All Stitched Up

On Sunday morning, we planned to go the early service at a church in Hong Kong and then stop at our favorite mall for a bite to eat and some bookstore shopping.  I was excited to check out their kid’s section.

We did all of these things eventually.  Just not the early service.

Jeff, Macy, and a friend of ours left our flat about 8:45 am that morning.  I had woken up not feeling well (silly pregnancy) and so Jeff had offered to take Macy with him so I could get some rest.  We were going to meet up later.

After they left, I sat down on the bed, closed my eyes, and thought – wow.  A moment alone.  What will I do?

And that’s about all the time I had to think about it.

I heard a child crying.  I thought – that’s Macy.  No, that can’t be Macy.  She’s outside with her daddy going somewhere.  She is very happy.

The crying got louder.

They came through the door and I walked out into the living room.  My first thought was that she was upset I hadn’t come with them.  This would be very un-Macy-like.  She normally doesn’t care if I don’t go as long as she gets to go somewhere.

I looked at Jeff’s face.  “She fell,” he said.

I raced over to her and looked at the blood on her chin.  I thought it was a scrape at first, but Jeff had looked at it more thoroughly and he told me he thought it was deeper than that.

“I think she needs stitches.”


I got stitches when I was around 10 in my leg.  I wasn’t doing anything crazy, just at the wrong place at the wrong time.  But they were in my leg – not that big of a deal.  I knew Macy was a fairly rambunctious child, but I never thought she’d hurt herself bad enough as a 2 year old to need stitches.  On (basically) her face.

Fortunately, the diaper bag was already packed.  Carrying Macy (and trying not to get blood on everything), I came back into our bedroom and looked around for what I should bring.  Cell phone?  Yes.  I ask Jeff if he has money.  Yes.  I spot Macy’s “baby” – a stuffed giraffe she doesn’t get far away from at naptime and bedtime.  I grab him and throw him in the diaper bag.  At the last minute, I grab her pacifier.  I don’t know what I am grabbing; I am just grabbing stuff.

Fortunately, there is another girl who is staying in the same flat as we are and she tells us the best hospital to go to.  She gives us a card so that we can show it to a taxi driver.  Bless her.

The fastest way to HK island (where the hospital is) is by subway.  I ask Jeff twice – are you sure it wouldn’t be faster to just get in a cab?  He assures me it wouldn’t.

So we ride the subway with our bleeding child.  Who is now switching between Dora and Mickey Mouse Clubhouse on the iTouch.  I don’t think anyone in the train noticed she was hurt.  She didn’t make a peep.  I keep looking at her chin.  Yep, still bleeding.  I brought a washcloth, but I was too afraid to really dab at it because she moved every time and I didn’t want to do anymore damage.  (Looking back, I probably could have grabbed a Bandaid.  Oops.)

We get into a cab after the subway ride.  He drops us at the front doors of the hospital, which just so happens to be the Urgent Care entrance.  I brace myself because I am prepared for a scene like a US emergency room – lots of people waiting and not enough doctors to go around.

Information directs me to a check-in window.  I tell her – my daughter fell and needs stitches.  Is she bleeding? they ask.  Yes.  A nurse comes up almost immediately.  She looks at Macy’s chin while I keep filling out paperwork.

The nurse pages a doctor.  We are whisked into a room as soon as I’m done with the paperwork (about 2 minutes).  Literally a minute later, the doctor walks in.  I am in awe of the service here.

The nurses clean her up and the doctor takes a good look. We have four options he says.

1. Do nothing.  It will heal and scar.

2. Some kind of glue to patch it up.

3. Some kind of seal to patch it up.

4. Stitches.

The doctor is definitely leaning toward 2 or 3.  I can tell by his face.  Jeff and I have a pow-wow.  Jeff’s had more experience with stitches, so I ask him – what do you think?  Just do the glue?  He tells me (and the doctor agrees) that the stitches will leave the least amount of scar.  But since its not really her face, just under her chin, it may not matter.  The doctor starts to say that by the time she is a teenager, it won’t show much.  The glue will be sufficient.

I’m not sure what this means.  I feel uneasy about the glue option, so I ask more questions.  How do you take care of it?  How long does it take?

The doctor tells me that you have to keep the glue dry for 5 days.

Jeff and I both snicker.  Keep Macy’s chin dry for a week?  She eats, she drools, she loves bathtime, and she chew on random stuff.  I have no idea how we’re going to keep it dry for 5 days.

Jeff can tell I am leaning toward the stitches. I DO NOT want to make a choice that requires my daughter to get a shot in her chin and then get stitches, but I want her to have the best healing possible.  I want to want the glue – there’s no shot, it’s less scary – but when I think about her future, I want the stitches.

Jeff tells the doctor – we want to do the stitches.  I breathe out.  Now for the hard part.

We lean Macy back and Jeff holds the iTouch over her face so she can watch Mickey Mouse.  This, amazingly, really helps.  They prep her and give her the shot (this was the worst part of course) and then she gets three stitches in her little baby chin.  I’m laying on her body to hold down her arms (and because I can’t watch) and we’re all singing “It’s a Small World”.  Seriously.  This is what calmed her down the most.  I’m thinking this kid has deserved another day at Disney Land.

And then we’re done.  They give us medicine, explain how to change the bandage, and teach us how to watch for infection just in case.  And for the next 10 days or so, my baby will look a little like Frankenstein.

During this whole thing, I am thanking God for lots of reasons –

We are in Hong Kong – land of Western medicine.  It was inevitable that Macy would fall down.  She’s a runner, a climber, a jumper.  She has no fear.  It was only a matter of time before she busted her chin open.  I am so thankful she did it in Hong Kong and not where we live.  I am so thankful our doctor spoke perfect English and was probably trained in either Hong Kong or the UK.

It’s only her chin – not her forehead, not her teeth, or a million other places that could have been worse.

Jeff and I were together.  I don’t know what I would have done on my own.  He knew she needed stitches and made getting to the hospital easy.

Macy was a trooper.  Considering the situation, she hardly cried.  She must really love Mickey Mouse.

The hospital was excellent.  We were in and out of there in like an hour – hour and a half tops.  I couldn’t believe it.

So here she is sporting her new bandage for the next week or so…

You’d think this whole thing would have slowed her down.  Nope.  She’s still running/climbing/jumping.  We’re just being a bit more overprotective these days.

At least until those stitches are out.  🙂


2 thoughts on “All Stitched Up

  1. oh my! macy you’re such a trooper!
    interestingly enough, sterling fell and hit his chin on sunday too. and maybe if we were there (hk) we would have considered taking him to the doctor but as it was we simply wiped it clean and stuck a bandaid to his chin, which was his only concern. 😉 btw: they don’t stick so well there (esp. with blood).
    looks like he and macy are two peas in a pod!
    oh and just yesterday sterling got up from nap with a huge cut on his eye. argh!
    too bad we can’t bubble wrap ’em huh?

  2. Poor Macy! And poor Mommy and Daddy! So glad you were able to get to a clean, sterile HK hospital. Between Disney and stitches, you are making some big-time memories in HK. (BTW, LOVED the Disney photos!)

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