Well, I was changing Anneliese in another room, and I heard Gracie clattering around in the kitchen again. I assumed she was looking for chocolate or some tape for a pair of shoes she had "giftwrapped," with the paper taking a beating. I finished with Anneliese and went into the kitchen to see what Grace was up to, and she had my Pampered Chef Ultimate Slice and Grate.
She had climbed the counter, as I suspected, but had climbed the one over the dishwasher, and reached into the cabinet (must have been on her tippy toes) to grab it off of the highest shelf. She must have been just reaching for whatever she could grab, and came up with the slicer.
The blades were put away, inserted inside the appropriate areas, but she still somehow got her thumb wedged into one of the holding areas for the blades. I held it still, trying to also hold her hand still, and tried to see a way to get her thumb out, but she screamed, so it was clear that her thumb nail was up against a blade. She wanted me to help her, yet was afraid to let me. She knew she was in deep shit. In her fear of me hurting her, she yanked out her thumb in one strong yank, and I couldn't stop her. I was trying to hold the mandolin still, and hold her wrist, but dang it if she didn't just YANK HARD. The blade cleanly sliced a portion of her thumbnail off (in the center-ish part of the nail, before the tip of the finger).
Oh, God, the blood. The crying. The sickness in my stomach. Thank God I can function in blood crisis, because I managed to get her thumb under cold water. She screamed bloody murder at the water touching her Very Bad Boo Boo, and it was a struggle to keep her hand there so that I could try to assess the damage. We put pressure on it to try to stop the bleeding, with some tissue to sop up the blood, but it's a thumb and they bleed a LOT, especially when there's a problem with the nail. I called the dr, who agreed that you can't stitch up a finger nail. I noticed later that there was a trail of very large blood drops on the floor, leading from the kitchen into the bathroom, where I had plunged her hand under the cold running water.
So I thankfully had some gauze pads and first aid tape, totally a fluke, I just knew over the weekend that we needed to have them in the house. I wrapped a bandage around her thumb, and taped it securely, then spend a good deal of time putting pressure on the wound to get it to stop bleeding. I let her have some Children's Tylenol, which seems to help. After an hour or two, she started moving a bit more, and I had to change the bandage, starting all over again with the bleeding, but not quite as bad.
I feel horrible, and just sick to my stomach. Every now and then last night, she would hold something in a way that makes her thumb hurt again, and she would scream in pain.
Last night she slept in my bed. OK, the foot of the bed, wrapped in a blanket. I wanted to be sure that if she awoke in pain, she'd be right there and I could give her more Tylenol if needed. She didn't, at least not during the night. At bed time she let me clean it, using a little peroxide, but I couldn't touch it. I just poured a capful of peroxide over the Very Bad Boo, and as the blood fizzed she screamed. I soaked it up with a cotton ball, and then put on a little Neosporin, and gave her some more Tylenol. She declared "HEY! My fumb yooks yike a PILLOW!"
She slept OK, if not a bit fitfully. Thankfully, during the night, the bleeding DID stop, and this morning when I changed her bandage, the wound was only seeping a little bit of blood and it FINALLY had stopped bleeding. The first thing she said to me upon having changed her bandage was "Knifes are sharp. They belong to Mommy. Do I understand?!?" In other words, I'm not touching that shit any more!
I still feel just horrible about the whole thing, but she's handling it very well. Every time I think about it, I get so nauseas I'm gagging. It was just such a stupid accident, and I thought I had childproofed that damn slicer. I bought it in the days before I had children, and I swear, in 9 years, I've never had any real problems with it. Certainly none from the kids, anyway. when I was pregnant with either Juliana or Grace, when we were still in the townhouse apartment, I cut the tip of my right thumb off with it too. The piece that you have to ask for, that they don't send you without you asking because it's so dangerous and so many people have gotten hurt on it. There wasn't enough to have to sew it back on, but I still have a slightly flat spot on the tip of my thumb. Hopefully, Grace's thumbnail will regrow without any trouble. My biggest fear right now is infection.