Saturday, May 3, 2008

My Little Boy's Boo-Boo

*Word has spread pretty quickly through the family, so you may have heard about this already. I want to tell the story all the way from start to end, because almost nobody has heard it all. Some of the story is a bit gruesome considering this is my two-year-old we are talking about, just wanted to warn any squeamish that they might not want to read this.*

Friday, May 2nd around 7 AM, I settled down at my desk at work. I spent about 30 minutes catching up on my email and planning my day. I had several projects that were due, and I was planning the best way to attack them, and get them all accomplished. I was in the middle of an email to one of the divisions when my desk phone rang.

Very odd, it was Cory and he absolutely just never calls me.

Cory: "Why the hell didn't you answer your cell phone? Daycare has been trying to get ahold of you!"
Cory: (not waiting for my answer) "Moose has caught his hand in a door and daycare, they've called us to take him to the hospital"
Me: "Oh God, okay, I'm on my way!"

So I raced over to daycare, only taking time to lock the door behind me, I left my tote bag by my desk, therefore also leaving my pain medicine for my wisdom teeth.

I don't believe I've ever driven so fast in my life. I contemplated driving the wrong side off the road for a few moments when I got caught behind someone who felt the need to drive below the speed limit. Luckily, daycare is only a few minutes away. Unluckily, the stretch of road between me and daycare is a hotspot for morning traffic, being a speedway towards downtown, and onto the bypass around our town.

I sat in traffic, actually squirming in my seat, my heart and chest actually hurting. I picked up my phone, called Sarah, hoping she could stop my house and pick up Doggie and Blankie for Moose to hold onto.

Damn, she's still asleep of course. It was only 7:30 AM, we're the only fools who are up so early.

FINALLY, I make it to the neighborhood turnoff to our daycare. Again, I get stuck behind someone who refuses to turn in front of anyone at the two-way stop sign. I was extremely frustrated. Of course they were driving totally normally.

I pull in to the daycare parking lot and Cory is standing out front waiting for me, with Moose in his arms, with one of Moose's teachers, and the head of the daycare.

I barely registered they were with him, I only saw Moose. And his hand wrapped in a bloody bandage with Cory holding it up above his head. Moose was holding on for dear life to a stuffed brown horse and a tie-dye stuffed dolphin.

They opened the car doors and everyone started talking at once. Cory was putting Moose in his car seat, trying to keep his hand elevated above his head. Moose was crying, not extremely loud, almost like he was already exhausted, and crying lightly. The teacher jumped in the front seat to help Cory get Moose in his car seat.

The head of the daycare opened by car door, and I turned to meet her, expecting to hear some sort of apology. My eyes already narrowed, I started to yell for some sort of explanation.

Instead, she said, "Here is the peice of Moose's finger. It is the fleshy part, it is on ice, they will be able to sew it back on. Try to stay calm."

Then she handed my my son's finger in a ziplock bag with ice.

My heart clenched somehow more than it already was. My eyes filled with tears. I have no idea what else she said to me, if anything more. She closed the door. Cory got in back with Moose.

And we headed to Central Baptist. Our hospital, that held our little boy and took such good care of him when he was born early.

I navigated traffic towards the hospital.

I must have. Honestly I don't remember it at all. I know now that I was in shock.

We pulled up to the ER. I left my car there next to a sign that said "ten minute parking only" and headed inside with Moose, still crying lightly, (nothing like I would think if you would have asked me) we quickly signed in. And they lead us directly back to a room. They pulled me away to register him, gave me his ID braclet. Which I again have no memory of, I only remember I could hear my baby crying. We finished up and she said something like, "...I'm not sure which room they put him in..." but I had already started to run off, toward the direction of my child's crying.

I found them easily. Cory was sitting on a bed, Moose was in his arms, and there about three nurses and a doctor in there, everyone trying to calm him down. Finally, an eternity, or maybe three or four minutes later, they doctor returned with a S-H-O-T, which he knowingly spelled for us, that would numb Moose's hand.

I am not a squeamish person. But when they took the homemade bandage that covered my son's hand. I felt like I was going to pass out. I actually had to look away.

They tip of Moose's middle finger, on his left hand had been severed at an angle. The nail was still intact above it, the fleshy tip of the finger had been cut off, leaving the jagged nail, and the tip of his finger bone exposed. Blood was flowing.

The sight of his finger upset Moose, understandably. He cried harder, and fought the doctor as he tried to inject Moose's hand with numbing medicine. This was almost too much for me. I felt the sobs start to rack my body, and then I couldn't control it any more. The tears flowing freely, no longer trying to contain it, I absolutely broke down.

It only took a few minutes for the shot to take affect. Moose stopped crying as soon as they wrapped his hand back up with a more professional sterile wrapping.

I called Sarah again, no answer.

I called my Mom at school.

