What would you do?

Last night was pretty traumatic in this household.  Let me set the stage:

Dinnertime.  The boys are sitting on the wooden bench at the table, cleaning up their drawings and markers.  I am stuffing crab legs in the big ol’ steamer pot, and laying out frozen fries on a cookie sheet.  Bill is putting on his shoes after a shower.

Suddenly: CRASH!  Ear-piercing screams ensue, as I turn my head and realize the big wooden bench has just fallen over on Max’s bare big toe.  There’s blood.  There’s more screaming (Max’s and mine– side note:  I am NOT the person to go to in a crisis).  He’s in so much pain that he won’t let us anywhere near it, not with ice, not with water, not with nuthin’.


I felt like my insides were being pulled out through my belly button.  For sure my reaction of jumping up & down with my hands waving saying, “OHMYGOD! OHMYGOD! OHMYGOD!” did not help to calm him down.  I literally felt like a mess of cockroaches that mindlessly scatter all over the kitchen floor when the lights go on.  I really had to focus hard to regain my composure.  Thank goodness Crisis Bill was there.

We sat him on the counter with his foot in a bowl of cool water in the sink.  The toenail was already black & blue.  It was bleeding at the base of the nail.  It was swollen (although not as bad as I would’ve expected). Not good.  He was hysterical.  I know there’s not much they can do for a broken toe, but I wanted to take him to the ER just in case.  He was clearly in a lot of pain.

“Max, do you want to go to the hospital & have the doctors look at it?”

“Well…. I’m really hungry!  I want something to eat. OW OW OW OW OW!!”

Crisis Bill, who tore off his entire big toenail as a child & lived to tell about it, said he’s fine, no ER visit necessary.  If anything, they’ll just tape it & send him home.  This didn’t sit quite right with me.  What if it’s broken?  He won’t let us clean it very much.  What if it gets infected?   What if it turns gangrenous & falls off??

Of course it’s Sunday night, Labor Day weekend, there are no doctors to call, the only options are to stay home and keep an eye on it, or go to the ER, which I know would terrify him further.  I decided to refer to my personal advisor for all things medical when I need answers fast:  the internet.  I know self-diagnosis is bad, but I can’t help it, I’m somewhat addicted.  Sadly, though, not much help there;  all I got was a mixed bag of “go/not go”.  I did find out that if it’s fractured, it really should be reset, and if there’s a lot of blood under the nail, a small hole can be drilled in the nail to relieve the pain/pressure, and also possibly avoid it being lost, which can take 6-12 weeks to grow back.  I had already figured he would probably lose the nail, being a victim of a double finger-in-car door tragedy as a teenager myself. 

In the end, we decided to stay at home and wait it out.  Max calmed down enough to enjoy some crab legs– pretty cool that we just happened to have his favorite dinner planned, which hopefully helped soften the mental & physical anguish a little.  I did go to the local Walgreen’s & talk to the pharmacist, who was at least 12 years younger than me and made it clear she didn’t have much experience with a hysterical 4 year old when she told me to clean it with alchohol.  Thanks, but I think I’d rather rip out my own toenails one by one than to have to put him through that.  We decided to just wash with soap & water, and treat it with neosporin for the time being…. and Children’s Tylenol. 

It still hurts him a lot this morning, and walking on it isn’t an option.  Right now, he’s resting comfortably with his foot propped up on a pillow and a big bag of frozen peas on top.  He’ll now let me wipe it clean a lot more, which is a good sign.  He’s such a little trooper!

I don’t know how I’m going to get any shoes on him, but I guess at this point we can wait to go see the Dr. on Tuesday.  Wish us luck!



The offending bench

The offending bench


16 Responses

  1. Aw, poor little guy. I think you’re doing the right thing. Neosporin and frozen peas cover a multitude of afflictions throughout life, I find.

    I am reminded of when I was just about Max’s age and bothering my big brothers who trying to lift free weights. I lifted one of the weights, not with the barbell, just the loose weight, and promptly dropped it on my big toe. To this day, they will tease me by chanting what I did then, through tears and screams, “On me toe it fell! On me toe it fell!” I guess the pain obliterated my mastery of sentence structure.

  2. Ouch! I hope he is okay! I would have gone to the ER. I freak easily when it cones to children.

    You’ve been given a blog award!
    Visit Izzy ‘N Emmy for more details!

