Friday, June 22, 2007

The accident prone...

gene and its consequent effect on family members leading to injury escapades is legendary in our family. My mom's brother, as a child, ran across the street chasing a ball, was hit by a car and walked away with a bloody nose and some bruises. My husband's uncle, as a child, fell out of a moving car and escaped with bruises. Although his mom needed therapy later.

My father-in-law was playing on an adult soccer team, kicked the ball and broke his leg in four places. You could hear it snap from the stands, they said. My husband's brother fell into a lake while at a family gathering and drowned. He was miraculously resuscitated 20 minutes later.

My favorite stories are on my sister. When she was 7, she fell off of her new bike and opened up her knee, requiring 5 stitches. Two weeks later, the afternoon of the morning the stitches were removed, she fell again, on the same knee and reopened the same wound, requiring 5 more stitches. Ten years later during a band trip to Busch Gardens, she rented some bikes with friends and while pedaling through the park fell off her bike into landscape gravel, reopened the previous injury and this time required plastic surgery to repair the damage because of all the scar tissue.

Or how about the time she was at a party, turned to leave, and walked straight into a wrought iron gate, splitting her eyebrow open to the bone, requiring 8 stitches by a plastic surgeon.

I could go on, but then this whole blog will sound like an ER episode. Well, it will anyway, but to go on with the story. Accident prone runs genetically through both branches of our family, quite strongly in fact. So as an adoptive mom, I honestly remember thinking that perhaps a safety net for my two adopted sons would be NOT getting this gene from our pool. But it isn't so! My oldest boy has kept us either in the ER or making really good friends with various doctor types willing to dispense gratuitous medical care. I'm a good cook so I do reciprocate with goodies and even meals depending on the injury and nature of repair.

Remember the marvelous family who shares their pool with us? Well, it just so happens that he is also a surgeon who has personally repaired my oldest child, and Wednesday was the latest.

We had been swimming and were preparing to leave, but while the mom and I were gabbing, the boys were running around the yard barefoot. Chess managed to put a two inch piece of wood all the way through the edge of his pinkie toe, just above the webbing. A piece of the wood was poking out the front, and the rest was poking out the back. Diagnosis: pinkie toe impalement.

To complicate matters, the wood splintered in his toe so that the sequence required a rewrite of an old favorite:
This little piggie went to market, this little piggie stayed home, this little piggie had roast beef, this little piggie had none, piece of wood, piece of toe, piece of wood, this little piggie cried "Wee, wee, wee!" all the way home. And there was very loud and wailing "Wee, wee, wee."

Honestly, I had visions of sitting in an ER for days, in my bathing suit, waiting for someone to cause great pain to my boy and great cost to our insurance. Enter the calvary music because the mom married to the surgeon called him and he was on his way home. He said to dose the toe with some lidocaine cream--surgeons have much better stocked first aid kits then the rest of us--and when he got home, he'd take it out.

And he did. Unfortunately the lidocaine cream did not completely numb the inside of the toe so it came down to a grab and yank maneuver that caused my son's eyeballs to fall out as though attached to springs and then go back into their sockets with the silent scream. I only wish I had pictures.

Other than looking like he's pierced his pinkie toe, the appendage is healing, the trauma is over, no stitches were required, no trip to the ER in a bathing suit, and I owe the man a lasagna meal.

All in a day of the life of the accident prone.


  1. Oh, that sounds like a story I could have written, myself being the injured party!

    My mom said they used to think human services would be called because I was in the ER so often with injuries! My dad said it was time for me to start carrying a needle and thread around with me. Thankfully, I didn't pass that gene on to my offspring.

    (They didn't get my husband's stellar athletic ability, either, though, so we figure if they got my accident proneness, it must've been his superior athletic ability that counteracted it. . .)

  2. Actually I misplaced my modifier there -- that should be the surgeon's well-stocked first aid kit.

  3. I am in stitches reading this story!

    SO GLAD you didn't have to wait in an ER room in a bathing suit ;) - I'm sorry,but for me, that would be worse than the injury!!

  4. OOOHHHH. I felt the pain! Having been through many stiches/surgery events with one of my sons, I know of what you speak.

    And I, like you, have never had to go to emergency or hospital donned in my swimsuit.
    Sheer mercy, for everyone within eyesight.

  5. oh...I can't bear to read this...this sounds too terrible...I do not handle trauma well at all.

    I'm glad he is okay, though. Ouch...poor little guy!


  6. So, pinkie toe impalement procedure = lasagne?
    How does one arrive at this assessment? I wouldn't know what to offer in the area of food for injury. Sounds like you might just have enough experience in your family, though! :)

  7. Poor BABY! Please give him a popsicle from Jules, okay?

    Oh, and did you HAVE to share the whole "broke his leg in four places you could hear it snap from the stands" thing? You know the horrible memories this brings back for me.

  8. I am a Komplete Klutz and it appears that it's a dominant gene. Glad you just
    "happened" to be at the home of the fellow who could repair the pinky toe damage!