It seems this year my family's wedding anniversaries bring unfortunate events. My brother had his derelict minivan stolen out of his driveway. And yesterday it was our turn for not celebrating our anniversary.
Back in April, for Rob's birthday, I bought him a high speed go-karting experience at a place north-east of here; adjacent to a popular motorsport race track. In the summer, my younger brother, Michael, also bought the voucher (it was through wagjag, sort of like "Groupon"; a discount service where a company offers a deal, as long as a certain number of people pre-purchase it, and you don't get charged unless the minimum number of people buy). They were excited to go together, but trying to arrange two very different schedules...on top of that, some of the info said it had to be done during the week, not on weekends. Sigh. The vouchers expire on October 31, AND, we're away from Oct 22 to Oct 30! Finally, the boys agreed that yesterday, Oct 11, our anniversary, would be acceptable. Their time slot was 1pm, and it was supposed to last 1 1/2 hours. I expected them back around 3:30-4pm. I had Hugh and Meg booked for dentist appointments at 4:45pm, and I told Rob he could either take them, or he could stay home and cook dinner. He chose to stay home.
At 4:25 they still weren't home. I called Michael's cell, and they were about 10 minutes from home (and in "my" truck). I decided to wait for them, rather than take Rob's truck. They showed up, and we left. We parked in a municipal lot, on the south side of the main 4 lane road through town (Dundas Street, or "Highway 2"). It's 1/2 the price of the parking meters right by the dentist, and I usually have to go to the bank or library right by the parking lot. But it means crossing Dundas Street...lights are two blocks in either direction. I grew up in this area, and crossed this street very regularly from a young age. During the day, I will usually cross the street with the kids, rather than go out of the way to the lights. During the "rush hour", I play it by ear, but usually go up to the lights if we "have time". Yesterday, since we were rushing, I opted to jaywalk.
We waited for the eastbound lanes to stop (backed up from the lights, two blocks up). I held Meg's hand in my right hand, and Hugh was beside her. We crossed through the two stopped lanes, and I stopped on the yellow line. I looked down to Meg, to make sure she didn't have her feet sticking out, and saw that Hugh wasn't there. As I turned to my left, I heard the screech. And thud. And screams.
I looked over and saw him on the ground, on his back like a turtle. He was screaming about his foot and his glasses. I got his glasses, and he got up and took a couple steps towards me, but then dropped down to the road. Traffic had stopped, but we were in the middle of the road. A woman stepped forward and asked if she could help--she was a nurse. She directed two men to scoop him up and carry off the road onto the grass in front of the church. People were milling around but I just focused on Hugh, I assumed someone would take it upon themselves to call 911 (I don't have a cell phone).
911 was called, and the nurse came back to see in I needed anything. I said we were supposed to be at the dentist beside the church and could she go tell him we weren't coming. Dr. Greenglass and his hygienist soon appeared, and although I'll never love going to the dentist, LOL, it was really nice to see their familiar faces. I asked if they could call Rob and tell him to come down, along with Hugh's health (insurance) card.
The "first responder" EMT arrived, a nice, friendly, non-young man. He got Hugh's shoe and sock off and we saw the extent of the damage. Wow. We were certain there'd be some broken bones, although he had all his pulses and could move his toes. He also had a cut on his knee, and road rash on his elbow and back. But looking at his clothes (including a WHITE t-shirt, you'd have never know he just collided with a car!). How fortunate that Hugh doesn't like sandals! An unmarked cop showed up, and the ambulance came and got Hugh loaded in just as Rob showed up. The cop said I could go in the ambulance, but he was waiting for a marked police to show up and take the actual report, and then the ambulance left (nearly getting hit by a Ford pickup as it made a U-turn). Rob left with Meg to go home.
The new cop took over. Picture this....distraught mother...barely over 5ft tall. Dark black cop WAY over 6ft tall, who did not take his sunglasses off. He had the warmth and compassion of an ice cube. He never leaned forward or bent down, he was fairly soft spoken and with an accent and we were still beside a busy road which made it hard to hear him. He would probably have been great when arresting someone, but he totally missed on the sympathy aspect. However, he at least wasn't too hard on me, perhaps because I did say this was my fault. He said he wasn't going to press charges (against me or the driver), but it would actually be up to his Sargent about that and if CAS is contacted. I'm not surprised, but I think it was pretty obvious that this was not a case of neglect or intentional harm!
I spoke briefly with the driver before I left. He seemed okay, although I have no idea what he was like immediately after the crash. His windshield was broken he said, but it didn't seem that Hugh hit his head, and his foot had obviously been twisted or driven over. I don't think his lightweight, combined with the slow-ish speeds could have meant that his elbow did the damage.
