Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Grace's Big "Owie"

In our 16 years of parenting we have never had a major injury requiring a trip to the ER. Oh, we've had breathing problems that have landed children there numerous times but never anything involving blood. Considering we have 6 boys that always surprised us. That all changed this past weekend. (See bottom of post for what actually happened) We were at my parents house on a normal Sunday afternoon for dinner and hanging out. Grace had not taken a nap and it was getting late into the afternoon when I heard Thomas from the basement yelling "Oh No!" followed by the same sentiment from John. John bounded up the stairs with Grace in his arms dripping blood from her foot calling for paper towels. Everything was happening fast, there was a lot of yelling, people were crying, and it was a bit crazy. John worriedly expressed that it looked like her toe was dangling and we needed to get to the hospital. I could not look. My dad drove our big van barreling down the road as John cuddled Grace tight and tried to comfort her. Thankfully the hospital is only a couple of minutes from their house.

We got into the ER relatively quickly but then it was a waiting game. Nurses came in and looked at Grace's toe. John and I knelt on the floor crouched over her as she lay on the gurney  She cried each time a new person entered the room and moaned "owie" but gradually and very thankfully she fell asleep from exhaustion.

The ER doctor came in with a loud voice and I of course asked that he whisper to try and keep her sleeping. He looked at her toe and confirmed what John had suspected, that the tip of her big toe was hanging on by very little and the nail was hanging as well. I glanced to the side and saw a bloody mess.


While Grace slept, the x-ray technician came in and decided rather than move a sleeping baby to bring the equipment in. John helped hold the foot in the correct direction while I softly sang "His Eye is on the Sparrow" and "Jesus Loves Me" in my girl's ear. Such a comfort to me as well and Grace slept through it as she clung to me. And, praise the Lord her toe was not broken!

Dr. Herald the surgeon came in and calmly but matter-of-factually said that he would need to do surgery and she would need to go under general anesthesia. He explained that a short sedative would not be enough time for him to fix it as needed. John looked at me with a fear in his eyes but there were no other options and of course we consented. Then more wait. We so wanted to get the show on the road and be at the end of the ordeal for her. Grace slept on and off until surgery when John carried her up to the 2nd floor surgical unit. We met with the anesthesiologist who explained that they first would sedate her to give her an IV then take her to surgery and put her under general anesthesia. He gave her a shot of Ketamine and that was very hard to watch as it put Grace into a state of not being aware of anything. She would look at us but not really see us. She moved her head from side to side as if looking but yet not. Kind of a freaky. And then she began to shake, which is normal. John and I continued to stay at her side singing and stroking her maybe more to calm our nerves as the doctor observed. The IV went in and they were ready to take Grace. The hardest part of that which I'm sure many parents who have sent their children for surgery was that she was still awake when they wheeled her away. I had so hoped that the sedative would make her fall asleep first. John and I went to the waiting room where my Dad was waiting with teary-eyed hugs for us and Noah was waiting there too.

The surgery took about 20 minutes and Dr. Herald came out and explained everything to us. We won't know for a few weeks if the tip of the toe will heal completely and it depends on how much blood is able to get to it. When he fixed it a portion wasn't as pink as he would have liked but he said that children's bodies heal so well. He said he is able to reattach amputated fingers on a child where with an adult he wouldn't. He also repaired the nail bed and temporarily attached her old nail to make it less painful. That will fall off and her new nail will grow in.

I was so nervous as I waited to see Grace again. My stomach was in knots knowing that she was waking up in an unfamiliar place with people she did not know. Maybe 30 minutes later the nurse wheeled her "prison" crib out to us and kept telling Grace, "there is your Mommy". We walked with her up to a room as insurance doesn't allow them to discharge patients directly from recovery. They have to go to an actual hospital room first. And so we got settled in a room for a short time. Grace was happy to be in our arms again but to be expected she was not herself. True with probably any child, she did not like the oxygen monitor hooked to her toe or the blood pressure cuff on her arm or the iv in her hand and those were the things that were bothering her.

She did not talk or smile -- both of which are total opposites for her personality. She didn't want to drink anything and seemed that she might be a bit nauseous judging by her gagging a few times. She received two toys from the nurse to distract her as they began to remove the contraptions she was connected to and then we were  free to go. As soon as we neared the door to exit, Grace growled her first words, -- "Noah!" She was trying to be silly and attempted a smile too.

Once home Grace slept through the night without a problem. I am sure she was exhausted and the doctor said he gave her a long-lasting numbing in her toe to help. John and I both checked on her in the night and John left for the airport in the early morning. He was so disappointed not to see his precious happy girl awake before he headed to Mexico for the week. But I texted him pictures of her the next morning with her silly grin.

The day started off with Grace not wanting to walk anywhere. She didn't want to move her foot and her siblings were happy to oblige by carrying her anywhere she wanted to go simply by pointing her finger in the direction she wanted to go. Her big brother Thomas was very concerned about her and was never too far from her that day. 

But by evening she was raring to go and had enough with her lack of independence and attempted walking using the side of her foot. That worked for her and by the second day she was back to running and climbing.

Grace visited the surgeon on day 3 and she was not a happy girl at all. Lots of crying ensued as they removed the bandages while I held her close and her Grandma attempted to read to her. She kept looking back at her foot.

So, what actually happened? Grace was sitting on the cardio glide with Thomas when she told him she wanted to get down. However, she didn't give him time to stop and proceeded to step down. Her foot was in the wrong spot and in looking at the area later John said it worked in a scissors motion and of course she always has her shoes off. Thomas said he won't ever forget the sound and initially he did struggle with what happened but we loved on him well and once he saw his little sister that really helped him.

We are just so thankful that God was watching over every detail. It was only the tip and not the complete toe and the toe did not break. Grace was amazing through it all. Of course she screamed at times and it wasn't easy but of all of our children she is one of the more resilient. We imagined if it happened to certain other children it would have been so much more traumatic.

And so we wait for what the doctor said is "a process".

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...