Doctor Karlen

Katerina Karlen, Staff Writer

Old Father Karlen is better known to people outside of my family as our emergency doc. After I lacerated Bob’s head with my ice skate in sixth grade, poppa Karlen sewed it up in our living room. Almost a year ago John broke his nose, and once again, my father simply jammed needles up his nose and re-aligned it with the help of my little sister. I secretly envied them; I craved to boast that I too experienced critical procedures at the hands of family members. Little did I know I would soon achieve that dream.

On that fateful Friday I found my mind wandering to thoughts in which I somehow ended up with a broken bone protruding from my leg or arm, or in a hospital bed barely breathing after some extreme experience I miraculously lived through. However, my school day passed by without a hitch, and while primping to go play some puck at Klapperich, those masochistic thoughts vanished. Roughly two hours later I found myself covered in blood after a slapshot nailed my forehead. A cop showed up, quickly followed by paramedics, and during my brief encounter with the inside of the ambulance, I said the words I had been dreaming about my entire life (or most of Friday): “Don’t worry, it’s not necessary to bring me to the hospital my father plans on sewing it up himself.”

After a quick phone call to my mother and my release from the tricked out medical limousine, I was chauffeured home by my bestie. With blood still draining from my head, I finally embarked on the idolized trip; we pulled into my father’s surgery center parking lot and walked inside. Room number 3 loomed around the corner, and I giddily hopped in the examination chair. My father immediately began sanitation and encouraged my 14-year-old sister to follow suit. Good old Sal, (my mom), finished talking to the pizza place and patted my knee once more before she left to pick up three sausage-and-sour-kraut pizzas for a post-surgery meal.

No anesthesia, my eyes closed, lying under a blinding white light, the whole procedure began in a dream-like state. I smelled the formaldehyde scented topical numbing medicine my father rubbed around the wound and waited patiently for it to take affect. Minutes later I felt a slight pressure moving quickly inside the gash, an oozy liquid spill down my face, and cotton pads frantically try to stanch the steady leak coming from my forehead. A sudden stabbing around the wound drew all of my attention as I felt the burning Novocaine sensation spread through my forehead.

After a brief 25 minute pause while poppa Karlen took a phone call, he returned to pull a severed and slightly large artery a bit out of my head to tie it off and prevent a hematoma. Practically writhing with joy, from there it was a rather uneventful experience as my father whipped out 25 flawless stitches as closed the gash. With blood now dried in my hair and a swelling mountain on my forehead, bit into my pizza slice and hoped to remember this night forever.