Wednesday, December 16, 2009

An Unfortunate Event

So, last night was the boy’s very first Christmas program, and it was very very nice. Surprisingly devoid of shenanigans especially when you consider the fact that there were over 32 small children under the age of 5 gathered on a church altar. And I thank the merciful gods for the lack of shenanigans as the day leading up was chock full of them.

The plan was a free day for me so I could spend a few hours with a very good friend and her adorable little baby girl. I had met Bean a few months earlier but now she Is 6 months, when all the fun starts (you know) and I just wanted to play with Shan and a baby and it all seemed to be no problem. Though we both technically live in Los Angeles county, we live on opposite ends of the spectrum so I spent a nice hour or so driving out on unclogged freeways and arrived excited to squeeze this little girl's cheeks. Yummy.

I missed a call by Tim figuring it was just a check in, but just as we settled in for a good talk/play on the floor session I heard my phone again and the thought “uh on” flashed through. It was my Dad, I answered and he asked if Tim had reached me. Uh oh. The message he relayed sounded like this : “Tim went to school because someone bit off Mason’s finger”. You know that feeling that happens when your body is so cold it is hot, when you feel your bones fall into jelly-like state? That was me….but I always laugh when I am nervous so I think I did that too. Then I hung up and called Tim.

The teacher Mrs. B answered and she was the epitome of calm. She asked me if I was okay, then explained the paramedics were at the school, Tim was with him, his finger was mostly severed at the top with the fingernail almost off, he was okay. She sounded a little shaky, but then who wouldn’t? Then I had to ask, “Um, someone bit it off?” That made her give a nervous laugh and clear up that it was actually a door, not a child that perpetrated the act. Whew. And that it was Owen, not Mason who was hurt. My mind instantly flashed to change the injured child image in my mind, which was not a relief at all, but at least it was accurate now.

I told Tim I would get in the car and be home in about 90 minutes, he was taking O to the ER, I hung up and then had to lay down for a minute. Shan and Lucy were both very understanding (of course) and I had to snuggle her for one more minute before I left to work up my fortitude, then in car, back to freeway, home to local ER.

It was all a little anti-climatic when I walked into the ER hospital room. Owen’s hand was heavily bandaged, he was smiling, reached for a big hug. Tim told me that x-rays had been done but he had yet to be seen by the MD. My relief evaporated as I knew the rough part was to come when they took off the bandage, but O seemed so happy, no pain at all per his actions.

(Calm before the storm, believe me, I did not even think about taking his picture after they took off the dressing).

So, when the PA came in and started to remove the bandage I was in shock when I saw the injury….it was baaaad, people. At least, that is what we both thought when we saw it, I could hear it in her voice, I could feel it in the turning of my stomach. My advice is that if someone tells you your child’s finger is partially severed, you should listen and not look. O was screaming, it was bleeding, I was holding him, Tim was soothing him…it was a bit of a zoo for a minute.

But they decided it needed numbing, irrigation and sewing up, there was no fracture and he would be just fine. Right. The hardest part for him and us was that they needed to immobilize him so the wrapped him in a sheet and papoosed him to a board on the gurney and he flipped his lid. Screamed at us to let him out, please, out, please, ME OUT!!!!. Ah, my heart clenches just thinking about it.

I laid on the gurney with him and told him stories as we waited for his hand to get numb and he calmed a bit but when the medical attention began, that was it. He screamed the ER down. He pleaded with them, he said stop, and ouch, and hurting, and out, me out, me out. He would not look at me, instead watching the medical team, they hid his hand from us as they working and I knew he could feel it because he screamed at each stitch but I could not tell her to stop because it just needed to be done, over, so he could get out.

Thank god I was lying down next to him or I might have fallen down, hearing his voice, helpless to help. It was horrible. The ER team was amazing and wonderful with him, but it was still horrible. And then they finished and he passed out, one second screaming, next one asking for water in a cup (not juice, he told the nurse) and then out like a light.

We got our papers, I carried his limp little body out to the car, into his seat, into our home and he stayed asleep through it all, only moaning a little. And when he woke up an hour later, he asked for water in a cup. Mace was home and the minute the door opened I heard his voice say, “Mommy, Daddy home? Owie Okay? Doctor fix it?”. My mom sad Mace was telling her about the incident “Door smashing smashing, Owie big bup, me doctor and me fix it”.

