Monday, January 18, 2010

Our Winter Break in Colorado

Our trip to Colorado turned out to be much more eventful than we had planned.

HOB and Evan took an opportunity to go snowboarding/skiing. Evan had just gone around Christmas time here in California and thought it would be fun to hit the Colorado slopes.

He hit them, indeed.

It was about 10:30am when HOB called to tell me that there had been an accident. Evan had broken his wrist in two places. I could hear Evan screaming in pain in the background.

I believe there are nerve fibers formed in every mother, in every pregnancy, that are directly linked to the child she is carrying and long after that child is born those nerve fibers remain, alert to danger and pain. Any mother of an infant can tell you, when she watches her child get a shot, she feels it as well. When she looks at a bad scrape on her child's knee, a sensation crosses her stomach muscles. Though the nerve fibers may grow semi-dormant as the child matures and becomes more independent, there are there nonetheless and can become activated in an instant.

My mother fibers flamed up as I watched Evan unloaded from the ambulance, as I watched the nurses adjust the arm, and later as he writhed in pain waiting for the morphine to take effect. The doctor came in six hours after our arrival, numbed Evan's arm and then tried to manipulate the bones back into place. I stood by the bed, watching the doctor's movements, watching the bones move on the x-ray machine as the doctor pulled, pushed, turned, twisted the wrist trying to get the bones to match up. After it was over, I had to step out into the hallway for air.

But then it was back to the bedside. All the while, through the shots, the inserting of IV's--including two unsuccessful ones, the manipulating of the bones, the decision to operate, the waiting, the waiting, the tense waiting, I talked, I distracted, I brought up past vacations and made jokes about our surroundings. I pretended to steal medical supplies, I teased Evan about trying to get out of chores.

Then, at about 10:30 at night,

after talking to the surgeon at Evan's bedside,

after talking to the post-op nurse,

after talking to the anaesthesiologist,

after kissing Evan's forehead, promising I'd be there when he woke up,

after watching them wheel him into the operating room--my boy under that thin blanket on that steel bed being wheeled away from me,

after being escorted to the deserted surgery waiting room and thanking the nurse for her kindness,

after hearing her efficient steps back down the quiet hallway,

That's. When. I. Lost. It.

I cried the tears I had held back all day. I wept out of fear and frustration and exhaustion. They were sobs, hideous, snotty sobs. All day I had been upbeat for Ev, the happy mom, the confident mom, the it's-going-to-be-fine mom but just for a few minutes I allowed myself this falling-apart time. All day I had been shoving all emotions that were of no good use to anyone else at the time into this reserve area--a sort of emotional bladder (for lack of a better term). Mine was completely full and when I emptied it, it was not a pretty sight, but I felt a whole lot better afterwards.

HOB and I sat side by side in the surgery waiting room, watching the time tick by. The surgery was taking much longer than anticipated. A lack of sleep and an over-abundance of unspoken concern made us just a little punchy and we were desperate for distraction. I picked up a magazine on one of the tables and discovered it was a 1999 issue of Cat Fancy which featured a foldout poster of an Abyssinian who, according to the notes alongside the picture, enjoyed long naps and an occasional treat of catnip. In a goofy, sleep-deprived state, I folded and unfolded the centerfold for HOB, wiggling my eyebrows and nodding.

It was 3:00am when Evan was finally wheeled to his room and we settled down for a whole three hours of interrupted sleep on cots in his room. When he awoke, I was there, so glad the surgery was over. It was more complicated than anticipated, but I was optimistic about his recovery, thankful for the the two steel plates and ten screws holding everything together.

Holding everything together. It's a job that involves being strong and staying where you need to be. Sometimes it's a function best carried out with steel and screws; sometimes it's done with sheer will combined with parental instinct.

Sometimes it's a combination of both.

Our boy will be fine.


LittleSilkDress said...

Oh. My. Goodness. What an eventful trip! Sorry Colorado wasn't a bit more...friendly. Hope his wrist heals quickly and smoothly.

Shan said...

Wow! I just stopped by from Spot on Your Pants... and went from nodding to crying to laughing. I'm glad he's going to be fine. I'm going for tissue. Want some?

Bossy Betty said...

Thank you to my two very kind commenters. I'm thinking I'm ready for something stronger than tissue. I'll start with a pound of chocolate and see how that works...

Anonymous said...

oh my god oh my god oh my god. LOVE and more LOVE and healing and a huge, big, enormous, comforting bear hug for all.

Old Kitty said...

Oh thank goodness for 1999 edition of Cat Fancy! :-)

Oh but seriously - BB! What a horrific thing to happen to all of you, my goodness!! I'm just so glad your boy is ok now. How awful to watch your son in pain!!! You and HOB deserve a big glass of champage or two! Goodness me.

Big big hugs!

take care