Last night Mason had a Cub Scout camp out. The boys and I went and had a bond fire and cook out in the evening and Andrew and I left leaving Mason with his leader and 4 other boys to spend the night in tents and begin a cleanup of the brush on the park trails in the morning. At 8:20am the phone rang and I heard those dreaded words. "There's been an accident and Mason's finger is cut pretty bad." The boys were using landscaping shears and another boy accidentally caught Mason's finger when attempting to cut a branch.
I met the cub scout leaders at the local ER with Mark and Andrew to follow behind. When I arrived, he was pale and afraid. He asked me, "Mom, why did this have to happen?" I told him we don't always know why things happen, we just have to trust that God is in control and pray to him for strength and comfort so we did so together right there together. My heart broke into pieces on the inside while I put on a strong face for my frightened little boy. I prayed silently for the Lord to hold me together through this. Daddy arrived soon after and Mason was even more comforted with his presence. The finger looked bad...cut to the bone with the knuckle and tendons damaged. We had to see a children's orthopedic surgeon and we knew that would mean heading to Dallas or Tyler. Dallas it was, Children's Medical Center was the place we needed to go. Andrew was safely left with our dear friends, Kim & Paul as we dashed to Dallas. It is a good 100 miles from us so Mark was driving "quickly" with his flashers on to get him there in good time. A hundred miles is a lot of time for thinking...to much...even when you are speeding. Why did I let him stay without me? Should I have kept him home? Should I have waited one more year to begin scouting when Mark could have been more involved? He's getting older and I have to let him have some independence...but at what cost? If I had been there could I have stopped this accident? Probably not, accidents happen fast and we can't be everywhere. Is he going to be able to use this finger? Is the damage too bad to repair? The unknowns are just unbearable but my God is bigger than all my doubts and fears.
At Children's the ER triage nurse was just doing her job and sent us to their ER waiting room...I waited for about 5 minutes before I went back over to her and told her our local ER physician called to tell them we were coming and felt time was of the essence with his injury. She told me she had done all she could do by making us a high priority. I respectfully told her I needed to speak to her supervisor because I knew she was doing all she could but I refused to wait an hour or more for a room and another hour or more for an orthopedic consultation when the doctor called ahead to avoid that wait in the best interest of my son. This mama bear was not just going to sit down and shut up. Another nurse walked by and heard my discussion with the triage nurse and stepped in and expedited everything by confirming our local ER physician called ahead and planned our transfer.
Now we began the process of unwrapping and reopening the wound multiple times for multiple doctors, med students & orthopedic surgeons to take a look and wait to decide what to do. We put in an IV after two sticks...the first blew the vein...and then finally decided to have the orthopedic surgeons clean the wound and get a better look then decide what to do. Mason was very upset when he heard that Dad and I would have to leave while they did this. We explained we would be right outside, they gave him some morphine, we kissed him goodbye and I turned and cried as I left the room. Mark didn't say a word, he just held my hand. What can you say in those moments? His quiet resolve was such a comfort to me. I later noticed how many moms were in the waiting area with injured kids & their siblings but no dad. I was so grateful to have Mark there with us. Mark's Uncle Sam and Aunt Margaret came and waited in the waiting room to see if we needed anything. They couldn't even see Mason but waited for hours just to be there for us. Sam was such a comfort to me when I told him the doctors plans to delay any further exploration of surgery. He is a retired sports medicine physician so he is very familiar with joint and tendon injuries. Just his acceptance of their decisions calmed my fears.
Mason was brave and did great. The entire day he reminded me of my mother. He was so sweet and kind to his doctors and nurses even when he was very uncomfortable. I routinely sit in awe of the heart God has given that boy. The nurses and doctors were so comforting to him and for that I am so grateful. The surgeon consulted with the hand specialist and they made the decision to close the wound and schedule an appointment Monday for the hand surgeon to look and assess the need for surgery to repair the tendon. The major veins and arteries in that finger were intact as well as the nerves. The joint was indeed cut into with the blade but not crushed by force with the shears. These confirmations were such a blessing because had those areas been damaged we may have lost that finger. His range of motion is what we are questioning now and if surgery would give him a better recovery or potentially further trauma. I am praising God for his protection in these critical areas and asking him to guide or doctors and our decisions as we move forward.
On our way home at about 6:00pm we stopped to eat at Schlotzky's (one of Mason's favorites since he was so little he called it "fartcheese") since none of us had eaten anything the entire day. We settled back into the truck to finish the long trek home. We called the little boy who accidentally cut Mason's finger to make sure he and his mom knew Mason was OK. Mason was worried that his buddy was feeling bad about this accident. We later joked about Mason having a "cool" story to tell his buddies and he said, "When I tell the story I will not say B's name because I don't want it to make him feel bad, I'll just say my finger got cut when we were cutting branches." I teared up again and told him I thought that was a fabulous idea. We arrived at Kim & Paul's to big hugs from Andrew. He couldn't wait to see his big brother and told him he hoped his finger felt better. There is nothing like brotherly love...I teared up again.
Even though our hearts break into a million pieces on days like today, Mother's hearts are so beautiful because they are sometimes broken. Like a mosaic, they are pieced together with random shards to reveal something strikingly beautiful. I continue to pray for our Lord to create his masterpiece in me.