And he seems no worse for the wear, his hand mitted up, he adapted easily to not using it, playing with one hand and holding his other up and he goes about his business. We did make it to the Christmas program and he did fine there too. Mrs. B and I commiserated about just how awful it is when one of our little ones gets hurt, for he is her little one too. She did such a good job taking care of him, I told her thank you a million times. And Tim did such a good job handling it all without a blink even though he hates hospitals. Me, well, I handled it okay until I got home and needed a glass of wine stat.

The finger will be fine, good circulation per the team, fingernail gone but likely to grow back. It bled through the bandage but we see his regular doctor today and he is all pink and eating apples and only complained abut hurting last night when he finally stopped and laid down in bed with us. (Did you know you can dose your kid with Tylenol and Children’s Motrin at the same time if you need to? Yeah, I did not know that until yesterday. Might have helped during sleepless night molar teething time).

You know what sucks about parenting? You cannot control doors, or other people’s cars, or things that happen to your kids out of your control. There is not way to stop those things. You can feed them good food, keep them warm and dry, give them things that stimulate their minds, give them hugs, but you cannot control doors. Or other things. That really is the suck factor in this job.

Just so you know, he is a lot better and acting just like O usually acts...though he sings it here, he did not at the program. Mace on the other hand? Never sang it once at home...put him on the altar and he became a total ham. It was awesome.


Sereknitty said...

Oh, my heart dropped a few inches just reading this! I'm so sorry you had to go through all this trauma!

jillian said...

Oh my gosh! Soooo glad his finger will be fine. How harrowing. I'm amazed you didn't pass out too!

Dawn Johnson Warren said...

Made me cry as I read your description, what a horrible experience for you all. Special hugs for all four of you for being so brave and making it through.

LauraC said...

That is one hell of a Christmas pageant story. Hope it only gets better from here.

We've been to urgent care or ER five times with the boys and it is always harrowing. It's almost harder as they get older because they understand so much more and can express their fears so much more clearly.

So sorry to hear the news!

Jenn said...

From one Mom to another...hugs, hugs, hugs. I have had ER experiences with both of my girls. I totally understand how heartbreaking it is to have your child hysterically screaming for something to stop and not being able to stop it for them because it's necessary to give them the care they need.

I'm glad all is well now. It always amazes me how quickly little ones can bounce back from a traumatic event.

Bea said...

I'm SO glad Owen is ok, I totally feel your pain, we too are very familiar with the ER and the papoose board. Will you have to do daily treatments on his finger? I hope those go well and it heals up super fast.

Whitney said...

Same thing totally happened to my little boy only he was beside me & slammed down the lid to our fire proof safe. His pinkie was only hanging on by the top of his finger. And the ER experience was horrible!!! They did knock him out but then he looked frightening bc his eyes were open but there was nothing behind it, like an anoxic brain injury. Anyway, have been a lurker for years & when I saw you had to go through what I did too, just thought I would send some well wishes your way. Best of luck!!

Goddess in Progress said...

How horrible and scary for all of you! I'm so glad he's on the mend. Oh, how we sometimes wish we could cover them in a big, safe bubble...

t + j said...

owen's ordeal broke my heart - poor little man! and you guys have nerves of steel, i tell you. i'm so glad to hear that everyone's doing much better now, and i'll be thinking lots of finger healing thoughts. those little boys are SO resilient!

K8 said...

Oh that made my heart wrench just reading it - I can't imagine how much worse it was being there! Hope he's healing well!

The Adventures of Carrie, Brook, Finn and Reid said...

Yikes! Poor Owen!

Up until now, I always had such a different picture of papoosing--this is not the sort of situation I wanted to associate with it--especially when combined with the word "gurney".

We're sending all of our super healing powers from AK to Owen. Go, fibroblasts, go!

P.S. I love how you described turning your thoughts around and the picture of the child after you found out that it wasn't Mason. As you said, it doesn't change anything, but you still want to be able to picture the CORRECT situation that is at hand, and ...for instance, with us, I would ask for a heavy duty headache med (for myself!) if it was Reid. He isn't called the Reid Rager for nothing. He earned that name.

Claroux said...

I can't imagine how you did it! I was getting all woozy just READING about it (having just gotten back from the ER myself with Maddie & a dislocated elbow). Seeing our little ones i such pain makes me sick to my stomach. I'm glad all is well. poor little guy!!!! Give him a big hug from his East coast Auntie and future bride & sister-in-law LOL. You're quite a trooper!

Amy said...

Sending healing thoughts your way. The resilience of children is an amazing thing!

Kellee said...

Feel better, little one, feel better!!

eda said...