Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Perilous labeling

I know I said I would blog about how poor Elaine got stitches and an appointment with an orthopedist, but I just haven't had time until now, and I really don't have a ton of time right now.

Basically it was one part accident plus one part distracted mom plus one part big sister who has lots to learn re: scissor safety.

I was in the master bathroom trying to quickly brush my teeth without anyone waking up the sleeping Superman. Elaine was shrieking at my feet so I grabbed a ziploc bag out of the bathroom drawer that was labeled "nail clippers/tweezers" and tossed it to her. She was sitting at my feet. Val came in a few seconds later and they were opening the bag and discussing it's contents. I'm normally very good at labeling things and not putting mislabeled things into a labeled location (the thing will just remain homeless until I can put it where it goes) so I didn't double check the items in the bag too closely as I was only intending it to be a distraction for 45 more seconds. Plus, I fully expected it to contain nothing more than nail clippers and tweezers.

Well, that's all it takes, folks.

Next thing I know Elaine is SCREAMING and I look down to see Val holding SCISSORS that are around Elaine's right index finger. They're the small, baby nail-trimming kind that we have never used and thus the scissors were VERY sharp. I could tell the cut was deep but there was so much blood I couldn't really see how bad it was. I paced around the house for a minute or two, tightly holding a rag to poor Elaine's finger while I tried to determine a reasonable course of action.

I had to get her to the ER because I was pretty sure it would need stitches or glue or something. Maybe an adult wouldn't have required it but on a 1.5 year old... there's no way it was going to be kept still and dry and clean enough to just use band-aids.

So I woke up Superman (who was a mere 1.5 hours into his day's sleep) and off we went. I sat twisted around the whole way, holding onto Elaine's finger.

The ER wasn't busy, thankfully, except for a lady who had just been hit by a car (!!!) while bicycling. A good Samaritan wheeled her in a wheelchair - why she didn't accept the ambulance ride I have no idea.

The Dr. first tried glue which worked rather well, but then the more we looked at it the more the Dr. was concerned that perhaps Elaine's TENDON had been cut, because she wasn't straightening her finger all the way. We tried all sorts of things to get her to point and move that finger and she just wasn't doing it. So the Dr. said he wanted a better look and then he'd just stitch it. So that's what we did. He ended up not being able to see very well (such a tiny finger) so he still didn't know if the tendon was hurt or not.

Oh now I remember why I wanted to wait to blog this - I have a picture of Elaine giving us the cheesiest smile after we strapped her into the straight-jacket board thing.

Anyhow, they numbed up her finger and went to work. I wasn't able to watch very much as I was doing everything I could to comfort and console my girl, but apparently it was only (!) five stitches. Both the nurse and the Dr. commented on how well Elaine did, considering. Poor girl was screaming "UP! UP! UP!" (as in pick me up, Mommy) and "ALL DONE! ALL DONE!" I was right there kissing her, holding her other hand, hugging her, stroking her head, singing to her... utterly heartbreaking.

The nurse designed the coolest bandage for the finger. I mean, I know they have lots of practice, but he designed it so perfectly to maximise the chances of it remaining on the finger of a 1.5 year old. I was impressed.

And then we set an appointment with an orthopedist and the ER Dr. mentioned HAND SURGERY and I shuddered and cringed and berated myself further.

Then we fled to the parking lot where Superman and Val waited. Val was buckled in, playing with some toys and Superman reclined in the passenger's seat, with the front windows down. Without giving it much thought, I reached in the window and lightly touched Superman's arm to wake him up and let him know we were back.

Holy cow.

The second I touched him he bolted upright, his other arm flew up to grab my arm and a split second later his other hand was ready to... I don't know, punch me or something. But then he saw it was me and I was holding Elaine and he and woke all the way up and of course I was saying, "it's me, it's me, it's me, it's ok, it's just me!"

It's nice to know he has good reflexes though, even when dozing off. Beware!

And so ends the adventure of the sliced finger, at least this installment. Hopefully I'll have a good report after the appointment on Friday, though given what I've observed since, I'm pretty sure the tendon is damaged.



  1. Oh no! That is so horrible. I would have been crying. I hope you aren't too traumitzed. I'm sure she'll be fine, but it sure does hurt a mama's heart.On another note, I was wondering just the other day why you weren't blogging. Stupid google reader wasn't picking up your posts! I have re-subscribed so I hope I won't miss anything else.

  2. Hi Becky! Goodness, you did have a frightful day! These can take a lot out of a person. I have a few stories for ya....one, about me. When I was just little.......don't know the exact age, I sliced my index finger open with a razor......yep, cut it right down the middle. Got into the medicine cabinet. It healed, but I have a lovely scar to prove it. And worse than that, when I was working for a Christian school, I had to take a little boy to the hospital whose finger was almost completely severed. That was scary to say the least! His sweet little hand got caught in the door when it was closing.......That took a lot out of me for sure. So I can understand how unnerving this whole episode was for you. I'm so sorry your little one was hurt.....as mothers we completely freak out.........it's very upsetting. Keep us posted on how she does and if she needs additional surgery. Sure hope not! Love you!

  3. Holy crap.*holds breath during most of story**laughs nervously at Josh's reflexes*