I got home, and Rob wasn't home! I collected my stuff and was getting ready to leave when he showed up with both girls (Lucy had been at her friend's house). He drove us to the hospital, dropped me off, then took the girls to his parents and came back to the hospital just as Hugh was getting examined. I want to say a HUGE thank you to the paramedic who stayed with Hugh in the emergency department until I got there!
The doctor was not exactly Mr Pleasant either. Although after seeing Hugh he disappeared for awhile and when we saw him later he was much better. I guess we weren't the only ones missing dinner! He ordered a urine sample and foot x-rays. That didn't take too long, but waiting for the results took awhile.
When the top view popped up on the screen, I was concerned as everything looked a little angled. On the side view, there is a bone at the top of the foot, with some grooves in it, but I didn't know if that was normal. But the side view scared me. I had never seen an ankle x-ray, so I really had no idea of "normal". There is a bone that sort of droops down on the side, looks like when you squish a S'more and the marshmallow oozes over the side. There was also a horizontal line just above the end of the leg bone. Turns out this is normal, and the small segment at the end of the leg bone is the growth plate. I had Googled x ray images yesterday morning and didn't make a distinction between adult and children, so at first I got mad....then I googled for children specifically and it seemed to be a normal thing. The doctor said it was badly sprained, but no breaks. He'd need a splint.
However, there was some blood in his urine, "+3". He said if he was an adult, this wouldn't be a concern, but he consulted with the urologist, and this number is above the cut off for okay, and he would need a CT scan. Mandatory. Rob was really upset with this; I guess working in the nuclear industry now has made him more aware of the issues. We had to go out to the main waiting room, where there wasn't a single book, toy, or magazine. The TV was on, but we couldn't see it. Hugh was freezing, we were all hungry and tired. Rob went and got a snack, but of course, there's all these signs that say patients can't eat or drink. I let Hugh have a little bite of doughnut and sip of water. Rob called his mom and she had given the girls a bath, which was great since the next day was picture day! She would take them back to our house so they could go to bed.
At about 9:10 they called us back, and Hugh had to drink two big cups of a cold, watery fluid, quickly. He was freezing! Then the nurse had to put in an IV. He did awesome, even though we could tell it hurt. We were escorted to the CT scan, and that was all done by 9:50. The technician said they use a lower dose on children, but then we were told by another nurse that they don't dose by size.
We had to wait in the main waiting area again, until about 10:20. The results were fine, though we were told he needed to drink more. We had to remind the doctor about the splint, and then had to wait again. A nurse came to do that. Finally, at the end of the night, we get someone with some personality and social skills (the CT escort and the CT tech were also nice). She got him into an "AirCast" ($175!). However, none of his wounds were cleaned up or dressed. We left just before 11pm, and Hugh noticed the full moon, LOL!
Hugh has a loft bed, so his mattress was moved to the floor, and we visited with Rob's parents for a bit. The day before, at Thanksgiving Dinner, when we each had to say what we're thankful for, I said good health, and having family close by again. Who would have thought the very next day we'd be calling upon them in an emergency!
Hugh was pretty tired on Wednesday morning, so he stayed home until lunch. The rash on his back was hurting more than anything else, except for his leg getting tired from dragging the heavy cast around. We hadn't been given ANY instruction on how to care for him (except to see the Ortho. next Thursday). I took the cast off, and the sock liner was stuck to the raw parts on his leg. Not too bad though. He iced his foot for 20 minutes, kept the cast off for a bit while I took pictures, then we put him back together.
This morning, he did say his foot hurt (finally). He did go to school, although we almost missed the bus. Luckily, the bus has to drive towards us, so they can see if we're running down the street, LOL.
I'm taking Hugh to the walk in clinic after school, where our doctor works. She hasn't met him yet (she's met everyone else, LOL). I just want to know how best to care for him, what's the best painkillers, etc, and to have documentation in case anything turns up later.
I will mention that Meg was an awesome girl during all this. She didn't see him get hit, thankfully. She was calm and not demanding while Hugh was being attended to. She did start talking to the first responder about her upcoming trip to Pingle's Fun Farm (which is owned by my ex-aunt and her husband). Lucy woke up when we got home and she got to see the cast, but when I took Hugh into the office at lunch, one of Lucy's classmates was there and she said Lucy started crying when she told the class what happened. And then there's me. I am able to keep calm (but still shook up) during emergencies, but then later, I crash. As the day wore on yesterday, I felt worse and worse. There was a lot to do, emails, people to phone, this to write out, dinner to make, and I didn't want to do anything. I was exhausted, with a minor headache, and a deep feeling of horror mixed with relief. I think going for my "walg" (walk and jog) would have helped this morning, but Lucy woke up and then threw up on my kitchen floor. But she's totally better now, so I'm taking her to school in a few minutes!