By Kanika G
Edited by Pell G
Copyright 2015 by Kanika G
On Saturday morning, Tania and Sonia were playing together. Sonia was now, 2 years old. She could walk and run and talk. Tania was thrilled to have a full time playmate at home.
Sonia adored her older sister, who she called didi, and wanted to do everything she did. Tania was very protective of little Sonia.
The girls were playing catch. Sonia was running after Tania. In her excitement, Tania jumped on to Sonia’s rocker. Unfortunately, she landed on the back of the rocker. The rocker toppled. Tania flew in to the air and landed with a crash. There was a loud thud, as her chin hit the floor.
Mama heard the thud and ran to Tania. Mama hoped for the best, when she saw that Tania was quiet.
But Tania was in shock. As she got off the floor with mama’s help, mama saw the deep gaping wound on her chin squirting blood. Tania stared in horror at all the blood on the floor and then, as the pain registered, she screamed in agony.
Papa came rushing out of the bedroom. Mama was cleaning Tania’s chin with some wet cotton. Sonia was sitting next to mama, terrified. Papa inspected the wound.
“I think it needs stitches.” Mama said as she cleaned the wound with antiseptic and taped on a piece of cotton. Papa agreed. So mama called the doctor.
In a few minutes, papa was driving the family to the doctor’s clinic. Sonia finally broke her silence, and asked in a small voice, “Didi got a boo-boo? Can I give didi a kiss?”
Mama said “Sonia you can give didi a hug, but be careful.” Sonia gave Tania a very gentle and loving hug. Tania felt better, and a tiny smile crossed her face.
Soon they were at the doctor’s clinic. The doctor confirmed that Tania needed stitches. “Stitches? With a needle and thread?” Tania asked horrified.
“Yes honey. But ..”
Her worst fears confirmed, Tania begged, “Mama please don’t make me do this. Please mama. Please. Please.”
Seeing Tania so distraught, Sonia got upset too and started crying. Papa urged mama to take Sonia to the waiting room and calm her down, while he took care of Tania.
When mama left with Sonia, Tania howled incoherently. But papa put his strong comforting arms around Tania and waited till she slowly calmed down. Then papa said “You know Tania, the stitching won’t hurt at all.”
“It won’t?” Tania was puzzled.
“No. The doctor will have to give you an injection. He gives you an injection when you go for your vaccinations. They don’t hurt, do they?”
“Not much. And I don’t cry for injections, because I am a big girl. Sonia cries sometimes.”
“Yes you are a big girl, and you have to be brave, because Sonia is really worried about you. Also, this injection the doctor will give you, is not a vaccination. It is a magic injection. It will make all the pain in your chin go away. So when he stitches it, you wont feel anything at all.”
“I wont be able to feel anything?” Tania’s eyes were wide with disbelief.
“Well, it might tickle a little. Isn’t that right doctor?”
The doctor had patiently waited while papa calmed Tania down. “Yes indeed. It may tickle a little. So are you ready Tania? I have to take you to the room where we keep the magic injection.”
“Can papa come with us?”
“No. Only patients and doctors are allowed in the room. There’s a lot of other cool stuff there too.”
“Oh! Will you show me the other cool stuff?”
“Sure. All the brave patients get to see the cool stuff.” The doctor winked.
“I’ll be brave.” Filled with curiosity, Tania followed the doctor with a spring in her step.
While the nurse got the disinfectants, needle, thread and magic injection ready, the doctor asked, “Tania would you like to see, what the bones in hands and feet look like?”
Tania nodded vigorously, forgetting that her chin hurt.
The doctor clipped a large black sheet on to a white board. When he focussed some bright lights on the sheet this is what Tania saw.
“This”, said the doctor, “is a photograph of the bones in the hand.
“Wow! But how do you take a photograph of the bones?”
“Hmm… Let’s see if I can explain it to you.” The doctor scratched his chin and said, “You know that light can pass through glass, right? That is why they make window panes of glass, so the sunlight can come in.”
Tania’s eyes lit up. “Oh! I see. I never thought of that. But it does make sense.”
“But light cannot pass through your hand.” The doctor continued. “So if you put your hand in front of a flash light, you’ll see a shadow on the other side.”
“Yes I know that. I learned to do shadow puppets.”
“Wow! Those are difficult. You must show me sometime. Now, X-rays are like light. But they are invisible, and they can pass through skin and flesh just like light passes through glass.”
“X-rays are real?” Tania raised her eyebrows. “I thought it was just something they made up in cartoons.”
The doctor laughed. “Yes they are real. But they cant pass through bones. So when you switch on a flash light of X-rays on your hand a shadow of your bones is formed on the other side. And that is how we got this picture.”
“But if you cant see X-rays, then how do you see the shadow?”
“You are very astute, Tania.” The doctor was impressed. “We use this sheet coated with a special whitish material. When X-rays fall on the material, it turns blackish. But in the the shadow region, it remains white. So we get a picture of the shadow.”
“Amazing! Thanks for showing me such a cool thing and explaining it so well.”
The nurse was ready, so the doctor said, “We are ready to start Tania. If you are brave I’ll show you more X-ray pictures, before you leave.”
The doctor gave Tania the magic injection and then stitched her up. And guess what? The stitching did not hurt at all. Tania could not believe it. She could see the doctor stitch her up with a needle and thread but she did not feel any pain. So, it was easy to be brave.
After it was all done, the doctor said “You were very brave Tania. So while the nurse puts a dressing on the wound, I’ll put up some more X-ray pictures, for you to see.”
“But what do you use these pictures for?” Tania asked.
“Another excellent question. Here let me show you. The doctor put up another X-ray picture on the white board.”
“This is an X-ray picture of the arm. Now see the part I have marked with a red circle. Do you see anything weird about it?”
“Yes I do.” Tania squinted at the picture and then said “It looks broken.”
“Yes, yes. That is exactly right!” the doctor clapped Tania on the shoulder. “So you see we, use X-ray pictures to check for broken bones. We can also shine the X-rays from different angles to get a clearer picture. See this picture of the bones of the foot taken from different sides.”
“Wow this is super cool. Thank you so much doctor.”
“It is my pleasure and you are all ready to go to your parents now.”
Mama, papa and Sonia were all thrilled to see Tania come out, looking happy and well bandaged. The doctor wrote a prescription for a few medicines and said that Tania would have to come back after a week for the stitches to be removed.
Papa paid the doctor, and they were all about to leave when Tania turned to ask “Doctor, can I go to school on the day after tomorrow? Please, we have a Christmas costume party.”
“Of course Tania. It is safe for you to go to school. And that white cotton bandage looks just like a Santa beard. You should go in a Santa costume. See you in a week. Bye.”
Tania waved. “Bye doctor, and I think the Santa costume is a great idea.” Then turning to mama, “Can I go in a Santa costume?”
Mama smiled. “I think we can make it work. You have a red shirt, red skirt and a black belt. And you still have the Santa hat grandma gave you last Christmas.”
“Yay” said Tania. She gave Sonia a big hug. “I am fine now. We can play again, when we reach home. Isn’t it awesome Sonia, that I get to go as Santa to the Christmas party?”
“Santa brings presents. I love presents. Will you give me a present?” Sonia asked her eyes sparkling and everyone laughed.
The hand X-ray was posted by Trace Meek at
The broken arm X-ray was posted by Just some dust at
The foot X-ray, front view was posted by Andrew Magill at
The ankle/foot X-ray, side view was posted by Mark Doliner at