She came in with her mother and her son. Crying a bit, because of the embarassment, she was also raging mad. At him.

“I hope they’ve got him in jail by now,” she muttered from underneath the ice pack held against her head.

As I entered the room, she smiled at me. A tired, half-crooked smile. The swelling on the right side of her face pushed the corner of her mouth downwards just a little, making her smile look a bit like a sideways question mark. Her left eyebrow lifted at the inside corner in anticipation of bad news she didn’t want to hear.

“I have good news for you,” I said. “There are no fractures.”

She beamed at the news and her little boy laughed in response to his mother’s joy.

“But you do need to get stitches,” I said.

“But they told me I didn’t need stitches last night. My neighbor came over and said it was just a little cut, and that since the bleeding had stopped i didn’t need any.”

The small gash through her eyebrow had already started to heal, but an unfortunate gap of about one-eigth of an inch would leave a visible scar and an ugly reminder of the night.

“Mommy, you need to stay so the doctor can make you better,” said the two-year old with oversized non-latex gloves on each hand.

I turned to him and leaned over. “You are a VERY (pause) SMART (pause) young man.” He smiled at me. “When I’m all done fixing up Mommy, I’ll get you a popsicle.” (A little bribery never hurt a two year old).

The patient laid down on the stretcher as I set forth repairing the unsightly cut. I numbed it up, separated the edges that were starting to heal in the wrong alignment, brought them back together again and placed six small sutures.

By this time, the little boy was jumping with glee and clapping his gloved hands together.

As promised, we marched over to the freezer and each got ourselves a Steeler’s Pop. We’d both had a rough evening.