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Dealing With Impalements

Thursday early evening while making dinner, my daughter had an accident.  She was eating rice and nut butter at the kitchen table with kids chop sticks.  They are plastic, have blunt tips and are connected at the top.

My daughter, being as impulsive as any 4 year old, got out of her chair and approached the kitchen sink with the chop sticks hanging out of her mouth.  Yes, you are correct if your imagination is allowing you picture what happened next.  The chopsticks lodged themselves under the counter in the space between the counter and the cabinets, and she impaled herself in the back of the throat.

I pulled them out, and held her for a few seconds.  She bravely opened her mouth, and there was the hole.  Blood was gushing.

I remained calm, and so did she.  It was my 7 year old who panicked and ran, but that was probably for the best.  I immediately set a course of action, for the bleeding needed to stop.

The tricky part was, this is a place you can’t poultice or apply preasure.  And with that much blood you have to act fast.  What I did was simple and worked beautifully.

Step 1: I gave her a glass of ice water.  The cold decreased the pain, and astringed the tissues.  There was a significant decrease in the bleeding.

Step 2: While she drank the ice water, I made a quick strong infusion of yarrow, and put an ice cube in it to cool it.  That took about 5 minutes.   While I did this, to keep her and my 7 year old calm, for she had re-entered, I told them how brave yarrow was, and the told a story about yarrow’s history in battle.  Stories about plants are fascinating and magical to children.  By the time the story was over, the yarrow was ready to drink.  After she drank 4 oz. of yarrow (of which I used a tablespoon of the dried herb), the bleeding stopped, and the pain was greatly decreased.  She ate dinner with a little pain.

The Healing Process

That night, I gave her more yarrow infusion with a bit of raspberry leaf,  and chamomile.  I also added a few drops of St. John’s Wort and willow tincture for the nerves and pain.

Morning of day 2:  I treated with the same night time combination, and she went off to school for a few hours.  She ate fine, and had little pain

Afternoon of day 2: same treatment

Evening of day 2: There looked to be some puffiness in the tissue surrounding the impalement.  I gave her a bit of goldenseal.

Day 3: No treatment needed.  And she is doing great.

Today, 10/12/09, is day 5.  No pain, great looking tissue, and hole healing is half way complete.

It is amazing what our bodies can do with a little support, and how brave we can be.  Being brave and scared at the same time is what true courage is made of.  She was so proud of herself for being as brave as yarrow.

When family or friends ask her about the event, she doesn’t talk about how much it hurt or being scared.  She talks about her bravery.  I hope she never forgets that part, or the part about not walking around with chopsticks hanging out of your mouth.


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