You may have seen in my last post that my son broke his femur during our visit to the Jurassic Coast. So… how did he do it? Was it when he was running through the woods or climbing a tree or clambering over rocks at the beach to explore the little caves? No. He was holding my hand. We slipped on some wet grass and fell.
That split-second on the hill. Time. Stood. Still.
My little boy spent a week on traction at the nearest hospital. I’m amazed at how well he coped with the tremendous pain and soon adapted to being attached to the hospital bed! Here he is enjoying bubbles and trains with his Granny. So very grateful that she was able to stay in the parent room as I couldn’t have got through it without her support.
My niece also ended up staying overnight in that hospital -just as they were starting their journey back, she stumbled on the pavement and fell straight onto the corner of a brick wall. She needed nine stitches to her head!! I think next time we’ll have the family holiday at home…
After some x-rays, my brave boy had to have a hip spica cast put on under general anaesthetic. He spent three traumatic days in that cast which was left unfinished, resulting in sores. The staff had little experience of this type of cast and did not know how to move him and could not give me advice on how to care for him regarding toileting etc.
I have left out the greasy-hair-and-wearing-the-same-clothes-for-the-fifth-day-running -with-a-disposable-sick-bowl-on-my-head-for-a-hat photo that we took in a moment of sleep deprived hysteria! And also the distressing images of his cast and sores and the ones I have of my boy when I close my eyes. His little screwed up face, all red from hours of screaming. Unable to do anything to help him. Heart breaking.
Thankfully we were transferred to our local hospital where an experienced team put another hip spica on him, again under general. This time we were given the care and support we needed.
We were home for four days and just beginning to get some sort of routine when his temperature spiked. Other symptoms developed so we took him in to hospital. I had been told to be aware of temperatures as it could be a sign of infection under the cast. He was admitted to the High Dependency Unit and stayed in for another five days for viral meningitis treatment! (While we’re on that -please take a look at this list of symptoms). He was then allowed home but we had to go back each day for five more lots of (painful!) IM injections.
Through all of this his curiosity and enthusiasm has remained. He has been especially inquisitive about meningitis and his treatment. How did I get meningitis? How did the germs get in my body? But where have they gone now? What do they actually look like? Why did I have to have that special medicine in my arm? How many medicine rooms does the hospital have? He has been fascinated and wanting to look at many, many pictures of magnified germs. He has also wanted to see pictures of syringes and needles and of people having injections. Apparently when he is a doctor he is going to make people better too ❤
He doesn’t have a doctor’s kit so I quickly made up one with bits from around the house. He’s loved it and has played with it over and over again. It has been so sweet listening to him talk to his teddies.
And I have been learning too. I have learned how incredibly strong my brave little boy is. I am so very proud of the way he has handled everything. So mature about it and taking an active role in what has been happening to him. Words just can’t express what I feel for him.
I have learned (or rather have been reminded) how wonderful my family and friends are. All the support, lovely messages and thoughtful gifts to help him through those frustrating weeks. Children even giving him their own toys. And the friends of the hospital who, when he was first admitted, gave him a knitted bunny, teddy and the beautiful quilt which has become his ‘security blanket’ when out and about.
I have learned that you can nearly always find a way of doing something. It might take a lot of effort or require a different perspective but you can do it!
I’ve learned that once you have dealt with nearly three weeks of constant antibiotic-induced diahorrea in a hip spica cast, you can pretty much deal with anything!!