Less Love = Splinter Removal

Yesterday was a rough one for my six year old. I had the unpleasant
task of trying to explain what happened to my Mom’s 16 year old golden
retriever since she went to the vet and did not come home. He took some solace
that she was in doggie heaven and wrote her a note this morning telling her
that if she was going to eat that she should eat “healfy”. Prior to this
happening yesterday while he was climbing on the rocks down at the beach he
managed to lodge a giant splinter deep into his foot. It was right below his little
toe and at first glance seemed as if it would be no problem to yank out from where
it had pierced the skin. Uncle Joe was the first one to have a go at it but
quickly realized that more frightening tools, like a needle were necessary. I
am generally not good in these situations but I gave it a try as did my Mom.
Every time we got close to thinking that we were going to get it out, my son
would move his foot, or shriek in pain. Nothing will make you stop what you are
doing like a good shriek. Joe was able to pull out the larger piece but the
small pointy part that had gone in first was pretty deep in there and had
broken off of the main splinter.

We tried to get this small piece out while sitting on the patio but by
then everyone had come up from the beach and he wanted to go inside so he wasn’t
the entertainment. It was really difficult to see it in the house so I told him
we had to go back outside. I dragged a chair to the edge of the property and
put it behind a tree. We soaked his foot in water to try to loosen it up. My
Mom thought maybe we could leave it in and it would work its way out. I didn’t
like that idea. It seemed deep to me. I seemed like it should come out. All
three of us had try as he clutched monkey blanket and screamed. We were pretty
sure someone was going to call CPS on us.

Finally my friend Chrissie’s sister Monica came on out and asked to
have a try. The three of us were more than willing to relinquish the tools of
terror to her. My Mom and Joe held my son’s foot still and I held his hands and
talked to him. Monica, bless her soul, took a look at how deep it was and just
dug in there with that needle. Afterwards she said that it was so deep that she
almost closed her eyes when she was doing it. Between the leg stabilization and
the deep needle probe, she was able to get it out of the skin and grab it with
the tweezers. There was much rejoicing and my son recovered instantly, like it
had never happened.

Afterwards I realized that Monica’s success was based partly on the immobilization
of my son’s foot but also due to the fact that she was able to just get in
there and do it despite the crying, whimpering, begging and general awfulness that
was going on. I wondered if she would have been able to do that to one of her
own kids. Or if I would have been able to do it to one of her kids. Ultimately
what we needed was someone just a bit more removed from the entire thing. A bit
more emotionally removed from my son.

Despite the fact that I was unable to cause a bit of pain to my son to make
it better in the long run, this kind of sums up the situation I have put my
family in right now (except that it is more than a bit of pain). The thing is
that with the splinter, you know that removal is going to work. You know that
causing the pain to get it out is brief and quickly forgotten. The wound will
heal quickly. This may not be the case with our family. I can only hope that
even if the pain is not brief or quickly forgotten, we are able to eventually
heal completely.

About nematomorph

Living like the rich and famous, splitting time between Hawaii and New York.
This entry was posted in Hawaii, New York, Parenting and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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