I posted this a few weeks ago on The Gift of Giving Life blog, but I need it here too.
Just a Broken Arm
This past weekend he went camping with Rob (my hubby) and they had a bike ride planned for the next morning.
Saturday morning I was busy carting around T2 and T3 to their activities. T2 was at his Saturday practice and I was at basketball with T3 when I got a call from Rob. It was loud in the gym, so I didn’t answer. I texted him back and said, “Text me.”
11:22 He texted me, “T1 broke his arm. Call Me.”
I called him immediately. They were up about 5 miles in on a trail. Rob had called the ranger station and they were coming to pick them up. He wanted me to come up so I could drive them to the hospital, because that morning the battery in his car had been dead.
Getting the other boys taken care of.
I texted a Mom from T2′s group to see if she could take him home. I figured I had to trust that somehow he would be able to get home. She texted back about 20 minutes later saying it was fine. By then I was almost up the mountain, so it was a blessing she could do it!
I went back in and asked Bethany if she could take T3 for the afternoon. She was happy to do that. She actually helped talk me down, because I was starting to freak out. She said, “I guess you can’t listen to your hypnosis CDs, but stay calm.” That was the reminder I needed. I knew that staying calm and centered was going to be the best way to deal with this. At this point I had no idea how bad it was. I was thinking a simple broken arm.
Luckily I had snacks in the car, so I ate some protein while the GPS was loading up the directions to the wilderness park. I had a 30 minute drive ahead of me. I turned on some hymns and said a prayer and headed out.
First a Fire Truck then an Ambulance
I felt really calm on the canyon road until a fire engine with lights came up behind me. I thought, “That can’t be for T1.” A few minutes later an ambulance came zooming up. “That can’t be for T1.” I said again, but I sort of knew it was. I decided if it was, it was just precautionary. I was starting to freak out again. I reminded myself to say calm and followed a little tip I had learned for centering myself. That helped immensely.
I pulled into the wilderness center and there were the emergency vehicles. They were there for him, but he wasn’t down from the trails yet. He got to the emergency vehicles about 10 minutes later. They set to work immediately checking him out.
T1 was completely aware and calm too. So that helped me stay calm. He was really worried about his teeth and jaw, those were really hurting, but the rescue workers assured him his teeth were all there.
Rob and I hugged and I checked to see how he was doing. He was hanging in there.
The emergency workers wanted to take him in as a trauma, they were worried about a head injury, etc. So we were fine with that. I drove down in the van, Rob stayed behind to have the ranger jump his truck and load up the bikes and the ambulance took T1.
Getting to the Hospital
When I got to the hospital, there was a chaplain there to help me stay calm while he was in trauma. She would go in to the trauma room and get updates. It looked like he was doing well. She said the next step was a CAT scan to make sure all was really well with his brain and spine. I continued to feel very calm and just knew he would be OK. I got to walk with him to the CAT scan room and then more waiting. That is when I posted my first Facebook update.
1:22 “T1 fell mountain biking and we r at hospital. He for sure broke an arm. Getting cat scan to make sure all else is ok. Would love some prayers.”
I figured the more prayers the better. I didn’t know what to do while just waiting and Rob wasn’t there yet, so I felt pretty lonely. The chaplain had moved onto the next trauma, so I was standing alone in the hall for about 10 minutes. Posting to Facebook helped me feel connected.
They came out of the CAT scan and the nurse says, “Brain and neck look great!” We headed back to the trauma room, where it was very exciting because a GSW was being brought in. We heard quite a lot of activity on the other side of the curtain.
I still had no clue about his jaw being broken. His face was all bloody, but I thought it was from a bloody nose. Then I overheard my nurse saying “fractured mandible”. That didn’t sound good. I Googled it and saw – broken jaw.
2:00 Crap. Looks like his jaw is broken too.
Rob got there not long after and I let him know. Then we all waited to meet with the Oral Myofacial Surgeon and the Orthopedist. We knew he would need surgery for the jaw for sure but were not sure about the arm. Luckily T1 wasn’t in much pain. He was resting easily and I was making calls trying to find someone who could come in and do a blessing with Rob for T1 before the surgery. The first person I called was out of the area. The next one was on the way to the temple, so I asked them to put T1′s name on the prayer roll! It was on there before he made it into surgery. I was also texting family and certain friends letting them know what was up, making sure the little boys were taken care of for the night.
It was a huge blessing that T1 had braces, because they held his 2 front teeth in, they would have fallen out without the braces. Also if the braces were intact he could just wire those together instead of putting in screws.
The Orthopedist came in and said he would need to do surgery on his arm as well. He was going to put in a plate in his arm (radius) and then a pin in his wrist because he dislocated that. He was running behind on his schedule so wasn’t sure if he would have time to do the surgery. I wanted to tell him, “We are going to have a lot of people praying it will work out, so I am sure it will happen.”
