By a Hairsbreadth

by Kate

Last Friday, Francisco nearly lost a toe. That morning, I was hosting playgroup for the very first time. After a flurry of slightly wild eyed dusting and mopping and stacking and scrubbing on my part, the house was swept clean and more or less orderly. There was Bach playing, coffee brewing, cream and sugar in cut glass and a freshly baked coffeecake and molasses cookies on the counter. Only one mother, Jen, had arrived. I am pretty sure she was sent straight from heaven. Jen is a nurse, and a really great one. This meant that when I pulled off Francisco’s pajamas to change his diaper and discovered a blue purple, swollen, horribly blistered toe with two strands of my hair that had been wrapped around it all night, touched it, felt the skin on the back come off in my hand leaving the back of the toe entirely raw, and gasped in utter horror, she could speak to me calmly, tell me it was going to be all right, and to call the clinic while she removed the hair. She quietly and competently removed all of the hair from the two toes affected by the hair tourniquet and described the situation on the phone to the nurse and then to my husband, who happened to call as I was heading out the door. There were three mothers there at one point, and none of us had a car. Thank God, I live a five minute walk from a world class children’s hospital.

I put the baby in the sling and headed up the hill. The playgroup moms watched Olympia. We were seen almost immediately. They called in a plastic surgeon with a jewelers loupe who said the hair was gone and they were all “cautiously optimistic” about the toe. They sent me home telling me to bathe it in soapy water and wrap it loosely in gauze and wait for the body to heal.

It is healing beautifully, thank God.

I have never been so grateful to live in this neighborhood, in this city.

Every night I pray that God will keep my family healthy, happy, holy, and whole. Holding my ten toed baby, I am so glad that He did.

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4 thoughts on “By a Hairsbreadth

  1. Anna Cools

    What a scary moment! It brought me back to the night my Charlie almost lost a toe. 7 months old, just ready to crawl into bed, and he pulled our smallest cast iron skillet on his foot. I was already in my long pajama shirt, and we leapt in the car, blood everywhere and ran to the emergency room. His toe was sewed back on, and is just fine today. A little crooked, but he has ten toes, thank the Lord!

    Reply

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