Just over two weeks ago, Neil was injured...again. Out of the three boys, he is the only one who has ever broken anything. He made the comment the other day that he has been to the hospital more times than the other two combined. I'm not sure that's something I'd be proud of, but he IS a boy!
The one day I haven't gone to wrestling practice ALL season, I get a phone call about the time I am expecting Kevin, Neil and Daniel to be on their way home. The name that came up on my phone was actually that of our former club president (JD). When I answered, he said that Kevin needed to talk to me. I didn't think anything of it since we don't get signal in the wrestling room on our phones and I figured he needed to ask me something about the upcoming tournament. When he got on the phone, he simply said in a very calm voice..."Neil dislocated his elbow, we go to the fort, right?" I replied with a yes and then he hung up. It took me a couple of minutes to register what he told me. I was sitting on my bed at the time and when it finally cycled through my brain, I started to panic. Did he just say that Neil had dislocated his elbow? I tried texting JD back asking him how they were getting to the hospial...if they were driving or was an ambulance called. I had no clue what was going on and I felt extremely anxious and helpless.
At nearly every tournament we have attended this wrestling season, there has been an elbow dislocated and it's always quite dramatic. The key is typically keeping the kid from going into shock so they can be treated as quickly as possibly. I was trying not to freak out too much and just waited. I figured that I would get a call at some point. A few minutes later, Kevin called again to let me know he was with Neil, in an ambulance, headed to the hospital. He asked me if I could contact someone to come give him a blessing from church and told me who had Daniel. I told him I would meet him at the hospital.
I had Michael drop me off at the emergency room and then sent him to pick up his brother who was with a friend. I tried to put all my emotions in check to be the best support system I could be for Neil and Kevin and tried not to over think the situation. When I'm by myself dealing with the kids, I do really well keeping it all together. When Kevin is around, I suddenly give myself permission to fall apart.
I arrived at the hospital around the same time that the ambulance did and was told to wait a few minutes until he was settled. I was surprised at how calm I was because I really wanted to rush to the back and see my child. Finally I was able to go back and see him. He was in a lot of pain but was being really brave. Our friends from church arrived and a few minutes later they went and gave Neil a blessing with Kevin. They only allowed two people to be in the back with him so I went out to the waiting room for a bit and when I got there, the room was filling up with people from our wrestling team. Nearly all the coaches showed up plus JD who had come with his son and Neil's best friend who's brother is on the wrestling team as well. Plus the guys from church were still there so you can imagine a pretty full waiting room. I don't think the other people there appreciated our gathering much because shortly after, they came and moved us to a private room.
I stayed in the waiting room while different people cycled through the back to see Neil. Kevin stayed with him pretty much the entire time. I knew that I needed to stay back for a while and make sure my emotions were in check. I can really set Neil out of sorts if I'm not careful with my own feelings so I'm always really aware of that. He needed to be calm and confident in what was going on around him and how he was being taken care of. Again, if Kevin had not been there, I would have been fine but I am so grateful that he was there. I also knew that I wouldn't leave the hospital until he was discharged and knew everyone who stopped to check on him would eventually leave. It felt good to have so much support and so many people care about is welfare. I can say we are truly blessed in that sense. We received numerous calls and texts from people checking in on him. It was good to know that we were being lifted up in prayer.
I felt while I was waiting to go back and hang out with him that I should call the kid who was wrestling Neil when he got hurt. I knew that it was an accident and if I had to be completely honest based on what Neil and everyone else said, Neil did it to himself. But I know that poor wrestler was upset with himself because his friend was hurt and he happened to be the one that threw him. Neil forgot he was wrestling greco/freestyle in that split second and posted his arm which resulted in the dislocation. It was simply an accident. There were no hard feelings and no blame placed. I wanted to ensure to that boy that we were all okay. Neil was upset and wanted to call him right then and there and tell him he was okay. But Neil was high on morphine and emotional and that boy was upset and crying and that just would not have been a good mix. I called to reassure him no one was angry and I didn't want him beating himself up over it.
Neil was feeling pretty good on the morphine as they had put him under slightly with amnesiacs to reset his elbow after x-raying it to make sure it wasn't broken. When I finally got back there after everyone left, he was very relaxed. He was also pretty funny. He kept telling the medical staff they were cool and thanking them profusely. When they put the sling on his arm, he was asking them what color his sling was and when they said blue, he needed to know what kind of blue and when they responded with navy blue, he leaned his head back and said.."cooooool".
I really appreciated this medical team that night, they were all so nice and their bedside manner was impeccable. Military hospitals tend to get a bad rap and I just want it to be know that we had excellent care when it came to our son.
Neil was scheduled to see orthopedics upon his discharge and told to rest. He wouldn't be seen until Monday (this all happened on Thursday evening). He stayed home and rested pretty much the entire weekend.
Neil has had three appointments since his initial injury and numerous x-rays. Thankfully nothing shows or indicates a fracture which was a huge concern given the way he landed and the way is arm twisted. He stayed swollen for almost two weeks and was left in a splint to help ease that. This past Wednesday, he was put in an adjustable brace that is locked so he can only move his arm so far. They want to make sure that his elbow remains stable through the healing process. They say his recover can take 3-6 months. He starts occupational therapy next week and remains under the orthopedic doctors care.
While this has been a rough journey, we still feel incredibly blessed. He received wonderful initial first aid care from Kevin and his coaches which helped keep him from going into shock which the doctor told me was a great thing because that delays treatment. The EMT staff was wonderful as were his doctors at the hospital. They treated him with respect and dignity and not just some kid. The doctor who is currently taking care of him has been amazing! I feel truly blessed that he is a member of our church and while we don't know each other extremely well, he knew Neil and has taken such good care of him. I know it's not just because we go to church together but it's nice to know there is a slight personal connection involved as Neil continues on with his treatment.
Kevin was able to extend his leave a week which was a true blessing because Neil couldn't really take a bath without assistance since he hurt his right arm and Kevin was able to help him. I mean what 15 year old wants his mom to help him in the bathtub?
It's been an emotional roller-coaster. Neil was upset that his wrestling season was over, he really wanted a chance to make it onto a National Team and he was on his way. Thankfully, he should recover well and be just as strong for next year's season. We just all have to be patient.