Tuesday, February 06, 1990

MJ's splinter

MJ was maybe 7 or 8 and at a friend's birthday party. She got a splinter in her hand from the handrail on the stairs. Ronnie went to see at the firend's house but couldn't get access to the splinter so she brought MJ home for me to take a look. I'm pretty first-aid-ish.

The splinter had gone into her hand between the thumb and forefinger, straight down, parallel to the thumb. I couldn't get to it, either; so I took her to the ER, while Ronnie stayed home with Chloe. ER (Group Health in Redmond) took her right away and the ER doc started working on it. He decided he needed to numb the area, so proceeded to hit it with a local anaesthetic. Time passed in digging and searching. No joy. He decided he needed to numb her lower arm so he could really go for it, so he added more local up at her elbow.

More digging and searching and more time passes. Ronnie is calling me asking for an update. I only have lack of success to report. After quite a while, the ER guy says it's so close to nerve, ligament, arterial bundles that he doesn't wanna dig anymore and wants to call in the orthopaedic surgeon. When I tell Ronnie that, she gets her mom to watch Chloe and she heads to the ER to be with us. Meanwhile, they call/assemble the orthopaedic surgeon's group.

The gas passer was really nice and he let us be with her while she went down; but soon our daughter goes into the operating room with the orthopaedic surgeon and his crew. This is our daughter who had some ear infections when she was younger and we worked very hard to avoid surgery for ear tubes. Now she's going under for a SPLINTER!

After an eternity, the surgeon comes out mumbling some bullshit about a Crockett & Boone trophy, which neither of us understood at the time, but later twigged to. Ronnie almost ripped his head off and demanded an actual, informational update about MJ. It turned out that everything was ok, no involvement of delicate body components, and just a coupla stitches and a nearly 2" splinter as the "trophy."

Followup that almost gave me a heart attack was seeing the bill. Phew! Glad it was covered and not out-of-pocket.


  1. That was some splinter!!!

  2. I like the way you describe yourself as a bit first aid-ish!!