Teddi Mellencamp Recalls How Daughter Slate, 7½, 'Amputated the Tip of Her Finger' in a Door
"I learned that you're not supposed to put a finger on ice," Teddi Mellencamp Arroyave says in her latest podcast episode
Teddi Mellencamp Arroyave is breathing a sigh of relief in the wake of a scary accident that led to her older daughter losing the tip of one of her fingers.
On Monday's episode of her Teddi Tea Pod podcast — her first in two months — The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star went into detail about the incident, explaining that Slate, 7½, had followed her when she went to take out the trash and accidentally slammed her finger in the heavy door leading to the outside.
"[Slate] amputated the tip of her finger. ... I'm still at a loss of words on how crazy it was," says Mellencamp Arroyave, 38, revealing that she had no idea there was any real trouble at first because her daughter was "silent" and not showing any visible or audible signs of trauma.
"I walked back into the house and she was just sitting there silent and I'm like, 'What's up?' She didn't cry or anything, so I thought the door slammed, that she had already gotten in. And she was like, 'Mom,' and then I saw her finger on the floor. And I was like, 'Holy crap,' " recalls the mother of three, who first shared the news of Slate's accident late last week on Instagram.
After calling 911, Mellencamp Arroyave says she learned quickly from the operator that what she'd seen in similar situations on "every television show I've ever watched" — namely, to keep the amputated digit cold — was wrong.
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"I learned that you're not supposed to put a finger on ice," she explains. "So I took it off and they had me just wrap it — they don't want it to be cold, 'cause then it kills all the nerves."
Slate was transported by ambulance to the hospital, where doctors reattached her severed fingertip in the hopes that it would heal. But after three weeks of being in a "huge cast," the healing had not progressed the way they'd hoped, and the little girl had to undergo skin-graft surgery instead. Now, as her mom shares, Slate has been "able to start using her right hand again" and is out of the cast.
"It really shows how strong our kids are and how positive they are ... it's so incredible how much kids pick up from you and how much they know," says Mellencamp Arroyave, who's also mom to daughter Dove, 4 months, and son Cruz, 5½.
The daughter of John Mellencamp wasn't immune from guilt surrounding the incident, though — but thankfully, her oldest child saw things differently.
"At one point, [Slate] looked at me and she was like, 'Hey Mom, just so you know, this wasn't your fault,' " the Bravo star recalls. "And I was like, 'Well, I feel like it was my fault. I should've told you before I took the trash out not to follow. And I know the door is heavy' and all of these things, and she was just like, 'Mom, I'm gonna be fine.' "
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"It has been a really brutal six weeks with surgeries and healing and we're finally at the tail end of it, and she's learning how to reuse her right hand," continues Mellencamp Arroyave. "It's really been a lot, but it's really shown me how resilient kids are. I have learned so much from my 7-year-old in these past six weeks. She is so strong, and I just am so proud of her."
Mellencamp Arroyave also shared near the beginning of the podcast that her new baby girl, Dove, is "officially sleeping through the night" now.
And while she and husband Edwin Arroyave are "into a little bit better of a rhythm" with three kids since Dove's February birth, they're having to get a little bit creative — with a "code" — to squeeze in time for physical intimacy.
"I would not be happy having sex four times a day. I am old, I am tired and I am happy with my two to three times a week," the reality star jokes. "We don't schedule it, but we have to call it [something else] because there's always kids around; the fact that they're not in this room is only because I bribed them with tablet time."
"[So we say], 'Do you want to have closet time?' Because we'll go in the closet!" Mellencamp Arroyave says, laughing. "We have to put down a yoga mat or it really hurts the knees!"