Friday evening, we were getting ready to leave for Wal Mart to stock up on junk food and fishing supplies for what was supposed to be a fun-filled weekend in the country. I picked Rhett up to change his diaper and I felt something sticking out under his arm. My mind started racing. I remembered a point earlier in the day when I had picked him up to smell his pants and he cried. At the time I thought he was just annoyed because he wanted a cupcake and I was sniffing his diaper. Now I realized I must have dislocated his shoulder and now his bones were sticking out. I had to gather up all of my courage and hold my breath to lift up his shirt to look. Please don't let it be bad pleasedontletitbebad. I looked. It was bad. But not what I expected. It wasn't a bone. It was a hard, pus-filled knot topped by a white boil-like blister. I had experienced this before, on myself. Remember the golf-ball sized lump I went on and on about in the fall? The staph infection in my pit that caused my husband and I to miss our romantic trip to Vegas? This was the same thing. Aaron said "Maybe it's a spider bite. It looks like a spider bite." That's exactly what he said to me when I had my pit infection. I knew better. And I dreaded what was coming next.
I immediately put Rhett in the car and rushed him to Acute Kids Urgent Care. When the doctor stepped in and I showed her the boil, she immediately said "Oh no. Yeah, that's a bad infection." She was very perky and upbeat about the whole thing and she said "If you can wait an extra 20 minutes, we'll put a pad with an anisthetic to numb it a bit." If I couldn't wait, he'd have to have it administered via needle. I had that happen to me and I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy. A needle in a painful, infected lump is excruciating, to say the least. I couldn't let them do that to my baby boy. I said we'd wait. And then I said, fearfully, "What are you going to do?" She said "Oh, we'll have to drain it and I'm sure it's painful, so we'll just numb it a bit and give him some Motrin. We'll be right back!" It was all said so cheerfully and matter-of-fact, that I actually thought they were just going to pinch it to drain it. That would definitely be painful, but I can handle that. My girls get boils sometimes and I have to drain those until they go away. I don't like it, but it's tolerable. Ok, I can handle this.
Twenty minutes passed. Rhett was doing fine, crawling around and laughing. This was all going much better than I had expected. And then the doctor walked in. And I heard the nurses talking about who was going in. The doctor said "Come on guys, we have to do it." And I freaked. I mean, if the doctor was dreading it and the nurses were arguing over who had to help, this couldn't be good. Two nurses and the doctor came in. The doctor was carrying a tray with all kinds of sharp, shiny tools and instruments. My instinct was to grab my baby and run far away. But then he'd have this rotten boil that would make him really, really sick, so I had to stay. They wrapped him tightly in a sheet like a little burrito so he couldn't move his right arm and the nurse was holding his left arm up above his head. He was already crying and looking at me like he wanted me, so I offered to hold his arm so I could at least be close to him. The nurse began pushing on the sore and gunk started oozing out. She said "Oh good, it's already open." I breathed a sigh of relief. If it was oozing on it's own, there would be no need to cut or poke with anything sharp, right? Wrong. There was a huge pocket that they couldn't get to, so she cut him. I honestly have never experienced anything so terrible in my life. I don't know if there is anything more difficult than watching someone hurt your baby, even if it's for his own good. The sheer panic in his eyes was almost too much for me to bear. He screamed bloody murder and thrashed about so that the burrito sheet came loose and both of his arms were flailing. He was sweating and choking and terrified. He was reaching for me and grabbing for me and all I could do was pin his arms down. Then, as if cutting him wasn't enough, they put a tube of water down in the wound to try to flush out the junk. But it wouldn't break up. They had to put scissors inside the wound to break up some of the infection. I must have started to cry a little bit because the doctor said "Hold it together, Mom, we're almost done." For a split second, I contemplated saying "I can't do this anymore," and backing away and covering my eyes, but then I looked at my baby boy. He didn't have the option to leave, so I had to stick it out with him. Finally, after what seemed like an eternity, the torture ended. They bandaged him and handed him to me. He held on for dear life with both chubby fists. I couldn't get him close enough to me. I think we were both shaking and crying. They brought him a popsicle and that helped him, but I was still a mess. In fact, on the way home, I thought about pulling over onto the side of the road to cry. I needed to release all the fear, tension, and horror that was resting inside of my chest. We came home and I just couldn't put Rhett down. I didn't want to put him in his bed. I just wanted to know that he knew how much I loved him and that I didn't want to hurt him. I wanted to know that he still loved me and that he forgave me. Here he is first thing the next morning. Does he look like he's holding a grudge?