Tipped wheelchair and foot laceration

Namine’s wheelchair fell on top of her. Fortunately, she did not break any bones. She did suffer a pretty nasty cut on her foot.

Since we moved into our house, Namine really doesn’t spend any time on the floor anymore. She has a grabber for (you guessed it) grabbing things she can’t reach, but she has also gotten better at reaching down and getting things off the ground. That, unfortunately, led to her tipping her wheelchair.

Namine was in the dining room, working on her school planner, and had dropped a pack of pens on the floor. Rather than getting her grabber — which was on the other side of the house in her room — she reached down to get it. It had never been a problem before, but this time was different. The wheelchair’s back wheels lifted off the ground and, before anyone could react, it flipped over on top of Namine.

Namine landed on her chest, catching herself with her hands. Jessica and I rolled the chair, with Namine still buckled in, to the side. We unbuckled her and helped her roll onto her back. Through tears, she told us that her right foot hurt. (Nothing else did, and that remained true until the doctor in the ER started the search for other injuries.) Then Jessica noticed blood coming from underneath the sock. We removed it, revealing a nasty-looking laceration between her big and second toes, curving underneath the big toe.

We bandaged up her foot to staunch the bleeding. Then we called the Complex Care line at Children’s Hospital to let them know we would be bringing Namine into the ER. (The Complex Care line exists for children, like Namine, who have additional needs.) I have not picked Namine up since I hurt my back, but there was no way we would allow her to (or force her to) climb into her wheelchair. I passed out the last time I picked Namine up from the floor, so Jessica and I laid her on a tablecloth and picked her up, like she was in a hammock, and placed her onto the couch. (Fortunately, the family room with the sectional is just one room over from the dining room.) Once she was laying on the couch, I could help her sit up and transfer her to her wheelchair. Likewise, I picked her up and transferred her for the rest of the day.

We have been to the ER countless times (that’s not hyperbole). This check-in was little different, save for the fact that Namine now advocates for herself, with Jessica and myself filling in whatever missing parts the medical staff require. Because we had called ahead via the Complex Care line, the ER staff was expecting us; we were placed in a room almost immediately.

The order of the day was X-rays; that much was not a surprise. Up until the doctor came in to start poking at Namine, she maintained that the only thing that hurt was her bloody right foot. As the doctor examined her, she confirmed that there was more pain: both clavicles (collar bones), left hand, left ankle, and middle back.

My heart dropped into my stomach when Namine said her back hurt when the doctor was examining her. My imagination ran wild with the possibilities of a broken back, slipped discs, and a damaged spinal cord. Thankfully — and let me assure you — none of that came to fruition.

They took Namine back for her numerous X-rays. It’s nothing we haven’t done before, but it was probably the widest variety of X-rays she’s had done in quite some time. And while it takes almost no time at all to describe it, the process itself was pretty lengthy. Even lengthier was the time to wait for the results to come back, but the doctors confirmed that Namine had no broken bones. She would likely manifest some bruising in the coming days, though.

The laceration on Namine’s foot still needed to be closed. The doctors initially thought that they could glue it closed — did you know that they have a glue to close wounds? I didn’t — but upon closer inspection, they determined that stitches would be the surer thing. (The word they used to describe the laceration was “gaping.”)

Namine was not thrilled about having to get stitches, but she resigned herself to it. “Do whatever you think is best,” she told the doctor. There were a couple stages of trying to numb the area: first a topical numbing cream, and then an injection.

When she heard “numbing cream,” it reminded her of the time her dentist tried to pass off a numbing injection as a “numbing spray.” With this experience, she pressed the doctors pretty hard, making sure that when they said “cream,” they meant it. She said, “I’m fine with needles. Do what you need to do, I don’t care. It’s the dishonesty I don’t like.”

We had a feeling that the numbing cream wouldn’t work well, and unfortunately we were right. Namine completely felt the numbing injection, and even that didn’t numb the area enough prior to when the doctors started stitching her foot.

I stayed by Namine’s side so she could squeeze my hand through the pain. (And squeeze she did; she is strong!) When the stitching was done, they cleaned her up and let us go home.

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