Last Thursday Jack was riding his bike when he fell off, landing full-weight on the pointy end of his handlebars. He came running in the house clutching his side, crying and saying he couldn't breath so I assumed he'd been winded and that he'd be okay after a few minutes. After a while of him saying he felt sick and couldn't walk without it hurting I thought I'd just run him up to an urgent care clinic to get checked over. Once we got there they told us he had "moderate" blood in his urine, classified him as a "trauma" case and whisked him off to Children's Hospital in an ambulance. It was all so quick that I barely had time to ring Craig and tell him.
Craig actually jumped on the freeway at the same time we were going passed our neighborhood and he followed us there. Once we got there they rushed him to the trauma unit and it was like something out of a TV show. A dozen doctors and nurses were in the room, shouting orders and acting like he was dying. It was so bizarre that I didn't have time to take it all in and feel scared or anything. I just stood in the doorway and stared. I did have the wherewithal to tell a nurse that he'd had a horrible experience there in the past when someone couldn't get an IV in his arm, so he'd probably freak out this time. And of course it happened again and it took 3 failed attempts on his left arm before they put one in his right arm.
By this time he was crying, but once the IV was in and he'd had an X-ray and most of the people left the room he calmed down. The doc (Dr. Wood) thought everything was probably okay and we thought we might go home, but then a report came back that there was still blood in his urine and there was some fluid in his stomach, which meant he could have damaged his kidney, bladder or bowel. That's the point I actually got really scared. The thought that he had damaged a major organ was just terrifying and a feeling of helplessness came over me. It's hard to describe but I just repeated a mantra in my head of "no no no no" like I did when I found out Eric had died.
They sent him for a CAT scan to get better images of his organs then prepared a room for him in the hospital while we waited for the results. It was 2am by this point. Here he is, at the time..
|Waiting for CAT scan results in the trauma unit, with Henry |
(a teddy bear given to him by a social worker as soon as we arrived).
While we were quietly waiting in the trauma room to get the go-ahead to move upstairs, a horrible thing happened. The room next to us got ready for someone to be admitted and became all hustle and bustle. Since we were only separated from them by medicine cabinets we could hear everything and see a little. They brought in a young girl on a stretcher, Erica, who had been found hanging by a belt in her bedroom wardrobe. It was obvious by the lack of action that she was already dead. As I spun around to look I saw her mom walk past and we made eye contact. It was so awful. Jack whispered to us "why was she hanging by a belt? Has she died?" It was just awful. I cried so much for her mum that night. I can't even imagine.
At 3.30am we got settled in the room then Dr. Wood came and told us Jack's kidney was ok and there was no sign of injury to any organs. What a relief. He was still concerned that there might be a small tear in the bladder or bowel so wanted to keep him in for observation for the day. By 9am things perked up, with the arrival of these guys. This kind of thing restores my faith in human kindness...
By afternoon we had visitors from friends and started to believe we would get to go home. He drank and ate solid food okay and we finally got the nod to go home about 7pm, 24 hours after the whole thing started.
|With Auntie Gina|
It'll be an ungodly expensive 24 hours but we'll deal with that later. It's just money, right? Right now I'm just relieved he had no major damage (just sore and bruised) and that I got to take my child home.
I'll probably write and thank Dr. Wood for being so kind and professional. He confided to us that he had just bought a bicycle for his 8-year old daughter and was terrified of her riding it since he sees so many handle bar accidents. Craig told me when we got home that he had seen Dr. Wood after the incident with the little girl, leaning his head against the wall, like he was anguished. How can you not be, when you have an 8-year old daughter yourself?
So last week was one for the books: a meeting with the school district about an ongoing problem at Jack's school, then Daniel had croup, then Jack had this thing. I'm ready for an uneventful, boring week please.