Thursday, October 10, 2013

Spending an Evening at the E.R.

I would go out on a limb and say that one of a mother's worst nightmares is to receive a phone call that their child has been injured and needs to go to the hospital.

Another one would be getting a call from your significant other telling you that they are on the way to pick up your child, because YOU didn't answer your phone when someone was trying to contact you to tell you that your child has been injured and needs to go to the hospital.

Both of which happened to me yesterday afternoon.

It just so happened to be my one and only evening this week that didn't involve any games, traveling, or late nights home.  I was busy working in my classroom preparing for a substitute I'm having today because I'm going to a training workshop.  The kids were going to ride the activity bus back to the school when they were finished with practice.

I was all over my classroom cleaning and organizing, when I hear my phone vibrating.  I take a look and notice that I've missed 5 calls before this call coming in from a number I don't know...and the call coming in is from Hubby.  He's calling to tell me that he's on his way to pick up Butter, because SOMEBODY didn't answer their phone....and he'd been hurt at football practice.

I tell him not to drive all that way, I'll go and pick him up.  Just as I finish up with the call from Hubby, another call comes in from the number that had shown up on my phone five times prior.  It's Butter.  Calling to tell me that the athletic trainer thinks he's broken his wrist, and needs to go to the hospital.

I, in my best I WILL NOT PANIC attitude, grab up Jelly and we head to the high school to pick up Butter.  When we get there, we're met by his coach and the trainer.  Butter is all splinted up, and looks pretty miserable.  I decide to drive the girls home and then head straight to the hospital to have the wrist checked out.

Because of the trek from the high school in Missouri to the hospital in the insurance network in Arkansas, we don't arrive at the hospital until a little after 7:30PM.  Thankfully, there was only one other person in the ER.  We get checked in and are called back immediately.  The nurse checks him out, and gets all the details and vitals, and we are shown back to a room.  X-rays are requested, and it's not long before a technician and a traveling X-ray machine show up at the room.

I was quite impressed.  Every other hospital I've ever had to go to had someone come and take a person back to X-ray.  Now, it's all done in the same triage room.  

The X-ray is taken, and then we sit and wait.  And wait.  Poor Butter is so tired, he can barely keep his eyes open...


Around 8:30PM, the doctor walks in the room, takes one look at the splint on Butter's arm, and walks out of the room.  I hear him say something to the nurse about him not having time to "deal" with taking off a splint, and someone needs to take care of it.  Thanks to the splint still being on his arm, and the whole 30 seconds it takes for the nurse to remove it, we are bumped to the bottom of the line...and there are several more people that have made their way in to the hospital.  We don't see the doctor again until after 10PM.

I was not a happy camper.  The nurse had left the splint on Butter because he didn't know how long it would take for the doctor to come, and he didn't want Butter to be in too much pain.  Once the splint was off, my poor boy had to sit for over an hour without anything on his wrist...and that caused a lot of discomfort.


When the doctor did finally arrive, for the second time, he came in, wiggled a few fingers around, told me he was going to go and take a look at the X-rays, and disappeared again.  Butter and I, AGAIN, waited and waited.  Finally, the doctor came back about 30 minutes later and asked for me to step out of the room.

I will say right now, that no mother ever wants a doctor to pull them out of a room to discuss their child's injury.  You just know that the minute they ask you to step out that it's not good.  If it was going to be OK, they'd tell you right there in front of your child...never out in the hallway.

He takes me over to his computer so that he can show me the X-rays.  On his way there, he says "It's not good".  Urm...OK.  Thanks for that.  Now I get to be all panicked and decide to freak out a little.  I had been just comforting Butter telling him that it didn't look so bad, and that there was still a possibility that it wasn't broken.  Now, I'm being dragged off by the doctor who tells me something is not good.

He directs me to the computer and begins to show me the damage.  Butter had fractured his wrist, but he'd also dislodged his growth plate located in the wrist joint.  The doctor explains that it is very serious, because if not properly taken care of could lead to no further growth in the wrist or any function in the wrist.  He tells me it won't be as simple as casting him up and sending him on his way, and that he was waiting for an orthopedic specialist to call him for a consult.

In my dazed and panicked mode, I just ask him what that means.  He tells me there's a strong possibility that the specialist will want to repair the damage that night.  Surgery or placement setting are both options.  I have no idea what placement setting is, but I already feel like that's the option I want.  He tells me that as soon as he hears back from the specialist, he'll let me know.

I go back to the room to lock eyes with my very scared little boy.  He's not stupid.  He also knew that me being dragged out of the room could not be good for him.  I tell him what the doctor had told me, and he immediately begins to cry.

He's scared.  And I don't blame him.

