Monday, December 7, 2009

Finger Meets Bike Chain

I was furiously typing away, working on an email filled with substitute plans for my Bright Futures kids to do tomorrow in Writer's Workshop in my absence because I feel sick and have no voice with which to teach. Suddenly, I heard the most blood-curdling scream I've ever heard. It came from the driveway where my boys were playing on their bikes. I rushed out to find Michael with his index finger crunched between the bike chain and the evil-looking toothy thing that holds the chain on. By the time I got to his side, he had yanked out his finger and was continuing this blood-chilling scream, encouraged, I'm sure, by my hysterical pleas with the other children to "go get your daddy NOW!"

It looked like the top of his finger from about halfway down his nail up was barely attached. I rushed him inside and quickly wrapped it in a paper towel to stop the bleeding, all the while still yelling for someone to get Daddy from his office. Daddy is the great Calmer and Handler of Emergencies. He came downstairs, all calm. Almost so calm that I wanted to yell at him, "Your firstborn son is in great pain, and his finger just got ripped off!!" but instead I mouthed over Michael's head, "The top of his finger is almost gone."

He looked at it and then calmly said to Michael, "You'll be OK. Don't worry. Let's just get in the car and go see the doctor." They left, leaving me with my hysterics. With as much as Mark travels, there is sure to be a day when something like this happens and he's not around. I dread that day.

Mark took him to the immediate medical care center, the place that sewed Michael back together when he tore his brow apart. They cleaned the wound but then told my husband that it would be better for Michael to be under the care of a hand specialist. They gave him the address and called ahead so the doc would be expecting him. I hated it that Michael had to take the long drive to this specialist, all the while still bleeding, but the hand doctor was very good with him, and Michael was very brave.

The top of the finger was indeed hanging on by just a thread. Local anesthetic was administered, and apparently at some point, the doc pushed back the "top" and you could see bone--something both daddy and son thought was way cool and something I'm glad I missed.

The doc removed the bottom part of the fingernail that was still intact so he could sew everything back together. Then he sewed the nail bed back on so that hopefully his nail will grow back normally. I won't be able to see it all until Thursday when he is allowed to remove his bandage. In the meantime, the challenge is to get him to settle down and not act so much like a boy for a few days so he doesn't tear the stitches.

Needless to say, we did not get to our advent activity today; however, the rest of us did meet the boy and his daddy at Dairy Queen for dessert before dinner, so that's almost as exciting as going out to find the best Christmas lights.


Bunch of Barrons said...

Wow...scary! I'm known for a little bit of hysteria myself. ;) I KNOW I would have probably freaked out. Glad he is ok! Hope everything heals up well! :)

sharon said...

MILK it Michael MILK it!!!

dclouser said...

What an ordeal for all of you! Is there a reason why the bandage has to be so BIG? Michael is going to have a hard time working on his Lego's with that!

CrossView said...

Glad to see him smiling.
Personally, I'm feeling nauseous just thinking about it.

I prefer our emergencies to be when Guy's home, too. Doesn't always happen, so I suck it up and deal with it. Afterwards, I fall apart. So just know that you CAN deal with it when you have to. And then you can freak out... ;o)

Or we could just keep them in a padded little box and avoid all this altogether! I'm kinda leaning towards the box idea. =/

5thsister said...

Oh OUCH!!!! It appears Michael is pretty proud of his war wound. What is it with boys.

You poor thing, though. I know that scream. It happened when my daughter fell off her scooter at age 11. An emergency room visit and 2 broken wrists later....

Anonymous said...

Love the grin on his face! What a story he'll have to tell, eh?

What's worse, though, the blood curdling scream or the silent scream with no breathing? Egads! They're both torture to a parent!

Teacher Mommy said...


I'm cringing just thinking about it.


Kathleen said...

Sharon ~ Yeah, we told him not to get too used to the babying!

Debbi ~ I think it's thick for padding. Case in point, afterwards, while it was still numb, Michael kept hitting the hurt finger with his other hand. "See? It doesn't even hurt!" Crazy kid!

Crossview ~ Give me that box any day!! LOL!

5th Sister ~ BOTH wrists?? THAT would be tough!!

And tennisisformoms ~ I know I'd opt for the scream over the silence.

Kathleen said...

Oh, and Debbi, thankfully it's his right hand. Since he's left-handed, I doubt he'll let that big bandage stop him. I'm pretty sure even if it was on his left hand, he wouldn't let that stop him. Unless it came down to schoolwork. Then he would probably insist that it was an interference! :-)

Linda said...

You handled that so well. I probably would have botched it by thinking about it too long before making a decision.
I'm so glad there was a hand specialist available.
Your little guy looks so happy with his 'trophy'!

tsinclair said...

Having two boys, I have gotten better about the hysterics (several stitches, cuts, etc). Daddy always seems calmer though,often too calm in my opinion. I guess it is good to have that balance. :-)

Bernie said...

Oh my goodness. I feel for you in that situation. I wouldn't have been able to handle it because I faint when I see blood.

Your writing is beautiful. I couldn't stop reading your post. Your son is in my thoughts and I hope for a quick recovery.



SJ said...

speedy recovery

A smile from SJ =)

Cynthia@RunningWithLetters said...

Oh, Kathleen, how scary! I am so glad your husband was home to help deal with the situation. In my house, I am the extreme emergency parent, by default. My husband just can't do blood.

Good to see Michael smiling at the end!

@nnie said...

Ouch, Ouch and Triple Ouch! Can't believe I missed this... hope Michael's finger is healing well by now and I am so glad your husband was there to help. When my kids get injured, I can hardly even bear to look and see what the damage is. Great job, momma!