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Another ER Trip on My Watch


My husband was working on our home renovation last Saturday and I was home with the kids. We’ve been working day and night on the renovation but I decided to stay at the rental house with the kids so they could get a good nap. We’ve been running power tools seemingly non-stop, and the kids really need some quiet rest.

My daughter had been asking all week if I would play with her making Play-Doh ‘tacos’. My husband had also been asking all week I could take some time to find some paint or wallpaper for the dining room and I just hadn’t had time to do either. I was at my computer looking at the swatches when my daughter asked if we could sit down to make tacos. I told her I needed 30 minutes at the computer and then I would happily play with her. While she was waiting, I asked if she and my youngest son could clean their room (they are sharing). When we clean, we blast music. She was blasting Encanto, and I had asked if she could close the door so I could concentrate (and there is only so much ‘Bruno’ I can take). They were going in and out of the room, and I kept asking them to keep the door closed.

I heard the door open, and my daughter came out to tell me the room was clean. My son, who knew I wanted the door kept closed, kicked the door shut. The solid core door. The door my daughter’s hand was in…hinge side. I get chills thinking about her scream. I RAN to the door to open it and looked at her hand and almost threw-up. I won’t describe it just know; it was bad. Again, I am not the person you want in an emergency.

I scooped her up and immediately put a cold wet towel on her hand. My husband was only five minutes away, so I had my son call him. He came home to take her to the ER while I stayed home with the other three kids. We have a wonderful children’s ER 5 minutes away and they were amazing. They were able to put her hand back together, but they said we won’t know if the nails will grow back for 6-8 months. They told me not to get my hopes up.

We have a high deductible health plan with an HSA account. We’re fortunate to have a decent amount in the account since I made a couple accidental overpayments in it when I switched to the new job. They had to do x-rays, stitches, and a bunch of other magic so the bill will likely be a big one, but we have enough to cover the max out of pocket so financially we’ll be OK. Yet another reason to make sure you can cover the max out of pocket if you choose the high deductible plan. Life is unpredictable.

Emotionally? I’m far from OK. The mom guilt is hitting me hard core. If I would have just sat down to make Play-Doh tacos when she asked, this wouldn’t have happened. If I hadn’t have asked them to keep their door closed, this wouldn’t have happened. My husband keeps telling my I’m being ridiculous, but I can’t shake it. As soon as he left for the ER, I completely fell apart. When the doctor said she might never have nails again on that hand, I started crying all over again. I love painting her nails. It’s her favorite thing. Geez. I’m crying just writing about it.

Money? Gonna be fine. My heart? Filled with so much guilt.



  • Reply Susan |

    Hang in there! It’s not your fault! I had part of my hand caught in a door when I was 5ish. It actually took the entire tip off. I remember looking and seeing my bone. I had plastic surgery – they took skin from my hip and I have a VERY normal (shorter) right pointer finger. (with a nail) I would DEF follow up with plastics and a hand OT.

    • Reply Beks |

      That’s so good to hear! They sent us to a plastic surgeon today. Glad to hear she may get the nail!

  • Reply Katie |

    My daughter slammed her own hand in the car door when she was six, and I still feel bad about it. It was a chaotic day, we were moving, and I think she just got distracted. Thankfully, there were paramedics in the same parking lot we were in, and they helped immediately. I was pretty shaken, and also upset because when we then went to urgent care, I got a lot of questions to verify that I hadn’t actually done it to her. So sickening to think of someone purposely doing that to a child. Ugh.

    • Reply Beks |

      Right?!? My son feels so terrible but I keep telling him it wasn’t his fault.

  • Reply Megan |

    Sending big hugs your way. I can totally empathize with the mom guilt. My son broke his arm playing on a playground on a family trip to Legoland. I had wanted to call it a night 5-10 minutes before it happened, but felt like my husband and I were always the fuddy duddies calling it quits before the others. We had so many “if only” conversations after that.

    • Reply Cwaltz |

      Another mom with a child that got his hand slammed in a car door. Took him to urgent care and after x rays and a test of his blood sugar( said child fainted during the exam) was told that the damage was largely cosmetic. It took about a month for the hand to become normal again. The nails did grow back so remind yourself the doctor was trying to prepare you for worst cases scenario. Deep breaths momma. I get you though. I had four kids and I would often opine ( while dealing with crisis) that I should have thought ahead to the emotional costs of motherhood( it’s a rollercoaster) and gone with a bowlful of goldfish( much less concern about them breaking find and tails while living in their little fish bubble). This too shall pass though.

      • Reply Beks |

        It’s so nice to hear everything turned out well!! Thanks for the message.

  • Reply Sandy |

    My Dad used to say you had to get “a thousand and one bumps and scratches before you grew up”. I was an active child, and sometimes I was actually counting them! But, it was a fun and happy childhood all in all!

  • Reply Sarah |

    The title of your post got to me. Years ago, our 3 year old fell out of shopping cart and ended up with a huge hematoma on his head. I was on “duty”. I had a huge work project and couldn’t take him to the doctor. My husband did and called me and said that they were on the way to the hospital for a CT scan. I burst in to tears and had to leave my desk. I was so upset I couldn’t be there with him. All was okay but I’ll never forget feeling so guilty. He never stood up in a shopping cart except that October evening when we were in the parking lot.

    This video is an amazing question/answer session between Cory Booker and Ketanji Brown Jackson. For all mothers out there who “aren’t perfect”.


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