Surprise Visit to the ER Kiddos and Pups

Surprise visit to the ER

This is the wound vac

Yesterday morning started out just like normal.  I got Jason to school by 8am, came home got the rest of the brood ready for the day, did a few things on the computer, did some laundry, and then went and got Jason at 11:05.  I dropped his friend off at home and then came home ourselves.  I made lunch for all four kids, made them eat super-fast, got Troy to school by 12:15…I know he should be there by 12, but be real.  The school is 10 minutes away, and we get home for lunch at 11:30.  Anyway, as soon as I got home from dropping off Troy, right around 12:30, Derek’s wound vac decided to beep.  Three beeps every 30 seconds.  I just assumed it was a low battery, so I plugged it in and walked away.

Beep.  Beep.  Beep.

Beep.  Beep.  Beep.

OK, that wasn’t it.  I go and read the screen.  It says there is a “Low Vacuum.  Warning!  Leak!!”  Just like that.  Kinda’ scary!  I turn it off and on again, and it goes away.  I just figure it is just a glitch, so I walk away and forget about it.

Beep.  Beep.  Beep.

Beep.  Beep.  Beep.

Twenty minutes later, I hear it going again.  I turn it on and off again, but it comes right back to the scary warning.  Bummer.  I have no clue who to call.  I started with the Orthopedic surgeon at the hospital.  I get the first nurse, who sends me to the second nurse who tells me to call the equipment company because it must be a faulty machine.  Call it Mother’s Intuition, but I didn’t even bother calling them. I figured, the machine is made to warn you of a leak if there is one.  It is warning me of a leak…I suspect there might be one.  I call the Orthopedic surgeon again and told the nurse it was not the machine, that it must be a real problem.  She then tells me the Resident will call.  Great.  It is now time for me to go get Troy.  With my luck, he will call when I am gone.  Then I realized we were communicating on my cell, so it didn’t matter.

I went to get Troy, and the whole time, no one called.  When I got home, about 30 minutes later, the Resident calls.  I tell him what is going on.  He asked me a bunch of questions, and then asked to call me back so he could talk to the Attending doctor to see what he wanted to do.  *sigh*

At about 4:30, listening to that machine beep 3 times every 30 seconds got really old.  He called me back at about 5:45pm and gave me spectacular news…we get to go downtown to the ER and take his cast off and have them reseal the wound tonight.  He promised to let them know we were coming.

As soon as I get off the phone with the Resident, my Mother-In-Law called.  I told her she must have been reading my mind because we had to go to the ER tonight.  She offered to come over and watch the other 3 while I deal with Derek.  Of course I took her up on the offer, and told her I would leave in about in hour.  I made dinner and got everyone fed,and then started the baths.  At that point my hour was up.  I should have known an hour was too ambitious.  I got Jason and Troy cleaned, and cleaned Derek.  I got the dishes cleaned up, and fed the pups.  Ten I swept and mopped the floor.  (I know what you are thinking…but you need to understand what four kids and two puppies can do to a kitchen floor in a day…).  Meanwhile, she gave Ashley a bath.  When I was finally done, I packed a small bag, loaded the wheelchair and Derek into the van, and off we went.

When we got to the ER, they had no idea who we were and why we were there.  Figures.

We were passing time in the room while we waited for the Resident to come in.

So we waited in the ER waiting room net to a little girl that met have been sick, because she was screaming, and screaming, and screaming.  It was finally her turn – I mean OUR turn.  We go in and they still have no clue why we are there.  I explain it again, so they went and found the Resident that acknowledged forgetting to tell them about us and had us go into another room.  We waited a few more minutes when the Resident came in.  We started talking about the beeping and the leak, when he asked me if I had checked to see if there was a problem with the hose.


Yep.  There it was.  The “leak” was a hole in the hose, most likely from a puppy chewing on it.  I looked sheepishly up at him and admitted I had never thought of that.  He taped up the hose, and…

Beep.  Beep. Beep.

This is me holding Derek's leg while he cut off the cast.

That wasn’t it.  My pride was relieved.  While that was obviously not good and a problem that needed to be dealt with, there was still another problem.  We decide to cut off the cast and checkout the seal. I held Derek’s leg while he cut it off.  It was supposed to come off easily, but of course that was not the case.  Poor Derek whimpered a bit, letting us know that there was a little boy attached to that cast, and that we needed to be careful.  Poor little guy!

We finally get the cast off and I can see some of the wound through the dressing.  It still looks pretty bad.  He checks the seal and tapes over the edges to cover up any holes, when all of a sudden, the beeping stopped.  Thank God!  It was much like chinese water torture…I was so glad it is done.  And so was my pride.

You can see the bruising from the fracture in his leg here

You can get an idea of what the wound looks like from this picture, but you only see a small portion of it.

I then got to help him put a new splint on.  I can’t explain it, but I thought that was pretty cool.  I like getting my hands dirty like that.  I was the crazy mom that asked to see and hold the placenta after Jason was born…I just like that kind of stuff!  Anyway, we built him a new splint, and then we were free!

On the way home, we picked up lunch for my husband ( remember: he works nights, so 1am is lunchtime for him.)  We dropped it off and went in to say hi, and then left.  I got home and freed my poor Mother-in-Law at about 2am.  The other three kids were fast asleep, and they had a great time with Grandma.

All was well, and no real problems arose, and for that I am grateful, but seriously, that wound vac sucks.

Categories: Kiddos | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

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3 thoughts on “Surprise visit to the ER

  1. OUCH! Poor guy! Hope he gets better soon!

  2. Thank you! He has been a real trooper!

  3. manny

    i am a home health nurse and i deal with these wound vac machines on a frequent basis, im surprised no one gave you proper instructions or that the machine might leak (very common problem).

    one huge problem we run into is the fact that most doctors know nothing about wound care and even less about the medications or tx’s.

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