Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The phone call no mother ever wants to get

So today I am relaxing at home before I have to get ready for work. I turn on my phone and it tells me I have voice mail. The first one is from a hospital saying my son Keith is there and they want to know his information.

The second message is from one of Keith's caretakers. He says Keith had an accident and he's getting x-rays. I call back the caretaker and he tells me this:

Keith was at the laundromat with his class washing his work clothes. It is part of Keith's Life Skills to wash his uniform. So he is sitting in a metal chair, not unlike one you would see at a cafe.

Apparently, Keith had his fingers hooked behind him in this chair. But when his dryer went off, his right index finger got stuck when he went to stand up and he panicked. He yanked and yes, he ripped the tip of his finger. He immediately went to the sink, but the aide that was with him said that he should go to the hospital since it looked pretty deep. He goes in an ambulance and his caretaker shows up. At this point, they are not sure how serious the injury is.

So I speak to the caretaker and I say I will be there, to not make any big decisions without me. He says okay and I get to the hospital. The nurse is wrapping up Keith's finger. There was so much gauze, it looked like a foam finger from a sports event. I told Keith that we would dye the gauze his favorite sports team color and we could go to an event, that he would be covered in team spirit. He laughed. I also joked that you know you don't have to go to so much trouble if you want to see me.

All kidding aside, I asked what was the extent of his injury. The nurse directed me to a small bottle that was on the counter. The entire tip of Keith's finger was in there! Wow. The doctor came in and said here is Keith's x-ray.

Keith had gone down to the bone and right now we have to wait to hear from the orthopedic surgeon. The x-ray showed how unlike most of Keith's fingers that have curved bones, the index is now flat.

Unfortunately, it will take a few days for an appointment. But at that point, we will have 2 options, to either do a skin graft meaning Keith will no feeling at that spot. Or amputate what bone tip is left and then pull the skin over it. That way, he'll still have some feeling in it.

I was told we could keep the piece in the jar if we wanted. I admit, for a split second there...but I didn't. I did take a picture though and of Keith with his giant bandage.

I was tempted to call off work and I was told by my boss it would be fine as I had called as soon I first heard what happened, but we took Keith out to McDonald's and spent some time together instead. I was only a hour and a half late.

He was on Vicodin and already getting kind of zombie-ish. Besides, Jack said the best thing for Keith would be for him to get back to his home routine. So we took him home and soon as we got there he turned on his TV and sat down on his bed. So that was a good choice.

I gave him hugs and kisses saying that once I heard from the doctor I would be there for the surgery. Jack kept calling Keith Nubs which made him laugh.

I hugged Keith tight and then left him to relax. It was very hard and now I am feeling everything that I couldn't express in front of him.

My poor boy..

I have to say the one other issue I am concerned with is an extreme nail fungus on Keith's thumb. He had it when he was still living with his dad and his dad did get some meds, but no follow up really happened. Unfortunately, I was not able to get this looked at since I did not have conservatorship until now. Hopefully, I can now get it taken care of. I don't know if you can tell in the x-ray just how much the nail has raised. It really bothers me.


Batjacboy said...


Can you post or email me photos of

1. the fingertip

2. the xrays

For the xrays, I would need a much of a close up of the tip as possible.

Batjacboy said...

I can retrieve them on my Blackberry.

Ruthie said...

I will do that tonight.

Thank you!!!

Rita said...

Well, Paul told me to tell you this.

If it were his finger he would NOT let anyone touch it. Just soak it in proxide twice a day for 4 weeks or until it heels itself. He will end up with better function, sensation, and appearance. Oh, and it's less painful.

If you have any questions you can give him a call. I'll email you the #.

Love you!!

Mama said...

Oh my God!