Thursday, June 21, 2007


Yesterday I had to take Prince Charming to the doctor. He'd been fussy, pulling at his ears and had a low-grade temp. I was certain he had an ear infection. Nope. Just teething. This is my seventh child. I should have figured that one out on my own. Needless to say, I felt a bit daft as I left for home.

Once home I found Jouster waiting for me. He was in pain. While I was gone with Prince Charming, he was walking outside in flip-flops and got a stick shoved under his toenail. He tried pulled it out but left a quarter inch long by a quarter inch wide sliver behind.

I compiled my surgical instruments (toenail clipper and tweezers), got his foot soaking in water with Epsom salts, then tried to get some chopped plantain under his nail. I was not sure if this would work, but I was not about to take him to the doctor and watch them pull it out with a tweezers. I got a hold of the sliver! Failure. Only a tiny piece of wood came out. Jouster was screaming. The rest was so far under the nail, I knew I was out of my league.

An hour after my first trip to the medical center with my youngest, I was there again with my oldest. The first doctor took a look at him and immediately reassigned him. They sent us to a minor surgery room and the second doctor came in. He sat there and stared for a while and kept asking how it had happened. Jouster was getting upset that no one seemed to believe his story. Dr. #1 even said, "I just can't understand how this happened." In the car on the way home Jouster said; "I was ready to start telling them I was trying to commit suicide by shoving a stick under my toenail. Maybe they would have believed that. Everyone just assumes all teenagers are into self mutilation or trying to kill themselves." (I thought he was being a little over dramatic with that comment.)

Finally, Dr. #2 said, "I am going to treat this like an ingrown toenail. I need to remove half your nail." He gave Jouster injections of Novocaine then clipped the toenail vertically to the cuticle and pulled off half the nail. Most of the sliver came with it, but a few pieces of bark were still attached to the nail bed. Those needed to be removed bit by bit with a tweezers. Relief. Jouster asked to keep the nail and sliver to show his friends and to prove to his boss why he was late for work. (I talked him out of taking it to work.)

The doctor told him he should skip work, but Jouster said it didn't hurt a bit. I told him it would hurt after the Novocaine wore off, and that he should call in. "I'll be fine, mom." He was only fifteen minutes late for work, and came home six hours later, limping. "It really hurts," he admitted.

I am proud of him for working through his pain. I would not have been able to do that at his age. He has proven to me once again that he is becoming a man.

When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. 1 Corinthians 13:11

1 comment:

  1. Wow, you're gonna have a huge doctor's bill this month.

    It amazes me how these kids can handle pain...I must be a wuss.


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