Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Red--The Blood of Her Flayed Leg; Black--The Thread of Stitches Sewn

I knew it would happen sometime:
One day I would receive "the call." The call where the person on the other end is being extremely calm, and they are preparing to tell you one of your kids has been in an accident, however minor, and you weren't there.

Monday night I was finishing up the last few details of my blog post, drooling over the memories, when the phone rang. I answered it before caller ID could identify the call, and I heard, "Hello. Is this Amy?"

Amy is my sister-in-law, so I wasn't too surprised by this, but enough to ask, "What? This is the Dentons. Who is this?"

"Hi. This is Ken. I live across the street from Amy. I have your daughter Lily here (screaming in the background can now be heard). Amy and Hubert aren't home, but she has cut her leg pretty badly, tripping on the camp stove in the backyard. I can see the bone. I'm sure she needs stitches. I am happy to take her to the emergency room. What would you like to do?"

You can see the bone? What on earth?

I rushed out the door as fast as I could, muttering a prayer under my breath: "Heavenly Father, please don't let me freak out when I see it. Help me stay calm for Lily."

I screeched up to their house, knocked on the door, and Amy greeted me with a very somber face.

"How bad is it?" No response, just a nod towards the couch where Lily was sprawled and crying, leg propped up with a cloth diaper bandage strapped to her left shin. She lifted the bandage, and I gasped.   It was far and away the grossest thing I've ever seen.  It looked like the inside of someone's mouth, straight to the bone.

I gasped and looked at Amy.  Then, I felt sick.  That's how bad it was.  Lily started shrieking, "Mom, don't scare me!"

I knew I had to hold it together, with no luxury time for queasiness.  So Hubert gently carried her out to the car while I called our family doctor/close friend.  Before heading to the hospital, we made a quick stop at his house for an evaluation and some advice.  All he could say was, "That's impressive.  Head to Cardon's Children's ER."

Every turn was agony for my girl.  Luckily, she was cradled by her auntie, busily distracting her with stories and jokes.  All the while, we'd exchange meaningful worried glances.  When we pulled into the parking lot, I warned her there were a few turns and some speed bumps.  She retorted, "Didn't they know that hurt people would be coming in here?  Why didn't they plan for this when they built it?"  That's Lily.

Summer in AZ--few respiratory patients, few emergencies.  They brought a wheeled bed out to the Suburban, whisked us right into a room, and evaluated the damage.  After an X-ray, they determined the bone wasn't broken, but they needed to insert an IV to give her pain and anti-nausea meds.  I talked her through the IV, and she was pretty brave.  Remember, she's only 10, and a drama queen to boot, so this was a small blessing.

Once the morphine started to flow we thought she'd be out.  Nope.  She acted as if she'd drunk 2 Red Bulls straight up--flitting from thing to thing and thought to thought like a hummingbird.  Amy and I laughed and relaxed a little.  So far so good.

We had the best nurse, doctor and support staff ever.  The nurse irrigated the wound thoroughly, the one warning our family doc had given me.  Then the doctor came in and carefully reattached the fascia covering the bone, then stitched the gaping wound shut.  Three hours, two nurses, one doctor, three inner stitches, seventeen outer stitches, and this is what we've got:

I was so grateful that there was no bone or muscle damage. I was so grateful that my thirteen-year-old niece acted so calmly in an emergency. I was so grateful the neighbor across the street was a Boy Scout. I was so grateful for a good friend and great medical advice. I was so grateful for a patient, caring staff.

Bottom line, I was so grateful it was summer and the wait in the ER wasn't 6-8 hours as it can get.

And how is the little drama queen now?

She did use crutches all day yesterday, decorated with ribbon and pom poms. But she only had two Tylenol, and today she's up and walking. She can't swim the rest of the summer, but she's fixed.

And now, she'll have a permanent smile on her left shin that I can refer to whenever she's frowning.

Linking up to Jenny Matlock's Color Summer School.

Jenny Matlock
blog

54 comments:

  1. I'm shaking just reading that. Oh, I know that feeling where you're trying to keep it together for your child, but you're completely freaked out by the injury. I'm so glad she's going to be OK.

