Hair Tourniquet Syndrome is apparently a thing. And Madison has first-hand (first-toe?) experience with it. Here’s the somewhat ridiculous story.
I gave Madison a bath and as I pulled her out of the tub I noticed one of her toes looked red. I dried her off, got her diaper on and inspected a little further. I could see there was a piece of hair that had wound itself really tightly around her middle toe, like so:
I took her over to Dallas, and we started trying to pull off the offending hair. At first there were strands hanging off so I tried to unwind them but before too long the strands had broken off and her toe was still in a tourniquet. Uh oh.
We were at a loss as to how to proceed. We Googled “how to remove a hair from a baby’s toe” and found out this kind of thing actually happens on a somewhat regular basis. However, we weren’t given any good ideas as to how to remove the hair. We tried tweezers. We tried maneuvering a needle under the hair to rip it. No luck.
By this time Madison was not a happy camper. I called our pediatrician’s office. Closed. I called a nurse hotline. The nurse said we should take Madison to the ER. Right away. I asked if we could try an urgent care clinic first and she said that would be fine.
So off we went.
We got to the urgent care center. The receptionist asked us why we were there. Do you know how ridiculous it feels to go to the doctor for a strand of hair? And then how ridiculous it feels to have to explain that to the receptionist…and then the nurse…and finally the doctor?
Answer: It feels very ridiculous. And one or more of the above persons will give you strange looks and shake their heads in disbelief.
The doctor took a look and tried to remove the hair a couple of different ways. Madison protested. At that point I think he realized this was actually a problem that would be a little trickier to resolve.
He put some numbing stuff on her toe. Then the nurse and I held Madison down while he donned magnifying glasses and tiny, sharp tools and got to work. After a few minutes he held up his hands in surrender and said, “I can’t get it. You’ve got to go to the ER.”
He said her toe was getting swollen which makes it hard to get at the hair and the hair was buried in her skin so there was no good way for him to get under the hair to cut it off.
So, off to the ER we went. Again, I have to explain to everyone why we’re there. Again I felt like they were thinking, “Why are you here? A hair? A piece of hair? Do you not realize this is the emergency room, keyword EMERGENCY?”
A nurse looked at it. He tried to remove the hair. Couldn’t.
A physician’s assistant came by. He tried to remove the hair. Couldn’t.
They both looked at each other, shrugged their shoulders, and said, “Huh. We’ve got to get the doctor.”
The doctor came down with a flurry of people. He took a look. He tried to remove the hair. Couldn’t.
While I wasn’t happy that this hair had been so stubborn to remove, it did make me feel vindicated that this stupid hair did actually need a real professional to remove and it wasn’t something we could have done ourselves.
The doctor then went through our options.
#1 – Knock Madison out and remove the hair.
#2 – Give her numbing shots in her toe and then cut the hair out with a scalpel.
#3 – Give her nothing to numb her toe and he would do his best to cut the hair out quickly with a scalpel.
The #1 option seemed a little extreme and the #3 option seemed a little barbaric so I opted for #2.
The doctor shot her toe up with numbing juice. Madison screeeeeeeamed her little heart out. Poor baby. Then we had to wait a little while for her toe to get nice and numb. During that time Madison fell asleep only to be woken up moments later for the torture to resume.
Three of us held her down while the doctor started slicing. He made one incision on each side of her toe. He called over to the people who were documenting the procedure and nonchalantly stated, “One incision on either side of the toe to the bone.”
TO THE BONE?! Someone give me smelling salts, I’m about to faint.
The doctor saw my face and said, “Don’t worry. The bone is right there. It doesn’t take much to cut to the bone.” If you say so, doc. Still sounds gross. And painful.
The doctor said he sliced both sides because he couldn’t see the hair embedded in her toe. Cutting both sides of her toe would release the tourniquet and the hair either will (or did) fall off.
Then they bandaged her up as if they had cut her entire foot off:
And then we were discharged.
I am still astonished that a piece of hair can get so tightly wound around one toe like that. Madison is her usual happy self today. Her toe looks better in that it’s no longer in a tourniquet but we can still see the line where the hair was and of course she has the cuts on the sides of her toe (to the bone).
At least she still has a toe, right?
And does this mean I should probably be vacuuming more often…?
I did a post all about Madison and meant to follow it right up with this post about what everyone else has been up to…and it’s taken me weeks to get to it. Better late than never?
