Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Update: Arterial Bleeds Are Not Fun

Seriously, that was a LOT of blood. Brandon completely severed his ulnar artery and his ulnar nerve (do hope I am spelling that correctly)

He was in surgery with both a vascular surgeon and a plastic surgeon for three hours. They were able to re-attach both artery and nerve. There is quite a bit of muscle damage, as well. Brandon's hand is pink and warm but he cannot feel two of his fingers. We aren't sure exactly what is in store for him.

My front door is missing its window. I was driving a borrowed car. He lost a whole pint of blood just in the ER room, so I am guessing another pint or two between the time he broke the window and the time he got into the ER room. I have never seen this kid so pale and pasty. I am not looking foward to talking to either the landlord or the owner of the car.

I broke more traffic laws in two minutes than I have in my entire driving career. Brandon had field medic training in CAP and was able to tourniquet himself--left-handed with his own belt! The ER docs and nurses were very impressed with his self-triage. Once I saw the amount of blood he was losing, I figured I could get him to the ER faster than I could call 911 and explain. I was correct. Basically, I put one hand on the horn and didn't stop, breaking the speed limit, running red lights (I checked to be sure I wouldn't get run into first) and exhibiting extremely rude behavior in the hospital parking lot. I dropped him off at the door and parked, and when I walked in the doors myself, it was to be greeted by blood everywhere and people moving very quickly and shouting to stay away from it. I said that was my kid's blood and they let me follow the trail to his room.

The only time I have seen so many medical personnel in one tiny room before tonight was the day Brandon was born-when they realized we were losing him and they needed to section me. There wasn't any room for me most of the time. I was in shock myself and pretty useless for most of it. I had to dial my dad's phone number three times just to get it right! There were a lot of questions to answer and a form to sign telling them it was ok by me to do what was necessary, including amputation. Like I would choose Door B, leave the big piece of glass in his arm, please?

My family arrived post haste (my mother never answers her phone, so I texted her a simple "Hospital NOW" and that seemed to do the trick), as did a few people from church. Additionally, a large group of people from my parents' church just happened (ha!) to be in the same OR waiting area for another patient and we had quite the prayer meeting. It was such a blessing. Raoul showed up before most of my family had to leave, just to hold my hand and make sure I was ok. My middle sister sat with Brandon while he ate, once he was out of the anesthesia and quit throwing up, that is. Her boyfriend and Nate came home to tape up the door and clean up the blood and glass. And, blessedly, I still have one more day off before I have to go back to work.

I will update what I can later. Thank you for your prayers.


Sarah said...


yeah, WOW.

Still praying.

J. L. Dew said...

Jen, someone posted over at CW. Came over here to tell you I am praying for Brandon and you.

Donna said...

Praying, Jen. Wow...

Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry to hear this. Didn't see the prayer request notice yesterday, but praying now for a complete recovery.

May the Lord be with you,

Bagel's Life @ Home & School said...

I'm so glad that you made it to the hospital in time and that the doctors were able to repair the artery & nerve. Well you all certainly have an interesting story for the "How I spent my summer" essay! I'm glad that you all are alright!

Anonymous said...

Jennifer...praying!!! So sorry...


narnia said...

I'm so sorry, Jen.