From an email written to my mom on April 4, 2015 at 7pm.

Just after noon, Noah came screaming in from outside.  He was holding one hand with the other and blood was dripping.  I took him straight to the sink to wash off.  He couldn't tell me what had happened and there was blood all over both hands and even his mouth.  I pretty quickly determined that it was only on one hand (he had put his thumb in his mouth as anyone might at first and that's where that blood came from.)  I grabbed some paper towels to press on the thumb to stop the bleeding and then saw that his index finger was bleeding, too.  So I grabbed more towels for that. He still was crying uncontrollably.

I took him over to the couch so he could lie down.  Carefully, I took away the towel from the index finger and found that it was minor.  I sent Jonathan to get a bandaid for that and then it was time to investigate the thumb.  A nice sized slash across the top, perpendicular to the nail.  I had Jonathan get the bandaid box and some tylenol.  I put a butterfly closure on it and then a regular bandaid on top of that for a bit more protection.  Noah was still in such pain that he could not tell me what happened.  But Jonathan made a guess and he was right - Noah was stripping the bark off of a maple sapling with his Swiss Army knife and slipped.

Jon was actually on EMT shift, but I didn't think it was bad enough to go in the ambulance.  But when I couldn't reach him on his cell phone, I considered calling 911. (:  I called his parents (where I last knew he was) and they said he had just gone on a call!  It was a fire call, so he was just waiting at the station in case they needed the ambulance.

It turns out I did such a good job of keeping calm that Jon thought it was less serious than it was.  He said later that if I had told him what kind of pain Noah was in, he would have recommended the ambulance.

Jon's parents came over so we could use their car and Papa could stay with the other kids.

So Noah, Nathaniel and I headed to Concord.  We were seen relatively quickly (I didn't even get to finish the chapter in the book I was reading to him.)  When the guy started cleaning the wound, I could tell Noah was trying really hard not to cry.  Then he fell over on the guy, and we moved him to a lying position on the bed.  Noah's arms and legs twitched and I asked if that was a seizure.  The guy said it was a "vagal episode".  (Not sure about spelling and I haven't looked it up yet, though I read a novel where someone had one.)

The guy (not sure if he was a doctor or a nurse) called to Noah and he woke up.  He said, "Sorry the pain got to you, buddy."

Then he glued Noah's thumb slash closed with surgical glue and put a sticky dressing on it.  I wish I could remember what he called it - did it have a numbing agent in it, or was it antibiotic?  He had a specific name that I can't remember.

He examined the finger cut and also pronounced it minor but asked the nurse to put antibiotic ointment and a new bandaid on.

The nurse also gave Noah some liquid Motrin.

She used a nifty device to put the dressing on his thumb.  It was a frame cylinder with tubing gauze pulled over it like a sleeve.  She put the cylinder over his thumb and then pulled it up to just over the end, twisted, and put it back over his thumb, up, twist, down, repeat, until he had a nice big fat white thumb.

He is to keep it dry and not use his hand much for 48 hours.

Then we went out for lunch and got some donuts, too.

He is doing better, but it still hurts.   He's taking tylenol every three hours per nurse's orders.

Update January 8, 2016 - Noah's thumb healed nicely and now there is just a scar.

Posted by Heather Daley on January 8, 2016, 1:22 pm | Read 2337 times
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I think we have already mentioned, but Billy had a similar episode with a knife. I was the one who wasn't feeling too great after I decided to take a closer look at it (hoping a hospital visit wouldn't be necessary). Poor Dad returned home from a business trip just in time to take Billy to the ER. Several hours and a few stitches later, all was well.

I wonder if vagal response runs in families. My brother and I, and maybe my father, have it when we see blood. With the seizure-like activity. I always have to lay down for blood draws and shots.

Posted by dstb on January 8, 2016, 2:01 pm
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