We’ve been in Brisbane for the last few weeks – hence the blog silence. The trip was super eventful, and will definitely have to be broken up into multiple blog posts. Today we’ll begin with Archer’s first trip to the Emergency Department, a massive parenting fail, and a HUGE change of plans…
The day arrived where our time in Brisbane was finished, and we had to head to Townsville for my Uni workshop. Nanny (my mum) and I spent the morning packing our bags, checking the weather reports (which assured us that the cyclone would not hit Townsville), and soaking up our last few hours with J (more on that tomorrow).
Our flight was at 4pm, so being Conwells, we wanted to be there at about 2, so we decided to go out for lunch on the way, but Nanny wanted a run before we left, so she geared up and took off, leaving J, me, and Archer at home.
Archer was following me around the house while I finished packing, and that’s how he ended up following me into my sister’s room where I was looking for a book bag. On the way out, I knew Archer was following me, but I lost track of where exactly he was, and absentmindedly shut the door. Now you have to know this about my sister’s door – it sticks. It hits the frame and then you have to give it a really hard pull, sometimes more than once, to close it. So when the door stuck, I didn’t think anything of it, and I gave it a pull (or two, or maybe even three). It wasn’t until that third pull that Archer screamed – he tends to take a minute to respond to pain. I looked down and his finger was in the hinge side of the door. Horrified, I quickly opened it, and as soon as I did, I could see that it wasn’t just a little crush/bruise – there was blood, and it was hanging weirdly.
At this point, it appears that I ceased to function – I always thought I was good in a crisis (and I do think I would have pulled it together) but apparently not. Archer’s ultra-scream, and probably my own, alerted J that there was a problem and he came running. After seeing the blood and a non-responsive me just staring at his hand, J grabbed Archer and ran outside with him. I ran after, screaming “OH MY GOD, DID I CUT HIS FINGER OFF!?”. When we reached the back yard, we had a better look at his finger, and yep – it looked like I’d almost taken the top off – the tip of his finger wasn’t lined up with the rest of his finger, and the nail looked like it was chopped in half. J and I looked at each other and knew we had to get to the hospital. Fortunately my bag was already packed for TSV, so I just grabbed it, and the keys, and then started to panic and sob.
We ran out of the garage and were about to get in the car, when the neighbours came running over – they had heard the screaming (Archer’s and ours). I was sobbing, Archer was screaming, and J was covered with blood. Annie, the neighbour, asked me what happened, and I said “I cut my baby’s finger off”, between sobs. She immediately grabbed my phone and called 000 (911 for you Americans). In retrospect, I wish we had just driven, but at this point I was panicking thinking my baby’s finger was nearly cut in half, so I just went with it.
The ambulance eventually arrived, and after having a look, didn’t think it was as bad as it looked – made me feel super silly for calling them, but they were nice about it. J rode in the back with Archer still in his arms – Archer kept trying to pull at his injured finger, so J had to muscle him to prevent him making it worse – and I rode up front.
At this point the panic was beginning to subside, and I was realising that of course Archer wasn’t going to die from a cut finger, haha. After a small wait, we were taken through to a bed. After x-rays, and an examination, the doctor decided that the injury hadn’t reached or broken the bone (thank God!), and that what had essentially happened is that the fingernail had been ripped up from the base of its bed and then cut down the sides, creating a kind of hinge on which his finger tip was hanging. It looked more brutal than it was – he didn’t need surgery and they didn’t even stitch it. After a really good clean out, it was put back together with steri-strips and bandaged up. Archer was such a good boy – he even slept at one point (probably exhausted from all of the screaming, and relaxed by the sedative).
We were discharged with instructions to come back in 7 days to check how it was healing – which resulted in me having to delay our flight back to Darwin.
I decided that I didn’t want to bother with trying to move our TSV flights. The finger situation had been stressful enough, and I just wanted a few relaxing days for us to heal, so we just cancelled the flights. Turned out to be better though, because TSV did get the edge of the cyclone, and the workshop was pretty much cancelled anyway, and our flights were refunded.
J had to head back to Darwin that night, but I’m SO thankful that he was there. I hurt our baby, and it was the most horrible feeling of my life. I’m so glad J was there to take care of Archer – couldn’t have done it without him.
A week later, the bandages came off and we were amazed with how it’s healing! He will lose the nail, but a new one should grow. He’s been very brave, but I never ever want to take my child to ED again – it’s terrible.
Next time, I’ll share with you the more fun aspects of our trip