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Claire Tucker

other Has anyone here had stitches?

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So a couple of my characters in my WIP have had stitches for their wounds. Only problem is that I've never had stitches, so I don't know what it feels like. Anyone here ever had stitches? What did that feel like? How did that affect you? What did it feel like when the stitches were taken out?

 

Looking forward to your responses, and thanks in advance for your help!

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Where are the stitches located? And how extensive are they? Much will probably depend on the type of injury.

 

A little less than three years ago, I had (about sixteen) stitches running up my neck around and the side of my skull. I was knocked out when the surgeons put them in, so I don't remember that part. While they were in, I remember that area feeling tight and sore, but it wasn't outright painful (although I was originally given some pretty heavy-duty painkillers). I don't recall the stitches themselves being a big deal or very eventful in themselves. You just need to watch for redness or swelling, which could be sign of an infection.

 

One thing that may interest you is that they use a thick, slick plastic type black thread. It looks very harsh around the wound and against your skin. In all my experience with stitches they always create and knot off each stitch individually. It's not sewn up like you would sew cloth, in a continuous stitch. And they numb the area beforehand, so it just feels more like a tugging when they put the stitches in, but not actual pain. I have kids and have seen stitches quite a few times, and the process and material has always been the same.

 

Taking the stitches out was really quick and simple. The wound doesn't stick to the thread. Strangely enough, the stitches look a bit loose as they heal and aren't tight to the skin.  If anything, there's a very brief, mild tickle as they cut the thread and pull it out. It's not painful and no painkiller is needed for that part.

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When I had oral surgery before, and also when I had surgery to remove some cysts on my arm, they used stitches that dissolve over time and never needed to removed.  I was knocked out completely for both under general anesthetic. 

 

General anesthetic means you're knocked out.  Local anesthetic means that only the area being worked on is numbed.

 

Edit:  A fun thing that I remembered is that before I went down under general anesthetic for the surgery on my arm they used a bit of laughing gas on me.  I remember that after that, and before the general anesthetic took hold, being fed by a freakishly large needed I might add, I had fairly lucid thought.  I was analyzing things rationally.  The hitch?  That didn't translate when I tried to speak.  It was apparently very entertaining.  :P

Edited by TDDracken
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I've had oral surgery on my upper mouth once where I needed stitches that came out.

I remember when they put them in they didn't numb the portion of the gum where the stitches were being tied, like mentioned before they are individual, not like actual sowing clothes, and mine were also black. I remember that it is a sharp pain when the needle enters, and I could feel a lot of tugging and more radiating pain around where the thread was being inserted. Now I have an extremely high pain tolerance (have broken bones and busted ribs and I don't think it hurts very much, usually swelling or bruising is how I know something is off) and I thought that the stitches hurt a bit. Not enough to cry or anything, just enough to note it didn't feel like a tickle.

I don't know about in your arm, but I could feel the thread being pulled through my gums when they were taken out, that is more uncomfortable and unnerving than anything. I think that is more mental.

My sister also had stitches in her lip when it got split, and she still has a tiny scar from it, but they actually had to re-cut her lip because we lived so far away and it was healing wrong by the time we got her to the doctors.

My other friend was also bit by a dog and it took a hunk of her knee and after she healed, you could see where each individual stitch had been in her scarring, just if you are looking for the after effects of stitching!

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There's some great info here already that I'd love to add to! When I was about twelve, an unfortunate accident, involving a glass jar and my own clumsiness, resulted in sixteen stitches in my wrist. As someone who has a weak stomach, low pain tolerance, and was (is) a little melodramatic, this was a BIG DEAL for me. So if any of your stitched-up characters are little weaklings like me, maybe I can help!

 

I remember the wound itself wasn't painful at all - the glass was so sharp and cut so cleanly that I didn't feel it. I didn't even know I was injured until I looked down and got a nice view of the inside of my arm. That was when I freaked out, and I covered the wound and didn't look at it again until it was neatly stitched up.

 

The needle to freeze my arm was the only painful part, but I remember the doctor and nurses hyping up the pain to be worse than it actually was - although it was still bad. If you've ever had a tooth filling or any kind of local anesthetic, you know that sharp, shooting pain that spreads through you and then just disappears. The stitches themselves felt like tugging. You know when you wake up in the middle of the night and your arm is completely numb because you've been laying on it, and it just feels like there's a block of wood attached to your body? Now imagine something grabbing at a piece of skin and tugging at it. You don't feel it, but you do, you know?

 

The biggest worry after I got my stitches was that the wound would get infected, so I kept it wrapped up and washed it with disinfectant every day. I think it was a couple of weeks before I got the stitches removed. At that point, the wound had mostly healed but certain areas started to bleed again, so they glued plastic strips across to hold it in place for a few more days. 

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I thought I would add a little about removal in case you need it. When I was 17, I had my appendix removed. Don't remember much about it except that the residual pain made me walk like a question mark. And I think the doctor cut a nerve during the operation, so when it was time to remove the stitches, I could hardly stand it because it tickled intensely! :D

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For what it's worth, after my surgery and after the stitches were gone, I could still feel where they had been. For probably six months after, the area would sometimes itch, and I'd have to scratch it. I have no idea how many stitches. They were the dissolvable kind. I'm guessing somewhere between 15 and 20. Even 10 years later, the scar is obvious. No bikini for me.

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