Mom: "What's up?"
Me: (somehow calmly) "Moose had cut his finger off at daycare, we're at the ER."
Mom: (obviously not understanding how serious the situation is) "Hmm. Well do you need me to come over there?"
Me: "Yes."
Mom: "So he cut his finger?"
Me: "Yes. Off."
Mom: "Okay I'm on my way."
Me: "Please stop at the house and get Doggie and Blankie"
Mom: "Sure"

I called Cici, who works at Central Baptist, but who was off for the day, planning for my cousin, Jenn's baby shower this weekend.

Once I found some cartoons on the TV, Moose quietly sat in Cory's lap on the hospital bed.

About ten minutes later, the nurse came to lead us over to Radiology for X-rays. They wanted to determine if the bone had been broken or severed as well.

We weaved in and out of the maze of corridors in the hospital. She deposited us in the radiology waiting room. It was at this moment when Cory said, "Did you leave the car in a bad spot? You should go park it."

So I did. I ran through the hospital hallways, trying to go as fast as possible. God was obviously with me, somehow I felt guided through the hallways back to my baby.

I got back just as the radiologist showed up to take Moose back for X-rays. Thank God. Literally actually.

I'm very surprised in how good the hospital staff was with Moose. Absolutely everyone we encountered, from the man cleaning the floors, to the doctors, everyone was really good with him. Talking on his level, sensitive to his hurt arm, I really appreciated it.

The X-ray tech sat Cory and Moose in a chair and took "pictures" of his hurt hand. She left the bandage on, thinking it would be okay. We finished up and she was taking us back to our room when another nurse met us in the hallway, and told us we had to take the bandage off for the X-rays.

Now, Moose was not in any sort of pain, his whole hand was numb. But seeing his hurt finger made his cry and physically hurt me to see again. I can only imagine how he felt to see it again.

Seeing my son's pudgy little toddler hands on X-ray was almost too much again. I started to break down again, the X-ray tech put her hand on my shoulder and said to not worry, that it looked to her that the bone was not broken.

I know for a fact that X-ray tech and really anyone running a test in a hospital is not supposed to share information with the patient. So I really appreciated her telling me that.

She must be a mother too.

She led us back to our hospital room. And who was waiting for us, none other than Grandy, my Dad. He was extremely worried, Mom had filled him in, and he was really near us so he rushed over to the hospital. I filled him in, and we both got extremely emotional again.

Moose happily, quietly, sat with Cory on the bed, watching cartoons. As we waited for the doctor, Mimi, my mom, and Mark, my brother, showed up. The doctor showed up, and informed us that the bone had not been broken. They were sending us to a doctor that specialized in hand surgeries. Her office and surgery center was all the way across town.

So we gathered our X-rays, got directions, and headed across town. We talked a bit in the car, but Cory and I were already exhausted, probably due to our adrenaline wearing off. It was only about 10 AM at this point.

We arrived at the Hand Specialty Center, which had a huge sign across the building, and actually make me feel very secure in letting this doctor operate on my child. I had a few reservations just letting a stranger I had never met, cut into my child. But, I guess that is just the faith we put in doctors. Plus, she had been recommended by the ER, so she must be good right?

We waited a while it seemed, maybe a half hour? Luckily, we were able to turn the TV on and put it on Disney for Moose. I filled out a stack of paperwork this time.

They call us back, we sit in a room and wait just a few minutes before a nurse practitioner meets with us, and tells us we won't be able to meet with the doctor until we go over to the Surgery Center. I couldn't help but be upset. Why had we waited all this time here then? Why hadn't we just gone to the surgery center? What if we waited too long, and they couldn't re-attach the finger tip? What would happen?

Instead of asking these simple questions, I snap at the nurse, saying something along the lines of, "We have to go somewhere else?"

She calmly nods, and tells us she'll be right back. Cory tells me I don't have to be mean, and I snapped back at him.

We check out of there, and simply walk next door to the Surgery Center. We check in, only for them to tell us we are in the wrong place, only to realize we are in the right place, they just hadn't been notified yet.

At this point Sarah catches up with me, having frantically called my cell phone, emailed me, trying to find me. She knows something is wrong, obviously I wouldn't call her at 7AM for no reason. She insists on coming over and waiting with us. So she heads over.

They keep us waiting almost an hour, and I really thank God, yet again, for my mother. She said with Moose in her lap and sang and told him stories, and kept him totally entertained the whole time. He was blissfully attentive, listening and giggling to her. This place had
TVs but they were all tuned to CNN. Who seriously watches that?

At this point things had calmed enough for Cory to make some phone calls, so he called my Mil and Bil and filled them in.

Sarah showed up pretty quickly it seemed. But it must have been a while. She loved on Moose. And then they called us back!

They showed us back to a prep room with a bed. Moose and I sat on the bed, Cory sat in a chair. They closed the little curtain to the room. So then we waited.

Doctor N showed up about 20 minutes later. She told us they wanted to save the piece of finger, but they might not be able to do so, it all depended on what she saw when they unwrapped it. She wanted to wait until Moose was under before she unwrapped it, because she wait was traumatic of Moose to see his finger. Which we knew from the hospital.