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  2. I've seen some of the nastiest, gross stuff you ever want to see when I worked i the ER. I can stomach just about anything, but when my babies get a hangnail I freak out.
    Good on ya for holding it all together for her....AND YOU!

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  3. I'm impressed with how well Miss Lily handled it, and I can't believe you didn't throw up on sight-tender mercies! And, how nice of her to get this just in time for the RED post!

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  4. Why do I feel nauseas just reading that?? Oh yeah, I know, because my own memories came rushing back...it's good to listen to the voice inside that says, "Be Calm." when what you wanna do is flip inside out!
    Here's hoping a quick recovery for Lily!

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  5. Well, I'm glad to hear that things moved in a positive direction. What a frighting experience for each of you. ~ Sarah

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  6. that sucks. horrible way to spend a monday. but yeah, i think you did pretty well, considering. and that daughter of yours is a champ.

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  7. i have a confession...
    when i looked at the pic on my dashboard...i thought it was a tattoo...and i read the snippet and when it said the thing about the phone call...i truly believed one of your kids got a tattoo.
    i'm glad she is okay...when the stitches come out..have her rub vitamin e oil in the scar...i don't know if it is proven...but my mom had us do it when we were kids and it helped minimize our scars.

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  8. ok, just reading this & seeing the pic has got my stomach soooo sick right now & my butt hurting in sympathy. ((it's a family saying, something awfully painful = "makes my butt hurt just thinking about it." ok, so it's weird. it's us.))
    reminds me of when my daughter cracked her skull on the dropping platform of the dunk tank at her school's big field day, last day of 4th grade! couldn't see the bone, but man it was scary. we were watching for a concussion with her...and it was a head injury so we couldn't get the blood to stop. i did fairly ok, that is until i watched the dr pull the stitch taut and suddenly (i didn't mean too) i turned green & faint! they had to get me my own nurse & out of the room. what the what?! by then i'd been in the dental field for YEARS and watched/assisted with so many extractions & stitches & blood, etc and THIS is how i would discover i in fact have a weak constitution?!
    yeah. so i'm proud of you mama, for keeping it together!

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  9. okay ... now that the urge to vomit is subsiding a bit ... OUCH!!! what a cut ... i'm just glad i didnt see the before pics ... and brave you ... seeing your child injured is the hardest thing to do ... and your brave girl ... i'm glad it wasnt worse and sure hope that she is on the mend soon.

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  10. Ummmm, EWWWW!

    That was some story and SOME cut. I am seriously HOPING to not have to deal with that. 'Cause I can assure you, I would NOT have remained calm, nor would I not have barfed. So, good on ya for making it through.

    So glad the ER was calm and you were able to get in and out.


    Not gonna lie...LOVE the pic of her little hairy leg. That is AWESOME!

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  11. Whoa.... you were amazing! I fainted when watching an oral surgeon insert an IV in my youngest son. Now that was classy! Good luck with the recovery...

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  12. That's certainly the kind of call that every mother dreads - but you and Lily pulled through this and you both should get big RED stars! What a summer holiday reminder that scar will be.

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  13. Oh!!! Ouch!!! Some REDS we could do without but a great post!

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  14. Jen, I want you to know that I laughed out loud, in a public setting, reading Lily's retort for the speedbumps. So Lily. Glad to know Logan isn't the only one who gets super hyper on morphine. Glad you didn't puke--eeekkkk. Hope my favorite Queen of the Universe is doing well and not hurting too badly!

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  15. Looking at the picture all I could think was thank heaven there wasn't more internal damage. That is one frightening image.

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  16. That is why speed bumps, at our hospital, occur after the entry into the ER parking lot.

    Your daughter was very brave, as were you.

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  17. I'm amazed that you were able to stay so calm. I think that I would have lost it.

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  18. OH OWWW! I just cringed at the thought of how painful that must've been for her! And the sight! I can't...no, I don't even want to imagine what it must have looked like when you saw the wound! I totally admire you for holding it together and not freaking out. Glad to hear that the wound didn't damage anything major! I hope she gets better soon!

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  19. Poor girl! I get so quesy I almost didn't click your link. Your title had me scared! I'm glad she is ok.

