Caution: This is a VERY long, very detailed, and at some points graphic description of what happened, and it includes some graphic photos, and I'm really not exaggerating about the photos, if you're not sure you can see it, then please don't.
When Dallin was three days old, John was sent out of town to work. He would come home on the weekends, but I was managing three kids, the oldest of whom was only four (and had aspergers) during the week. I was fortunate to have all the help my parents and in-laws gave during that time, but obviously it was stressful.
On Sept 10th, Dallin was three weeks old. I was tired and just trying to get going on my morning. It was past 11 and I still hadn't changed out of my PJ's or showered or done the dishes. I was standing in my bedroom talking on the phone to my mom, arranging babysitting, and I heard a loud screaming coming from our master bath. I quickly got off the phone and ran to the door. Bryson was screaming and frantically trying to open the door, but he was blocking the door with his body. After a few seconds of trying to get the door open, I had to push him with the door to get him to move so I could come in. When I opened the door, I saw that a mirror had fallen and broken, and cut his leg badly. The cut was in the shape of a "V", narrow at the top, and wide at the bottom, taking up half his leg. It was like his leg had peeled away from the bone. It was between four and five inches long, and exposed several inches of his bone...so exposed that I could even see the curviture of his bone. Bryson was barely three. When I first saw his leg, it looked like half his leg was missing, and there it was, laying at his ankle, only attached at the bottom. Cory had heard the noise and came running, and saw the same thing I did, and yelled, "Mama, his bone!"
I immediately remembered what I learned at Girls Camp, this wound needed pressure so he wouldn't loose too much blood. I was standing up, and I folded his skin back to where it should be, and put the injury against my hip, applying as much pressure as I could. I told Cory I knew he was scared, but I needed him to get the phone. I wish I had been more comforting to Bryson, but all I could think was that I needed help. I called 911, and told them my son had cut his leg. I guess they have caller ID that has your address listed because they knew my addy already, I literally don't know if I would have remembered it otherwise. After that call, I called my mom. Her answering machine picked up, and I told her that I needed her to come immediately, she quickly picked up and said she'd be right there. Dallin was laying on the floor where I had placed him once I saw what had happened. He didn't make a peep, or at least not that I can remember. I went to the backyard to see if my neighbor happened to be in her back yard, but she wasn't.
Then the thought came to me that maybe I was pushing pieces of glass into the wound by applying pressure like I was, and I should take them out. I talked myself into it, saying I'm sure the wound wasn't as bad as I remembered. I put him on the table, he started shrieking, I peeled some of the thick skin back, and I realized that yes, it was as bad as I remembered, and I was scared of blood loss and fainting, so I put the skin back and continued with the pressure. I didn't know what to do, so I went outside and stood at the front door waiting for the ambulance. Bryson was naked from the waist down because he had been changing when it happened. He was very embarassed, so Cory got him a blanket, his blue blanket with trains, and I wrapped it around him. The ambulance pulled up, and just behind it, my mom. Then my two neighbors came running. I went with Bryson, my mom stayed with Cory and the baby. As I stepped into the ambulance I almost fell, I guess the shock combined with the odd angle I was carrying Bryson got to me. I forgot my purse, but the EMTs said I didn't need it. And off we went.
They gave Bryson a shot and asked me questions about what had happened, and how coherent I thought he was. Bryson turned to me and quietly said, "I don't want to die." It was then (finally!) that it occured to me how terrified HE must have been, and I turned my attention on calming him. I sang to him, and the EMTs told Bryson he could have a ride in a fire truck after he gets better (which we totally took them up on later!). Bryson told me that he wanted "his Cory". They gave him a stuffed bunny. As we pulled up, my dad was getting there. My mom had called him on the way to my house. He came in with me and watched as they looked at the wound. Bryson was screaming, he hadn't been given pain meds. I couldn't look, I just talked to him and sang to him. My dad told me later that he was SHOCKED with what he saw. They wrapped it up and told me he'd have to go to Tucson because they weren't equipped to deal with it in SV. My dad gave him a blessing once we had a quiet minute, and literally moments later, Bryson fell asleep, aparently that's what kids do sometimes in reaction to pain like that. He was asleep when they put in his IV of pain meds.