Not just that, but he was worried about his football career.  His biggest fear was upsetting and disappointing his coach.  I try my best to calm him down, and then call my mom to fill her in on what's going on.  She immediately decides to drive up to be with us.

Right after I get off the phone with my mom, two nurses come in to the room.  They inform Butter and I that he needs to be moved in to another room.  The nurse tells him that they are going to fix his wrist.  Of course, he starts panicking again.  How are they going to fix it?  Is he going for surgery, or the other option?  Did the specialist call back, and what did he say?

When we get to the new room, I start firing off questions.  I'm told that the specialist did call back, looked at the X-rays, and decided that he needed to come in to perform an emergency placement setting immediately.  With the growth plate being out of place, and the pooling of blood that was occurring around the fracture, there was no time to waste in getting the plate back to where it should be.

Butter found out he was going to be put under for the procedure...and he starts having a panic attack. Butter is TERRIFIED of needles, and the nurse had just told him that he'd need an IV.  

Looking in to the eyes of my scared little boy was heartbreaking.  I tried to comfort him.  I tried to tell him that everything was going to be OK.  All the while, trying to keep my own panic and fear contained.  This was supposed to just be a simple break.  A quick cast, and back to school the next day kinda thing.  Now, I'm hearing terms I don't know, and people are rushing around as if major surgery is going to be performed.  

Another nurse comes in to explain everything that's going to happen.  The doctor is going to attempt to "pop" the growth plate back in to place.  It required Butter being put out, because the pain would be too immense for him to be awake for the procedure.  The doctor would put the plate back in to place, and a temporary splint would be placed on his arm for a few days.  He would then require a hard cast be put on for about 6 weeks.  

The doctor arrived, and so did my mom and brother.  My mom had enough time to say "hi" and "bye" before they were ushering her out of the room to perform the procedure.  Butter was given the medicine to knock him out, and we waited for him to go under.

The procedure took all of 10 minutes.  The doctor did a quick pop of Butter's wrist, and then sat and manipulated and pulled on his arm.  The nurse then wrapped Butter's arm in a splint, and another X-ray was taken.  The doctor told me he was all finished, and my mom was allowed to come back in to the room.  

I was told it would be about 15 minutes before the medicine keeping Butter knocked out would start to wear off...and that it was imperative that the first person's voice he heard was mine.  The anesthesia was known to cause paranoia and panic attacks in children, and the only way of avoiding that was to be by Butter's ear the minute he started to come to...reassuring him that everything was OK.

While we were waiting, the doctor came back to let me know the procedure had been a success...and the X-ray had shown that the plate was back in place.  With the hard cast, and about 6 weeks of healing, he should make a full recovery.  He'll require some physical therapy after the six weeks to get the function back in to his arm... but other than that, he'd be fine.  Football was done for the season.  He wouldn't be fit to return to any activity for at least 8-10 weeks.  

Butter slowly started to come out of his anesthesia, and I was there to assure him everything was OK.  Despite all the nervousness and fear and anxiety I'd been through in the past 30 minutes, it was HILARIOUS going through him coming out of anesthesia.  He was totally out of it.  He recognized who I was, and my mom, and my brother.  He told us about a dream he'd had about playing football, scoring a touchdown that earned him 46 points, and being tackled by a giant.  An actual giant...not a big player.  Who just happened to be a girl.

We had to wait another 15 minutes or so, just to make sure he was coming out OK before being allowed to go home.

Due to the demands of work, and getting the girls to school, my mom volunteered to take Butter home for a couple of days so that she could take care of him.  I was very thankful.  As much as I wanted to stay home with my baby boy, I still had to drive the girls to school.  It was nice knowing that my mom would be able to nurse Butter while I was taking care of the other two children.

I didn't make it home until around 1AM.  Knowing that I had only a couple of hours to sleep, I went swiftly to bed.  And that leads me to right now.  

I got about 3 hours of sleep.  I'm exhausted.  But, I'm OK.  I feel good knowing that Butter is in good hands, and I will be calling him several times today to check in on him.  

It was such a nerve wracking, long night.  I will be honest and say that going to a day long training is NOT how I want to spend my day.  But, I do what I gotta do.  It doesn't help that Peanut has a volleyball game tonight, so it's going to be another very late night for me.

But, I'll sleep this weekend.


Everyone have a terrific day!!



  1. I'm sorry to hear this about Butter. I'm glad they got to work right away and I hope he makes a full recovery!

  2. Goodness! How terrifying! I am glad that everything is okay and that, while his healing process will be long, he will make a full recovery. I feel bad that he will miss out on the season but thanks to the quick work of the doctors, he will have a chance at another season next year.


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