Finally by 4 PM we knew the details and were heading up to the PICU to wait for surgery.
Looks like he needs surgery on jaw and arm. Please pray that if it is best for him they can do it simultaneously or back to back tonight so he only needs to go under anesthesia one time right now. He will be getting a plate in his arm which will have to be removed in 6 months.
I really would love him to have both surgeries tonight. So please pray dr Peterson will have time tonight to make that happen.
Also pray his braces are all intact so that the other surgeon can simply wire the braces together and it is much less invasive.
Surgery slated for 6:30. Thanks for all your prayers and support.
I felt very confident that both surgeries would happen that night and all would be well. I literally felt the power of the prayers being offered. It was so amazing!
Rob ran home to shower and gather some items to make our stay more comfortable. Socks, sweater and book to read.
T1 rested, he looked horrible all bloody still, but was fine. It was a huge blessing that he wasn’t in a lot of discomfort. I actually had used the information from the book I read and started using it on him with the ambulance guys. I told the guy riding with him that he was very suggestible and that if he told him that he could imagine ice on his arm it would help it stay more comfortable. Then when I first talked to him in the hospital I said, “Your body is already starting to heal. If you want to you can go somewhere else in your mind that feels safe.” Well T1 rolled his eyes at that, but soon after is when he drifted off and took a little nap.
Rob and our friend Chris both made it to the hospital just as they were about to take T1 down to surgery. So they gave him a blessing and it was very comforting.
Chris left and Rob and I headed down to surgery with T1. I told his anesthesiologist and surgeons to use only positive language during the surgery and to say things like, “You will heal quickly and easily. Your stomach stays calm and comfortable.” (a big worry with a wired jaw is throwing up after surgery) They looked amused but said they would.
Once T1 went in Rob and I went to get dinner from the cafeteria. We both felt very confident that things would go smoothly. They also said that both surgeries would be able to be done that night! So we were relieved about that. After eating we went back to the surgery waiting room and contacted all the grandparents and Rob’s sister and updated them.
The first part was over.
8:10 Thanks for all the prayers. His first part of the surgery is done. His jaw is wired shut and they were able to use his braces to do so. What a blessing!
Also they are able to do surgery on arm tonight too. That is happening now. Another great blessing!
The time passed quickly and after about 4 hours the surgeries were over. I was a little nervous to go in and see him, but he was awake and alert and looked all cleaned up.
The doctors and nurses were all so pleased. He had minimal blood loss, no vomiting and was having a fast recovery. We headed up to PICU not long after. Once we got settled Rob headed home.
Surgery is over. He is doing awesome. Minimal blood loss and recovering well. He does have a slight fever so we are praying for that to go down quickly.
If all goes well we will probably go home tomorrow.
After T1 fell asleep I got to sleep in a bed in the Ronald McDonald sleep room they had. It was 4 hours of good solid sleep.
Then I woke up and went back to him just as he was really waking up for the day around 5am. I knew he was feeling better because when I said, “How are you doing?” He said, “Mom, stop using your compassionate voice!”
6:45 am We had a good night. His fever is down, he slept pretty well. His arm hurts a bit but his jaw is ok. He gets a smoothy soon.
I love our hospital. Everyone is so great. There is a Ronald McDonald family area with sleep rooms so I actually got 4 hours of good sleep too.
I am doing ok. I love all my friends, they are taking care of the other boys and offering help and prayers. I feel all of your love and T1 does too.
That day went pretty quickly. Watching movies, drinking Ensure and walking around. By 1:30 they said we could go home and we were home by 2:30. We got him in the bath, got him all clean and then his friends came over and then more and more visitors with smoothies, shakes, etc. Jenn brought the little boys home with yummy enchiladas for the rest of us. By 6 he was sleeping on the sofa.
It felt so good to have everyone home and safe and well.
Monday and Tuesday
The next few days were actually a bit more stressful then Saturday and Sunday. I felt overwhelmed being on my own and the other boys got sick.
We got home yesterday from the hospital. We had quite a few visitors when we got home and a yummy dinner (for the rest of us) from Jenn. T1 is doing well. He slept well last night and is still sleeping now.
The harder part right now is the other boys. They felt a bit left out of the whole experience and T3 was especially needy and asked, “Why is T1 more important than me??” He is finally off to school. Sadly T2 is home sick, his throat is bothering him and I said he could stay home. But he is being high need.
I am ignoring him while I try to get the house back in somewhat of an order (dirty dishes and laundry – I want all hospital germy clothes cleaned) before T1 wakes up.
The next day I wised up and asked for prayers to help me get through the day!
REALLY???? T2 and T3 are both sick with bad colds and my throat is starting to get sore too. I could use some prayers to help me stay healthy and to have the calmness and kindness to nurse 3 boys simultaneously with love.
That actually helped a lot and each day has gotten easier since then. We have a new routine going and life is good!