Isaac Goes to the ER
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Previously, Isaac's Aunt Kim A. held the family record for earliest trip to the ER. She split her head open at about 10 months on a cradle-shaped ceramic planter that Wendy was using for her dolls. Isaac, however, has her beat. Thursday, March 9 started out as a crazy day. We arrived at the baby sitter's to discover the house dark and unlocked. Not having received a call, we were concerned about what could have happened to Lisa. Isaac went with Craig to class and around lunchtime, Wendy's office phone rang. It was Lisa--who had left a message on our answering machine the night before (we are very bad about checking messages)--to say her son was ill. They had been at the doctor when we arrived. Luckily, Lisa was able to arrange for Isaac to spend the afternoon at another home-based center in family housing (where, incidently, Isaac will begin going when Lisa leaves this summer). In the evening, Wendy picked him up. Isaac seemed unphased by the unusual day. Wendy, however, was looking forward to finally relaxing at home.

Isaac had been fussy for several days. His previous love for his exersaucer had turned into a hate-relationship. To calm him (and to get rid of all of the drool and spit-up), Wendy decided to give him an early bath. A month or so before, she had noticed one of her hairs wrapped tightly around Isaac's toe, cutting into the skin a little. Since then, part of Isaac's bath routine involves checking him for Wendy's hair (which has begun falling out en masse). Wendy discovered that the middle toe on Isaac's right foot was swollen to nearly twice its normal size and was an angry red. Against great resistance, Wendy managed to get a closer look. She knew immediately that a hair had gotten wrapped around it--very tightly. She tried for awhile to remove the hair, but with Craig out at choir practice and the toe grossly swollen, she soon gave-up and paged the pediatrician on call. The doctor advised her to take Isaac to the ER immediately.

The pediatric ER was completely full. We were given a bed to sit on in the hallway. A P.A. came to see us almost right away, thinking that a quick snip with scissors would relieve Isaac's discomfort. He gave-up pretty quickly. Wendy and Isaac passed three hours in the hallway reading, talking and playing. Isaac was surprisingly happy all things considered. Finally around 11 p.m., the P.A. came back with the attending physician. The attending actually cleaned out a newly-emptied exam room herself so that she could get to the toe more quickly. She and the P.A. put Isaac on his tummy on the bed and numbed the toe. He howled the entire time, his face bright red and his nose streaming. Wendy tried to distract him with talk, but he was too unhappy to notice.

An incision was made down the length of the toe on the bottom of Isaac's foot. This released the hairs. Almost immediately, the swelling in the toe began to go down. The P.A. removed a large amount of hair with a tiny hook.

The attending tried to stop the bleeding, but eventually a tiny stitch had to be put in the incision to stop the flow of blood. After they were finished, Wendy picked up Isaac who almost immediately calmed down--evidence that tummy time is worse than surgery!

Isaac post-op, his foot bandaged, fell asleep on the hospital bed. The doctor sent them home with instructions to check the color of the toe and the capillary refill (when you press on your skin it goes white, then the color should quickly return) throughout the night. Wendy hauled the baby through the endless hospital corridors back to the parking garage. She stopped by security to have her parking ticket validated and to ask if the parking garage took credit cards--after living in the Cincinnati ghetto we have never carried cash. The two security guards took pity on her and pulled their pocket change to get her out of the garage.

At 2:30, Isaac woke-up to nurse and Wendy unbandaged his foot to check the circulation. Having missed both lunch and dinner the day before--thanks to all of the craziness--her blood sugar had gotten low. Wendy started to black out. She was able to wake Craig to come watch the baby who was waving a bloody foot on the changing table, while she went downstairs to drink something sugary. Being a bit of a health-nut, the closest she could come to sugary beverages in the refrigerator was tomato soup. While sitting on an armchair drinking tomato soup and eating a granola bar, Wendy heard Craig call, "I think I'm going to throw-up." Craig is notoriously weak-stomached when it comes to anything medical. Eventually Isaac's foot got rebandaged and he got to bed.

On Friday, we returned to the ER for a recheck. Both doctors on call thought the toe was improving nicely, though the color was still a bit off and the temperature of the toe was elevated. The stitch comes out in a week and the doctor will take a look at the toe at Isaac's four month well-baby visit on the 15th of March.
















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