Wednesday, August 7, 2013

June 13th

FYI - Don't Read if you're squeamish!!

A few days after school was out this spring(June 13th), Alex had a terrible accident.  I was in the kitchen making bread, and all of a sudden I heard screaming, both boys. It was terrifying screaming, and I just knew it had to be something terrible. I took off running, actual running because I knew I had better run, and found both boys in the living room, blood everywhere. Alex was covered in blood. I have never seen or heard anything so terrible - and immediately tried to find where all the blood was coming from.  Alex put his hand threw the glass on our french door, and it cut his hand right across the wrist. I grabbed a towel and wrapped it around his arm and took off for the ER. We were probably out the door in less than a minute - it all happened so fast. Luckily I had shoes by the door, although I didn't even remember to close our front door on the way out.  It was the longest trip to the ER. I was hoping I'd made the right decision to drive him myself versus calling 911. I was so terrified he'd lost too much blood, but luckily I had Faye and Drew with me and they put pressure on his arm the entire way.  I just couldn't imagine sitting and waiting for an ambulance to arrive. 

The ER doctor saw him right away and told me he'd severed his ulnar artery. The bleeding had somewhat stopped, so they gave him some morphine and wrapped him up. We had to be transferred to Comer Children's Hospital for surgery.  The ER doctor checked his wrist before we were transported, and it started gushing again and he couldn't get the bleeding to stop. He eventually had to put a stitch in the artery, and told the EMT to tourniquet if any bleeding started(the doctor was somewhat freaked himself about sending a 4 year old with a severed artery 30 miles by ambulance). The ambulance ride again freaked me completely out - but at least this time I had someone with me - someone who could help if he did start bleeding again!

Everyone at Comer was wonderful, and Alex was in surgery by about 6:30pm(this happened around 11am). He was out of surgery at 8:30, and he was transferred to his room for the night about 10pm. He severed his ulnar nerve, ulnar artery, and a tendon. They were able to stitch everything back together. I never did ask how many stitches he had, but I counted 16(he's the first kid to have stitches, and hopefully the last).  He woke up for a few minutes and talked to me, but he'd had a pretty traumatic day, and was on a lot of morphine, so he slept until morning.  When he woke up at 5am he was hungry, so I let him choose what he wanted off the menu - he chose chocolate pudding!  He slept a little more and when he woke up for breakfast he had a doughnut.  I felt a little bad calling and asking for all this junk food, but I figured if he felt like eating he could eat whatever he wanted! He was pretty happy with the menu choices!

He had a splint custom made for his little arm, and we were sent home the next day. He's been doing amazing through all this, and we hope he'll have a full recovery!  The stitches are all healed now, and he got his splint off last week.  He has hand therapy every week because of the nerve damage, but with time it should heal.

Out of surgery
New splint
On our way home


Its been almost 8 weeks and this is the first I've been able to write about this - it was very traumatic for all of us.  Every time I hear a noise I worry, and every time I don't I worry.  I can't be with the kids every second of the day, so I'm thinking bubble wrap?  When something terrible like this happens it really makes you realize how quickly something can happen and change everything. 

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