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One morning a few weeks ago I was busy packing lunches in the kitchen and the kids we’re playing together in our playroom. Just as I finish zipping up the lunch boxes, Graham comes running in the kitchen and tells me that Maddie has a ring stuck on her finger.
When she walks in, I see that it’s not a ring, but a grommet (like a washer for a bolt) that’s stuck tight on her pinkie finger.
I roll my eyes, and tell her not to put things like that on her finger. I sit down, and try to pull it off. No-go. She screams like a feral cat when I pull. So I grab some Vaseline and try again. Nope. More screaming – like I’m cutting off her finger. And the grommet doesn’t budge. It’s stuck.
I try to keep my cool, but I can feel the anxiety building in my chest. It was the last day of a long week. I had a manicure planned for the morning, and a lunch with friends scheduled for 11am. But I knew none of that was going to happen that morning.
I called Josh, and asked him what I should do. He said to try to wrap some floss around the finger, as close to the grommet as possible so I could make the finger smaller and be able to pull the grommet off. It worked once on YouTube! I tried that, but it was a huge, peppermint scented mess. It didn’t work at all, and Maddie was screaming and crying even more.
I called the pediatrician, and the conversation went like this:
Me: “Hi. My daughter has a grommet stuck on her finger. I was wondering if I needed to take her to the emergency room or if you can cut it off in the office?”
Them: “Wait – what is stuck on her finger?”
Me: ” A grommet. Like a washer. For a bolt.”
Them: “Uhhhh…hang on.”
They put me on hold for a ridiculous amount of time. I could imagine what was going on on the other end of the phone:
“This kid has a grommet stuck on her finger.”
“A grommet. Like a washer. For a bolt.”
Anyway, the pediatrician told me to take her to the ER. I loaded us up and made an executive decision to take Graham to school first since the grommet wasn’t cutting off her circulation. Better to spend hours in the emergency room with one kid rather than two…
When we got to the ER, we had to wait forever (of course) but Maddie was happily coloring and playing with some stickers I brought.
Finally, we were able to see a nurse. He used a hand-cranked saw to remove the grommet. Maddie screamed so much that 3 other nurses came in to help. I had to hold her tightly in my lap and once the grommet was cut through, two nurses used pliers to pull apart the edges and FINALLY Maddie’s little pinkie was free!
(Side note – you can purchase one of those hand-cranked saws on Amazon. For about $10. I’m scared to see what the bill for our emergency room visit will be, but I’m sure it’s exponentially more than $10…)
The nurses brought her 3 cups of apple juice and a couple of packages of graham crackers to help her calm down. She had screamed so much during the whole ordeal, I bet other people thought she was having her actual finger cut off!
But, except for a tiny cut that didn’t even bleed, Maddie’s finger was as good as new!
I gave her my phone to play with while we were waiting to be discharged. Later that evening, I found these hilarious photos that document the rest of our emergency room visit. They’re too funny not to share!
An artistic photo-montage of the ER by my 3-year-old, Maddie:
Exciting times in the ER!
Also – the next few days, anytime I was talking about the incident and how she got something stuck on her finger, she would stop me and say, “No mama. It wasn’t my finger. It was my pinkie!”