Suture Strips

Mr. L’s first surgical suture strip

I’ve heard parents of children on the autism spectrum ask other autism parents if their kid has a high level of pain tolerance and I gotta tell you, no Mr. L doesn’t have this. There have been studies done questioning if those with autism feel pain, which I honestly find insulting and discriminatory.

I’m sure there are some who don’t seem to feel low levels of pain, but I don’t think this is only an autistic trait. I bet there are others not on the spectrum that also have a high level of pain tolerance. I don’t think it’s safe or fair to think that any human won’t feel pain. I don’t think any assumptions should be based on looks or ability to communicate when deciding how much pain a person is feeling- how inhumane is that anyways??

I know we could dive into minorities historically and even currently receiving less pain medication, woman being ignored when reporting pain- yes for hundreds of years and currently today, or the years of horrific testing that has been done on those with mental disabilities. But those are posts for another day, and you can feel free to do some of your own research, because it is out there and readily accessible. Today instead we are going to talk about Mr. L’s crash on his scooter and how I learned to place a suture strip. Because this is generally a positive blog and the history of minorities, woman, and those with disabilities is not always wonderful and covered in daisies and rainbows.

Minorities and women historically have been ignored

So just because I know my oldest child feels pain, is capable of saying ouch, and often asks for bandaids- even when not really needed. I don’t always know what hurts, even if I am paying 110% attention. This has been a thing for years, and I have been known to FaceTime my sister in law (who is a medical professional) who will patiently study her nephew through her phone and will occasionally ask him or I questions while trying to help me narrow down what hurts, where, and why.

A couple of days ago though, I didn’t actually FaceTime her to help play detective in where Mr. L hurt, but instead how to bandage him up. I was there when he crashed on his scooter. In fact my little family was all playing outside and I watched him hit a curb, soar through the air leaving a sandal behind, bounce, and jump up immediately and sprint/hobble to our house.

The craziest part was how quickly he jumped up and ran for the house. Most kids lay shocked and upset where their crashes toss them. But apparently not Mr. L. I ran after him knowing my husband would round up our other kids and soon follow. What I didn’t know was that I would soon find blood on the floor, a silent kid, and a little sad face and mouth covered in blood too.

Mr. L crashed and hurt his face

His knees and knuckles were scratched up, the inside of his mouth was bleeding, and even though I thought I had checked him over pretty well, my husband later found his shoulder got scraped up too. This picture doesn’t do the gash over his lip justice. That puncture was deep enough for stitches, but as you can tell it wasn’t long enough in length and the skinned up upper lip around it wouldn’t make sense for stitches either.

After asking Mr. L’s favorite person in the world, my sister in law, what she thought I should do about this wound and little flap of skin, my husband was off to the store to buy suture strips and special bandages that go over them. And I was looking up YouTube videos about how to place surgical suture strips and unfortunately finding a lot of laceration videos in the process, while trying to keep the blood mess down. I was also trying to keep my oldest calm while Mr. C continued to not understand that his pretend freaking out noises were upsetting to Mr. L and trying to keep Little Miss A from eloping out the front door! Never a dull moment I tell ya 😜

But did I mention the secret worry I was having? Through all of this my oldest kiddo was not talking to me. No attempts to tell me where he was hurting, no verbal attempts to stop me from cleaning his cuts. He was kind of in a different world and I was so scared he was going to regress and lose his speech.

Thankfully though when the suture strips arrived and I pulled out a box of bandages it was like a light clicked on and he started crying and asking for bandaids. But even then he handled all of it really well. He didn’t scream when I put hydrogen peroxide on his face and actually asked to put the bandaids on his fingers himself.

The bandaids Mr. L placed himself

Don’t worry, this story despite having a swollen fat lip and possibly black eyes in a few days… He got back on the horse! After he felt properly bandaged up he went outside to check out his scooter and away he went. True he needed Tylenol before bed. True I checked on him during the night because of how big the swelling in his face got before bed. True he wanted his food cut up into small bites that day and the following. And true he was really grumpy the next morning and needed Motrin to take the edge off.

