September 24, 2007
Note to self: NEVER AGAIN complain about having a slow blog week.
I would rather write about laundry for the rest of my life than go through what I went through yesterday. We were scheduled to attend a cookout at my sister-in-law’s home yesterday. After Sunday School the kiddos and I slipped out and went home to get a few things together before leaving . As we were walking out the door J’s cell phone alerted him that he had 4 new voicemails. We loaded up the truck, and he began checking the messages. The final one was a hysterical message from my stepdaughter, saying her 16 year old brother had been burned. After a few failed attempts to get in touch with someone, I tried to reassure us both that maybe it wasn’t as bad as she conveyed in the message, or that maybe, just maybe, it was some sick practical joke, that his ex and the teenagers were prone to playing.
I soon found out otherwise. When we did get in touch with them we discovered that the ambulance was at their home, and they were waiting on a helicopter to airlift him to a hospital in either Nashville or Saint Louis. We decided to head for home, throw some things in a bag, and wait for word on which direction to head. When we pulled in the drive, we got the call to go towards Nashville. My mom and sister followed behind, with my kiddos in tow. The word we were getting was that his face and arms were burned to the extent that the skin was falling off, and he was being put into a comatose state for his comfort. He had been lighting a brush fire, and it had flashed and blew back on him.
Words could never convey the fear that gripped me. I know I’m just a step-mom, but these kids have been in my life for 8 1/2 years. Like everything else, there have been lots of ups, downs, but I love them, alot.
When we got there my fears were somewhat soothed, as I found out that there would be no permanent scaring on his face, and that his lungs sounded clear, and they weren’t a priority with the doctors, meaning there was minimal, if any damage to them.
The damage was isolated to some facial burns, as well as burns on both arms. It was determined that he will need skin grafting on one arm, but the other should heal, as should his face. Additionally, his eyes checked out fine. If everything goes alright, he should come home late this week.
After being checked out and cleaned up, he was put in the burn unit’s ICU. The miniscule waiting room soon was crammed with 2 parents, 2 step-parents, 3 restless siblings, 4 aunts and 1 step-grandparent for just this one patient. That many exes, in-laws, and small children in an enclosed space is a recipe for a prozac perscription!
The staff kept us well informed, and since he was a new admit, allowed us to visit outside of the normal visiting hours. I was hesitant to go back. I have a weak stomach, and I never know what to say in situations like this. I let almost everyone else that was there, including my husband’s 3 sister’s, go visit before I did. Finally I summoned up the strength to go back, but only with J by my side. He looked bad, but not as bad as I had prepared myself for. After another visit a few hours later, we decided to go home, as J had a dr’s appointment this morning regarding his gallbladder problems.
We got home around 12:30, and neither of us slept a wink all night. J’s done with his appointment now, and is on the way to Nashville again. My step-son is off the respirator, and has been woken up, and is talking a little bit. The skin graft surgery is tomorrow. J’s gallbladder surgery is next Monday. He’s spending the night in Nashville tonight, and I’m staying home with the boys. I ask for your prayers for not only my step-son’s healing, but for his parents and step-parents, as we travel to and from Nashville with such a heavy load on our minds, not to mention the stress of having to put our differences aside and get along with so much past hurt between us.
Also, say a word for all the others in a hospital setting, as well as their relatives. Last night we encountered the mother of a 30 year old that had been stabbed in the heart with a steak knife, and was in critical condition, as well as the family of a man that had fallen into tar, and was conscious for the first time in 5 days. On the elevator we spoke briefly with a woman and man that were visiting their daughter and wife respectively who had been in the hospital for 3 months. The stories I heard last night made me cry, and be greatful to God for the many blessings in my life.