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Arianne Brown: How true medical professionals calmed an injured toddler — despite their 'scary' suits and masks

By Arianne Brown, KSL.com Contributor | Posted - Apr. 10, 2020 at 1:16 p.m.



SALT LAKE CITY — Day 1,000,005 of quarantine had us driving to InstaCare.

Due to an ill-executed pillow/couch fort that has become part of our family's daily routine, there was an accident. What was no doubt a result of this daily fort ritual, there was a loose staple in the couch that cut open our playful 2-year-old's knee.

Tears were immediately shed, both by my bleeding toddler and myself. I don't handle blood well and I knew — judging from our last InstaCare visit where my same child lodged a popcorn kernel in his ear — that it would not be a fun visit.

Yet, when I put my injured and screaming boy in the car, I had another unsettling feeling come over me: With all that has been going on with COVID-19, were doctors even treating minor injuries?

It was a silly thought; of course they were. I guess being home for weeks on end had caused me to lose common sense thinking skills.

Upon driving to InstaCare, I was not reassured, seeing as I was the only person in the parking lot. Thankfully, the door opened and I was able to make my entrance as a woman-who-has-clearly-not seen-a-human-outside-her-immediate-family-in a-very-long-time, while holding a screaming toddler.

As I entered the clinic, however, I realized that I was clearly underdressed. It wasn't just my sweaty sweats I was wearing or the lack of shoes my son had on (I had to pick my battles), but I didn't bring my hazmat suit or windshield mask.

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Now, before you think I'm saying that part in jest, I am not. That is exactly what we were met with, and it frightened an already upset toddler to be greeted that way. It is the world we now live in, and we, the patients in need of medical assistance, would need to accept it.

As the doctor and nurse carefully assessed my son's injury and cleaned the wound, things started to calm down. The medical professionals in their calm bedside manner were able to ease the stress for both me and my son. Together we decided on glue and the reinforcing hold of Steri-Strips to bind the gash in my little guy's knee.

Despite the "scary" masks, gloves and protective suits, my son — who is no fan of the doctor’s office — stopped crying and started to listen and watch. In a matter of minutes, the procedure was done and we were heading out the door.


I know that these times are hard, particularly on those of you on the front lines of this pandemic. You are working hard to protect us ... You're dressing in uncomfortable clothing that makes you look scary to your young patients. But it is your kindness and love for those you care for that shines through.

In a clutch move, my son turned his head to look behind me toward the doctor.

"Thank you, doctor!" he said. "Doctor not mean."

I know that these times are hard, particularly on those of you on the front lines of this pandemic. You are working hard to protect us, yourselves and your loved ones from a disease that is hard for us all to understand. You're dressing in uncomfortable clothing that makes you look scary to your young patients. But it is your kindness and love for those you care for that shines through.

Thank you for all you are doing to keep us safe, even when moms like me can't seem to do the same within our own homes. #couchfortsfordays #toddlerswerentmeanttobequarentined

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Arianne Brown

About the Author: Arianne Brown

Arianne Brown is a mother of nine children who has found her voice in the written word. For more of her writings, follow her Facebook page "A Mother's Write" or on Instagram @ariannebrown.

Arianne Brown

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