The Haunting Moments of Broken Bones
It was only a matter of time. It was always going to happen. However when your child walks out crying hysterically, and you lay your eyes on an arm sitting at an impossible angle, the feeling that spreads throughout your body is like nothing you’ve ever known before.
|Arriving at the first hospital. Still smiles for a camera|
Of course you immediately go into “let’s sort this shit out” mode, and I got dressed and ready in a nano-second, called a cab and we were off to the hospital, and then another hospital because I went to the wrong one – FUCK!
Those moments in the cab last night were very long and hard to endure, but equally, we had three cabbies who showed the true majesty of the human spirit – care and kindness.
But last night there were a couple of moments which I think will haunt me for some time.
Firstly, though, what happened? The boys were in bed, promising to be calm and go to sleep, so all seemed promising. Of course they weren’t going to sleep, because apparently there were some issues to sort out - a fight over who got to sleep with the cat I believe? A tussle ensued and Lex came down and landed on his wrist. So glad we bought those bunkbeds – not.
When reality struck, there was nothing else to do but brace ourselves to face the situation ahead.
However, the first moment that will haunt me for a while is with Jax. He was devastated and convinced it was all his fault. Oh love, it was an accident and it’s no one’s fault. Besides, he could have been the one to fall, so no one can be blamed for what happened. It was bad luck all round and its kids right?
|Two clean breaks|
The challenge, though, was I couldn’t deal with Jax’s emotional needs at that point, because Lex’s need was much more important.
I left the apartment telling him it would all be OK, leaving him with Jona, our lovely helper, and she told me he was in absolute torment all night. To make matters worse, he didn’t see Lex this morning before school, because Lex was still sleeping after returning home at 3am from the hospital.
Suffice to say this was a really really bad time for Steve to be away on business.
The second haunting was the screams. Because Lex landed on his hand, face and side, he had carpet burns on his face and hip. Due to possible head trauma, they couldn’t put him under and instead had to use a blocker on the arm, which they assured me would take away the pain. Once the blocker was in, they could painlessly pull the bones back into place, as he’d broken both bones in his right forearm cleanly.
I stayed with Lex in the operating room while they put in the IV needles. Both hands required needles and no worries getting one into the unbroken hand – success first time finding a vein.
However, it took five attempts on the broken hand and he was beside himself by this point. I work really hard to help the kids not have a fear of needles, but I think I lost a lot of ground last night.
|IV needles in|
It was now time to kick me out of the room, with the door promptly locked behind me. Then the screaming started and it went on and on and on.
I was crying, walking around in circles, banging on the door, shoving the door trying to get it loose. It wasn’t supposed to hurt, that’s what the doctor said. I called Steve and he could hear Lex’s screams over the phone. I feel bad I called him in hindsight, but what else can you do when you feel so bloody hopeless and powerless?
I hung up. I couldn’t talk anymore. Then Lex screamed out “someone, please, help me!” Oh fuck, what mother wants to hear that. It was completely SHIT!
They wouldn’t let me in, but eventually a doctor was at the door knocking, they let him in and there was no way I wasn’t coming in too.
“You said it wouldn’t hurt? This could screw him up for life. He might change who he has the potential to be. He might become fearful. Scared of taking risks. Frightened of doctors for the rest of his life. It wasn’t supposed to hurt. I would never have agreed to this. Why couldn’t we sedate him?”
Lex looked haggard. The doctor was very sweet and reassuring. She said it probably isn’t hurting, but he is convinced it is. I don’t know. This was a bad Core Memory moment for my sweetheart and we’ve got to work hard to make sure he comes out of this stronger – somehow. Am I equipped for that? I don’t know.
But then the reality of the new doctor struck. They got one bone back in place, but this was an osteo doctor and the other bone needed to be put back in place too. He couldn’t leave the hospital with one bone out of alignment. Also we only had five minutes on the clock to do it. I had to leave the room again. They locked the door.
|2am can we PLEASE go home mum?|
He didn’t scream this time. They got the bone back in place. Lex was so bloody brave. So amazing. And he was actually quite funny too, especially with his swearing attempts – “this frickin sucks” was one. How can you tell a kid off for using mummy and daddy words at that point? He was quite right.
It completely sucked. I hated that Steve wasn’t there. I hated hearing my kid scream in pain. I hated leaving another son in tears believing it was all his fault. You’re right Lex, this frickin sucked a very big one.
But it’s done. It’s over. They won’t tussle on the beds again and we’re lucky. It’s a broken bone and it will heal. We’re also in one of the best cities in the world for medical support and both of our boys have a loving and comfortable home. How can we complain?
Some of the kids in the hospital that night might never leave. Not to mention many kids around the world are dealing with broken bones in warzones, refugee camps, or freezing their arses off while trying to find sanctuary somewhere in the world. We’re lucky. My boys are lucky.
It all goes back to a topic I’ve talked about before and why I have a common tag for many of my blogs - bloody kids. From the minute these precious souls are in your arms you know that you will never ever be free from pain.
I often talk about an ethereal umbilical chord that remains attached between a mother and child long after they are born, and then you face the reality of your heart sitting outside your body every day after that. Their pain is your pain. Their hurts, yours. The physical hurts are usually easier to deal with most of the time, but the emotional pain is hard to identify and solve. No parent wants to screw their kids up right? Not intentionally anyway.
It’s a gruesome kind of love, that between a parent and child, because you don’t want anything bad to happen to them ever. However, you know it’s not realistic. This is life. Sometimes life hurts. When life hurts your kid, you hurt even more.
Before kids, it’s you. After kids, you add them into your heart. Into your soul. It feels like a sadistic kind of love sometimes. For me anyway.
It’s probably also why I empathize with parents doing the wrong thing by children – however wrong is defined.
|Recovery starts today|
I personally try really hard never to do the wrong thing – my boys are everything and I want them to grow into whole men. That’s also why last night was hard. It could have a big impact on Lex’s future. That worries me.
However, because I feel this so deeply, I understand why some people do need to block themselves off from their kids, that pain. It’s also why I work really hard never to judge another parent, because perhaps they just don’t have the courage to face the true and brutal essence of parenting – which is about the ultimate in vulnerability - leaving yourself open to feel their pain, in whatever way it manifests itself.
A bit deep, but this has all been a very deep experience for me. Lex and I feel traumatized by last night. I’ve never cried so much. Everyone at the hospital must have thought I was nuts, but I don’t give a shit. My little guy was in pain. I was useless to help him. That sucked.
Another night, another bloody kids moment. Thanks to my family and friends for the support. You don’t know what those comments on Facebook, WhatsApp, etc… mean to me. In a moment of isolation, you helped me feel connected to the greater human community – one of love and compassion.
Love youse all.
Care to share your torments about your mini loves with me?
Yours without the bollocks