A Weekend at the Hospital

It was Saturday morning. I had been rushing to finish up school, prepare for the three birthdays in December and shop for Christmas. We had a new stove being delivered and so Scott asked me to take our just turned 11 year old son to a karate tournament to help support his studio.
I am very happy that my children are learning Sho Shou Kung Fu, it takes care of P.E. and self defense requirements as well as being good therapy for my learning disabled child. However, I don't like fighting. When my brother would pull out the boxing gloves at a family get together and let the preteen boys go at it,  I was often the most vehement protester. I don't want my children to get hurt and I don't want someone else's child hurt at the hands of my child.
Flash back to Saturday morning, in order to help out my husband who was waiting for the stove I took my son, leaving behind loads of household chores for what I hoped was a short day at the tournament.


When we got there and saw all the people I started to realize it would be a longer day than I realized. My son finally got his turn in the ring and was holding his own until his third fight. This child was clearly more advanced and several times took my son to the mat. During the third intense grapple when my son was determined not to go down, something went wrong. Suddenly my son was lying on the mat with his leg twisted crookedly over his other leg, moaning in pain. I ran to the mat and tried to comfort him as the medical personnel on site assessed him. As soon as they mentioned a break and that we would need an ambulance I called 911. At that point my emotions were a mixture of rage that my son had gotten hurt and grief that he was in such intense pain. It was his femur, a bone that, when broken results in pain that is said to be more intense than childbirth.
The paramedics arrived and turned my sons uniform into rags as they cut it off him to prepare for traction. All through these moments I was trying to be calming, hoping he wouldn't pass out from the pain. When they pulled his leg straight he initially cried out but then settled down as the pain eased. 


We then hurried off to the ambulance where we agonizingly bumped over country roads to the nearest hospital. The sweet nursed brought ice water and prayed for us, but the incompetent doctor pulled the traction off, letting my son's leg jolt painfully back into its crooked position. The ambulance drivers once again replaced the traction and we headed back into the ambulance to drive another hour to the nearest children's hospital. 


My son brightened up a bit when his karate coach showed up with a second place medal. I, on the other hand found it small consolation for the pain my son was going through, from the initial break, to the IM Nail surgery where a metal rod was inserted through the bone. Even the subsequent week at home was painful, a task as minor as getting off the couch to use the restroom was an excruciating ordeal.


Although this was not the first medical emergency I had gone through with a child, it was certainly the worst. The whole experience has melded together in my head as a long string of misery.
However there were several moments where the hand of God was clearly seen, moments which gave me strength to keep moving forward.
The surprise of gentle, praying nurses. The coach who skillfully distracted my son during the third traction transition, the sweet friends who brought us dinner and filled our hospital room with prayers, and the sweet friends, family and neighbors who brought blessed distractions during our first days home.
The most surprising blessing was seeing my son respond so graciously to such an incredible trial. This precious boy has given me more than a few days of frustration, fighting me over math lessons or provoking fights with his two younger siblings. Having a few quiet days with him in the hospital and seeing him respond so sweetly to the misery he was going through gave me an enormous boost of love and respect for this child, and although this was a horrific experience for me, my trust in God has not wavered. He is our only hope, every good thing comes from Him,  and I know that all He does is good.

James 5:10-11 KJV
[10] Take, my brethren, the prophets, who have spoken in the name of the Lord, for an example of suffering affliction, and of patience. [11] Behold, we count them happy which endure. Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy.

1 comment:

  1. Hope Emmett is much improved. You handled it all with grace. There is nothing much harder on a mother than to see her children hurting. We are thankful for you and your family!
    Jenn McMaster