Sunday, March 1, 2015

The Scariest Moment of My Life

I know that title might sound a little bit extreme, but this honestly was the scariest moment of my life (besides when my dad told me he had prostate cancer and I thought I heard him say he had pancreatic cancer... luckily that is all well behind us now).

In mid-January, I was sitting on Miles and Vivienne's floor reading a book to Vivienne.  I was sitting right beside the bunk bed ladder.  Evelyn was playing on the beds, which is not uncommon.  As she was coming back down the ladder, she fell right on her head right beside my foot.  She fell from about 4 feet off the ground, and she appeared to land directly on her head. 

She immediately started screaming that blood-curdling "I'm very VERY hurt" scream that you only hear about once a year.  I scooped her up, and she was thrashing around in my lap like an injured animal.  She asked for her blanket and her bear, but then she just started saying "ow ow ow" over and over again.  We tried to move her downstairs, but her wailing became so intense that we stopped in our bedroom and laid her on the bed. 

This was when I got really scared.  At this point, she stopped moving completely.  She had her head turned to the right and she wouldn't even move her head.  I could feel her moving her feet when I pressed them, but she was basically lying completely still and crying and moaning "ow ow ow" over and over.

Jason and I discussed whether this was a 911 type of moment, and I finally decided to go in the other room and call 911.  My biggest fear was that she had some kind of neck injury and that we had disturbed it or made it worse by picking her up and moving her.  The 911 operator asked me if I would like to have an ambulance (which I thought was odd, because I was calling her for her advice on whether we should get an ambulance?).  She said that the EMTs would be there in a few minutes, to be sure the front door is unlocked and to wait for them.  I texted my mom and one of my best friends, Pam,  to let them know that Evelyn was hurt.

I stood on the front porch until the ambulance arrived.  It only took a few minutes (which of course felt like years).  The EMTs came upstairs and fairly immediately recognized that she had a broken clavicle.  Upon hearing this, I fell into a puddle of tears, first with the "oh no" type of feeling and then with the "oh yay" (it's not a broken neck!) type of relieved tears. 

Somewhere in all of this, Pam and her husband came into our room.  They happened to be right down the street at a coffee shop on a date.  She was at our house no more than 5 minutes after I texted her.  I have told her that I will never, never forget that she came that night.  In retrospect, I think God knew that we would need them, and he made sure that they picked someplace really close for their coffee date.

The EMTs gave Evelyn a shot of morphine in her left shoulder.  She did not enjoy that, and kept on screaming.  He said that it should put her to sleep and that they could move her once she went to sleep.  She never fell asleep.  She never stopped screaming.  Jason had to carry her down the stairs to the gurney. 

My dad walked in the front door as Jason was carrying her down.  He was driving a new set of bunk beds to our house when this all happened (the irony is not lost on me).  He didn't see the texts that I had sent him about what happened, so he was totally shocked to see Evelyn in that state.

The EMTs pushed Evelyn to the ambulance on the gurney.  At that point, my mom arrived and Evelyn got to see Grandma for a moment.  When I got into the ambulance with her, she just kept saying "I want Grandma!"  So I ran back inside to retrieve Grandma and off to the hospital we went.  As soon as the ambulance started moving, she finally stopped crying (thank you, morphine!). 

After arriving at the hospital, Jason was able to find us.  Evelyn had this dazed look from the morphine and just being overwhelmed by the entire experience.

Daddy held up his phone so that she could watch Umizoomi.

Here are what her x-rays looked like.  It was a clean cut through the bone with the ends overlapping slightly.

The doctors at the hospital gave us a sling and asked us to try to immobilize her as much as possible (easier said than done!).  We got a prescription for Tylenol 3 (with a little codeine), which came in very hand the next day.  Here we are heading home in the van:

Evelyn was in pretty bad shape for a couple of days.  The first day, she wouldn't even really walk at all.  She was clearly in a lot of pain.  Every time we picked her up or moved her, she would cry out. We quickly learned to pick her up by her bottom instead of by her armpits.

She spent a lot of time on the couch watching TV with her "entourage" (as Jason calls it - her set of about 20 babies and stuffed animals that she insists come down with her every morning). 

It didn't take her long to fall asleep on the couch like this.

I got lots of extra snuggle time, but our girl couldn't keep her eyes open.  She wore these pajamas for about 3 or 4 days, I think.

We were so humbled by the sense of community when this all happened.  From meals to cookies to visitors with "get well soon" signs... we just received so much love.  The first smile we saw since her accident was over a blue frosted cookie from our neighbors.  

After a couple days, we visited the orthopaedic clinic.  They did x-rays and said to come back in 6 weeks.  It was a rough first few days, but she was back to her normal self in no time.

We go back for our final x-rays in just a few days.

1 comment:

  1. Wow, that's awful. So glad that everyone is ultimately ok, and that you had such great support in the moment and after. Get well soon, baby girl!