I wonder if some families attempt 'do it yourself' first aid because they desire to save the money or the truly hate doctors. I can think of two times when my parents decided to try their hand at, what was at the time, a procedure done by medical professionals, but ended up at the doctor anyway.
The first was when I got my ears pierced in first grade. Back in the day there wasn't a place to get piercings in every wing of every mall. One had two simple choices - you either did the piercings yourself—ouch! or you had a nurse do it at the doctor's office. My aunt Winnie was a cosmetologist. She had pierced ears before and was therefore going to come over and pierce my ears. It was a reward for straight A's. My mom placed ice on either sides of my ear lobes and we waited. Once my ears were nearly frost bitten we were all ready to go, except for one small problem. My aunt had not shown up. No problem, my mom just took matters into her own hands. I can still remember the burning sensation of the thread as she pulled it briskly back and forth in an attempt to stretch the skin so the earring would fit through the microscopic hole the needle made. My ear thawed pretty quickly and the screaming commenced immediately there after. My parents decided to forgo the 'lets save a buck' plan and eventually took me to the nurse to have it professionally done.
Our second try was not too long afterward. It involved the riding of a Big Wheel. The lot several down from our house had recently been covered with white decorative rock. Some of the rock had spilled over onto the sidewalk. This created the perfect environment toget going fast, pull my skid brake, and slide. I guess I was a drifter even before I watched Fast and Furious Tokyo Drift, but I digress. Unfortunately I couldn't have foreseen tipping over and having my elbow dragging along the ground. Creating not only road rash, but a rock lodging itself in my elbow. I ran home crying. My dad set me up on the counter and proceeded to dig and try to get the rock out of my elbow. I wasn't really too hip on that idea, so they resorted to tempting me with the distraction of a new reel for my fishing rod. My mom grabbed the box while my dad explained how cool it was. My mom tried to sneak a peak at my elbow, but I wasn't hearing any of it. I simply was not going to cooperate. So off to the doctor's office we went. I remember them numbing up my elbow so they could dig out the jelly belly sized rock that left a scar that is on my elbow to this day.
I suppose there is a time and a place for 'do it yourself' first aid. Life requires a balancing act and each occasion must be measured on the scale of common sense and wisdom. Maybe we should ask ourselves if saving a few bucks is worth the potential emotional scars that occur from the fix it yourself approach. We do the best we can as parents with the information we have at the moment. My parents did the best they could with what they knew at the moment. I hope and pray that when I'm faced with these crazy situations with my girls that I'll stop and ask God for wisdom and a little common sense to make the right choice.