Sunday, August 15, 2010

The Worst Day of My Life

I think by now most of you know what happened on 12th August. If you don't I will catch you up.

The day started like any other. It was a nice day other than the fact that the wind was blowing something fierce! Mia was her usual happy self and we were getting ready to go over to the new house to do some work. We left and arrived at the new house about 2pm. The concrete contractors were there doing the driveway and were within an hour or so of being finished. We were inside the house (David, David's parents, Mia and I) and we all went to to the garage door and David and I walked into the garage to talk to the concreters through the roller door. We left Mia with her grandparents in the doorway. A minute or so later I heard the garage door slam shut and immediately heard Mia screaming. I turned around and found David's mum opening the door and picking Mia up and all I saw was blood. I ran over to her and grabbed her out of her Grandmother's arms and that is when I saw her middle finger. It was 3/4 of the way severed between the 1st joint and the tip. She was screaming at the top of her lungs and all I can remember was turning to David and screaming at him that she has cut her finger off and to call the ambulance. I immediately got a handkerchief from David's dad and wrapped it around her finger. She kept screaming and writhing in pain and next thing I knew the head concreter ran over with a first aid kit that he got from his truck. He then proceeded to unwrap the handkerchief and replace it with gauze and he taped 2 of her fingers together. He was such a hero. His hands were shaking as he was doing it and he was pretty pale but he was so strong and I can't thank him enough. Mia kept cuddling into me and then writhing back in pain. By that point I was getting frustrated that the ambulance hadn't arrived.

EVENTUALLY, like 20 minutes later, the ambulance arrived. The first thing they said to me was "we can't do anything for her" - not what a distraught mother needs to hear!! They then told me that they could take me to the hospital or we could put her in our car. I said, no we will go in the ambulance. I asked them to give her some pain relief (they couldn't even look at her finger because she was screaming so much) so they gave her a shot of morphine. Within 5 minutes she was cuddled into my chest calm from the morphine. It took about 30-40 minutes to get to the hospital. They took us to the best children's hospital in the city because we thought she would need surgery and they would transfer her there anyway if we took her to any other hospital. The emergency department was great. They attended to her straight away and we got her xrays within about 20-30minutes and then it was found that not only had she severed her finger badly but she had also broken 2 bones in the tip of her finger. Next thing we knew the orthopedic surgeon had arrived and advised us that she would go in for emergency surgery a few hours later. We had to wait a few hours because Mia had had lunch a few hours before and she has to have an empty stomach for surgery. By that point Mia's finger had been properly wrapped and she was quite calm and happy and charming the socks off of everyone. Around 6:30pm they sent me upstairs to get Mia off to surgery. I met the surgeon, one of the nurses who was going to be in the operating theatre and I met the anesthetist. They were all really nice and Mia seemed to be really comfortable around them. Mia went in for surgery and I was left in the parent's waiting room until it was over.

David at that point was on his way home to pick up clothes etc that Mia and I would need as she was going to have to stay overnight. Thank goodness for Facebook on my mobile as I spent most of the wait while Mia was in surgery chatting with my mum back and forth. It is the only thing that kept me sane!! About an hour later the surgeon came back into the parent's lounge and told me the surgery was a success and that she should have no permanent damage. I then had to wait about 15 more minutes before I could go and see Mia in recovery. When I saw her she was cuddled up to one of the nurses with no shirt on because it turns out that she had a big vomit after she got out of surgery. Poor little thing! I got up in the bed with her and she cuddled into my chest and fell asleep.

That night was rough on both of us. I stayed in bed with her for a while but then got out to lay on my own bed next to hers. The problem was her iv alarm kept going off because when she moved in bed it wasn't registering properly so the nurses kept having to come in and that kept waking her up. Then just before midnight her iv fell out completely so 12:30am saw the arrival of a doctor to try and put another one in. They had had major problems earlier trying to get an iv in because her veins are so small. She was jabbed about 7 times before they found one and at 12:30am it took them another 3 attempts for them to get one to work. But my little girl is such a trooper - she fell asleep while they were jabbing her with needles!!!! I was right by her side stroking her hair and kissing her cheek and whispering in her ear how much I loved her and she fell fast asleep. Back to bed after that and she had a restless sleep while I had NO sleep at all. My heart and mind kept racing. We got to bring her home the next morning. We have to go back to the fracture clinic on the 19th for a follow-up appointment where they will remove the big bandage and hopefully just put one on her injured finger only. She was such a trooper at the hospital. All of the nurses and doctors fell absolutely in love with her. One of the doctors even said that she was the best toddler patient he had ever had because she was so well behaved! That's my girl!

No one can prepare you for something like this. When you become a parent all you want is for your child to be safe, secure and loved. It is the hardest thing in the world to see your child in pain and know that you can't do anything to take that pain away. I didn't cry. It was like I couldn't cry. It was like I had gone into some sort of headspace where I said to myself "Crystal, you need to be the strong one here. Mia needs you." I didn't cry till I was on the phone to my mum when I was waiting for Mia to get out of surgery. It is really hard not to place blame. It is really hard not to say to David's parents why weren't you watching her?? You were supposed to be watching her!! Not only is it human nature to want to blame someone but then the guilt sets in. It is horrible. It is crippling. I spent the entire night in the hospital replaying the scenario. Replaying the sounds. The sound of the door slamming; the sound of Mia screaming. Over and over and over in my mind those sounds just replayed. I was sick to my stomach but I couldn't vomit. I was mentally drained but I couldn't turn my mind off and try and rest. It was the worst day of my life. Even now, 3 days later I still feel guilt. I still feel anger. I still feel resentment. I still feel sadness. I still feel like a terrible mother. The feelings are not as strong now so I know that they too will pass. It is just so hard. I know that Mia will recover and she won't have any memory of it, but I will. I will carry it with me forever; the day that I couldn't protect my daughter. I know there will probably be more times when I wish I could have protected her more. But for now this is enough. This feels like enough to last a lifetime. Even now as tears fall from my eyes I know in my heart that I am a good mother. I know that accidents happen. I just need my mind to listen to my heart.

Thank you to everyone for their support through all of this. Especially all my WTE mommas. It has meant the world to me to have your support and all of the messages you have left have helped tremendously. I couldn't have made it through all of this without my family and friends. I love each and every one of you. xoxo


Katie said...

What a horrible experience! Sounds like you did an amazing job holding it together for Mia, which was exactly what she needed from you.
Did the wind catch the door and slam it shut? I know that happens here when it's really windy and I have windows open - and it happens so suddenly, it'd be hard to stop it.

Crystal Hooper said...

Hi Katie - yes it was the wind. It was SO windy!!!! That door didn't have a catch on the back either to keep it open like all the doors inside do. We are definitely putting one on now!!