The nurse leant me her cell phone so I could try to get ahold of John, but his cell didn't get service where he was working, so that was tricky. I was shaky and covered in blood, and I finally realized that I didn't even have a bra on, and since my baby was only three weeks old, I was leaking milk everywhere, I had two huge wet spots, lovely! One of the nurses got me some scrubs to change into (but unfortunately no bra or nursing pads). My dad stayed with Bryson so I could change. After a while we were put back in the ambulance, and I went on the fastest drive to Tucson ever. My shirt was completely drenched in milk by the time we got to TMC, and another nurse got me a second scrub shirt to put on. We got all the paperwork done, and my mom came with Dallin while we were waiting. She also brought some books and activities for Bryson, as well as some trail mix for me (gosh I hope to be half the mom she is someday! She thinks of everything! She even brought me my bra!) Cory stayed with my mother-in-law, who along with my neighbor, cleaned up the glass and blood for me. Bryson woke up and was happy to see Nanny Goates.
We were wheeled up to surgery, and minutes before they were supposed to begin, my wonderful husband came through the doors. Ahhh, relief! He's truly my knight in shining armor, he didn't have to do more than a hug to give me the support and strength I needed. He gave Bryson lots of hugs and read to him, and then it was time. Bryson didn't want go without us, but we weren't allowed to go behind the doors, so he left the room screaming, just terrified. The surgery was supposed to last like two hours, but it was closer to three (those were some seriously long minutes). My sister-in-law, Jessica, came and brought us food. She was a wonderful support for John, since I think I was still in shock, and not terribly supportive of him - hate to admit that. We had several nurses tell us that if this were to happen to their kid, they would want Dr. Vincent (our surgeon) to be the one operating, and we were truly very lucky to have him. He thought the injury was so "cool" that he snapped some pics with his phone. The blood had dried on the bone, so it's not visible, but other than that, it's about what I saw. When John saw the photos he was shocked, he thought the wound was a gash, not a...sharkbite! Here are the pics we got from the surgeon...
Dr. Vincent informed us that the surgery had been successful, and he was able to repair the muscle and a bunch of the little nerves, and the mirror had missed the tendon and all the other scary stuff. He was placed in a cast for a week, and then they cut that off to make sure everything was healing right, and then they put on a harder cast for another month.
Since siblings aren't allowed to stay overnight, Dallin couldn't stay, and since he was three weeks old and solely breastfed, I had to leave too (which REALLY gripes me, still to this day!!!!), but John was able to stay with Bryson and be there when he awoke from the anesthesia. Bryson looked very pale before I left. A very very kind and extremely generous member of the church gave us money for a hotel room. I left at 11:30pm to find a hotel, there was one right next door, and I tiredly lugged all our stuff in, along with the baby, only to find that the room was more expensive than I could have afforded, and had it not been for this very caring and thoughtful family, I would have been in tears looking for a hotel at close to midnight on probably the most difficult day of my life, God sure has a way of pouring out his blessings, even in the midst of heartache. I got to the hotel room and sobbed to my sister, Shelisa, about how sad I was that Bryson had to go through this. After I got off the phone I was still very unsettled, and I did the only thing I could, I prayed. Then it hit me, I realized, that sure, it was horrible what had happened, but I honestly think there was a guardian angel in that little bathroom who protected my sweet Brycie. If the mirror had fallen anywhere else...and I mean ANYWHERE else...it easily could have been fatal or permanently disabling, and I just can't imagine walking in on THAT or coping with the loss of my darling boy.
He has made an next-to-full recovery. He walks and runs fine, no limp or anything. The area that was detached doesn't sweat, so that area gets more dry, and occasionally there is some tenderness, like when I rub lotion. On cold mornings I see him limping, but after about an hour he's back to normal.
I think probably what I'm going through is a mild case of PTSD. I fully realize how fortunate I am that he is doing so well (and Bryson to this day says "thank you for our miracle" every time he prays!) And usually I am fine and don't think about it a lot, but I occassionally get triggered by seeing something, usually some kind of leg injury on TV or even in real life, and I get these weird spells where I can't sleep for a week or two afterward, and I wake up crying and not able to think of anything else. It sounds so dramatic, I know, but what can I say? It is what it is. So, I am purging my memories tonight. I am glad to finally have it out. Any other comments on dealing with trauma of a loved one, please feel free to post. I feel so silly that after a year and a half (yes, it's been THAT long) and I still can't quite let it go. I'm sure the emotion will eventually drain from the memory, so maybe time is what I need, and I think letting some of this out, rather than keeping it bottled up is helping already.