TMI – unless you like gore

Forget all that stuff about difficulty with yesterday’s eye injury (which is almost 100% healed, by the way). No, actually, what really bothers me more is, specifically, seeing my daughter smash her toe and tear most of her toenail off. With a giant axe.


So at about 4:00 PM today we hit the emergency room. The emergency room again – that’s three for the family this year. I guess I should stop bragging about how healthy my family is if I’m getting karmic retribution (yes, karma works that way!) visited on us by trauma.

My daughter did very well. In the first moments after the injury the neighbor girl was trying to say something to me while I was holding Sophie’s toe. Problem is, I couldn’t hear anything except my daughter’s screams. I like to think of myself as a low-drama person. In these situations I am able to speak normally and think quickly and calmly. Only later, when everything’s OK and I am at the hospital holding Sophie’s hand and she on a bed and under a blanket, do I realize my outward calm is balanced by internal shakiness. I’d like to have just a moment to go to the bathroom and have my own reaction – to cry for my daughter’s pain and shock and my total dismay that accidents happen to those I love – but in this case I didn’t get that time away. I had Sophie in the emergency room* within about four minutes of the injury and remained by her side until we were patched up.

It occurred to me only later, after pulling my daughter (now completely calm, bandaged, and thrilled at the prospect of both medicine – painkillers and antibiotics as a prophylaptic measure against infection – and an Odwalla Strawberry C Monster beverage) and her variety of medical sundries out of the car, as I say it occurred to me only then that within seconds of her injury I had ordered Ralph to confine Nels, bring a clean cloth and tape, and some clothes to take to the hospital – all the while applying pressure, holding her, and calming her.

And by the way, the x-rays showed no fracture and there is even a chance she may keep the toenail (not likely). Photos posted later for your viewing pleasure.

* The emergency room gave us extremely swift, friendly service today – in part because it was a slow day and in part because it was an injured child, I think. By the time Sophie had left she’d had no fewer than five staff members give her TLC, a stuffed animal to take home, a Polaroid of the event (Sophie and I cuddled on a hospital bed with her foot elevated), two kids of stickers, her own bandages, and three coloring activities complete with a shining new crayon set. By the end I was almost annoyed and slightly concerned she would consider hurting herself on purpose to achieve such thorough and detailed care.

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