Apologies for the lateness of my post, my intended post writing time (admittedly rather late itself) and the original post topic was rather viciously usurped by a medical emergency.
So I was in the kitchen tidying up after dinner and was on the phone saying goodnight to Fred as he is in Israel. Elphie was crawling around on the floor and generally trying to locate any cat food that Mummy might have not cleared away. I noticed Elphie going towards an open drawer but knowing there was nothing dangerous in that drawer (unless you order anything from those take away menus), I left her to it. Next thing I hear is inconsolable wailing. What was wrong? What had happened? I looked at the drawer and it was still open so she hadn’t caught her fingers closing it. Then I saw the blood. A crying baby and blood is not a fun sight to behold.
I could see she’d cut her hand but not where exactly so I tried to summon up the knowledge from my first aid course attended less than a fortnight ago – pressure and holding it high was about all I could remember. Elphie was not keen on either of these courses of action and continued to wail while thrashing about trying to release her hand. Next idea – stick a boob in her mouth to distract her from the hand acrobatics. This mostly worked, so I could finally see what was damaged. A fine slit had been made across her index finger – it seemed that a sharp bit of the drawers runner had caught her. It kept bleeding.
At this point I had Elphie in my lap, boob in mouth, one hand holding her finger tight and elevated, other hand googling for cut first aid – it seemed I had done the right thing.
Luckily at that point my friend Mavis who was staying with her baby Zelda, came in having got Zelda to sleep and was able to take over the arm lifting. Next plan – get reassurance from someone else that I have done the right thing, so I rang 111. The lady on the other end of the phone asked me a lot of questions – some questionably relevant – before she got onto the crux of the matter.
“What has happened?”
“My one year old daughter has cut her finger”
“Is the finger still attached?”
Wouldn’t I have said cut-off her finger in that case?
Anyway, further questions about the amount of blood, whether it was still bleeding, her responsiveness, the temperature of her chest (checking for shock maybe?), when I thought they were going to tell me to give her some ibuprofen and stick a plaster on it, I got “based on your answers, you should get Elphie to A&E within the next hour”.
Obviously I started crying, because that was what the situation needed at that point.
So we prepared to go to the hospital, packed some extra clothes, found and dosed her with ibuprofen (which she seemed to love, unlike calpol which mostly ends up down her front) and I tried to concentrate enough to remember how to get to the hospital. Had I mentioned it was midnight? Oh yes, yes it was.
So Mavis heroically left Zelda with her dad and headed into the night with me, ready to be sent back in a taxi if Zelda woke or it was taking too long. We arrived at the hospital and were seen almost immediately – no idea why as there was a waiting room full of people, maybe her age? The likelihood it could be dealt with by a nurse? Potential seriousness of a cut on a baby? Either way I was grateful.
The nurse pulled back the gauze to reveal what looked to me like a very nasty cut – fully across the pad of her finger and with tissue visible below. “Superficial”, the nurse said, patched her up with some tiny strips of plaster and then a big plaster, told us to keep it dry for three days and go and see our GP to check it had healed. Then she looked bemused as Elphie promptly defied her by putting the finger straight in her mouth, not the driest spot on earth.
And we were off back home, trying to wrest the finger out of her mouth all the way.
Back home, a sock was thrown over the hand – which Elphie proceeded to stare in wonder at (time for hand puppets maybe?) while nursing to sleep.
So the first of many A&E trips has occurred, luckily an unnecessary one this time, but still it was good to get some reassurance and someone to properly bandage the wound.
In the meantime I am buying a first aid kit.