21 April 2006

My son the morphine addict

So, you know how women who live together start to menstruate at the same time? Well you may have noticed that two weeks ago, all these women who blog together have had their children in hospital at the same time. Blackbird, Babelbabe, Surfing Free, Bec, My Float. All on the same day(s).

Being a couple of weeks behind in world fashions is nothing new for me. You know, I like to dip my toe in gingerly before I join the trendsetters. Ha.

So. This morning Son #2’s wrist was still out of action. Hmmm, not just a bruise perhaps? Maybe a nasty sprain? He and I dropped the other two at school and headed for the doctor who eyed me dubiously when he heard it had happened, uh, three days ago. Yes yes, guilt guilt, I know. He sent us off for x-rays, saying it was probably just a greenstick fracture and he would put it in a cast for a couple of weeks. My guilt levels were rising rapidly by this stage. My baby has a FRACTURE and I gave him a bandage and Panadol and didn’t go near a doctor for three days! In my defence, he was still riding his bike and wrestling with his brothers rather than lying pale and wan on the couch clutching his misshapen arm.

We returned to the doctor clutching three x-rays. He took one look and whistled. That’s no greenstick, that’s a big break. And it’s angulated. I can’t plaster it here, you’ll have to go to the hospital and have it straightened and set.

Oh god. I am such a bad bad mother.

And so passed a full day at the Royal Children’s Hospital, a place with which Son #2 is already intimately acquainted due to surgery at the age of four. Ugh. The doctors informed me that in order to set the bone they would have to anaesthetise him. Maternal guilt levels reached a crescendo.

Happily they spiked the laughing gas with chocolate syrup which made him giggle and gave him the world’s largest chocolate moustache, and he developed a strong attachment to the morphine which was administered through an IV drip (My baby had a drip! In hospital! For the broken wrist that I ignored! For three days! Oh god!) He charmed all the doctors, laughed hysterically (with the assistance of the gas) when they gave him a stethoscope to play with, requested top ups of the morphine (That stuff is really good!)and was generally very brave and gorgeous while they manipulated his poor arm and put him in a very impressive plaster cast up to his shoulder. His shoulder! We thought he had a bruised wrist! Oh I'm going on and on I know!*

We arrived home hours and hours later, exhausted, dehydrated, starving and emotionally traumatised but as always, thankful that it was only a broken bone rather than some of the things we were witness to in that place.

He vomited quietly all over the bathroom floor and spent the rest of the evening on the couch finishing the fourth Harry Potter book.

I just put him to bed a few minutes ago. He turned his pale beautiful face up to mine as we eased his huge heavy white arm into his pyjama sleeve and said Mummy, for my next birthday, can I please have some more of that morphine?





* Apologies for the prolific use of exclamation marks in this post. I am feeling a little overwrought.

However I've just read all your comments on the previous post and am feeling slightly better for hearing that many of you ignored broken bones too. Phew.

28 comments:

Susie Sunshine said...

Morphine is a little harder to come by, but I'm willing to share my last Valium or the Vicodin from Camper's tooth extraction for a special birthday boy when the day rolls around.

Don't beat yourself up, I had an undiagnosed broken arm in first grade. It happens all the time.

Mary said...

I ignored my daughter's dislocated elbow when she was 18 mths old. Even worse, I was the one who'd done it (accidentally of course) while playing with her. At least when my husband did it a second time, when she was 3, we knew to go to hospital straight away.

lisette said...

well 3 weeks ago my husband staggered from the surf clutching his arm saying it was broken. i was sceptical to say the least and not a bit sympathetic : i wanted him to lok after the baby so i could go for a swim... imagine my (ongoing) guilt to find out it was a severe fracture of his humerus and a shattered ball joint! he spent a week in hospital and now has a plate a 9 screws holding the fragments together. he liked the morphine too but it can have some distressing effects (just ask coleridge, who john mortimer described as 'green about the gills and a stranger to the lavatory')

hope your baby is better soon

BabelBabe said...

Now why didn't I think of asking for morphine for my birthday?

Sorry that happened, don't feel too guilty, as Susie said, it happens to all of us.

Gina said...

Please don't feel guilty--I think you did exactly the right thing. You applied first-aid to an injury you knew wasn't life-threatening, and only sought out hospital care and x-rays when you saw your own methods weren't effective.

If Son #2 had been in severe pain, or if his arm had been hanging at a strange angle, or hideously swollen, you'd have taken him in right away. You know that, and so does he.

You. Did. Everything. Just. Right.

Elizabeth said...

Never a dull moment over there at the Soups!
Don't beat yourself up over this.
You could be up against worse things... like chocolate-flavoured morphine addiction!

Joke said...

For the record, I have had 4 undiagnosed fractures. You did fine. Exhale.

-J.

MsCellania said...

Oh, the poor little guy! But how were you to know? He was eating, sleeping, playing - to me those are all signs of I'm Ok, Mom.

And that's too funny about his birthday request! He'll be one to watch with sneakin' the sips of wine and booze from the glasses ...

I'm so sorry you've had this happen. So scary! So sad to see our young ones ailing.

Oh, and about the heaving after morphine; I had major surgery last August. They barely kept me overnight, and had me Walk Out of the hospital. I made it down the stairs (!) and halfway down a lovely hall before I had to Run so Fast my heels were kicking my fanny to make it to the lidies room in time, where I SPEWED all over once I got there! After a few minutes, my husband poked his head in the ladies' and said "Are you okay?" to which I replied "Yes, but they are going to need a wet cleanup on Aisle 3 in here!"

blackbird said...

Damn.

