It was our first, but I don’t think it will be our last.
When you have two sons who both love to run and play in organized sports and just around the neighborhood, you have to expect that at some point you will end up in an emergency room.
For the first time, that point came for us Wednesday night.
We took the boys fishing – something our entire family enjoys. Everyone was having a good time. Blake and I were fishing together in one area and my wife took Dawit to another area. Dawit was enjoying fishing with his own rod and reel. He loves to be able to do things for himself.
Apparently, one of those things he can do for himself is planting a hook in his forearm.
He had been doing great all night. But then Blake and I saw my wife and Dawit come over a hill near where we were fishing. My wife said we had to go, probably to the emergency room.
I had no idea what had happened and there didn’t seem to be an emergency. She and Dawit were walking calmly around the bend and everything seemed fine.
Then, as he got closer, I could see the damage. There was a shiny red hook embedded in the flesh of his left arm.
Dawit wasn’t even complaining about the pain. He even let me move the hook around a little bit to see if we might get lucky enough for it to slide back out.
But he had set the barbed hook deep and there was no luck that was going to prevent a trip to the hospital.
Blake tried hard to console his little brother. He kept telling him he was going to be okay. Dawit wasn’t worried. He said, “If Blakey had a hook in his arm, it would sting a little.”
Dawit is tough. If that had been Blake - who is no fan of pain - he would have been screaming and scared to death.
But not Dawit. He watched the entire process and barely winced at the pain.
We were lucky. It was a slow night in the ER. He got in quickly and, after a little lidocaine, he watched the doctor cut away some skin and find the end of the hook to help him remove it.
This kid was “bled” with three deep cuts on his lower back as a tribal doctor tried to cure him of pneumonia when he was a young boy in northeast Ethiopia. So a little digging around in his arm after a few shots of lidocaine was nothing to him.
Page 2 of 2 - In order to keep his mind off of the pain, we asked him what he wanted for a treat for being so brave. He could have had anything but all he said he wanted was some Cheetos and a Sprite. So about an hour after we walked through the doors of the ER for the first time we walked into a convenience store to get him his reward.
It could have been a lot worse. Despite the fact that our fishing trip took an expensive turn for the worse, we were grateful that he was going to be fine after the four stitches dissolve.
Hopefully, we don’t make a return trip anytime soon.
Kent Bush is the publisher of the Augusta Gazette, the El Dorado Times, and the Andover American newspapers. He can be contacted at: email@example.com