February 4, 2011

In An Instant

It is mind-boggeling how in an instant a typical day can change.  One minute everything is normal and the day is flowing then:

  • in an instant the phone rings and what you hear stops your heart.
  • in an instant while trying to think what to do first the room starts spinning and the mind goes blank.
  • in an instant teaching is secondary and getting to my baby is all that matters.
  • in an instant a total feeling of helplessness envelops you when the only thing you want is to make it better.

I will never forget answering the phone and hearing Bear say, "Can you get someone to cover for you?  Nugget is hurt and they are taking him to the hospital."

As quickly as I could I had my class covered and I was out the door.  All I knew was that Nugget had cut his hand.  The school where I work is close to the hospital so I was the first one there.   Bear was there two minutes after that and we waited for Nugget.

We saw him getting out of the car, and I was amazed he wasn't crying.  I was also shocked by the amount of blood.   I kept telling myself that finger cuts bleed heavily.

Thankfully we didn't have to wait long to be taken back to see a doctor.  The ER doctor was concerned and wanted a plastic surgeon to come and look at the wound.  It was quickly determined that Nugget's cut was deep and he would need surgery.

Waiting for the doctor
There were some concerns about the cold that Nugget had, and the fact that he had eaten lunch about 1:30.  Bear and I thought the surgeons would wait at least eight hours before taking Nugget into surgery.  They didn't.  It was decided that they would pump his stomach before intubating him.  Yes, it was horrible hearing what they were going to do to my baby.

The anesthesiologist wanted to give Nugget some 'happy' juice to calm him down so they could put in and IV before taking him into the operating room.   After the first round of 'happy' juice Nugget was still fighting when the nurse tried to put in the IV.   Long story short ~  eventually two anesthesiologists and four nurses where all holding Nugget down trying to put in the IV.   They gave Nugget 12 mg of the happy juice and he was still fighting.  We later learned that most babies his age get 1 mg of the happy juice and adults get 2 mg of the juice and it usually makes people so loopy they don't care what the doctors do.  Not my boy!  As long as they weren't trying to poke him he was a happy camper!  It was like he was drunk.  He would giggle at the oddest things.  He kept hitting one nurse with a little stuffed animal and he'd laugh.
I knew Nugget was out of it because he usually never lets a
stranger hold him.
As soon as they would pin Nugget down he would start fighting again.  Finally the doctor picked Nugget up and carried him into the operating room.  He said they were going to have to gas him and then try to put in the IV.  The nurse told us that Dr. S was quite impressed with our boy.  They said he has never carried a baby back himself.  That's when I knew they were really going to take care of Nugget.

Nugget was in surgery for about two and a half hours.  Thankfully we were able to take him home not too long after that.  I don't know how many stitches he has, but I think there are quite a few.    I do know that, thankfully, no tendons or nerves were cut.  The gash did cut all the muscles at the base of his thumb and it went clear down to the bone.  (deep breath)  We go see the doctor in a week for the first check up.  Nugget will have to wait three weeks before the stitches are taken out.  The doctor said he will more than likely have to put Nugget under anesthesia when they take out the stitches.  I'm not looking forward to that.

The waiting while Nugget was in surgery was hard.  The most difficult moments, though, were when he was crying out for help and there was nothing I could do to help him.  I would like to think that those moments will never happen again, but I am not quite that naive. I want to put this little boy of mine in a bubble and keep him there where he will be safe forever.

Less than 24 hours later Nugget was playing as if nothing was wrong.  He gets a little irritated with the bandage, but he is overcoming that remarkably well.   I have a feeling that Bear and I are going to have to brace ourselves for the next 18-20 years.  This little man of ours is going to take us for interesting ride as he grows up ~ I have no doubt.