Thursday, April 28, 2016

It's not broken.

One of Hannah Kate's vocabulary words this week is milestone.  We had the opportunity to experience that word this week but not in a way I would've ever wanted to.  As of Tuesday night, all of my children have now spent time in the emergency room.  

Hannah Kate was taken to the ER via ambulance when she was not even two years old because she fell off of a barstool and landed on her forehead on the ceramic tile floor.  She developed an immediate hematoma (which really was a good thing), but it was very scary.  At the end of a very long night, she was fine.  She's actually been to the ER twice since then, both times for a middle-of-the-night asthma flare-up that I couldn't control.  But I don't really count that.

Ellie was taken to the ER when she fell and broke her arm.  She was 20 months old.  (Yeah, we like to start 'em out young in the ER!)  Of course, at the time I really didn't think it was broken.  I certainly didn't think she'd require surgery.  We all know how that turned out.

This week was Mason's turn.  He took a baseball to the nose before his game even started.  I didn't see what happened.  The game was about to start, and his team was out in the field.  He'd taken his place at first base.  They were throwing the ball around, and it was almost time for the first batter.  I'd taken a picnic supper for us so I'd gotten the girls settled in their seats with their food.  Samantha and I were just chatting.  

I remember hearing this really horrible, unusual sound, but I didn't know what it was.  We were at the ballpark.  There's always some kind of noise going on.  But this sound seemed oddly out of place.  At that moment, I turn to look at the field, and I see several coaches running to first base.  Samantha's voice changed, and I heard her say yell, "JULIE, THAT'S MASON!"  I was still looking for him, but I couldn't see him because all of the coaches were in the way.  Why were they at first base?  I finally understood what I was hearing.  "MAAAAAMMMAAAAAAA!"  Just over and over.

It was Mason.  I was his mama.  But that's not how he calls my name.  That's not how I ever want to hear my name called ever again.  One of the other moms even told me last night how heartbreaking that yell was.  

And then one of the coaches moved to the side.  That's when I saw him.  That's when I saw his hands up in the air around his face.  His hands were covered in blood.  Why were his hands covered in blood?  WHAT HAPPENED TO HIS HANDS?  It takes me a second to realize it's not his hands but his face.  By this time (and keep in mind all this happened in about five seconds, but it seemed like FOREVER, and it seemed like everything was going in slow motion), Samantha is already out of her seat, and she is telling me to get up and go to the field.  I got up, but I couldn't remember how to get out onto the field!  I walked down the first base line to where I thought the gate was, but it wasn't.  And I was just standing there looking over the chain link fence at my son with blood running everywhere.  He's on the ground at this point, and a nurse is already out there helping him back up to his feet.

One of the coaches came running over and asked if I was the mom.  I said I was, and he showed me to the gate.  I came up behind Mason.  The nurse told him his Mama was there.  He looked at me and finally put his hands down.  I couldn't help my reaction.  My hands went up to my mouth, and I breathed in as deep as I could so I wouldn't lose it.  Mason didn't like my reaction at all and started screaming again.  By this time, Samantha is there with us, too.  Blood was everywhere and was still gushing out of his nose and down his face onto the dirt of the field.  It was so hard to tell what his injury really was, but one thing was obvious.  He had a huge knot on the left side of his nose.  My first thought and worst fear was that it was broken so badly that the knot I saw was his bone pushed over in the wrong spot.  The nurse is telling me that his nose is broken.  I mean, it's so obvious.  And I'm just reminding myself that doctors can fix this.  Ellie's arm was fixed, and Mason's nose can be fixed.  They do this all the time.

I don't remember walking off that field, but obviously I did.  I just didn't know what to do next.  Samantha had already made her way back to our chairs and the girls.  She's telling me he needs to go to the ER.  And I'm still just standing there.  Finally I decided to try to get him cleaned up a little bit before getting in the truck.  I didn't want him going into the bathroom and looking in the mirror yet so we just went to the water fountain.  Someone, I don't even know who, brought me a bunch of paper towels and helped me.  I cleaned his hands and his arms and his face as best I could.  He was still bleeding.  By the time I got back to our chairs, Samantha had already packed up my stuff and had the girls ready to go.

We drove the short distance to the local ER.  There was a wreck on the bridge so I didn't go to the pediatric ER in Baton Rouge because I knew we would be sitting in traffic a very long time, and I didn't want to do that.  I didn't even have time to complete all of the paperwork before they called us back and had us in a room.  Once we were settled in the room, we had to wait on the doctor to come by and then radiology.  It. took. forever.  Or, at least, it seemed like it.

Mason had calmed down.  He was still bleeding, but he wasn't really complaining of any pain.  The girls were sitting quietly playing on their Kindles.  At this point, I'm praying that his nose isn't broken.  That's really all I knew to pray.  But did I really believe his nose was broken?  Yes.  Yes, I did.  I mean, look at that.  

I'm not saying anything.  I don't want to say anything.  No one is saying anything.  I look over at Ellie, and I see a lone tear escape her eye and roll down her cheek.  I can't talk because my tears will leave my eyes, too, and I knew I couldn't let that happen.  So I took her face in my hands, wiped her tear away and looked as deep into her little eyes as I could to let her know her brother was going to be okay.

