Bryson City Seasons — Great Scott

This is from the forty-second chapter from my best-selling book, Bryson City Seasons, which is the sequel to Bryson City TalesI hope that you’ll enjoy going back to Bryson City with me each week and that if you do, you’ll be sure to invite your friends and family to join us.


The next day, I saw patients by myself at the office. Rick had the day off. He and Katherine planned a day hike with George and Elizabeth Ellison.

While I was standing in the hall writing on a chart, the back door flew open. I looked up to see Barb, obviously distressed, car- rying Scott. She was holding a bloody washcloth on his head, and he was crying.

I quickly put the patient’s chart in the rack. “Beth!” I called out to my nurse as I ran toward Barb. “What happened?”

I could tell Barb was upset, although she bravely tried to remain calm. “Scott was over at Georgianna’s house playing with little Mitch. They were eating chocolate chip cookies. When there was only one left, Mitch wanted it. Scott didn’t give it to him, so Mitch picked up a hammer and hit him over the head with the claw end. I was just walking up to their front door to pick him up when it happened. Georgianna gave me a washcloth, I applied pressure, and we walked right over.”

As she talked, I reached out and took Scott from her and gave my sobbing son a hug. “It’s going to be okay, Scoot.” His sobs lessened to cries. I slowly removed the bloody cloth, and when I saw the bright red blood gush into the large scalp wound, I quickly reapplied pressure and lifted Scott and carried him down the hall toward our surgical room as Beth came running up. I was trying to remain calm. “Beth, Scott has a little cut on his head. Let’s set up to fix it.”

I carried him into the surgery room. “Scoot, I’m going to lay you down on the table here, partner.”

I slowly laid him down as Patty quickly entered the room. “Patty, Scott’s got a little cut on his head. Can you glove up and hold pressure for me?” After Patty’s hand replaced mine, I per- formed a quick neurological exam on Scott. Other than his whim- pering and deflated pride, his mental status and neuro exams were normal. Good news! There was no sign of a concussion. While I examined Scott, Beth unpacked a suture tray.

“Two percent lido with epi?” she asked. She was double- checking the type of local anesthetic I would want to use. For scalp wounds we’d usually use an anesthetic like lidocaine with epinephrine added—the lidocaine would numb the laceration and the epinephrine would constrict the arteries, thus slowing down or even stopping the bleeding.

I nodded.

Beth asked, “Do you want 4-0 or 5-0 suture?”

With the question, Scott’s eyes almost bulged out. “Sutures?” he asked, and his crying restarted with a vengeance. Suddenly I wished I didn’t need to be both his dad and his doctor.

“Beth, let me take a look first.” She could tell she had made an error. Later I would talk to her about not using the word suturewhen asking this question in front of kids. Knowledgeable nurses knew this—but every one of them had learned from experience.

“Scoot, I don’t know if you’ll need sutures or not. I just want to take a look and put some numbing medicine on your boo-boo to make the pain go away.”

He was still crying. “Are you going to give me a shot?” he asked between sobs.

I didn’t want to lie, as that was exactly what I was going to do. “Son, first I just want to take a look and take the pain away. Is that okay?”

He nodded his head, and the crying muffled to soft sobs. He sniffled, and I helped him sit up. I pulled out my handkerchief and had him blow his nose. Suddenly a thought came to me.

“Scoot, do you remember the bedtime story your mom read last night?”

He thought for a moment and then smiled. “Yes sir!”

“What was it about?”

“A little boy who had bad things happen.”

“That’s right. The little boy’s father taught him that when you’re sad or when bad things happen, you need to remember that God loves you and that he’ll walk with you through the tears. You just gotta trust him.”

Scott’s smile spread across his face. “Sounds like you were listening.”

It was my turn to smile. “Yep. And it’s true for you right now. You’ve got a boo-boo, but God loves you, and he’ll be here with you and me while I fix things up. Okay?”

Scott reached out, and we hugged each other.

Closing the wound was not traumatic—yet I purposefully avoided being my family’s doctor whenever possible. I wanted to be family and not physician for my relatives—especially Barb, Kate, and Scott. One of my professors had said, “The physician who doctors his or her family has fools for patients.” Although that sounded a bit harsh to me, I understood his intent.

That evening after saying our bedtime prayers with Kate and Scott, Barb and I walked out to the bench to share a few quiet moments. We both gazed out over Deep Creek Valley—deep in our own thoughts.

“Walt, you did a good job with Scott.”

I put my arm around her and pulled her close. “Thanks. I’m just glad little Mitch didn’t crack Scott’s skull or give him a concussion.”

“Me too!” Barb paused for a moment and then continued. “You were sweet with him.”

We locked eyes and then just spent some time in silence. Barb broke the silence. “When we first found out about Kate’s cerebral palsy, do you remember how it shook us to the core?”

I felt a sudden shudder in my heart. Had it not been for Barb’s faith in God and her prayers, I wonder if our marriage would have survived. I felt my eyes filling with tears. I had not been a good husband during that time. I had turned from my family, and Barb had to carry too much of the load.

