Thursday, October 1, 2015

Operation: Save the Pinky

Yesterday started out like any other Wednesday. The kids woke up earlier than I would like, and we took our time eating breakfast and getting dressed and ready for the day. At 10 we went to the church for a toddler music class that the kids just love. We were about 10 minutes late, per the norm. Charlie and Caroline sang their little hearts out. They did the actions and had a grand time. At the end of the class we were all playing around and talking. Juliet was sitting at my feet and the twins were over playing behind the piano. And then they weren't. So I walked out the door to find them, and I heard her. Poor little Caroline was screaming at the top of her lungs. I wasn't too alarmed because that happens 10 times a day around our house, so I found her with some other kids in one of the rooms. And I saw that her poor little hand was stuck in the door. It must have been slammed shut on her. My heart broke (I thought) and I ran over and opened the door, expecting to see an angry and bruised purple finger. But I didn't. I saw gushes of blood. I saw the end of her little finger barely hanging on to the rest of her hand by some skin. Just writing about it is making me sick all over again.

I panicked. I froze. I couldn't even pick her up. Thankfully another superhero of a mom was in there and quickly rushed Care into the bathroom and wrapped her finger in paper towels. There was blood all over the floor. In my delirium I didn't even know what to do, so I started wiping the blood off the floor. That mom had the good sense to clue me in that we needed to get Caroline to a doctor right away. We grabbed the other kids and rushed to the car. It's a good think the finger was covered up because I couldn't have stomached looking at it again. Once again, in my delirium, I thought it would be a good idea to take her to Urgent Care. They took one look and sent us to the nearest ER.

The same awesome friend who had helped Caroline at the church and driven us to the hospital took Juliet and Charlie home with her. Did I mention she's 9 months pregnant and has a 2 year old son, too? Rockstar friend right there. Forrest met us (me and Caroline, and my sister and nephew) at the ER. By the time we got in and saw a doctor, it had been about 45 minutes. All the while we were in the car and at the Urgent Care, Caroline was shaking and sobbing. "A sting!" "A finger, a door, a ouchie!" and I was trying to keep it together. Once we got to the ER though the immediate shock must have worn off and she was just somber. No tears. No shaking. Just being little and brave. When the doctor examined her finger, he immediately started discussing the likelihood of amputation. That shook me a little. I hadn't even considered the possibility that she would lose part of her finger. They finally got her some pain killer, did some x-rays, and then moved us to a room where they would attempt to reattach the end of her tiny little pinky finger.

When they started the surgery I had to step out. My mom was there with me and she walked the halls with me while we waited. They had given Caroline some anesthetic but she was still pretty awake and when they started hooking her up to machines she was crying "mommy! Mommy!" I couldn't handle it. Forrest stayed by her side the entire time as they stitched her back together. As I waited I had to keep reminding myself that it is just a finger. Even if she loses it, it's just a finger. But the thought of my baby girl being in so much pain just wrenched my heart out.

Once they finished, the doctor said it had come back together well and he was hopeful that she might be able to keep her finger. He gave it a 50% chance of success. We go next week to see a hand surgeon (who knew there was such a thing?!) and he should be able to tell us whether or not it will need to be amputated. My sweet little Care Bear was such a trooper through all of it, and she still is. As she was waking up from the anesthesia, I got to just sit on the hospital bed and hold her in my arms. Despite the trauma of the day, sitting there and holding my sweet sleeping little girl was a beautiful moment filled with peace.


When she woke up this morning she looked at the cast on her hand and said "A finger, a door, a ouchie" again. Besides the constant pain killers and antibiotics, though, she's been completely normal (albeit a little bit sad that she can't carry anything in her left hand for the time being). So now we just wait. Wait and pray that her tiny little pinky finger will heal and not cause her any lasting pain. If ever there was a time to just sit and watch movies all day, this is it.

In times like these I am always blown away and extremely humbled by the amount of love that others show to us. Friends and family that come to visit, bring meals and gifts to the hospital and to our home, take care of the other kids for us and offer countless prayers in our little Caroline's behalf. I'm so grateful. She is one loved little girl!

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