Monday, October 11, 2010

Because Who Doesn't Want to Ride in an Ambulance?

I'm trying to remember if I had ever ridden in an ambulance before yesterday afternoon. I'll have to ask my Dad if we rode in one when we were in a car accident when we went to Washington, D.C. when I was in fifth grade. I can't remember.

With the state of health care in this country right now, I've always been grateful that we haven't had to require the use of an ambulance. Because if you think they're taking you on that little ride for free, you are sorely mistaken.

So now we're about to find out exactly what a 30 mile ambulance ride costs. Not that it wasn't worth it and that I don't completely and totally appreciate the firefighters and EMTs that came to our rescue yesterday.

Most of you have read on Facebook that Finn had a mountain bike accident yesterday.

It was gross, people. Really gross.

Eamonn and the boys went out for a ride before dinner. I was working. A frozen pizza was in the oven. I love frozen pizza nights. It's like vacation.

Eamonn called me at about 6pm to say they were on their way home. I took the pizza out of the oven, did a little more work. Minutes later, the phone rang again.

It was Eamonn again, telling me Finn had just had an accident on his bike and that someone was calling 911. He told me where they were and to get there right away. I could hear Finn crying and saying, "I'm dying! I'm dying!" in the background. Not stressful for a mother or anything.

I grabbed my coat, purse and Finn's coat and ran out the door. I drove through the neighborhood at about 60 miles an hour, tires squealing and everything. Sorry, neighbors.

I was to them in probably less than two minutes after getting the call. Hey, it's a small town.

I parked the car at the side of the road and ran down the bike path to them. And here is a bit of advice. If you are going to be running in a crazed frenzy, don't wear slip on shoes. Just an FYI.

A group of people had gathered--some were walking along the path and came across the accident, some had come out of the nearest house, which happens to belong to a guy Eamonn used to work with and he had friends over for dinner that Eamonn also knew. They had brought out blankets and wrapped Finn up.

Eamonn quickly and quietly explained that the brake lever was impaled in Finn's right thigh. I asked if he thought the femoral artery was hit and he shook his head and reminded me that basically, Finn would have been bleeding out there and then. Frankly, there was very little blood at all. The darn brake was just lodged in there. Fortunately, Eamonn had the foresight not to pull them out. I stress a little thinking about what I would have done.

By the way, did you know that when you call 911, everyone comes to the party? Police, fire, ambulance. It was all very dramatic. Cute firefighters running down the bike path towards you. That's a sight to behold.

But I digress.

Brake cables were cut, handle bars taken off the bike, and Finn and I rode in the ambulance to the nearest hospital with the handlebars still firmly attached to his leg.

The friends took the bikes into their house, Declan and Eamonn drove home and gathered some overnight items just in case, including some of Finn's favorite things: like baboo--his lovey that he still sleeps with, Big Boss--his pillow pet, Sharkey--favorite stuffed animal, and Pokemon cards. Because you can't spend the night in the hospital without Pokemon cards, right? What if a nurse wants to trade with you or something? It would be a shame to be unprepared.

Eamonn dropped Declan at Tara's and met us in the ER. Declan gets very, very stressed when someone happens to Finn. I can only assume that it's a result of worrying about the leukemia and we just don't see it flare up very often. So really, it was best for him not to be at the ER.

We had no idea what to expect. Do you have to surgically remove handlebars? It turns out, not in this instance. They slid out pretty easily (a relative term used by someone who did not have handlebars in her thigh). Stitches and a drain were put in and I have to say, even though they numbed the wound, it clearly didn't work to well, although when the doctor took this huge cotton swab and was probing around under the skin, even I almost lost it. I can't imagine how much that must have hurt. In fact, Finn repeatedly said, "Please knock me out!"

In the end, we left after a few hours. Declan decided to spend the night at Tara's. Finn wanted chicken nuggets--I know, I know--so we drove through Wendy's and let him eat deep fried chicken parts to his heart's content.

He was in bed by about 10:30pm; I had drugged him with some Ibuprofen. He slept soundly. We did not. I could not stop envisioning the accident happening (even though I wasn't there) and then what his leg looked like.

I'm telling you, it's gross.

At 6am, we all had a pleasant awakening to our smoke dectectors malfunctioning.

Sweet. What are the odds.

But then again, what are the odds that this accident would happen 366 days after the scalping at the park last year?

Next year, we're not leaving the house on this weekend.

Today we visited the orthopedic surgeon and all is well. The wound, and this is pretty gross, can't be stitched completely shut. So part is sewn shut, part is gaping open. I'm sorry--I shouldn't have used the word gaping. It just has to heal.

I wanted to take a picture, but Finn wouldn't let me. He hasn't seen it yet.

It's probably best that way.

I took a two hour nap today while my children watched inappropriate videos on You Tube. I've decided I don't really care.


Leeann said...

Scary indeed! I would have been careening over there too. Glad he was able to get home, but very sorry he is hurt. Bless his little heart.

Hugs all around.

sportzmom said...

Yikes! Hate those gross wounds! Hope you all recover soon!

Anonymous said...

OMG...I was hiding behind my hand the entire time I was reading! It sounds AWFUL!
Glad it wasn't more serious and that your husband remained calm. I would have FOR SURE panicked and would have wanted to yank the thing out.
I hope I am never in a situation where I have to rely on my gut instinct...I will almost assuredly choose the wrong thing!
Poor little fella...poor mom and dad. A couple more gray hairs, I imagine.

Lucinda said...

Yes, next year at this time, stay inside!

I'm so thankful it wasn't worse, that you were able to get there quickly and ride with him to the ER, and that everyone is recovering.

That 911 response is pretty cool, isn't it? Andy called it when Sam & I were t-boned turning onto our street and EVERYTHING came screaming up 68. It was quite the spectacle. No cute firemen though; on a volunteer department, you get what's available. :)

Hang in there during dressing changes (don't eat beforehand) and pray for quick healing! Love to all.

Amber said...

Yikes! Glad Finn is doing well despite his partially gaping wound....My 6 year old just learned to ride his bike and I am now feeling a little paranoid!

1dreamr said...

Oh god... I just wince every time I think about this. :-(

Lisa said...

Oh Sweet Natalie! I can't imagine how traumatic the accident was for everyone! I am glad that you able to share a laugh with us!