PENCIL + SOLE OF FOOT = TRIP TO URGENT CARE CENTER

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Max (age 10) is very creative, and is always using household items to make a variety of contraptions, as well as artwork. I give him free access to several boxes of my craft supplies and, of course, anything in the recycle bin is fair game.

Last week, he made a medieval weapon by taping two plastic bottles together, and then taping freshly sharpened pencils all over it. It resembled a spiked ball – or a flail without the handle and chain. We praised his creativity and I told him to put his new “weapon” up on the top shelf in his room because it looked pretty dangerous. He didn’t.

A few minutes later, he came to me, and sheepishly said, “I have some pencil lead stuck in my foot.” I don’t know how but he managed to step on the darned thing and, well, the weapon worked! I spent a good 20 minutes trying to dig out the graphite that was stuck in his foot (pencils no longer contain lead). I only got one piece out at the beginning but nothing more and I was left wondering if perhaps the pencil had simply written on the flesh inside the cut (think pencil tattoo). We cleaned it out as good as we could, had him soak in the tub for a long time, cleaned it again, and bandaged it up. I have a “pencil tattoo” from 6th grade when a kid “accidentally” jammed a sharp pencil into my forehead. To this day, I have a tiny spot of gray there. I told Max he might have a pencil tattoo now, too!

Anyway, the next morning, I checked it and two more tiny pieces had come out but nothing more. I dug around in there once again but couldn’t get anything out. It appeared it was getting infected (or maybe it was just red from me digging in there with a sterile needle and tweezers) so we took the “safe route” and made a quick trip to the Urgent Care Center. We should have just stayed at home…

We spent an hour sitting in a small room surrounded by coughing, wheezing people. I kept telling Mason over and over again, “Don’t touch anything! Don’t touch the armrests on that chair! Don’t touch the magazines! Don’t touching ANYTHING at all! Oh no! You touched the chair! Now keep your hands away from your face! And don’t even breathe unless you absolutely have to!!” Okay, I didn’t say the last one but you get the picture. I was pretty upset that the office was clearly filled with flu cases and they hadn’t handed out any face masks. Finally, it was Max’s turn. The doc put numbing meds on it, and dug around, and he, too, didn’t find anything. They decided to do xrays just to be sure.

The x-ray tech came in to get Max. She didn’t wash her hands or use hand sanitizer. She got some gauze to wrap up his foot before walking down to the x-ray room. She opened the sterile gauze packet with her bare hands (no gloves), pulled the gauze out with her bare hands, touched both sides with her bare hands, and was just about to put the now-cootie-infested gauze on Max’s open, gaping wound, before I stepped forward and said, “Excuse me. You are about to wrap a gaping, open wound with gauze you’re touching with your bare hands.”

She apologized, but was quite noticeably offended. What an idiot! She then put on gloves, unwrapped another sterile gauze, etc. They never did find any other pieces in his foot so the entire trip was a complete waste of time, and a dangerous one at that. If we all don’t come down with the flu, it’ll be a miracle. Thank goodness Max won’t get MRSA or anything else horrible from that xray tech’s ridiculously dangerous behavior. And, yes, I’ve already written a letter to their corporate office to complain. We won’t be going back to that urgent care center, that’s for sure!!

This week’s Masonism:

When the doctor donned his goggles and started digging in Max’s foot with long, medical tweezers, Mason hid his head in my lap. I said, “What’s wrong, honey?”

He said, “I don’t want him to kill Max!”

Big hugs to all,
Angela

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