Last week was one of the most traumatic weeks our little family has experienced. Teddy fell out of a tree and sustained two lacerations to his liver. He is fine now but we had a few very scary days in Intensive Care as we waited to see if his liver would recover on its own. The tree was only 3 1/2 feet tall but all the impact of his fall must have somehow concentrated in his little liver, causing it to split.
After he fell, he was winded and I hugged him until his breathing calmed. But the ache in his chest remained. We went home and rested on the couch. It was three hours later, when he threw up, that we realized he might need more serious medical attention.
We immediately took him to our little community Emergency Center where he was examined by a wonderful doctor. Fearing liver damage, the doctor ordered a CT scan which confirmed that Teddy had two lacerations on his liver, one 5 cm long and the other 2 cm long.
We were transferred in the ambulance to Children’s Hospital where we spent 24 hours in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit. His blood was tested every two hours to make sure his hemoglobin levels remained stable… if they had dropped, it would have been a sign of internal bleeding and Teddy would have needed to have been operated on. Getting the news every two hours that his hemoglobin levels were stable was such a relief. He had IV’s in his arms and heart monitors on his little chest and he looked at me with big eyes devoid of sparkle. It was heartbreaking to see my little boy in such danger and all I could do was hold his hand and tell him that he would be okay.
On the second day, with his hemoglobin levels remaining stable throughout, we were transferred to the regular pediatric hospital ward for a few days. It was such a relief to know that he was out of the woods. He remained quiet and low of spirits until his sweet teacher delivered hand-drawn cards from his classmates. Each one was a picture of the hospital, or the ambulance, or Teddy falling out of a tree. For the first time, he smiled. And then he laughed. His eyes lit up as he read which friend had drawn each picture. It was amazing to see the effect that community love had on my sick little boy. From that moment on, he started to recover. Color came back into his face and his appetite returned.
It’s true. Love can heal.
We are back home now. Teddy is fine with no pain at all. He has strict activity restrictions for the next 4 to 6 months… no sport or any activity that could result in any sort of pressure to his abdomen… which, when you think about it, is EVERYTHING! What if he trips and falls and bumps his tummy? What if a friend pushes his tummy playfully? What if a basket ball hits him in the tummy? It’s scary.
But we are very grateful that he is home and healing. All the hospital staff were wonderful to us, treating Teddy with respect and kindness. We thank them all.
The months ahead will be challenging, trying to contain an 8 year old boy so if you have any ideas on how we can help occupy his mind, please leave them in the comments below.
We’ve had a horrible experience but it has made our love for one another grow even stronger.
Blessings and magic,