Sunday, October 25, 2015

Jack's Bike Accident

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.


Autumn Catch-up!

This fall came in with a bang as soon as we got back from England and I've been horrible at keeping this blog up to date. Next month will change all that since I like to blog every day in November.

Until then, here's a few things we've been up to this past month ..

Danny joined the Cub Scouts, so we now have a Tiger Cub and a Webelos 1 in the house.  
Since Craig is heavily involved in Jack's Den and also Committee Chair for the Pack, guess who got roped in? Yes, I am now Communications and Website Chair, as well as Daniel's Akela (a wolf leader, from Rudyard Kipling's "Jungle Book"). Since their website was in tatters and they had no Facebook page it's been hard work to get it all squared away, but I like it. I also like being Danny's Akela, as well as his mum. Makes me sound much cooler than I am.


Don't let the sunshine fool you. It rained all night long, like it does at every camp-out

We have another fall soccer season under our belts. 
Sometimes they rocked it, sometimes they whined. They scored brilliant goals and then they faked injuries so they could sit out. It was a season of up and downs and they sometimes said they didn't want to do it next year but then they'd change their minds. I love watching them play and think it's really important that they learn how to be part of a team, so I'll be cajoling them into another season next year.

Playing goalie for The Pirates

Playing hard for The Villains
Official pictures...



We've been spending time with Eric's partner Dave and also Eric's friend Donny, who found him when he died at work. This past week Donny had a minor stroke and was hospitalized. My heart aches for him, carrying the burden that he couldn't save Eric. All we can do is be there for each other.



We have another pet.... a crested gecko called Henry. 
I like Henry because: he doesn't need a heat pad or a heat lamp, he doesn't bite, he doesn't need fancy food, and he doesn't need expensive crap in his tank. He also does the smallest poos and sleeps for 15 hours a day. That's my kind of pet. He might live for 10 years but at least he won't try and trip me up on the stairs like my damn cats do.
Daniel now wants an axolotl. More on that later.

Jack & Henry having a bonding moment

School pictures this year made my boys look normal, so we bought them (to distribute soon). Last year they looked like serial killers but I don't think they look half bad this time.



Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Jack's Day

It's been a few weeks since my last post, mainly because I'm drowning.  Piled high on top of my head, like a stack of books in a posture lesson, is my grief about Eric, my homesickness for England, the stress of having a house guest for 5 months, a broken car that just doesn't seem to get goddamn repaired, and an ongoing bullying issue at school. Oh, and work. It's no wonder I drink. It's amazing that I'm not also doing drugs and talking to myself. Actually I do talk to myself but mainly in swear words.

So TODAY, finally, was something stress-free and happy. I tucked away my phone and gave my undivided attention to Jack. Each month at his school they have a pizza party for kids that have gone above and beyond by doing something kind. He got a certificate & wristband then I checked him out early and we went out, just us two.
He's been looking forward to it for weeks and had told all of his teachers I was going. Even made me go 10 minutes early so that I could escort him from class. He's desperate for time with me. I feel like such a terrible mother that he's feeling so desperate for my time. He told me 50 times this afternoon that he loved me and thanked me for being with him.  At 7pm when I made the decision to come home so we could watch a movie with Craig and Danny he said "No mum, I don't want this to end!" and my heart broke into a gazillion pieces. A wake-up call for me definitely, to slow down, to say "no" to some things and just spend time with him and my family.

I found myself looking at him in awe many times today, thinking "when did he get so funny/smart/entertaining/fun to be with". I seem to spend all my time correcting him and snapping at him but today I just sat back and enjoyed him and good grief, he's one amazing kid. He's very funny and sharp! I feel like such a fool for not seeing this sooner, for not realizing that he's growing up and these moments will be rare, because there will come a time when he doesn't long to be with me. I need to make hay while his sun shines.


With his friend David.
Jack: "He's such a good friend. He hugs me and makes me feel good"

With his "All Star" wrist band

We played mini golf then hit the batting cages.
I hid behind the token machine, convinced one of those balls were going to drop me to my knees 

DOUBLE chocolate brownie

A pet shop visit "Please mum?" At $3,000? I'll take two (not)!
I seriously hate these puppy-mill pets shops but it was his day, so I sucked it up


3 Month Catch-up

I can't believe I haven't posted for over 2 months! So much to say. Jack's a middle-schooler and after a week of belly aches a...