Lessons Learned from a Mangled PinkyMolly Thornberg
Sunday, my husband was home with our two toddler boy while me and the older two kids were at church. The boys got a hold of a pair of scissors and somehow our youngest son Zeke received a severe cut to his pinky. (You can read the whole ordeal of our toddler going to the emergency room here.) A cut pinky. Sounds painful, but not the worse thing in the world, right? I saw my boy after the doctor’s had stitched him up so I didn’t have to witness the damage.
The last few days have been quite interesting. Zeke had to have 6 stitches. The doctor wrapped his hand up tight with a splint over his mangled pinky after putting the stitches in. He has had to adapt to playing and functioning with use of only 1 hand.
Tonight Zeke had a doctor’s appointment, which originally we were told he’d get his stitches removed. My husband, the champ took him in for his appointment. The doctor unwound the bandage and determined Zeke needed to keep the stitches in until Sunday now, but did let him have his hand back with the exception of a well bandaged pinky.
Before heading to bed, we needed to change his bandage. I heard Zeke struggling and went into help my husband. I sat in the floor holding Zeke like a baby, trying to keep him still. He wasn’t having it. My husband was covered in blood from trying to change the bandage. My little boy is so confused and in pain, in my arms. And for the first time, as we tried to get a bandage on him – I had to look and see what his finger actually looked like. It’s awful. The wound looks like something out of a horror flick. The image will not leave my head. I just started crying uncontrollably.
Seeing my boy in this much pain hurts. Having to hold him down to take care of his would was not fun. Knowing that his finger may not grow back right makes me sad. All of this crazy has been terrible, but it has made me realize how blessed I am. This mangled pinky looks awful. It will take away a week of normalcy of Zeke’s life. This week, our family will have to be extra attentive to Zeke’s every need. We will make sure he does not over use his hand. When he wants to eat, we will feed him as he can’t quite figure out how to use a fork with his right hand. We will hold him down, clean, antibiotic and dress his wound. At the end of the week, while we are not sure what his mangled pinky will heal like…. it’s a pinky and he will survive.
As much as this whole experience makes me sick, what makes me sicker is how I take for granted how blessed our family is to have healthy children. While sure, when 1 gets sick, the other 3 follow – everything eventually passes.
I have a few friends who have special needs children. While I think of them often, what I have come to realize is that I have no earthly idea of what they deal with.
I don’t have to place a feeding tube for each meal.
My child does not have to wear around medical equipment.
I don’t have to go from doctor to doctor to find out why my child is ill.
My child does not have a life threatening diagnosis.
I don’t have to dress wounds nightly.
My prayers are mostly of thanks and gratitude for my children and I don’t often have to pray for health and wellness for them.
This little mangled pinky has taught me a few lessons.
- A parent will do anything to help their hurt or sick child.
- Be grateful for my children’s health.
- Pray for my friends with special needs children.
- Know that this will be over soon.
- Even if his pinky doesn’t look right, it’s just a pinky not a lung or heart.
- Don’t leave scissors on the counter where toddlers can reach them.
If you are a special needs parent, my prayers are with you. Stay strong.