That is just awful for the poor fellow and even worse for you.
You'll see, he'll be bouncing around tomorrow and you'll be pale and shakey.

I am hugging you from around the world.

--erica said...

You need a great big hug!!
..and perhaps a nap..

Here's wishing the casted weeks pass quickly.

jorth said...

The last time I had morphine I threw up in the nurses' face. I tried to apologise but she just gallantly wiped it off and said "Don't worry, sweetie, it happens all the time!" I know that doesn't have anything to do with your son's arm, but I thought the visual might make you giggle!

Sharon said...

Morphine ehhh... Might put that on my birthday list!!!! Sounds like E leg story different location - Epworth hospital - but my (then) hubby had said the night before he had wanted to go out and do something interesting with his last holiday leave day... We did!!!! We spent the entire day at an inner city hospital waiting then watching E being plastered... Plus like you having the medico's give us the evil eye about leaving a BROKEN leg unattended to for nearly 24 hours!!!! Do they put examples of that in the 'how to' childhood manuals - I don't think so... Never mind S - just put it down to experience - I did... I think E was more tramatized the day I forgot about her and left her in K-Mart when she was about five... Both my girls are well adjusted adults now so they DO come to grips with it...

sueeeus said...

Oh dear. I'm glad No. 2 is doing well and now he has a very impressive trophy cast to show off and hopefully capture autographs from all the pretty girls. He is the athlete, isn't he? The charmer?

I hope I hope I hope he can be made to understand the dangers of flirting with pain killers. Especially before he enters the teenage years when things can go so awry so quickly. Sorry. I'm just very sensitive to this...

String Bean said...

Well, I've never broken a bone, but I ignored a bad sprain for a week. I had a badly swollen ankle and was limping for awhile, but all is well now. Alas, I didn't get any morphine. I go for the codeine.

sooz said...

Hey it's not just mums who stuff up - Amy had septacaemia (I know I can't spell it) and was undiagnosed despite two visits to doctors and one to emergency. When finally she was admitted two days later and dosed up and not responding to anti-biotics everyone thought she wouldn't live. It took a full two days before she started to improve.

That's just one of those things about being human - it can be pretty hard to spot the line when you move from just one of those things to something infinitely more serious. It doesn't matter if you are mum or doc or anyone, no one's to blame - sadly we were all built with obsolescence in mind.

I look back on that episode and wonder how we made it through (and all 2 weeks after I started back at work when Amy was 9 months old). But make it through we did, all the wiser and more grateful for the health we have.

Nothing like a stay at the Children's Hospital to make you feel grateful for every day you ever had that wasn't overshadowed by the myriad of illness, disease and misfortune that can strike us down so cruelly and suddenly.

Glad to hear all is on the improve, and if you find the font of morphine - for goodness sake let us know where it is.

Kim said...

Mwahahahahahah - thank the LORD! Because you know, if you look that cool, live in that funky almost alternate life, have kids making awesome Easter baskets, produce offspring that have Bach in their iPod and didn't mistake a break for a bad sprain, some of us might just have had to come down there and hurt you.



You know I'm kidding. I'm so pleased he's OK. Have a big glass of red and go to bed!

My float said...

So let's get this right - kid is happy, riding a bike and wrestling? You sure that was his arm on the x-ray?!

And what's with the whistling doctor? Doesn't anyone just a straight diagnosis any more? "It's broke. Go to hospital. Now." See? Straight to the point, no emotion, certainly no whistling!

I feel for you. I shudder, knowing that broken bones, bloody wounds filled with grit and goodness knows what else, await me. Hell on a stick. Get the morphine over here pronto!

Bec of the Ladies Lounge said...

I can offer something special for the next birthday: my Dad has a stash...

Lazy cow said...

Your poor son. Doesn't sound like he suffered *too* much though! Bring on the morphine.

The Mother Load said...

I too also had an undiagnosed broken wrist from childhood that I didn't discover until I started waitressing in college and thought it was carpal tunnel. My mom felt terrible, but I felt like a tough girl, hear me roar!

Sarah said...

my mom also let us sit a few days before ever taking any of us to a hospital to see how extensive an injury was. they were usually just fractures, but at one of them i did have to have a wrist set after a couple of days of seeing if the swelling would go down. i, unfortunately, did not receive any chocolate morphine.

doubleknot said...

Hope your son's arm heals quickly and I hope he doesn't keep asking for morphine - even just joking.

Bec of the Ladies Lounge said...

BLUE! You're such a pretty blue!! Am I the first to notice, or could my dad accidentally have dropped some of his stash into my grilled cheese tonight?

Surfing Free said...

Oh no! And how is he coping with the cast? I presume its not allowed to get wet, etc.
Hee hee, morphine for his birthday.

dani said...

oh darl - how incredible his arm was broken and he hardly squeaked. he must have a pretty amazing constitution. the morphine's a bit of a worry though - why does that sort stuff have to be so good?

carolyn said...

Just so you feel better - I had a broken arm for a week, and my father is a DOCTOR. Came home from school and my father scoffed, what's with the bandage? A week later, my mother took me to the emergency room. I think he felt guilty, but can't be too sure!

Tongue in Cheek Antiques said...

That is ne strong little boy! Don't beat yourself up...you did what you thought was right, and he was riding his bike! He is a strong little boy because he feels enough love to keep him going...and isn't that what we strive for in our children. ALot of cuddles and drawings of his cast!

Christine said...

Hi - I have been reading your blog for some time now and always enjoy it and i have never written before but had to just to let you know you shouldn't feel like a bad mother for not responding quicker. I too have waited almost a week to check out my daughter's broken finger...the guilt i felt was unbelievable but you know they bounce back amazingly...Cheers