Friday, May 11, 7:00 p.m., I was folding clothes and packing for our vacation that we were leaving for the next morning. Mark was out for a bike ride with the kids. He had Will in a seat on the back of his bike and Trini was riding her bike, with training wheels, in front of him.
The front door opened and Mark's voice said, "Mom, she's hurt."
I looked at Trini who was calm and very quiet and started to say I would get the band aids, but Mark interrupted with, "I think her arm is broken." You could have knocked me over with a feather.
I have gone over and over that very moment in my mind since it happened. It was surreal. I couldn't believe it was even possible that I had heard him correctly. Broken? My baby? What? He later said maybe it was just dislocated or something but we were too far gone at that point.
I got the first aid kit and looked for something to splint her arm with. There was no blood thank heavens; not even a scrape or a scratch. Mark walked back down the street to get the bikes and our mail which had been strewn out during her fall.
We very quickly and with little discomfort to her, (tons to me) got her arm splinted. We headed out the door for the ER at St. Mary's Hospital. I was dreading the experience but I have to say it went very well.
The triage nurse evaluated her almost immediately and ordered her x-rays. We waited maybe 10 minutes for the person to take us back for that. This young lady had no business working with my child. It is my opinion that she had never x-rayed a broken limb on a conscious person before. She told us to bend Trini's arm and I have to believe that she could tell from the look on my face that her intelligence was seriously in question at that point. I simply stated, "That just isn't going to happen."
Then we were back to the waiting room for maybe 10-15 minutes when they came to get us and put her in an ER room. There we sat for quite awhile. The nurse took her vitals and tried to get her comfortable. Mark and I decided at that point he would take Will on home. Just before he left a young, female doctor came in. She was really sweet and verified the left arm was broken just above the elbow. She said they had sent the x-rays to the orthopaedic surgeon on call and he would let them know how he wanted to proceed.
The supervising doctor came in to evaluate her and told us he really thought we were looking at surgery that night. Then he said the surgeon was on his way in.
The surgeon walked in the room and started barking at people, including me. I finally asked, "And you are who?" He hadn't bothered to introduce himself. He did have them get her on the gurney/bed that was in the room which I was glad for. She'd been in a wheel chair most of the time. He was the first to evaluate that she had no feeling in her hand nor did she have a pulse in the wrist on that arm.
He told me what all was about to happen. The surgery could be 2-5 hours. He told me what repairs might be necessary. Then he told them to go ahead and get a better splint on her.
I immediately turned to him and requested, "If y'all are going to fool with her arm at all, could you please sedate her because she's been hurt enough already?"
He said, "I'm not going to fool with her arm."
This puzzled me since I knew they were putting a splint on it. They started and off course, my sweet angel began crying and I comforted her as best I could. I was livid. Once he was done I said, "Just to be clear, her crying right now is why I asked you to sedate her."
He fumbled for a moment for a reply and spouted off something about not wanting any more sedation than necessary with her going into surgery. Jerk. I'm being very nice with that.
Soon they were wheeling her upstairs to the surgery prep area. There she was, lying on a bed almost too short for her. Her long curls up in pig tails that we'd fought over getting up in ties that very morning. Her favorite pink crocs worn from daily wear clutched in my hand. Was this really happening?
Every time I would start to worry about her I would almost feel guilty. My cousin Jenny is looking at her son having heart surgery this summer. I thought about her all weekend long. This little problem was so minor compared to that. But this was my baby, my first baby. I was scared for her nervousness and for the recovery I knew that was ahead of her.
I told the anesthesiologist that this was one of the smartest kids he'd ever work with. He smiled. He was so nice. I told him to tell her what was going on. I told him that her knowing what was about to happen would relax her while not knowing what was happening would freak her out. He acknowledged, at least enough to pacify a mother who was not ready to let go.
I could tell from the look of the nurse that she didn't want to tell me it was time. So I leaned over and kissed my baby. I told her, "God has it all under control."
My crowning glory moment as a mother came in that instant. My baby said, "Of course He does Mommy."
Out the doors we went her to the right, me to the left. I kept my eyes on her until the cold doors of the OR shut behind her. She was gone from my sight and she really was in the Lord's hands. Every ounce of fear, worry, and empathy for her hit me at that moment. I burst into tears and feared my legs wouldn't hold me. I leaned to the wall for support and let the tears flow, alone.
I tried to move forward and calm myself a bit and then the nurse went and done it. She asked, "You have family coming to wait with you?" She only thought I had cried before.
