Tuesday 25th November 2008
This isn't the post I was planning to publish today. This morning I spent a precious hour between waving the children off to school and me going to work, carefully photographing my latest little craft project for you all. I never got to work.
That was this morning. It's now nearly 10pm. That's 12 hours since I left home, and I know I still have at least another 12 hours before I can go home again. I don't know how many miles we've travelled, but I know we've driven through 3 different counties today. I glance up at the little plain white clock on the grey wall of the hospital waiting room. The handles have hardly moved.
It was exactly 12 hours ago that the telephone rang. I nearly didn't answer it as I was on my way out of the door to work.
"Hello. Mrs Gill? It's school here."
I groan inwardly. Oh whats wrong now, I think. ( Child #1 is a typical teenage boy, not keen on doing homework.)
The teacher continues, "Erm. I've got **** here. He's had PE today and we think he's broken his wrist."
"Oh, okay." I reply. ( I not quite sure what the correct response is on these occasions)
My mind is racing now. I'm so thankful that my husband is working from home. I don't drive. As you know we live in the middle of nowhere, the children's school (the nearest) is 16 miles away in Cumbria and after a first visit to the Westmorland General Hospital in Kendal, we are now in Lancashire, in the Lancaster Royal Infirmary.
To cut a long story short, child #1 is now tucked up in bed, bandaged, plastered, and drugged up. He has a particularly nasty broken wrist. He has broken the growth plate, which is between the arm bone and the hand, pushing it upward out of place, and broken a piece off the knobbly wrist bone. Tomorrow he will go to theatre for surgery, hopefully in the morning.
So now hubby and I are sitting in the little parents room, a very long and uncomfortable night stretching out before us. The nurses can only provide one bed per child for parents to sleep on and we are very thankful for it, even if we do have to take it in turns. (Usually only one parent is allowed to stay, but as we live a long way away, we are both allowed to stay.) We are so thankful for many things. I'm thankful that it wasn't my child being carried hurriedly, pyjama clad and limp in it's fathers arms, like the one one I stepped aside for in the corridor a few minutes earlier. Ours has only a broken wrist. Yes, we'll have to come back in a weeks time to make sure its healing properly, and yes, it might have to be operated on again and pinned if it's not setting right. But still we are thankful. We are thankful for the NHS. Thankful for the doctors and nurses. Thankful for this little parents room with its grey walls and little clock. Thankful for school friends parents who are taking care of child #2. Thankful for friends who will dash back and forth, feeding and letting out sneaky dog and manky cat. Thankful for so much. But... Am I thankful for another 12 hours all to myself, nothing to do, no cleaning, no work, no TV, nothing to do but wait. Hours that are often dreamed of, longed for, precious hours of nothingness.
No. I am not! Not at all.
Wednesday 26th November 2008
It's now 10:30am.
The 12 long hours have passed. Child #1 went down to theatre and hour ago. Hubby and I are both emotional. I can't wait to take #1 home, and I'm desperate to brush my teeth! I'm sat in the chair next to #1's empty hospital bed. In the bed on my left, a teenage boy is watching Jeremy Kyle on the TV. There are 3 babies in the room and another boy of about 8. I hate Jeremy Kyle.
It's 10:50am. Child #1 is back. Drowsy and pale, name tag and drip needle in his right hand. White plaster covers most of his left hand and arm, up past the elbow.(He is left handed.) He is sleeping. One of the babies monitors starts bleeping across the room. Once again I am thankful that my child doesn't need to be hooked up to monitors.
Evening.After an hour and a half drive, we arrived home at 7pm. All tired and hungry, but so glad to be back home. #1 has strict instructions to keep his wrist elevated at all times for the next 2 weeks. Easy peasy with a teenager eh! Because the plaster has to go so far up his arm, it's important that there is no swelling as this will stop the blood supply to his fingers and in as little as 6 hours the fingers will die. So I have rigged up a strange contraption, consisting of an old pillowcase tied to the shelf above his bed, cut in such a way that his arm can be supported and tied in an upright position while he sleeps. ( I hope the shelf doesn't come down!) He needs more xrays in a weeks time, and will have at least 6 weeks in plaster. I'm not even contempating the chance of more surgery, we'll cross that bridge when and IF we have to. ( I'm packing an over-night bag when we go for the xray appointment, just incase!)
I never thought I'd be so glad to see him playing on the 'all consuming' X box.