“Barb, I remember getting so angry at God when that hap- pened. I remember shaking my fist at him and asking, ‘God, why did you do this to me?’ I now know those ‘why’ questions usually have no answer—at least on this side of eternity. I think I’ve learned over time that the proper approach is to realize that God is in control, and the appropriate question is ‘God, what is it you’re doing here—what do you want to teach me?’”

Barb sighed. “I think you’re right on target, honey.”

I pulled her close, and we hugged for a few minutes. When I let go, she looked up into my eyes and smiled.

“What are you thinking?” I asked.

“So, Dr. Larimore, I guess the moral of the story is that when you’re sad or mad or when you have a problem, don’t blame it all on God, because he loves you. And he’ll walk with you through the tears. You just gotta trust him. Okay?”

I smiled, realizing that what Barb and I were trying to teach our children mirrored what our Father in heaven was trying to teach us.



  1. Dead Man Standing (Part 1) (Part 2)(Part 3)
  2. Eyes Wide Open (Part 1)(Part 2)
  3. Auspicious Accidents (Part 1)(Part 2)
  4. Answered Prayers (Part 1), (Part 2), (Part 3), (Part 4)
  5. Rotary Luncheon
  6. Death by Emotion (Part 1)(Part 2)(Part 3)(Part 4)
  7. The Invitation (Part 1)(Part 2)
  8. Barbecue and Bacon (Part 1)(Part 2)
  9. A Touchy Subject
  10. Family Time (Part 1)(Part 2)
  11. Chicken Pops(Part 1)(Part 2)
  12. Swain County Football (Part 1)(Part 2)
  13. Hospital Politics (Part 1)(Part 2)(Part 3)
  14. The Bobcat Attacks (Part 1)(Part 2)
  15. Dungeons and Apples
  16. A Tale of Two Surgeons (Part 1)(Part 2)(Part 3)
  17. Tanned Feets (Part 1)(Part 2)(Part 3)
  18. Wise Counsel (Part 1)(Part 2)
  19. An Anniversary to Remember (Part 1)(Part 2)
  20. Mrs. Black Fox (Part 1)(Part 2)
  21. The Littlest Cherokee (Part 1)(Part 2)
  22. Christmas Firsts (Part 1)(Part 2)
  23. The Silver Torpedo
  24. Another New Year’s Catch
  25. Turned Tables
  26. Doctor Dad (Part 1)(Part 2)(Part 3)
  27. The Phone Tap (Part 1), (Part 2)
  28. Labor Pains (Part 1), (Part 2)
  29. Staph and Staff (Part 1), (Part 2)
  30. The Ribbon Cutting
  31. Mountain Breakfast
  32. Walkingstick (Part 1), (Part 2)
  33. One Big Fish
  34. Memorial Day (Part 1); (Part 2)
  35. The Parade of the Century (Part 1)
  36. Lost Boy (Part 1); (Part 2)
  37. Facing the Music
  38. Flesh-Eating Bacteria (Part 1); (Part 2)
  39. The Best Medicine
  40. The Blessing
  41. The Runaways
  42. Great Scott


  1. The Murder (Part 1)(Part 2)(Part 3)
  2. The Arrival (Part 1)(Part 2)
  3. The Hemlock Inn (Part 1)(Part 2)
  4. The Grand Tour (Part 1)(Part 2)
  5. The Interview (Part 1)(Part 2)(Part 3)
  6. Settling In (Part 1)(Part 2)
  7. First-Day Jitters (Part 1)(Part 2)
  8. Emergency (Part 1)(Part 2)
  9. The Delivery (Part 1)(Part 2)
  10. The “Expert” (Part 1)(Part 2)
  11. The Trial (Part 1)(Part 2)
  12. Shiitake Sam (Part 1)(Part 2)
  13. Wet Behind the Ears (Part 1)(Part 2)(Part 3)
  14. Lessons in Daily Practice (Part 1) — Anal Angina(Part 2)(Part 3)(Part 4)
  15. White Lies
  16. The Epiphany (Part 1)(Part 2)
  17. Becoming Part of the Team (Part 1)(Part 2)
  18. Monuments (Part 1)(Part 2)
  19. My First Home Victory (Part 1)(Part 2)
  20. Fisher of Men (Part 1)(Part 2)
  21. Fly-Fishing (Part 1); (Part 2)
  22. Something Fishy (Part 1)(Part 2)
  23. A Good Day at the Office
  24. An Evening to Remember
  25. Another New Doc Comes to Town
  26. ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas (Part 1)(Part 2)
  27. A Surprising Gift
  28. The New Year (Part 1)(Part 2)
  29. The Home Birth (Part1)(Part 2)(Part 3)
  30. The Showdown (Part1)(Part 2)(Part 3)
  31. The Initiation (Part 1)(Part 2)(Part 3)
  32. Home at Last (Part 1)(Part 2)(Part 3)  

© Copyright WLL, INC. 2019. This blog provides a wide variety of general health information only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment from your regular physician. If you are concerned about your health, take what you learn from this blog and meet with your personal doctor to discuss your concerns.

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