    Thank goodness for people who can remain calm under those circumstances. My brother is a firefighter and it amazes me how he can keep his wits about him.

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  20. ohhhh Jen!!! my heart goes out to you as a mom...i can't tell you how many times i prayed that prayer to keep me calm in front of my kids!!

    ur right...it does look like a smile! haha...

    glad to know you were surrounded by calm ...caring...helpful ppl! we need more of those around us

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  21. To put a little perspective on it, one of my son's favorite stories to tell about his childhood is the time his cousin almost cut his (my son's) finger off fooling around with a pocket knife. He loves to tell about me holding his arm up in the air with one hand and driving with the other to the ER, all the while he's trying to think of what he can get me to buy him to ease his pain...LOL. Of course, he's 30 now, so the memory has turned into something funny as opposed to something scary. I remember all of those very scary ER visits when my boys were little....they weren't so much fun at the time!

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  22. Glad she's better. My boys enjoyed the stitches picture. My oldest wished he had some like that. Aaahh, boys!

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  23. Wow. What a story!

    I'm so glad that no more serious and lasting damage was done. She'll have a pretty good scar, I guess, but you're right. At least it will be smiling!

    Sounds like she was pretty brave about all of this. And you, too. (I do love her comment about the powers that be needing to plan better for the road comfort of the
    wounded...)

    Cool kid.

    =)

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  24. Oh my what a story. I could feel for you as a Mom all the way through it.

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  25. So glad Lily is okay. I feel for her not being able to swim the rest of the summer...but it could have been much worse. My stomach also feels a little queesy...not from the photo of Lily's stitches but just thinking about getting a phone call like that.

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  26. OMGoodness...so glad she didn't hurt herself any worse than she did...Good luck with the recovery. The bad thing is kids can take things better than us parents! Why is that?

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  27. I'm so proud of you for stepping up and holding it together. I know its not easy! My daughter had 3 knarly scars on her knees from kneww surgeries and they've all faded with time. Lily will still have gorgeous legs. With a little interest added. It'll make her look fierce and fearless. Loved her comment - that did make me laugh! I love her spunk in the midst of agony.

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  28. How scary is that! I'm glad she was not injured worse and is doing well. Now you take a breath.

    Teresa

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  29. phew. I was on the edge of my seat the whole time!

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  30. OMG! How incredibly scary! I am so glad she is going to be okay! I have had very few scrapes with my boys and consider myself blessed. That is the worst call any mom wants to get! Oh, your poor sweet baby girl! That is some wound! Thank the Lord for watching over her!

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  31. O my goodness that looks scary, children and stitches and doctors just seem to go together...bkm

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  32. oh my -that really IS impressive damage, yikes! I am SO glad that she's ok and that it's all behind you now - nice job holding it together, btw!

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  33. Glad things turned out ok.
    You are my model for calmness right now! Here's hoping I won't be needing it anytime soon!
    Enjoy the night

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  34. Oh my, When I saw the picture I had to turn away. I am so glad I haven't been tested in this way yet. And I laughed when you mentioned your ten year old is a drama queen. We have one too. So glad it all turned out. Hopefully the rest of your summer will be less dramatic.
    Dana

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  35. oh goodness.... that was a rough one. i always have a tough time when my babies get hurt. one time the emergency doctor asked me to leave, so the sobbing would stop and he could think. ya... i'm a mess!

    glad to see lily did so well. glad she's healing well!

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  36. Wow, Jen! I guess I should have told you that vivid descriptions do me in too! Glad she's okay! I, however, am now very pale! :)

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  37. That is the call I am always dreading. Heavenly Father was definitely showing and giving all sorts of little tender mercies that day. What a story she will have on her first day back to school.

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  38. 知識可以傳授,智慧卻不行。每個人必須成為他自己。. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

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  39. I love the homage to Les Miserables...

    I don't know if you had all these thoughts in the moment, I can imagine concern was foremost in your mind, But I find t he fact that your present feelings are so enlightened and grateful. Thank you for the reminder to find the Blessings of The All Mighty in every situation. I am inspired.

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  40. Oh, my goodness! That's quite the wound. Poor Lily!