And we're still waiting.  Mason begins to complain that he can't breathe through his nose.  He wants to clean his nose out, but I tell him we have to wait for the doctor to do that.  And then he asks me if he'll be able to lay down and go to sleep that night because what if he's asleep, and he can't breathe, and he doesn't know it?  So I tell him that we'll pretend like he has a cold and a stuffy nose.  When your nose is stopped up, you breathe through your mouth, even when you're sleeping.  And that's what he'll do.  He's done that before, and he'll be fine.

That's when I look at Hannah Kate.  Her face is as red as a tomato, and her cheeks are all puffed out, and her lips are quivering.  The tears are rolling.  She's trying to stop them, but she can't.  So I did the same thing for her that I did for Ellie.  I took her face in my hands, wiped her tears and looked as far down into her heart as I could.  I kissed her on the nose.  But I couldn't say a word!

I love my girls' hearts for their big brother!  And his for them, too!

By this time, the bleeding is under control.  I asked him if he wanted to lay down, and he did.  The nurse brought an ice pack so we put that across his face.  Finally the doctor came back in.  He asked Mason how he was feeling.  And then he said, rather nonchalantly, "Well, you don't have a fracture."

It took me a minute to process what he said.  Wait.  What?  The doctor then looked at me and said, "There isn't a fracture."  I asked him if he was sure.  I asked him if there had been a mistake.  He said he understood exactly where I was coming from but that even radiology agreed after looking at the x-rays that there wasn't a fracture.  He said he was sure just by looking at it that Mason's nose was broken and that he couldn't explain it.  So when I pick myself up off the floor (not really), I looked at Mason and said, "Do you understand what he just said?  Your nose is not broken!"  And then I looked at the doctor and said, "Well, it's just the Lord.  The Lord kept Mason safe and protected his nose."  And, I kid you not, that doctor looked at me like I was a few fries short of a happy meal!

But that's the only explanation.  Mason's coach, the nurse, everyone was shocked when they found out it wasn't broken.  So the doctor sent the nurse back in to clean Mason's face and nose.  That took about ten minutes.  She was the sweetest, most patient little thing.  Mason had lots of questions for her.  I just let him talk.  And, finally, we were out of there.

After we were all loaded up in the truck, Hannah Kate said, "But, Mama, everybody said Mason's nose is broken."

"Well, I know Hannah Kate.  It sure does look like it.  But that's what God does.  He does things we can't even understand.  He takes care of us in ways we can't even imagine.  Just because something looks like it doesn't mean it is.  God just does that."

And then Mason said, "Mama, I prayed all the way here that my nose wasn't broken."

"I know, bubs.  Me, too."

We stopped by the pharmacy on the way home so I could get some Motrin and peroxide.  Because you know what cleaned up every drop of those blood-stained pants?  Peroxide!  The nurse told me to use peroxide, and it would come right out.  Who knew?!  Well, I'm sure Pinterest knew, but I didn't.  And, sure enough, it worked!  Coach asked me last night if we needed to get Mason a new pair of pants.  I told him there's not a drop of blood anywhere on those pants now!

On the way home, we were gifted with a rather unpleasant odor.  Hannah Kate said, "Phew!  That stinks!  There sure have been a lot of skunks lately."

Mason said, "I don't smell a skunk!"

I couldn't help it.  I responded, "Well, that's one good thing, I guess!"

And, for the first time all night, we all laughed.  Even Mason.

Of course, these things tend to happen when Seth is out of town.  After I sent him the first pictures I took (which I didn't post on here), he immediately left and came home.  It just looked so much worse than it actually was, and, at the time, we didn't know what we were dealing with.  He was only 2 1/2 hours away.  But he did have to wake up early yesterday morning and head right back.  Needless to say, it was just so good to have him home that night!

When he woke up yesterday morning, the bleeding had finally subsided.  He was really swollen across his entire face, especially his nose and underneath his left eye.  I took this picture last night after the swelling had gone down considerably.

The swelling has continued to subside today, and he now has a nice little shiner underneath that left eye.  He hasn't been a fan of me taking pictures.

When the coach called me later that night, he told me what happened or at least what he saw.  The ball came from third.  And our third baseman can sling that ball.  The ball didn't even tip Mason's glove.  It just hit him square in the nose.  I asked Mason if he knew the ball was coming, and he said he did.  I asked him if he saw the ball coming, and he said he did.  I asked him if he put his glove up to catch it, but he doesn't really know.  Based on what the coach said, I don't think his glove ever went up.  He said he got distracted because he thought for a split second he might miss the catch.  That's all it took.  A split second.

Everyone is just really shocked that Mason's nose isn't broken.  I mean, I'm shocked!  Yes, I prayed for his nose to not be broken.  I certainly meant that prayer, but I also knew it didn't look good at all.  It reminds me of that time in Acts when the lame man was healed and stood up walking and jumping around everywhere.  

The people were "filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him . . . all the people were astonished and came running . . ."  (Acts 3:10-11)

Peter's response?

"When Peter saw this, he said to them: 'Fellow Israelites, WHY DOES THIS SURPRISE YOU?  Why do you stare at us as if by our own power or godliness we had made this man walk?  The GOD of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the God of our fathers, has glorified his servant Jesus . . ."  (Acts 3:12-13)

And, so, why should I be surprised?  It's a God-thing!    

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