everything’s alright

does getting stitches on the chin hurt?excellent lullaby everything's alright

I’ve been singing that sweet, soothing refrain to my daughters since they were babies. Actually, I’ve been singing it to anyone who becomes ill or needs calming (or will listen) since 1990 when I saw the movie Jesus Christ Superstar for the first time.

This past Saturday night, while on vacation in Palm Springs, I sang it to my 6 year old, but not in a dark quiet room as she gently fell into a deep slumber like usual, but rather in bright, cold, Emergency Room as she screamed and fidgeted under the needle and thread of an ER doc.

Approximately 53 minutes earlier, we had been having a dance party to our Summer 2014 Pop Hop playlist–joy and spunk filling the air. When suddenly, in a flash, the coordinated, adept feet of my dancing 6 year old betrayed her, with the help of a few slippery Uno cards, and she slipped, landing chin-first on the hard tile. From the speed of the fall and the pitch of her shriek, I knew before even seeing the blood or the wound that a trip to the ER was imminent.

She was terrified of getting stitches. She had had the glue a few years prior for a gash near her eye, so she knew that pain was in her future.

I had never had or even see stitches, ever in my life, so I was a bit terrified too. But I put on my brave mommy panties and stoic mommy face and reassured her that everything was going to be alright, even though I too knew that pain was in her future.

After waiting patiently behind the peaches and cream ER curtain for the numbing cream to take effect, and reviewing all the items on her Christmas wish list, it was finally time.

The events that followed happened in an unsettling flurry of activity and fear.  Before I knew it, the nurse had her wrapped up like a mummy, and the doctor, after realizing that the numbing cream had not done its job, came after her with a needle the size of a Number 2 pencil filled with Lidocaine or Novcaine or one of those caines, and my baby girl began crying and screaming hysterically.

I went to the top of the bed so I was right by her face and she could see me. I held her head as she cried. When I saw that shushing was not an effective tactic, I decided to sing.

Lyrics to Mary Magdalene singing Everything's Alright By the end of the refrain, she was calm and her breathing had slowed.

I sang the whole song though, and by then, the stitching was complete.

She sat up, happy as a lark that she didn’t feel the stitching and that the nice nurse was fetching her a purple popsicle.

I wanted to pass out from the anxiety and fear that were threatening to rupture my insides, but I simply held her in my arms and praised her for being so brave. Then, I told her we’d go shopping for a new Beanie Boo the next day, and that made everything alright.

Here’s a clip from the movie featuring Everything’s Alright:


1 Comment

  1. 1
    Mariana says:

    I love that you sang Jesus Christ Superstar to her and it worked! She’s a little trooper! I temember the first time I had to suture someone’s face I was as scared as you lol!

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