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  41. Oh MY! I'm so sorry! It sounds like you held yourself together pretty well. Let's hope that's your only summer injury and that she feels better soon.

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  42. Ugh, I felt a little faint just looking at those stitches. It must have been awful to see that for you and her. Good thing there wasn't more damage done. Sorry she got hurt.

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  43. I can stomach just about anything, on anyone except my own kid- I hate, loathe even, the trips to the ER. And I'm glad you kept your head (and lunch)- Get better soon Lily!

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  44. OHHH! Poor baby! And poor Momma!! I am so happy that she didn't do permanent damage.
    Kristin

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  45. Oh man! I hate when kids get hurt. A piano fell on my son when he was young and you just have to stay calm or else everyone will just lose it. What a brave girl you have.

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  46. Wow! Now that is an impressive injury! So glad you and she were blessed throughout.

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  47. OK. I am just a wuss. Even the stitched picture made me queasy. Although I like your reference to the scar shaped like a smile she will have as a reminder of this mishap.

    She was so calm that I was surprised when you said she was only 10.

    You must be exhausted from this. And it is horrible when they are hurt and we aren't there to help them.

    This is a great, albeit dramatic, link to Alphabe-Thursdays Summer School!

    Sorry this had to be your post but I'm glad it all ended up OK!

    Thank you for linking!

    A+

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  48. Oh dear! I am still shuddering of the thought of her leg...I am so happy to hear that all went well! My hubby loves, loves watching trauma and he was an EMT trained firefighter...our son in law is a physician...actually, everyone in our family can handle emergencies and enjoy watching surgical procedures and such! Except for me...I am a wimp like Ms Jenny too!

    Whew! (I do like your take on the "smile scar" that she will have to remember that by).
    Blessings & aloha!
    still making my way through Alphabe-Thursday RED posts :o)

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  49. Just stopping by from Jenny's Party!! I am late getting around to everyone! How scary! We haven't had the stitches thing but a broken collar bone, a spill down the basement stairs, a splinter that stuck out of both sides of a finger and almost frost bite. All from one kid. The other has been perfectly fine for 17 years!! You did great!

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  50. Oh, I'm so glad that Lily is doing okay! And sounds like you are okay too. So sorry that it happened, but sounds like things went pretty well all things considered.

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  51. as a healthcare professional, and having rotations in the ER of a class 1 trauma center during my training, in a major city (Philadelphia) I have scene some REALLY nasty stuff, a woman who was trampled by her own horse in the horse trailer, a man who fell down a flight of stairs and through a plate glass window. numerous 4 wheeler accidents, leaving 15 yo's paralyzed.

    ANYWAY...my own son has a very similar gauche on his elbow, it happened at age 7, the er doc did a horrible job with his stitches and he has a really nasty scar. Tom had had 28 stitches by the time he was 8, a little daredevil. Since then he has had a separated shoulder, a torn rotator cuff (same shoulder) and dropped a 35 lb. weight on his foot in gym class(all three of these injuries were in his sophomore year) the weight made the nail on the big toe pop straight up from the TOP of the toe, not where the nail comes out of, that was sickening to me, miracle of miracle though was the bone was not even cracked, the doctors forewarned us, that most likely the bone would be crushed and he'd have to have surgery on the toe. but NO!! yea!! then in his junior year he had a concussion again for being a dare devil. He is now 24, the shoulder bothers him from time to time, and his nail has never been right on that toe, it gets in grown a lot, and the doctors have warned that they may have to surgically remove the entire nail, if it continues to in grow.

    My youngest daughter twice needed stitches in her head...just a couple. my oldest daughter never had any major injuries, but needed eye surgery at the age of 2.5 and again at 6.5. it is never pretty when you have to see one of your own bleeding or in pain.

    I am so glad to hear lily is doing well, and you are very blessed to have a slow ER and a good support network.

    My family is spread out, I always had to deal with the emergencies by myself.
    My family was nearby when my oldest had her first eye surgery. I am grateful for that. I personally have had my own share of injuries, and kidney stones (I am a producer) Life is never dull around here.

    With 7 children, i bet it is never dull around there either.
    :)
    Hugs,
    Susan

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