Quote of the Day:
“A stitch in times saves nine.” –American proverb
A week ago Saturday the Little Scamp took a big spill. She split the skin open on her brow bone above her left eye. Her grandmothers were keeping her at the time, so they rushed her to the Emergency Room of a very well thought of hospital in an affluent, highly educated community to have the wound properly cleaned and closed. They didn’t have to wait very long, which was nice. And after providing TB’s insurance information and home address at least four different times (the bill must not be delayed), they saw a friendly young doctor. The friendly young doctor slapped some Dermabond (basically super glue) on the wound, admired the already blackening shiner and declared the child fit and fixed. Except that it turns out she was not fixed. He did a crappy job, otherwise known as “medical error” or sometimes the commission of “medical malpractice”. Two-thirds of the wound was not closed. But we DID get the bill for a hypothetical afternoon of proper treatment. They did, after all, have highly trained people with address-obtaining skills.
So yesterday we took the LS in to have the scabbing and scarring wound scraped out and re-treated. Basically she had to be re-wounded and stitched back up. It is the most routine of routine procedures, except with a frightened three-year old the doctors need to put her to sleep. The chances of anything terrible happening to a healthy child under anesthesia are remote. These odds did nothing to comfort me as I drove her to the doctor. I really can’t say anything more about that. Irrational, perhaps, but very real fears. They make me shudder even today as I reflect on how well everything went.
As we waited to be called back after the procedure was finished, I had an array of disconnected thoughts travellin’ through my brain:
- How much I loathed all these medical personnel–docs and nurses–going about their day as if it was just another day at the office and not realizing they had the most important patient of their lives under their care for the next hour.
- How much I loved and appreciated all these medical personnel–docs and nurses–for making the L.S. laugh and letting her listen to her own heartbeat and making her excited to wear her surgical mask and hat and for being well-trained and experienced and professional. As much as I disagree with their politics and as much as I fear and loathe the job they do, I have to say I like almost every medical professional I’ve ever known.
- How the phrase “in stitches” is a damn dubious way to describe laughter, because stitches are in no way whatsoever humorous.
- How funny the L.S. was when she got “drunk” on the medicine they gave her before taking her back. Looked a bit like her old man I’m afraid.
- How pissed I was that lawyers get the most blame for runaway medical costs when that little pissant at the fine hospital just tripled the cost of the L.S.’s superficial injury. And that I couldn’t and wouldn’t be suing him for his malpractice. And that I’d rather just whip his ass for being lackadaisical with the most important ER patient he will ever see.
- How perfect the L.S.’s blank stare was when the anesthesiologist was explaining to her the four quadrants of the heart and how the blood travels through them. Looked a bit like her old man I’m afraid.
The L.S. did fine, as I mentioned, and was back to her rambunctious, head-splittin’ ways by mid-afternoon, though with a bit more parental overprotection than usual. The stitches come out Monday.
For your enjoyment and edification:
The origination of “in stitches” from this page:
To be in stitches is to be in such a paroxysm of laughter as to be in physical pain. The allusion implicit in the phrase is to that of a sharp pain – like being pricked with a needle.
The phrase was first used by Shakespeare in Twelfth Night, 1602.
If you desire the spleen, and will laugh yourself into stitches, follow me. Yond gull Malvolio is turned heathen, a very renegado; for there is no Christian, that means to be saved by believing rightly, can ever believe such impossible passages of grossness. He’s in yellow stockings.
Despite the usage in Shakespeare, the phrase didn’t become established in the language and there are no other records of it until the 20th century. This entry in The Lowell Sun, in July 1914, is the earliest non-Shakesperian record that I can find:
“There’s a new face among the members in Ben Loring, a natural-born comedian, who seems to have no difficulty whatever in keeping his audience in stitches of laughter and glee.”