19 August 2014

In The Blink Of An Eye

We had a fun agenda this weekend; a rare date night, birthday celebrations, and preschool open house. Saturday night Rory and Sookie headed out to the front of our garage to catch a giant beetle. I was upstairs going to the bathroom real quick and seconds later heard Rory call out, "Tahnie, I need towels. NOW." I knew it was an emergency by the tone of his voice. I made it to the front porch, tossed two towels to Roar, and looked down to see a scene of shattered glass and blood everywhere. So much blood. Too much blood. As they were walking down the steps, Rory fell. The mason jar he was holding broke, and stabbed his left palm, cutting an artery. Sookie? Our sweet girl was visibly extremely upset, but calm and brave. So unbelievably brave. I went into panic mode, for a split second considered calling an ambulance, but quickly decided I could get him to the ER quicker, as we live 5 minutes from the hospital. I grabbed the keys to the truck, and thanked my past self for leaving flip flops downstairs, as it saved me a few precious seconds from another trip upstairs. In a blur, I swooped Sookie up and helped Rory into the truck. I don't remember much of driving to the hospital. When we arrived I ran in and told them we needed help. Waiting for someone to come out and assist us seemed like an eternity. The blood was soaking the towel quick and when I tried to kiss him or comfort him with touch, it only made it gush even faster. I was doing my best to keep Sookie calm in the backseat. They finally came out with a wheelchair and took him inside. I went to park the truck and brainstormed who to call to come keep Sookie company.

When we entered the ER I realized the room they had him in was itty bitty. That was actually the only room they could get open. I found out while I was parking the truck, they had started working on him in the hall because blood was dripping onto the floor in the waiting room. I was doing my best to keep Sookie away from more trauma and yet attempting to figure out what the medical team was planning to do.

I started calling family to have someone come help with Sook. They drew blood from Rory ( ironic, right?!) to check his hemocrit to see if he needed a blood transfusion. At one point a nurse was attempting to pinch his artery shut with her hands, in order to stop the bleeding. They eventually had to resort to putting a tourniquet on him as they waited for the orthopedic hand surgeon to arrive.

My incredible sister in law Michelle came to take our brave Sookie girl back home. The reality of the ER team calling in an orthopedic hand surgeon hit me hard. I didn't want Rory to see me fall apart, so I ran outside to get some fresh air, called our old neighbor and glockets partner, Afton, and stopped fighting the tears. This boy loves playing his guitar. He is a music man. And, you know, only makes our living writing iPhone app code.

They started taking x-rays of his hand to make sure pieces of glass weren't stuck in there. He was still dealing with all of this without any pain medication. He was an absolute rockstar throughout all of this. He is my hero. The tourniquet was doing its job and his hand was turning gray. It was horrifying. I kept praying for him to be able to keep function of his hand. It was his left hand. He is left handed.

At this point, my marvelous mother in law was at our house, cleaning up the disaster of blood and glass on our front porch. My amazing mom arrived at the hospital for more support.

Finally, 45 minutes later, the orthopedic hand surgeon arrived and created a makeshift operating table in the tiny ER room. He numbed Rory's hand and quickly began fixing this insane mess. I watched a bit of the surgery and his life saving work. He was able to cauterize Rory's artery, ending the bleeding once and for all. I am still haunted by the smell of burning tissue. He stitched him up, made him a stint, and told us he wanted to see Rory again on Wednesday.

Rory's hemocrit levels were not low enough to warrant a blood transfusion. (Huge miracle!) We were able to go home that night.

Things have been tough. Rory is on heavy pain killers and super antibiotics. Sookie is right by his side, offering hugs and I love yous. This has shook us all to our cores, reminding us life can change drastically, in the blink of an eye. Yet truthfully, we are so lucky, all things considered. We are focusing on the good facets of this awful adventure; that I was home, that we live so close to the hospital, that we have such fantastic family, that Sookie was able to stay calm and wasn't injured, that Rory can move his fingers and that he is ALIVE.

Thank you to everyone who has lifted is up through this. Life is a precious gift & we were reminded of that in a brutally beautiful manner.