Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Naomi's Accident

On Wednesday, August 26th, we went bowling for Brittany's birthday (Brittany is Matt's sister, who was in Tucson at the time). Debbie (Matt's mom), Allyson (Matt's other sister), Brittany, Naomi, Gabriel and I were there.

It was Naomi's first time bowling, and she had an absolute blast at the beginning. I don't particularly like bowling, but it was fun just watching how much Naomi was loving it.

Naomi would carry the ball to the edge of the lane and roll it v-e-r-r-r-r-y s-l-o-o-o-o-w-l-y. We would play around for awhile, turn around, and still see her ball rolling! (Exception: one time her ball stopped and rolled backward...that photo is included below!) Most times she would roll it and then hug whoever was standing next to her very tightly while she jumped and jiggled and giggled. So fun!

Unfortunately, Naomi didn't quite master the step up to the platform where you bowl. Two frames into her second game, she tripped on the step while carrying her 6-lb. bowling ball. She fell and started screaming. I grabbed her and ran to the seats, already seeing a lot of blood on her thumb. After sopping up some blood with baby wipes, I could see a serious gash in her thumb and knew she would need stitches. Actually, Naomi's thumb looked weird enough that I couldn't even tell what had happened, but something looked terribly wrong. The nail looked very odd and I didn't understand how the front AND the back of her thumb were gashed. (Apparently it was from the pressure of the bowling ball, which hit on one side and made the other side explode open, too.) A teacher from a school group at the next lane over brought a first aid kit. When she saw Naomi's wound, though, she said, "Uh...I don't have anything for that!". The teacher put a couple of huge band-aids loosely on Naomi's thumb and I carried Naomi out to the car. Debbie and the others paid and followed us out.

Fast forward to the ER: Naomi was still bleeding, still crying, and in pain. Luckily it wasn't busy and they got us back super fast. The staff gave me a coloring book (Naomi couldn't color, but I could, which distracted her) about having an injury and going to the emergency center. Talking through what we were doing helped out a lot.

I did great all through the registration, the waiting room, and part of triage. The second Matt walked into the triage room, though, I completely lost it. I knew that would scare Naomi, though, so I calmed down as quickly as possible. They moved us over to a regular bed in the ER and we waited for the doctor.

The doctor posed a new problem. He wanted to touch the thumb. Obviously he needed to, but that was not what Naomi wanted! I requested some Tylenol for her, and they brought an x-ray machine to her room. She was panicking too much to get the x-rays, though, so I carried her down to the x-ray room and held her while an x-ray tech forcibly positioned her hand correctly for the x-ray. Although screaming lots beforehand, Naomi was surprised that it didn't hurt and was pleased with herself for getting some pictures of her bones. We headed back to the ER room to see what was next. Later we were told the x-rays showed the end of the tip bone in her thumb had been shattered, and the rest of it was fractured.

What was next was...getting poked by needles to numb the thumb. They swaddled Naomi like a burrito to eliminate too much thrashing and poked while she screamed and howled. Then they waited for it to take effect. The doctor started pulling off her thumbnail (he said it wasn't salvageable since the root had popped out and the whole thing was almost off anyway), and obviously Naomi wasn't numb yet. So he stopped and injected another numbing agent while Naomi screamed, "NO POKE! NO POKE! NO POKE!". It almost makes me cry to remember it.

The second numbing attempt did not work, either, so they did a conscious sedation. I was relieved about that, but that meant putting in an IV. Another poke. At least it was in a different location. She was sitting up, and once they got the medicine in her, we gently laid her down. (That was right after I had suggested she lay down and she said, "I'M NOT TIRED! I'M NOT TIRED!". Then she rolled back slow-motion onto the bed and was out.) Her eyes were open and she made a few sounds and jerky movements, but we were told she wasn't conscious of anything happening and wouldn't remember anything. What a blessing! (As a point of interest, Matt later confirmed that he could tell the medicine was in effect because of her tongue position and how similar it is to what happens with the mice he uses in the lab.)

The doctor removed the thumbnail, clipped some of all the layers of skin, and put in both dissolvable and regular stitches. Since the rounded part of the bone had been shattered, he tried to reshape the thumb to have the normal curvature but made no guarantees. We were also told the thumbnail could possibly not grow back or could come back bumpy or odd in some other way. The shattered pieces of the bone were not taken out since apparently over time they could possibly fuse back together. The nurse put a splint on the thumb and wrapped up the hand in gauze. Then we waited for the medicine to wear off and Naomi to start talking to us. She was so exhausted from all that had happened, though, that she just fell asleep and we waited awhile for her to get some rest before waking her up. She was pretty groggy but slowly became interested in what was on her hand. She wasn't in pain, though, which was such a relief!

Disclaimer: this was an incredibly emotional day for me, and it brought back intense emotions typing it out. I don't have the energy to proof-read and make sure it is coherent. Plus Val wrote this, not Matt, so the terms used are not scientifically correct. :)


Unknown said...

Good gracious! I can only imagine what a rough day it was for you! Makes you never ever ever want to let them do anything ever again, eh?!

terrah said...

Oh, that's sounds terrible! I hope the recovery goes as fast as possible.

April said...

Oh, Valerie! I can't imagine how difficult that was; and for you as much as for Naomi!

Anonymous said...

ouch! poor little girl!