She told us we were waiting until Moose's stomach was empty, because of the full breakfast we unknowingly fed him that morning. So she said it would be at least an hour until surgery. I send Cory out to tell M&D and Sarah to go get lunch, and to give them an update. At this point, Moose tells me he wants a nap, and promptly falls asleep in my arms. Cory returns and we carefully place him on the bed. He snuggles in and falls into a deep sleep. Poor baby was obviously exhausted.

Cory and I passed the hour whispering our fears to each other and tried to comfort each other.

The anesthesiologist arrived and answered our questions, telling us we couldn't wait too long to reattach the finger, because it was a "dead skin graft". There was no blood flowing to it. We would learn more about it later when the doctor talked to us after the surgery.

About 1:30PM, they arrived to take him back. Unfortunately, the opened the curtain really loudly and it woke Moose up. He sort of woke up, realized we weren't coming, and started to cry. We watched them wheel him down the hall, towards surgery. One of the anesthesiologists picked up Doggie and made him talk to Moose. Then they turned a corner, and we had to go back to the waiting room.

Sarah was sitting the waiting room, gracefully having brought us lunch, she looked like an angel. An angel with food. We were starving of course. We ate, and waited. Talking. Sitting and staring. I don't really remember.

I got a phone call from Jeana, my work friend. Turns out her and Kris wanted to get out of the office, so they headed over to visit me, and they brought my medicine! I hadn't even realized my jaw was throbbing! They met Cory and Sarah, and headed back to the office to cover for my absence.

Mom and Dad got back from lunch, Dad having run home to shower, he had been in his work uniform. So we sat and waited.

Sarah headed back to her office. We really appreciated her coming, and especially lunch. Thank you so much Sarah!

The nurse called us back, to meet with Doctor N, so she could tell us how surgery went.

Doctor N shows us, and fills us in. Moose did very well in surgery.

She reattached the piece of skin. She sewed it back on. It will act like a cap, so the finger can "rebuild itself". Eventually it will turn black, and fall off similar to a scab. The finger may or may not look normal, there is a good chance it will. Some of the nail bed was damaged, but should be okay. The nail will fall off and regrow relatively normally. There may be a scar, there may not. Moose is in a cast from the tip of his finger, to his shoulder. This will prevent him taking it off, or messing with it. We come back in two weeks for a new cast. It is a soft cast, but still pretty heavy for a little boy. At the end, he will probably just have a band aid protecting it. The entirely recovery will last eight to ten weeks.

We slowly absorb this will Moose wakes up from the anesthesia. How long will he actually be in a cast? Will this ruin our Florida vacation? Will he be scarred? How bad? Is his fingerprint changed? How will I give him a bath. HOW ARE WE SUPPOSED TO DEAL WITH THIS?

So then Moose woke up. We all went back to visit him while he woke up. The nurse has holding him and snuggling him when we got back to him. She depositing him in my arms and sat me in a soft rocking chair. Then she promptly brought over three chairs for Cory, and M&D.

We all sat there talking while Moose came out of it. About 45 minutes later, the nurse gave us the prescriptions for pain medicine and antibiotic. We got in our car in a torrential downpour, and headed home.

We stopped at Krispie Kreme, for treats for the extremely good boy, who did better than I ever would have thought. I mean, I know my child is extremely well-behaved, but I just never would have thought he would have done so well! Amazing.

Krispie Kreme was out of Original Glazed. What? Seriously? I kind of thought they were joking. but NO. So we got some cake doughnuts and chocolate covered ones.

I dropped Moose and Cory off at home, got them settled with doughnuts, and headed to Rite Aid to fill our prescriptions. When I got back, they were sitting on the couch, watching Dora the Explorer. Moose was sitting beside Cory, with his cast sitting on a pillow.

We were amazed all evening to watch Moose casually play with blocks, watch TV with us, and not complain once. I don't know if he understands or... what. I don't know. But I am amazed how well he had done.

Also, out of the blue, he asked to go twice to pee-pee in the potty. And he went. Twice.

We woke him up twice in the middle of the night for pain medicine. We were both hoping he would sleep in this morning. I mean, we sort of needed to recover from yesterday, you know?

Nope, 7:20 AM he woke up this morning, just like normal. Except this morning, I tried to put a diaper on him like normal, and he said he wanted to pee-pee in the potty. And he went!

Amazing. He has been quietly playing and watching Disney this morning. He has asked to go two more times to the potty and HAS GONE PEE-PEE EACH TIME.


Well, we are both very pleased, but it is kind of funny that this has happened right after our Finger Event.

All-in-all, I feel like my Mothering Ability was tested or something. I'm not sure how to describe it. Does that make sense? It sort of does in my head.

I wanted to get this all down before I forgot, not only to inform everyone in the family of the details, but to get it down to look at later when Moose is grown up.

Thanks to everyone who helped, called, and prayed and sent good thoughts. We are doing just fine in the Bee family. Amazingly.

Now I just need to figure out how I'm going to bathe Moose.