Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Miracle Workers

Hard to believe it's been almost two months since my last entry...I know all two of my readers miss me, right? ;)

I recently spent this Mother's Day like each one prior for the past six years: so thankful to be "Mama" to my sweet, miracle boy. And as I considered just what a miracle this little guy is for us, I was reminded how even when we are at our lowest, our most desperate, God is working.

I used to wonder what the modern day "Lazarus moment" looks like...the miracles documented in the New Testament do not seem to find a home today, at least not in such a visual and tangible form. I wonder no more. I've not blogged much about it, but for those close to us, you know C had a terrible, freak accident on the eve of his birthday. He learned the tough way that you do not tackle and choke hold a sleeping German Shepherd to "hug" goodnight.

C had gone up to bed, I was in the kitchen washing dishes, and he snuck back downstairs for "one more hug and kiss goodnight." As his feet padded toward the kitchen I heard "goodnight 'koda," a yelp/growl, then screaming. I ran into the living room to see blood gushing out of C's head and what I could not tell was if the injury was to C's eye, head, or both. I lost it...as in lost-it-in-the-worst-way-in-front-of-your-kid lost it. I get the chills, sweats, and a stomach ache just writing this. I grabbed a dishtowel, put it on C's head, picked him up, then I started screaming and crying. Yep, totally lost it. M ran downstairs, saw the chaos, and off to the closest ER we went.

I was in a panic- still don't know how I got us safely to the ER while M was in the backseat with C. We opted not to drive to the Children's Hospital about 40 miles away; we figured with so much blood lost and not knowing if the eye was injured, we needed the closest ER. And I get so angry when I think about this, but still, God was working. The ER took us back almost immediately, despite not being able to find my insurance card and a jam-packed waiting room. And then we waited...and waited...and waited...and in 2.5 hours not only did my child not even get a BANDAGE for his head (thank goodness for the dishtowel), but we literally had to ask for pain relief. Finally, he was given codeine, antibiotics, and at least was getting doped up enough that he could calm down. He was pitiful, just pitiful.

All I could do at that point was pray...I was crying, and anger bubbling over inside...it's such a helpless feeling to see your child injured, in severe pain, and there is nothing you can do to make it better. I now understand how some folks just "lose it." Hounding the nurses and the ER docs didn't bring answers quickly- the docs were stumped. And while they should have made this call much earlier in the evening, not 2.5 hours later, the decision to transfer C to another hospital was the best ever. Thankfully, the ER staff did not want to attempt to repair the wound, a plastic surgeon was called, then paged, and he never returned the call, so the decision was made to transfer C to the Children's Hospital. And during this time, I didn't even know what to pray...I just asked that the right hands touch C, the right hands bring him the healing and relief he needed. Really a crude, simple prayer, but oh how God can turn that into something amazing.

One of the ER docs told me he consulted with the attending at Children's, C would be prepped for emergency surgery here, ambulance transferred to Children's, and taken in for emergency surgery. Great, now we have a plan. An IV was started, C's brand new shirt (he was so upset about this) was cut off him and a surgical gown put on. Do you know, the ER never touched C's wound? The paramedics who came to transport him to Children's were the ones who threw out the dishtowel and at least put a dressing on the gaping, and I do mean gaping, wound. Off C goes in the ambulance, I followed by car, and wow, it was humbling to arrive at Children's.

We arrived to an impromptu birthday party for C...three docs and three nurses singing happy birthday to him with presents to boot! Presents were "wrapped" in paper measuring tape, tied and curled to look like ribbon and Connor got to open presents while being evaluated by the three ER docs. I brought C's Bucky Bear in from the car, and Bucky was prepped for surgery to, and even got a matching bandage, just like C's. He (C) was also immediately put on morphine and topical anesthetic applied to the wound for some relief. Take about a night and day experience...we now had compassion and talent packaged together, ready to act. But it gets even better.

We're told the plastic surgeon was on his way in and C would be in surgery about 1.5-2 hours. Surgeon arrives quickly, I immediately like the man and feel confident leaving C in his care. Then the waiting room wait begins. Two hours later, I'm taken back to see C and I am amazed, thinking this man is not just a plastic surgeon, he is some kind of miracle working artist. He took an 8cm long, 2+cm wide gash that was almost down to the bone and made it a beautiful line of tiny stitches, layer upon layer. When I asked how many, he responded, "I stopped counting at 70-some."

When C came to, the staff was still just as wonderful and attentive, playing Disney movies for him, getting him a Slurpee, making sure he was comfortable, etc. until we were discharged. Not how we planned to ring in C's 6th birthday, but this team at Children's made the absolute best of a horrific situation.

And then, I began to see all of the answered prayers that evening, all of the miracle workers who lined up with us-
- My husband, who comforted our suffering son when I was in no condition to do so.
- My mom, who got our panicked call and rushed to the ER, to comfort C and calm me when I was inconsolable. She had already worked a very long day that started around 4:30 am, spent the night in the ER with us, sat with me in the waiting room while Connor was in surgery, and never left my side during that whole, awful ordeal, reassuring me that it would be ok, even if it didn't seem anywhere close to "ok" in the moment.
- My beautiful friend, who dropped everything to meet us at the ER, comfort C when I could not, and provide reassurance to us all...not to mention making sure those nurses were doing it right! I wish for each of you reading this to have a true friend like that- she had just worked a 12 hr night shift as a NICU nurse, spent the night in the ER with us, then offered to follow us to Children's...spent the night in constant communication with us while at Children's, contacted my work for me, and met us at home when we were discharged the next day, with birthday cake, presents, and new shirts for C (since he was so upset about the cut one). Wow- humbling.
- My compassionate co-workers who shared the load so I could focus on C, then surprised him with an amazing care package.
- The physicians at the first hospital knowing their own limitations and calling in the experts, even if that meant a transfer.
-The unbelievable team at Children's that balanced utmost competence with compassion that knew no limits...even the nurse who snuck us past the security guard and broke the "only two" rule.
- A dog that could have bitten and caused more harm than a freak collision, but did not.
- No impact to C's vision.
- And last, but certainly not least, the plastic surgeon, that we wouldn't even learn until the coming days what an answered prayer he is...

It was a rough few days post-surgery. Connor was in a lot of pain, slept through his family birthday party and my family performed a repeat the following night for C...it became a birthday week! We returned to the hospital for suture check and removal, but before we did, I did some research on our good doc. Of all the physicians you could awaken in the middle of the night to fix our kiddo we got:

- The ONLY pediatric plastic surgeon in the entire REGION
- His focus is facial injury and reconstruction
- He was voted a "Top Doc" in 2010 by his peers

Does that just give you chills? All I could pray for was the best of the best, and I got that and so much more. Truly, it was a night of miracles!


  1. oh my goodness, tears streaming down my face as I read this. I saw the pics on FB but didn't know the whole story! I'm so glad that it wasn't even more serious!

    Lots of love from Colorado-

  2. Thanks Dawn...it's taken me this long just to be able to process it all.

  3. Wow your story... To hear it in detail...amazing. Thankful for your
    answered prayers. Your little guy is strong just like his mama. Love you!!

  4. You are an inspiration. I have tears streaming down my face as I read this - you may not think you were "strong" for C, but being there & caring & loving him... THAT'S what he needed -- his mommy. How fortunate that we get to be mommies in good times & in bad. Thank you for sharing your story. It helps to put (my) things in perspective.