Wednesday 28 Sep 2016

Black and Blue
Matt Seinberg

Being a father is not the job some people crack it up to be. I have changed more diapers and crib or bed sheets than I can remember. One of the hardest things about being a parent is watching your child get hurt, be it them doing something they’re not supposed to, another kid doing something or just a plain old slip and fall.

My eleven and half year old daughter, Melissa, has gone through a rough few weeks lately. For some reason, she started having terrible nosebleeds at night, right around bedtime. Being the cynical parents we are, Marcy and I thought she might be doing something on purpose just to stay up late, even though that time would be in the bathroom pinching her nose to stop the flow of blood.

Marcy finally arranged to take her to the doctor, who said she probably had allergies and gave no further explanation other than to try a saline spray called Ayre, which is actually a gel. I couldn’t find it at CVS, so I got the regular saline spray. That didn’t work.

So Marcy got Ayre the next day, and when the next nose bleed happened, Melissa put some on a cotton swab and coated the inside of her nose. Thank goodness the bleeding finally stopped. Alas, that was only a temporary solution.

We finally found an ENT group a few minutes from the house, and made an appointment with the first doctor available. When we arrived, there was the new patient paperwork to fill out, with some useless information always asked for. Unbelievably, I couldn’t remember the name of the girl’s pediatrician, but a woman sitting nearby knew the group I was talking about and gave me the name. Disaster averted!

Melissa and I go into the exam room and a few minutes later a rather youngish, I’d say 35 or so, attractive female doctor comes into the room and introduces herself. What makes her memorable to me is that as a kid I never had a nice looking female doctor. She was also wearing a very nice red dress and high heels. I’m sure any young male patient would be very happy to see Dr. K any time he had a nosebleed.

Melissa was not happy to be there, and when Dr. K attempted to put a small forcep in her nose to examine it, she almost cried bloody murder. The funny thing is there is no pain involved in this at all. Then Dr. K had to numb her left nostril so she could cauterize it, and Melissa really went crazy at that point. I was ready to tie that child down if I had to, just to get this done and over with.

Finally, Dr. K got her numb and put in the silver nitrate; it's a caustic agent used to burn and seal the blood vessels. Of course, it hurt a little bit, but Melissa didn’t care, as she just wanted it to be over and done. Dr. K told her not to blow her nose for a week and use the saline solution to keep her nose lubricated. I also told her not to pick her nose, which we know all kids like to do, just because it’s there.

Thank goodness, there were no more nosebleeds, only a minor one on Thursday, before the follow up appointment on Friday. So we get to the office, get in the room right away, but waited about 20 minutes for Dr. K to come in. There was no red dress or high heels today, but there was a very big wedding ring and diamond on her left hand. That’s bad news for all the little boys.

I told Dr. K about the minor nosebleed, and as she examined Melissa, she explained that it was probably just a scab coming off, and everything looked good. We didn’t have to make another appointment, but we should call if anything else happened.

Now we move on to the black and blues this kid has. We had some friends over last weekend and one of the other girls flung a swing at Melissa, and it hit her on the leg. She now has a black and blue mark about six inches long.

Last night Melissa was rushing hit the same leg on the side of the couch. It hurt just a little bit. Today, a brand new black and blue is forming, and it’s a real beauty. This kid just can’t stay out of her own way.

We can all sympathize with black and blues, we’ve all had that at one time or another, usually from rushing and doing something stupid like hitting a piece of furniture or a doorknob.

Oh, did I mention that Melissa was rushing down the stairs last week and hurt her ankle? Yes and she’s been icing and wrapping it up ever since. Her grandfather even got her an elastic ankle brace to keep on it instead of an ace bandage. It’s seems she goes out of her way to get hurt.

I think the only solution is to put her in a child restraint and not let her out of our eyesight. Even then, she’ll manage to do something and hurt something. That’s the pleasure of being a kid; getting hurt and knowing Mom and Dad have to do something to make you feel better.

Maybe I need to look at that child ownership manual again, just in case.

Matt Seinberg lives on Long Island, a few minutes east of New York City. He looks at everything around him and notices much. Somewhat less cynical than dyed in the wool New Yorkers, Seinberg believes those who don't see what he does like reading about what he sees and what it means to him. Seinberg columns revel in the silly little things of life and laughter as well as much well-directed anger at inept, foolish public officials. Mostly, Seinberg writes for those who laugh easily at their own foibles as well as those of others.

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