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2010-06-02 - 4:48 p.m.

This is the last day before Biscuit turns two, and I was in the hospital with him this morning. The reason will seem ridiculous – it did to me: he had a splinter in his heel that we could not get out. It had been there since at least Saturday, and we’d tortured the poor little guy daily with our attempts to extract it. Finally, we heeded the advice of both our family doctor and his paediatrician and brought him to CHEO.

It just seemed so silly: emergency for a splinter? But it wasn’t working its way out on its own, given that he walked on it all the time. And we didn’t have anyone with whom we could make an appointment – what kind of specialist would we have seen? – so emergency it was. After a couple of hours a doctor saw him (we were told that yes, it would have to be a doctor instead of a nurse; splinter removal technically being a “surgical procedure”. To her credit she didn’t try to make me like I was overreacting, though she did furrow her brow and ask if I was sure there was a splinter there, and not just a scab? I started to doubt myself for a moment as I stammer something about being pretty sure, but then she agreed that she saw something (whew). Take note, for your own future reference, of what happened next:

She put her thumbs on either side of the splinter, and pressed firmly. The splinter – about 1.5mm long (1/4 of an inch?) – came out. That was it. No incision, no digging around, no numbing of the area necessary.

It had indeed be straight into his foot (had it been on an angle I’m pretty confident we would have gotten it out ourselves or it might have even worked itself out), and it was pretty long so I’m surprised he hadn’t fussed more about it.

I think our mistake had been in squeezing together at the top where the skin was to try to get ahold of it with the tweezers. It didn’t take it out and, if anything, was pushing it in. But a squeeze deep down in the tissue did the trick to force it up and out. Now we know.


I have to say, this past weekend he started answering “I love you Mumma” when I say “I love you Biscuit”, only, you know, with his real name.

It is one of the most beautiful sounds I have heard in my life and it kills me every time.

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