Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Where did those stitches go?

I have five kids. Five kids equals many trips to the ER. We've called 911 more than our fair share of times. I'm not sure if the worst part of these emergency visits is the wait time, or the culminating medical bill.

My new pet peeve is this: Waiting forever for treatment and/or waiting hours before figuring out that the medical attention provided was non-helpful.

A couple of years ago, I took JJ to a local ER when I was sure he had appendicitis. We waited for HOURS before even being shown to a gurney. After waiting for yet several more hours, we were told that they weren't sure what was wrong with JJ. They proceeded to tell me that if I was correct, and it was in fact appendicitis, there was nothing they could do for him. They told me that I should take him to Primary Children's Hospital where they were better equipped to deal with pediatric cases. Why on earth would they let me waste an entire night waiting for help before sending me out the door to another hospital? We arrived at Primary's at 4:30 am where JJ was whisked into surgery for an emergency appendectomy. His abdomen was full of infection.

JJ spent a few days in the hospital, but now he's fine... No thanks to the efforts (or lack thereof) of the staff at hospital Numero Uno.

Last night we had another trying experience. Max fell and cut his face open. It was immediately apparent that he needed stitches. The Mister took him to Primary Children's Hospital (per my request) where they arrived around 8pm. They waited until after 2 am before being seen by a physician. I understand that the ER was busy, and I have no argument there. The problem is this... After waiting for 6 hours with a gaping wound, he got stitches, but the doctor decided to use dissolvable stitches. The stitches were supposed to take 5 days to dissolve, and if they hadn't completely dissolved by then, we were to take Max in to have them removed. Here's the problem... The stitches dissolved completely by dinnertime tonight. They didn't even make it 18 hours! Now what am I supposed to do? I know they won't restitch him at this point. But now I'm concerned it's going to pull open again. What good are dissolving stitches if they dissolve before the wound is healed? Seriously!


honeypiehorse said...

Oh my goodness. I've never heard of stitches dissolving that quickly! Are you sure they didn't just. . . fade?

heartsfullofjoy said...

OH! This just brings to mind so many similar and incredibly frustrating experiences dealing with the ER. We once had a similar situation with Natasha and dissolving stitches. Not only were the stitches gone, but the wound was open. My Dad kept assuring me, from the US, while we were in Japan, that the stitches were still there. I was certain they couldn't be. It turns out that he was right. But she had an allergic reaction to them, which caused swelling/opening of the wound, and the stitches were swallowed up. They did eventually reappear. The good news about this story, is that if she ever requires surgery, we know that they cannot safely use dissolvable stitches on her. I hope Max's situation turns out better.

Bebe said...

I wish I could believe that Max's were still there--but he plucked them right off his face! They were just hanging there and driving him crazy. arg!

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