In the next ten seconds she found out we had just relocated from Texas, had no family nearby and had a 2 year old at home my husband was with. She had no idea what can of worms she had opened up. Nor what flood of tears would follow.
I called Mark at 10:54. We quickly decided he would call the girl we had "selected" to eventually be our babysitter. Her name is Abbey, she's 23 and one of our elder's daughters. He called her and she was there within 20 minutes. Mark was thankfully able to come sit with me while we waited for the surgery to conclude. Praise be to God. It made all the difference.
She came out of surgery around 2:30 a.m. They had given us 2 update calls during that time. The surgeon came out and told us she'd done well. He'd made two incisions and inserted two pins. He'd restored her pulse and nerve function as well but wanted to keep checking that throughout the weekend so she'd be in the hospital until Sunday.
He is an older gentleman who has clearly seen many, many patients. He said it wasn't the worst break he'd ever seen in that location but it was definitely number three or four. When Brassette kids do it they do it right. With that train of thought we expect great things from her little brother. We thought about asking the surgeon if he gave discounts for multiple kids or if he could reserve time for Will in advance.
The nurse soon came to take us to the recovery room and there she was. My precious little angel. A little person that would still be one of my most favorite people in the whole world even if she wasn't my flesh and blood. A person with such a capacity to love and with such a good heart that even I in all my humanness haven't been able to mess it up yet.
We were in a room by 3:30 am and Mark headed home a little after 4. She woke up around 5 wanting to go potty and went almost every hour after that. Everything went smoothly in the hospital. They took good care of her and she was paroled on Sunday as scheduled.
Another great moment for me, as a mom, was in the wee hours of Sunday morning she was having a hard time falling asleep. She was uncomfortable in the hospital bed and both of her arms were aching, one from the break and one from the IV. After an hour of tossing and turning and being cold then hot, I found myself uttering a whispered prayer of, "Father, just let her close her eyes."
I felt God speak to me so clearly then. He reminded me that I could play the song "Open the Eyes of My Heart Lord" on my cell phone. I whipped it out and set it going and she calmed right down. It finished once and I asked her if I could play it one more time. She said sure. Before it was done the second time through, she was snoring. My Heavenly Father is faithful. (It worked again later that morning as well!)
The story of her fall began to unfold throughout the weekend. Trini was going down a slight hill and had picked up speed. She tottered and the bounced back and forth from training wheel to training wheel until she toppled over. Mark saw it all happening. When she tried to get up she cried out. Thanks be to God that she had her helmet on.
Mark had to get Will out of the seat before he could help Trini otherwise his bike would have fallen over. They had gotten the mail and it spilled all over the road. What a mess. Even with the break, nothing was skinned or bleeding. She never really complained much about the pain or anything until after we'd been in the ER room for quite sometime. It had been about 2 1/2 hours since the fall at that point and she had been moved and x-rayed and driven around. She's a real trooper.
We left the hospital around 9:30 or 10 on Sunday morning. Mother's Day ... while the situation stank to high heaven, I have to say that it was an honor and a privilege to be taking such delicate care of my child in a way only a mother can on this day they call Mother's Day. We were weary. We were exhausted. We were glad to be home.
She's come a long way this week. She isn't taking as much pain medicine although we're giving it to her when she asks. We got her sling "blinged" up so it isn't quite so blah now. She's making a list of what all she can do with one arm and is practicing a new craft of plastic beading on forms to make ornamental decorations. It's pretty cool. She loves phone calls and has enjoyed visits from our church family here. She's even gotten a few emails from her friends in Texas and has enjoyed that a lot too!
We'll go see Dr. Friendly (HA) next Tuesday to get her hard cast put on. I've promised her I will chill out after that about her moving around. She's still in just a splint right now so I'm not willing to take any chances.
My friend Kristen said something to the effect of, "They don't call it trauma for nothing!" We don't need any more trauma or drama! We're good for now.
I've got lots of pictures posted on our family yahoo group, including her x-rays. If you haven't joined yet, email me and I'll send you and invite to join. I also put normal pictures on there from Easter, our fishing expedition and other stuffs.
Thank you so much for your prayers through this ordeal. Please continue to pray for her healing and recovery. Also that she won't fear the bike she loved to ride so much. She's already expressed having no intention of riding again. If she does ever get back on we may end up being the only people ever with a teenager who rides with training wheels!