt from having the wound pinched closed over and over again.  And this whole time it never occurs to me that this whole circus, I mean appointment is now considered level 3 Minor Surgery.  And the cost for such a visit is $500.  OUCH!

The worst part is that the next morning the steri-strips were both off and completely useless.  I could hear the sound of the toilet flushing my hard earned, well hubbies hard earned, cash down the toilet.  I wasn't about to head back to the doctor for another $500 visit, so I went to  HEB, grabbed a box of butterfly closures and in a matter of minutes his cut was taken care of.  It  is still healing, of course, but looking better all the time.  And the total cost for my treatment was $2 since I keep peroxide and neosporin and yes, even betadyne in my medicine cabinet.  So I learned a valuable lesson about injury. And that is to try the butterfly closure first, instead of last.  And now I need to go reschedule dental appointments since that little visit depleted my medical account for a while.   Oh the joys of a high deductible insurance plan.

Nurse P

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