Once Upon A (Little) Big Toe

If you’re squeamish like me. You might not want to read this. Although, I’m not sure how sucessfully I can actually describe this incident. So maybe you’ll be alright.

Yesterday afternoon Avery was playing on Brian’s office chair at home. It’s on the wood floors and has 5 casters so it rolls fast. Plus it swivels so it can be a pretty fun ride. I heard a really big crash and went running to see what had happened. Avery had just rammed the chair into the desk – no big deal but pretty loud. It was about an hour until Brian was supposed to be home so I told her, “Leave the chair alone, and please pick up your puzzle. Again, leave. the chair. alone!”

I went back to my closet cleaning project and I kid you not, two minutes later, I hear a scream. Now, at our house, that’s not always a bad thing, so hopefully she’ll forgive my non-reactive self. But this time it was. When Taylor announced “Blood!!” at the top of her lungs, I went leaping over the piles of stuff I’d been sorting and went to see what had been severed, lost, or otherwise just damaged.

I found Avery hunched over the off-limits chair with her foot pulled up. I didn’t look to see what was the matter, I just assumed it was the awkward positioned foot and picked her up in front of me (and then I saw blood fly) and hurried to the bathroom. It was very much a slow motion moment for me. I could see the unusually large ‘drop’ of blood arch in front of me as I ran (and I thought, “oh crap! don’t run into it and ruin your pants!” as well as “stay calm! it’ll be ok – whatever it is!”)

I put her on the bathroom vanity with her foot in the sink still trying to figure out what had happened. There was blood on her arm, her knee, her hand….Then I realized her toenail had lifted backwards. Yeah, pretty much one of my biggest feared injuries – right in front of my eyes on my baby. I had no idea what to do except run cold water on it and get a washcloth and hold it on there tight. So thats what I did. That’s all the first aid I know.

I thought I might call 911 but worried that they might get irritated. I remember my friend Allyssa warned me about that once.

I looked at it again and could see where it had lifted and all the blood underneath. I started gagging. I can’t deal with the sight of all that or of imagined pain. (Don’t tell me about your injuries. I’ll throw up.)

I put her on the couch with her foot elevated while I googled various toenail injury descriptions and how to deal with them. Nothing came up, except one thing where a guy mentions his nail lifted partially and he went to the hospital and they took it off. Avery started crying again so back to the sink for more First Aid Cold Water Treatment from good ‘ole mom here.

So, irritated with the lack of online help, I did what I would have done anyway. I called my husband Brian and asked what he thought. “I don’t know … Let me know if you want me to meet you at the ER though, ok?”

Yeah, ok. God bless the phone nurses at the pediatrician’s office. One of the sweetest ones ever lives right here in Nashville and I got to talk to her yesterday!

Avery spent the evening on the couch and we let her eat dinner there too with ice on her foot. Taylor did as well because she didn’t want A to be left alone. (You know, because watching tv by yourself is a burden no 4 year old should bear alone. Sweet sister!) Here’s a pic of the mischievous patient dressed in her Dora costume.

Avery on couch

The Nurse Practitioner laughed at me as I recounted how I felt at the sight of blood. She offered lots of practical first aid advice to me so I can keep my food down as my kids get bumps & bruises in life. But just so you know – she said cold water & a wash cloth was smart! Ha! Oh, and just to keep a band aid on Avery’s toe.


~ by hthr on July 31, 2007.

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