We happened upon fire safety day at the library and Spencer got a hat. He wore it everywhere we went for two weeks straight. Once we were in the car headed to the store and he realized he had forgotten his beloved hat. Oh the tears. I must admit – I loved my little fireman errand buddy.
We enrolled Caroline in a gymnastics class. She loved it and I was so impressed with all she learned.
The kids had their dental checkup. Somehow I heard the words “no cavities” from the dentist after which I nearly had to be treated for shock:
When the weather was nice the kids really got into making chalk cities on the driveway:
The kids love play-doh and while it does make a mess, it also keeps them happy for hours so I love it, too.
Every morning I have two peanut butter toast for breakfast. One morning Brooke made the toast for me…and positioned them into a heart:
I got to go on a field trip with Caroline to the farm:
Dallas trying to get Madison to crawl:
Brooke wanted to sketch Caroline’s portrait. She got her dressed up and is working to position her in the right pose:
The kids have been playing school a lot lately and it’s adorable:
We like to walk to school when the weather permits. We bundle Madison up so only her eyes show and we never know how Spencer will accessorize for the journey. Usually it’s with his fireman hat and clutching his lawn mower, but today it was goggles and a butterfly net:
The girls had crazy hair day. Brooke won a prize for her crazy hair!
We went to the Discovery Gateway Museum. Brooke made this:
An employee passed by and glanced over. She stopped in her tracks and exclaimed, “Oh my gosh! She made a horse!” Yes she did. She can turn anything into a horse!
I’ve been meaning to write a Madison update for months now.
I’m sure you’ve been on the edge of your seat waiting for one. Is she sitting? Teething? Eating solids? Crawling?
Yes, yes, yes, and almost.
First, can she sit? All of our kids have been over-achievers when it comes to sitting. By five months they can sit for minutes at a time unassisted:
By six months they’re pros:
Does she have teeth? Yes!
This picture shows her first tooth and her second bottom tooth has also surfaced.
Is she eating solids? Yes.
She loves her veggies. Surprisingly it’s the fruits I’m having a hard time getting her to accept. She acts like she’s eating a lemon with each bite. I’ve been mixing fruit into her cereal to get her used to the taste and I’m starting to be able to give her some fruits on their own with slightly less face puckering.
Have I ever let Brooke feed her? Once and only once.
Why only once? Because how many times would you want to clean up this?
Does Caroline still love her to death? Are you seriously asking me that? Of course yes.
What about Spencer? He’s less doting, but just as cute with her.
Can she crawl? Not yet, but she’s starting to get into position:
Can she clap? Yes!
My parents came over for a visit and someone clapped which scared Madison to death. Naturally, we thought it was fun to terrify her so we continued our visit with sudden bursts of clapping interspersed.
The next day, she clapped, easy as that.
Does she wave? The mind is willing but the body lacks the coordination. She caught onto clapping so easily we started trying to get her to wave. When we wave at her she’ll sort of spaz out flailing her arms all over the place trying to figure out how to replicate what we’re doing. You’ll get there, baby girl. Keep at it.
Does she smile? Only all the time:
Are her eyes still blue? Yes! Our only baby to have kept her blue eyes. We think they’re here to stay.
Do yourself a favor and click on these pictures. The sun was shining and making her eyes the prettiest color: I didn’t edit the picture at all:
Do I have any other pictures of Madison looking cute? Yes, thanks for asking!
I had set the boppy pillow around Madison as she was sitting to prevent her from hurting herself should she tip over. She ended up in this position and the girls thought she looked like she was in a tube floating on the water:
How’s she sleeping? I hate to mention sleep habits because without fail after I write about them my babies always regress to a horrible degree. However, we have done the dreaded sleep training and now she usually sleeps through the night. Hallelujah! The bad news is she almost always wakes up at 6:00 on the nose which leaves room for lots of improvement in my book. I’m trying to convince her that 7:00 is a better time to wake up and see the world but so far she doesn’t believe me.
One last personality quirk to note is she’s a quiet little thing. She’s so quiet that Dallas and I call her our little mute. You know how babies are supposed to coo? And babble? Ours just sort of doesn’t do that. I mentioned this to the doctor at her six-month check up and he didn’t seem concerned yet, so we’re just talking to her tons and hoping her speech will develop normally and that she’ll find her voice one of these days.
All in all I’d say we lucked out once again in the baby department. Madison is a keeper and we love her to bits.