We were at a cook-out last night and the boys were playing Rock Paper Scissors Tag in the backyard.
I was talking with some folks and heard my child crying, so I went to investigate.
He wasn’t crying, he was screaming. Doug was carrying him in and reported, “He fell on a cactus.”
His hands were filled with cactus needles. Tiny, flesh colored so they were nearly invisible, cactus needles.
We took him in to the bathroom, in search of tweezers. Anywhere you touched him around his hands, he screamed. It was awful.
He stuck me with on of the needles when his hand hit mine – and we both yelled, “Ow!” at the same time. Those suckers hurt!
Once we tracked down tweezers, we quickly realized the lighting in the bathroom wasn’t adequate, and he was just constantly screaming.
I grabbed him with every intention of bringing him to the emergency room.
Once we got him outside, I sat him down for a second to try and calm him down, and realized that the light was much better outside. So, I took the tweezers and started trying to take the needles out again. They were everywhere. The sides of his hand, his inner wrist, around his little fingers and mostly in the palm.
He winced at every extraction, and after a few minutes, calmed down enough to actually point out where he felt some of them. Johanna tried to distract him, and then her son Paxton did a really great job of distracting him. After one hand was mostly clear, we got some ice from the cooler to help numb him.
Once the one hand was clear, he was such a trooper for the other hand. We tried duct tape to see if that would pull out multiple needles at once, but I think by that time, we had gotten most of them out. As we finished up, I told him that he could have some cherry pie when we were done. That gave him much to look forward to.
I ran the ice along this hands and wrists to see if there were any more, and said his hands were clear. We wiped him down with an antiseptic wipe, then headed inside to wash up for cherry pie.
As he had his cherry pie, I indulged in a shot of tequila to calm my frazzled nerves.
And after his cherry pie, the boys played Wii the rest of the night.
When we were leaving, Brian dubbed him “Cactus Boy.”
When we got home hours later, he complained that his hand hurt again (hmmm, didn’t hurt while playing Wii). After child interrogation, he finally revealed that it felt like he had another needle in his hand. Sure enough, with the help of a magnifying glass, I found and extracted it.
Whew! That was an ordeal.
Note to self: get Bactine or some other numbing spray for the first aid kit.