Thursday, November 21, 2013

Mommy Instincts- Do not doubt them! Our Hair Tourniquet story

This has truly been a week from hell. We have been fighting these colds for a couple weeks now and I started by taking the kids to the doctor on Monday, they got the Mr. Neb mask so we have been doing that 4 times a day along with Miles physical therapy exercises. My week at work started off on the wrong foot too. Then, Tuesday morning I was changing Miles and I noticed he had some gunky stuff behind his little curled toes. I thought it was weird enough to have Allan look at it, but then he talked me down, the old "he's fine, it is just lotion that got gunky from the dryness" blah blah blah. Ok, I guess he is fine.

Later that night when it was time to get the kids ready for bed, I decided it was a bath night for Miles. I go to give him a bath and start my full inspection. I look at his toes and his 3rd and 4th toe are huge and super red. I start freaking! I have Allan come look again and I get the old, "he's fine, let's just wait until morning and if it is still bad we can bring him to the doctor."  This time, I wasn't easily persuaded, I knew something was wrong. I called the doctor and left a message for the on call nurse. As I frantically waited for them to call back I called my step mom who has a good friend who is a pediatrician. I texted a picture of his toe and asked her to call her.  Then, the on call nurse calls back and asks me what is going on and if he is cranky, eating normal, or running a fever. Well, he hasn't been eating quite normal, because he has bronchiolitis, no fever, but a little fussy from the bronchiolitis too. She told me to take him to Children's Healthcare immediate care center right away, it looks like he is starting to get an infection. Around this same time, I heard back from my step mom who's friend said the same thing.

We call my mom and have her come stay at the house with Gianna now who we just put to bed for the night and we leave to go to Children's. Well, we all know it is sick season, so we waited for about an hour and we get back there for vitals. They tell us it looks like Miles has a tourniquet from a string from his sock. They check for blood flow and get us back to see the doctor right away. The doctor comes in and examines him and says it is a hair tourniquet and wrapped around 2 days which explains why I thought his toes were stuck together-- they were! He said it was the tightest he has ever seen and immediately sends us to Egelston Children's Hospital in Atlanta. Now, I really start to freak thinking Miles is going to lose his toe. The doctor by us says he just doesn't have the right lighting and Miles needs to be looked at by a plastic surgeon who has a fine eye and needs to be numbed up.

We get to Children's Atlanta, put on our masks to protect us from all the diseases that are lerking in that place and wait, again! They again get us back pretty quickly and they even put Miles in a hospital gown. The doctor comes in and tells us it is his first time ever seeing it wrapped around 2 toes and the tightest he has seen. He takes a tiny needle like thing and starts prying at his toe- with NO numbing medicine Miles starts going crazy, screaming, crying, kicking, you name it. It was painful to watch. He starts breaking up the hair and unwrapping it from his toes. Immediately one toe starts to look better. He gets done digging and tells us it is a good thing we caught this, because he could have lost his toes by the morning. Then, he says he is going to prescribe a cream and antibiotic oral medicine and we will be able to go soon.

We get Miles dressed and wait, but then after hearing he really could have lost his toes, we feel stressed. I examine him some more and still don't feel confident he got all of the hair. His one toe is still very large and red. The doctor comes back and agrees, he takes another look. Then, he asks for assistance from a very large man to hold Miles down as he pokes and prods with this needle some more. It is literally like torture at this point, even the man holding down my 12 pound baby is sweating as he watches the doctor dig and bend his toes back to get these hair particles out. Finally, he is done and says he feels like he has done all he can and puts a little heating pad on his foot to hopefully get some circulation back and make it look better. Well, it doesn't start looking a whole lot better, but the doctor tells us "he wishes he could send us home feeling better about it, but he does feel good about it". He tells us to keep a close eye on follow up with Miles physical therapist and his pediatrician. The more people who check it out, the better.

Oh, while we were at Children's Atlanta, the doctor asked us if he could take pictures and record what he is doing with Miles toes to publish for other doctors. He assures us his face won't be posted, but he thinks he could help others with this. He says he has never seen one so tight and never around 2 toes at once. We agree of course, anything to help another baby.

So the moral of this story is to never doubt your mommy instincts. I am so very grateful for mine. I knew something was not right with my son and I will always be a mommy who over reacts versus not reacting when it comes to my children. Have you ever heard of hair tourniquets?  They are a real thing and can happen with strings too. They are common on fingers, penises and toes. Usually it is mild and you can cut the string yourself, but in our case, it wasn't. When they occur, they can cause damage very quickly. All of this happened to us in less than 24 hours, so pay attention to your kids, examine them and never ever trust your instincts. You know your child better than anyone!


  1. poor miles! this is so so scary :( crue is always pulling my hair these days and i find it everywhere. it makes me scared to put socks on him even!
    i am so glad that you caught it and took him in. you are a great mama! hope he is recovering well (from everything)! xxo

    1. thanks momma, it was super scary and I am so glad he is ok. aww, you too!! xoxo

  2. Wow. I have heard of this happening! Mommy instincts can make us look so silly but you just can't be too careful!