It’s not family fun if someone isn’t bleeding

Emily Bialkowski
Argus Managing Editor

When you’re going through scads and scads of household products while packing for a move you start to question every little item’s worth. Do I really need the fry daddy? Have I ever actually worn this? Why do we have three crockpots?

While sorting for our move to Caledonia I distinctly remember questioning one box’s contents. Do I still need three ace bandages, an air cast for ankles, knee brace, sterile gauze and extra large bandages?

The box’s contents were the result of an accumulation of various injuries, including two carpal tunnel surgeries and a sprained ankle that was the result of running in high heels through grass after the dog. We won’t dwell on the latter. I mean, a girl has to do what a girl has to do.

But the final answer is yes. Yes, Emily, your family is quite joyful you brought the sterile gauze and extra large bandages.

Last weekend my brother Joe came up with his wife and two daughters. The excitement is palatable when the three cousins get together. Wrigley is 8, her sister Tori 6 and Sophie, our daughter, is also 6. The revelry commences the minute the cousins step out of the car. It’s instant fun for the kids – that typically doesn’t require adult interference – and it’s instant relief for us siblings, who relish one another’s company and conversation.

We hiked the steep trail at Beaver Creek Valley… well, it was more like running the steep trail at Beaver Creek because the kids had no intention of slowly taking the scenery in… We went swimming at the public pool, played at the park and visited the Rod and Gun Club’s deer paddock.

We balanced our marathon of activities with pizza and hotdogs while trying to convince the kids to add in a few carrots and cucumbers.

The evening was wearing on without the presence of one set of tears. But, alas, the honeymoon had to end, and at about 6 p.m. the shatter of glass rang out from Sophie’s room. The instinct for parents to get up and check things out was strong in all four adults present, but we let my husband head in alone and reassured my sister-in-law that he’ll ask if he needs help.

About four seconds later the cries that came out from Tori indicated something was amiss greater than the broken light fixture that lay on Sophie’s bedroom floor. Brady came out of the bathroom, where he had ushered Tori, and expressed just five words, “Tori is cut pretty bad.”

The room erupted into activity. Joe and I headed to the bathroom, Tasha (my sister-in-law) headed to the bedroom where the other two girls stood stunned and Brady went for cleaning materials. The trail of blood I saw while entering the bathroom prepared me for what was to come. Joe was holding Tori’s hand over the sink applying pressure to a bad cut on the fleshy part between her thumb and index finger.

I turned to the cabinet where I put the box I had considered trashing and got out the gauze and large bandages, gave them to Joe and headed to the bedroom to assess the scene. Wrigley and Sophie were sternly instructed to sit in the living room. I ran back to the bathroom in time to see Joe lift his thumb off Tori’s cut. It was bad – about an inch long and visibly deep.

The good news was that her little body was able to start to coagulating her blood right quick, and with the right amount of pressure, a rolled up gauze pad, large bandage and medical tape, Joe was able to stop the bleeding entirely.

Without hesitation, I will soon be restocking our sterile gauze and medical tape supply. As for Tori, the revelry continued after a 20 minute cartoon break.


You can contact Emily Bialkowski at [email protected]