I asked my friends on Facebook to guess which of the minxes had infected her finger. I gave little hints along the way like:
- she claims to have hurt it originally “when I was licking the wall. Prob’ly. Or when I nibbled it” (she’s talking about the outside wall. Of the house).
- as to when: “Last year. When I was a teenager”.
I think everyone correctly guessed that it was, indeed, Midi Minx. A friend commiserated: “You don’t have children. You have creature like disasters, part twilight zone part black lagoon. With pretty blonde hair :o)” It’s nice to know that my suspicions are shared!
Midi isn’t a complainer. Well, there weren’t any ‘Whinge’ genes leftover after Maxi used them all up when she was created! Even so, I didn’t pay a lot of attention when Midi said that her finger was sore. She was certainly off-colour that morning, but weren’t we all?! She’d been in my bed at 2.30, 3.30 and 5am, so not much was making sense in my little world. She’d been running a low-grade fever for a while, had a 3 week long on-off tummy-ache and sore throat. For once she’d insisted on dropping Maxi off at school in the buggy, and although she’d had fun at the swing park afterwards, wasn’t her usual boisterous self. So, no, I didn’t pay any attention when she complained about her ouchy finger halfway through lunch, after an hour of guddling around wrist-deep in a mix of mud, gardening compost and probable cat poo. Until she shoved it under my nose. And I nearly lost my lunch.
The entire fingertip was swollen and red. There was something black poking out between the base of her forefinger nail and the skin. The skin at the base of the nail was one horseshoe of yellow, pus-sy blister that had swollen out over the nail. It was hot to the touch, and there was an ominous red streak down the inside of her finger.
I phoned the local surgery and got an appointment for 3 hours hence. I sat down and imagined the effects of blood poisoning on my little girl. Obviously paranoia acts even faster. So I gathered her and Mini in the car and drove over to the parent-surgery, to see if she could be seen sooner.
The nurse-practitioner agreed that the gruesome finger needed antibiotics, a Mummy-made comedy-cartoon-sized dressing and soaking in salty water a few times a day, but no tetanus.
This morning, after another litre of soaking water was spilled over the floor (can you hear me sighing in exasperation? Aye, maybe the first time; not the second. Or third), I inspected said finger. The pus blister had doubled in size and was now green (the same shade of the allegedly ‘pale-yellow’ paint I’d haplessly put on our bedroom walls. Grrrr! But that’s another story). So back to the GP again.
We discussed whether lancing it would be a good idea or not, weighing up the need for constant dressing until th ecut healed against easing some of the pain immediately. And he had no local anaesthetic he could use for the injury. Midi listened to us with eyes like a Powerpuff Girl cartoon. I leaned over conspiratorially:
“Me and the doctor are talking about what to do with your finger”, I explained.
“Yep”, she replied seriously.
“The doctor can get a big sharp knife and stick it in your finger, right in the really, really sore bit”, I said deadpan.
“Yep”, she said levelly, as the doc winced.
“It’ll give you a huge, big, massive ouch, but then your finger will start to feel better. But it’ll really, really hurt. Is that ok?”
“Yep”, she agreed.
So she lay on the little couch and didn’t even flinch or say ouch when the doctor lanced the finger. He had to cut a little letterbox shape in the skin to keep the flap from closing over and stopping the gunk from oozing out. By the 5th cut she was starting to frown a little.
“I think you must be the bravest little girl I have ever met!” exclaimed the relieved doctor afterwards. I just sat there, looking green, giving my best goldfish face, quite astounded by Midi’s bravery (she admitted later that it had stung a lot).
She’s now happily showing off her massive dressing to anyone or anything with eyes. A simple plaster would be enough, but what the hell? She’s only 4. And everyone knows that bigger is better at that age.