The Table that Broke the Toddler’s Toe

It started out like any typical summer Wednesday morning. We had finished breakfast and gotten dressed. The girls were entertaining themselves in their arts and crafts area in the living room. Alden had been repeatedly chased out of the kitchen so that I could empty the dishwasher without him grabbing all the knives and heavy breakables. I turned my back for a second to put a stack of plates in the cupboard when CRASH! 

Just days before I had relocated a small table – think bedside table – from by our front door to the hallway-ish area between the kitchen and living room. I was using it to keep my ipad on, since it’s just tall enough for Alden to not be able to reach items on top of it yet. You’d think I’d have learned better than this by the third child. Alden tried to climb up the table to reach the ipad and pulled the whole thing over – right onto his foot. Specifically, the corner of the table onto the big toe of his right foot.

At first I didn’t realize he had even been hurt – I  was worried he had maybe broken my ipad which went crashing to the floor – but then the delay of the shock wore off and he suddenly started to holler. I scooped him up and found his big toe nail cracked in half and bleeding from all sides and his toe and part of his foot rapidly swelling up and turning purple. I grabbed a paper towel to try to catch the bleeding and quickly did what any trained ICU nurse would do: I called my mom.

With Alden screaming in the background, I told her I thought Alden may have broken his toe and/or foot. She replied, “I’m on my way” and jumped in the car while I called the doctor. I wanted to avoid sitting in an emergency room if it all possible, and our fabulous doctor told her staff to double book us onto her full schedule for the day. After my mom arrived to stay with the girls, I took Alden to the doctor’s office where he was quickly seen and sent for X-rays.

Makeshift gauze and coban wrap I put on him while we waited to go to the doctor. Mostly because I didn’t feel like cleaning up blood from all over the house, especially my favorite yoga pants.
Fast forward an hour: Alden’s feet are so tiny that the radiologist could see two areas (one toe and one foot bone) that likely are broken but he couldn’t be sure. The usual course of action would be to wait a week and then take the X-rays again, after calcium deposits have settled into the breaks and make them easier to see on the X-ray. Our doctor (fabulous woman that she is!) is going to consult with the ortho docs to find out whether taking another X-ray would change our treatment at all. Basically, if he does have the breaks, will he need a cast or anything? If so, we’ll repeat the films. If not, we’ll just skip them and carry on as we’re doing. In the meantime, they wrapped his big toe to the one next to it for support (he ripped that off 30 seconds down the road on the way home) and he’s allowed to walk on it as much as he can tolerate.

Weird-angle glimpse of his bloody toe while I was wearing him in the Ergo baby carrier, waiting to see the doctor. Hard to see the swelling and discoloration here, but by this point it was looking considerably better than it originally did.
When we got home and I let him walk a few steps he was definitely limping and unsteady, but not crying or objecting to it at all. He did choose to crawl quite a bit, though. I also noticed that his toenail (which will probably die and fall off) started bleeding again after just a few steps, so I decided to not let him walk for the rest of the day.

So, a week from now we may or may not get a baby cast on his foot (we’ll hear from ortho tomorrow, hopefully). In the meantime, someone please pass the wine.

Update: his foot is broken. We’ll be fashioning a splint for him to wear for the next two weeks. He’ll be able to walk with it but not bend or move the toe. After two weeks we’ll get another X-ray to make sure it is healing properly. So yeah, that should all be fun. 

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