How to remove a splinter may be putting it delicately. Because this weekend, my daughter had to perform surgery on her own foot. In my eyes, however, she was not removing a simple splinter from her big toe, but a giant tree of death.
Saturday I left my daughter and her friend with two 18-year-olds while my mother and I took a 20-minute trip up the street. After getting new line put on my reel and obtaining a much needed Dunkin Donuts iced coffee (and turbo shot!) we drove back to the beach house.
The minute I opened the door I knew there was trouble. “Mom!? Mom??!!! I have a splinter in my foot and I can’t get it out! Mom!? It hurts REALLY BAD. I mean REALLY REALLY BAD!”
My son caught my eye as I climbed the stairs, mouthing to me, “It’s BAD.” Oh boy, here we go.
Did I mention in the last ten days my daughter has had a stomach bug, hit her head causing a concussion and broke one of her toes? Furthermore, she wrenched a finger and wore a splint for two of those ten days. Wasn’t it time for a break?
I approached my daughter quickly, adjusting my face to “everything is fine my dear, let’s just take care of this and move along with the day.” Was I able to keep that face intact? Would you be able to, after seeing your child’s “splinter?”
Apparently a tree became lodged in her big toe shortly after I left. For twenty minutes, my son attempted to convince my daughter in to letting him pull it out. No dice. It was now MY turn.
“Honey, let me get the tweezers and pull it out really fast.”
“I will do it carefully, and if you say stop I will stop immediately.”
Much coaxing later, I had the tweezers in hand and attempted a sharp pull.
“STOP!” … tears.
Indeed, the huge splinter did not even budge. It was NOT COMING OUT.
This was one of those moments when I had to sit and think. What would stop her from feeling pain? Ice? Already done. Do we have a numbing spray? Nope. Hot water? YES!
Soon, her foot was soaking in a bath of hot water. Things loosened a bit, but still no dice.
I realized we just might be driving 60 minutes down the road to the emergency room if I didn’t find a way to get this thing out. It wouldn’t move. It was huge. And it had been in her foot for 45 minutes.
Digging through my first aid kit, I found what I knew was the only answer. A surgical blade. A needle didn’t touch this thing. Now, it was time for a blade.
Looking innocently at my daughter, I hesitantly revealed my plan.
“If you just cut the little bit of skin laying directly over the top of the splinter….”
It was with great relief that she not only said it was worth a try, but that I was not allowed to do it. “I am going to do it myself!” Well that sure saved ME from vomiting and passing out! PHEW!
“Are you sure honey?”
(whimper) “Yes… I’ll try…”
For fifteen more minutes, my daughter worked on her foot. Her friend and I played music, sang and did everything we could to keep her calm and focused.
And then it happened.
“I GOT IT!”
In my head, I collapsed at that very moment. But in real life, I went over and held her, hugged her, kissed her and told her she was the bravest person I have ever met.
The child is eleven and CUT A HUGE PIECE OF WOOD OUT OF HER OWN FOOT. Yup. That’s my girl. She is tough. I pray she continues to be that brave throughout her long and happy life.
Her toe is healing nicely. It has been soaked and neosporined to death and is feeling better each day.
So how do you remove a splinter? With hot water, a surgical blade and true eleven-year-old grit.