But all things considered no stitches were needed, no concussion, and no fractures or broken bones, his getting scuffed up could have been a lot worse. And I gained a new skill of how to place suture strips. Which I gotta tell ya, since I only washed my hands with soap and wasn’t wearing medical gloves, placing that strip across his face (with the help of my husband holding Mr. L’s head still) really wasn’t that difficult to actually do. If your wondering about that special bandaid, yes over the next couple of days he let us take the white part off one piece at a time. But he has been really good about leaving his face alone, besides occasionally pressing the strip ends flat to his cheeks.

Mr. L returning to his scooter

So tell us, do your friends with autism handle pain differently? Have you placed suture strips before? Let us know in the comments below and don’t forget to like and share 😊🩹🩸🧩🛴

31 comments

  1. Oh no. That looks painful 😦 I’m glad it had a happy ending, though 🙂

    Do you think perhaps they do these studies because some people with autism may not be able to express that they’re feeling pain? Like if they get a bad headache but can’t articulate what’s wrong?

    Liked by 2 people

    • Absolutely that’s probably were the idea came from. My older brother wasn’t diagnosed until later in life and he was notorious for not telling people when he got hurt. Like he didn’t understand that he should let people know when he had a headache or when he broke his arm.

      Liked by 1 person

    • But the really old research done on those with special needs was just cruel and borderline sadistic because the disabled patients couldn’t verbally complain or tattle on those who were running torture treatments on them.

      There was even a time in history when not just those with autism were being tested and treated poorly, but the mothers were labeled “refrigerator mom” and were put through humiliating treatment too. Horrible stuff people have done to people.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Poor guy. 😥 Good job with the strips! That is always scary when they get hurt. I hate to see them in pain.

    My youngest daughter will get hurt and seems to really carry on over just a small paper cut or hitting her elbow. Other times, she might have a real injury and not say very much. It’s so hard to tell how much pain she is in. She has finally started telling me when she has a headache by asking for a Tylenol (Tylenol seems to be her new favorite word), but when her ankle/foot was swelled up the other day (looked like a sprain), she didn’t say a word until I pointed it out. 😮 No idea she was hurting. 😭

    {{Sigh}}… she’s almost 21 and all I know to do is keep plenty of band aids, triple antibiotic ointment (she calls it “glue” 😂), Tylenol and different kinds of ice packs (she loves them) on hand at all times.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Haha glue, that is so cute 💗 Isn’t it crazy how sometimes their injuries really seem to hurt when it shouldn’t and other times they just ignore or don’t seem to notice the times it really should seem to hurt? Silly people.
      I’m glad to hear that she’s learning how to tell you when she’s getting a headache, that’s great!

      Like

  3. Yes to suture strips – I have four boys, I’m a pro at it by this stage 🙃 One of my autistic sons does feel pain acutely, the other has an incredibly high tolerance (the only thing I’ve known him notice and react to was when several wasps stung him at once.) Glad your little one is okay 🌿

    Liked by 1 person

  4. What a Champ! I am impressed w Mr. L and his bravery in pain. Kids I know on the spectrum have extra sensory perception, feel the pain harsher and the pleasant more keenly. Good job Mom!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I didn’t know suture strips existed! Thank you, it’s very helpful to know in case I ever need them. That’s adorable that Mr L asks for bandaids so readily. My mom has told me I used to ask for bandaids when I was in emotional pain as a child. They just seemed so magical back then. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Awww poor mr L!!! That looks painful.

    I too agree with you when you say that assuming ppl don’t feel pain is condescending. Just like how people would say that black people don’t feel pain. It’s just not true. My daughter is still learning how to express her pain and sometimes she will say ouch for things that I know don’t hurt but like maybe it’s just the principle of maybe there being a visible scratch or something, but there still is a very clear differentiation between when something actually hurts her and maybe something just bothered her

    Liked by 1 person

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