Not for the Squeamish

The weekend before last was a real doozy.  The super abbreviated version is that Elliott got hurt at a friend’s house and had to go to the ER but they fixed his problem and now he’s fine.

The long version includes a rusty nail and an ambulance ride.

Photo May 22, 3 26 53 PM

So…I learned it’s hard to pick the words you use when you tell your spouse you’re in the back of an ambulance with your firstborn who has a nail impaled into his face.  It’s also hard to play it cool with said child when you’re internally freaking out.


Both boys were down the street playing at a friend’s house.  That family also has two boys the same ages.  Apparently, there was a tent rain fly hanging in their backyard, it was nailed to a fence and to a tree on either end, and it made a fabulous fort for boys.  Somehow a hotwheels car ended up on top of it, and they were flipping up the edge of it trying to get the car down.  WELL, the ends of the rain fly had those elastic bungee cord type bits, and they kids somehow pulled enough on the fly to slingshot the nail right out of the fence and impale it into ET’s face.  The placement…impeccable.

The fire department showed up just before the ambulance got there, and they weren’t going to touch it with a ten foot pole.  The problem was, the dad found a nail that was about 4 inches long near where the boys were playing, but we had no idea how long the nail was that was in ET.  We also didn’t know how it happened…the paramedics kept asking the boys and they didn’t know either – which makes sense because they weren’t actually playing with any nails or sharp things.  For once.

So they had to transport us 30 miles away to a hospital with an appropriate trauma level and adjacent children’s hospital just in case of a worst-case scenario.  Evan was already in Portland for a soccer game, and I thought for sure he’d beat us to the hospital because he was so much closer.  Those ambulance drivers HAUL.  We got there crazy fast.  Elliott was a champ for the whole thing.  He was pretty freaked out, and he could definitely see the nail from his point of view, but he stayed calm.  Luckily the CT scan pictured above showed that the nail was much shorter than we thought, and it didn’t penetrate anything important or break any bones.  It was 4cm long in total, and it was about 2cm in, 2cm out.  I still have no idea how the heck they were able to launch it that hard into his skin.

The doctors were great, they knocked him out for a few minutes, pulled the nail out and gave him a tetanus shot.  No stitches needed, and he walked out with just a band-aid and a prescription for antibiotics.  He did have to have an IV put in for fluids and an initial dose of antibiotic, and he handled that like a champ.  I think the soreness from the tetanus shot was the worst part.

This picture was taken later in the same day.  No bigs.
Photo May 22, 8 19 14 PM

Lesson learned:

  1. Kids damage themselves even when they aren’t playing with dangerous things
  2. No more nose piercings allowed
  3. If you’re going to max out your medical deductible in one day make sure you get a good picture to take home to make it worthwhile.
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2 Responses to Not for the Squeamish

  1. Amy says:

    Well… I was thinking of doing a blog post today but I guess I’ll just wait. No reason to try and compete with THAT type of excitement 😉 Glad he is good and that Mama held it together… GO TEAM!

  2. Richard Remenih•Uncle Richard says:

    Happy 6th Birthday Patrick — We hope that you have a fun-filled day with lots of cake and ice cream. Yummy! Great•Uncle Richard and Aunt Lynda.

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