the doctor starts talking about duct tape and freezer bags. Let me explain. My son did need stitches after all. We realized this the next morning, after a good night’s sleep, after all the excitement from our lake adventure. On the drive to the Urgent Care, and during the two-hour wait, I told my son in no uncertain terms that “he could not go into the lake whether he got stitches or not, until his leg healed. “You can get all kinds of nasty infections — like gangrene. So, don’t even bother to bring it up,” I said. “The doctor will just smile, and pat your head if you do.”
When we finally did see the doctor, we had, unfortunately, missed our “stitches” window, as his body was already starting to do its healing work. I won’t go into the gory details, because it’s just not something I can write about without fainting myself. Oh, and by the way, during the adventure, my son kept asking me to take a look at his cut, and I calmly looked him straight in the eye, without looking down at the blood, and said, “I’m the only adult here, and I have four boys to take care of, and we are out in the lake. If I faint, there’s no one to take over for me. So, in the interest of everyone’s safety, I’m not looking at your cut.” That seemed to work.
While the doctor went to work, with her assistant, cutting bandaids into steri-strips, forming criss crosses over his leg, we talked about Michael Jackson, and poor Farrah Fawcett, and in my doctor’s opinion, how Farrah Fawcett got ripped off. No one was paying any attention to her because Michael stole the show. The entire time, my son didn’t flinch, jump or scream, while she adjusted the skin around his leg.
As she finished up, the doctor wrote the perscription for his antibiotic. Because this cut happened in the lake, you must take antibiotics.
Then, the doctor said, out of the blue — “Now, if you take a freezer bag, cut it open from the top and the bottom, and tape it shut with duct tape, you can go tubing.”
I will interject here that this county holds more than 101 lakes. There are marinas, skis, tubes and fireworks for sale on every block, for as far as you can see. Water, is a way of life.
So, God bless the doctor, for even mentioning the remote possibility that all was not lost for the boy. She knows this is how people think around here. You don’t even have to ask.
Back home, in my land-locked town, those words would never even be mentioned. You’d have instructions to stay at least 100 feet from the water for the next month.
“What’s the worse thing that could happen if he gets it wet?” she said. “He’s on antibiotics anyway, and the cut is going to heal, regardless of what happens, so he might as well have some fun. I mean, it’s not like he’s going to be a knee model or anything.”
I gave him a 1 day grace; and then, we pulled out the duct tape, and took him tubing in the lake.