  3. No picture of the toe? I guess we’ll have to visit Poop N Boogies for that one! Glad there was no er visit. Good luck with the shoes tomorrow.

  4. Oh yeah, I probably would have NOT gone to the er. If he wasn’t walking today, there would have been a call to my pediatrician (Laura Donaldson at Donaldson Pediatrics is AWESOME!) today to get her take on the situation. Doctors are on-call for just this reason in my mind. Any indecision on my part should be relieved by my doctor. Another option would have been to call my mom as I’d also probably take her advice in this (& most) instances.

  5. Awww . . . poor Max! I’m glad you had the crab to help ease his pain. He’ll be up and running around before you know it.

  6. my first thoughts: OW OW OW OW OW!!!

    if you want something more than soap/water to clean with, Bactine might be a good place to start ~ also there is this stuff called “Saf-Clens” (pronounced “safe-cleanse”) and it is non-alcohol based and wont make the little Max Man scream his head off…

    i think we need pics of the propped up foot with frozen pees on it 🙂

    one last thing: (((((((hugs for the traumatized momma))))))))

  7. It’s funny, my first thought was “wow, he’s in tremendous pain but want’s food”. “Wow, he’s in tremendous pain but want’s an ice pop”.

    I think that was a good sign. I would think it the pain was so overwhelming that he wouldn’t think of food and would want to go get help.

    I did the “slam finger in the door and lose fingernail” myself, it wasn’t pleasant.

    I hope he feels better and won’t need to see the doctor. I hope his mom feels better, too. 🙂

  8. He’ll probably be just fine. If the nail is still bad the doc can drain it tomorrow. Honestly, they won’t do that much for a broken toe unless it is really out of alignment, which it doesn’t sound like it is. Keep up the frozen peas!

  9. I think you will know if it requires more attention because it will look very swollen. You’ve done all the right things. Elevation and immobilization, frozen peas, and feeding him.
    Buy some cheap soft canvas lace up trainers and cut away the toe top on the sore foot. If he can tolerate walking on the foot this will protect his foot a bit and be more comfortable.
    If the toenail needs to be pierced because of too much pressure you will know too. it is very painful constantly. I suggest you have your Dr. do this as doing it at home can introduce infection.
    Poor little guy. I admire his appetite in a crisis!
    Hope this is some help. But you both are very sensible.

  10. Poor Max. I hope everything goes well today.

  11. OW OW OW OW OW!!!, It’s hard for me to hear that. I hope everything will be OK. By the way, i saw i good pict on your flickr, it’s that from your sewing studio ? would you like to see some handicrafts from my town (in Indonesia) in my blog : http://www.mylistrcraft.wordpress.com Thank you …

  12. EEeeeeeeeeeeeewwwwwwwwww OOOOooooooowwwwww!
    So sorry for the traumatized mommy and 4 year old.

    I agree with everyone else. he only reason I would have taken him to the ER last night would have been for some pain management but since he was interested in eating I think he was probably okay in that area!

    I would definitely call the pediatrician this morning though!

  13. We had a similar, if less serious incident here a few days ago, when a casserole dish fell on my 3-year old’s big toe. He CRIED and asked me to kiss it better- and was very upset when it didn’t work right away!

    “More kiss Pleeeease! More kiss foot! More kiss foooooot!”

    It’s only turned black at the bottom, so I don’t know what to expect.

    Sounds like you did the right thing, though. I wish somebody would give me crab legs when I get hurt!

  14. Oh my gosh! I hope he’s doing better by now. Poor little guy.

    Obviously, the offending bench needs to be taken out back and shot for what it did to Max. 😉

  15. Oh poor Max! That made my toes curl just reading about it. I am so not good in a crisis situation when it comes to kids. I see blood and I FREAK OUT. And what kind of an idiot is that pharmacist? Wash it with alcohol. Why don’t we just rip the nail off with plyers?? I mean seriously? If she hurt her own toe is she going to wash it with alcohol? I doubt it.

  16. […] 15-11-2008 Will the McCain White House be a Soap Opera? Saved by JordenChan on Fri 14-11-2008 What would you do? Saved by bullsi on Mon 10-11-2008 Soap Opera Saved by owenadair on Sat 08-11-2008 Shirtless […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: