Sometimes something happens that shakes you to the core. This week has been one of those weeks. We started the week on a hopeful note. B had eighth grade night for wrestling on Monday night and won his match. I can’t believe we are wrapping up middle school for him. We all went out and got dinner and things were great. The team was pumped for the team championships the next night. Things were lovely.
Tuesday went pretty well throughout the day, too. I even got to be the fun Mom and haul a bunch of the wrestlers to the team championship tournament right after school. The kids were having fun, I was excited to watch them. I had a Zoom meeting that I had to do at 5, so I went out to the car to do that with the full expectation that it would take an hour and then I would head back in and watch the rest of the tournament. Little did I know what would happen next.
About 5:30, our assistant coach and one of the other moms came running out to the car to get me. I rolled the window down and muted the Zoom as the asst. coach kept saying we need you inside. I asked him why twice and then he told me B was hurt and they had called an ambulance. At that point, I unmuted the meeting, explained that my son was hurt and abruptly left. When I got inside, David was with B (along with coaches, an athletic trainer, and the SRO for that school) and just looked at me and said “Don’t look.” Now, if you know me well, you know that there are only two reasons David would tell me don’t look. The first is if something is so bad that it is going to cause me to panic (not just because it’s bloody, but because I know too much from listening to him all these years). In other words, if CPR is going on. The other reason would be something to do with eyes. I am one of those people that can hold other parts of your body that are falling apart, but I don’t do eyes. About the time I looked up, they moved the icepack/shirt that was covering B’s face. It was his eye. I think the words that I used to describe it when I called mom were to thin of Quasimodo from the Disney version of Hunchback of Notre Dame and then think worse.
B had taken a knee directly to the eye (what I would later find out was twice) and managed to keep wrestling. Then the ref saw his eye and called the match. An ambulance had been called (ask me sometime for that story) and we helped B out to my truck to wait on the ambulance. At that point he was pretty unstable and everyone thought we were really looking at concussion issues, but his eye looked like someone took a blue almost baseball sized something and put it on there.
His first ambulance ride got us to our local hospital, but David had already said that we would probably end up transferred to a trauma center (still all of us thinking we were dealing with concussion and maybe a possible fracture of the eye socket). We met him at the hospital (David and I were in separate vehicles). And when I walked into the ER, this is what greeted me. ****THIS IS YOUR WARNING THAT THESE PICTURES ARE GROSS****
Did I mention that I don’t like eye stuff? The hospital send him for a CT Scan, but the doctor seemed pretty hopeful on the front end because when he moved the eyelid, B could move his eye. What happened next is when this went to super scary for me. I am sure David has his own version of feelings as things went on, but when the doctor got the CT results, I started to get really worried. He said the good news is there is no orbital fracture. The bad news is that there is “significant” swelling behind the eye. Then he said we want to transfer you to the trauma center and we want to do it via ambulance. He tried to get a reading on the pressure behind the eye, and while he never told us what the reading was I would find out later it was written down as over 60. My understanding is that normal is 12-22. We began to wait on an ambulance to get to the trauma center, and btw everyone in our county needed an ambulance that night. They told us they were transferring us a little before 9:00. At 11:10 we got on an ambulance from a neighboring county and proceeded lights and sirens to the trauma center. One thing you should know about our trauma center is that it is amazing and always busy. Going in on ambulance doesn’t guarantee that there still won’t be a wait. When the ambulance got there and was getting ready to leave to take us, they asked what priority we needed to get down the road going. The doc basically said ASAP because they need to get the fluid off his eye. Now, as someone who has dealt with multiple swollen joints throughout her life, that means that there is about to be a big needle used to drain the fluid. Slightly terrifying, right? The medic and EMT were great going down there, and we even had a conversation about that the trauma center was packed and we may still be waiting a while.
We didn’t wait. We got there and they directed us to a room. Before they could get him in the room, the doc came and took him to the “eye room.” I rode on the ambulance to the trauma center, and David followed, so they had taken B before David even got back there with us. What very quickly transpired was lots of taking pressure of his eye, then bringing him back and explaining to us that the pressure was extremely high and they were going to do some more readings and call a surgeon to try to save his vision. The surgeon would take another reading and make a final decision. At this point it is 12:35 am, the injury happened at 5:30 pm the night before. B heard everything and starts to panic about losing his vision. He also had not had anything for pain or to eat (remember this happened during a wrestling match). David got them to bring him something to calm the panic and for pain and we waited on the surgeon.
Once the surgeon got there, he did some more readings, then explained everything to us. The number we needed to be under was 40. He was close. Since we had now gotten him calmed down, the surgeon wanted us to ice it and see if we could get it to go under 40 to avoid having to go in and cut the tendon to relieve the pressure. We got the ice on and waited what seemed like the longest 20 minutes of our entire lives.
Finally, and I mean that facetiously because they were so good about checking on him the whole time, the surgeon came back to do the reading. B had done it. He got the pressure down below 40. We were not going to have to have surgery. By now we have made it to about 2:15. We talk to the surgeon a little longer and he says we can go home one the ER doc discharges us, but we have to ice the eye every 2 hours and ibuprofen every 4 hours to try to help the inflammation go down. B also has to sleep in a reclined position instead of flat and if his vision changes or he starts getting a headache or nausea to immediately call the surgeon’s office and go back to the trauma center. The good news was that in addition to no surgery, B could finally sleep because of all the meds.
We were finally discharged about 4:30, and got home around 5:00 am. So where are we now? We are a little less than 48 hours after the incident. His eye looks awful still (pics below). We are still icing every 2 hours, and he can’t go back to school until he can hold the eye open for long stretches of time. We did take him by to see his teammates yesterday (briefly) and I think that was maybe overdoing it physically, but much needed mentally and emotionally. We know that our wrestling family, our families, our gym family, our work families, and our friends are the greatest people on the planet. We have felt love and prayers throughout all of this. It has been the most terrifying thing we have ever dealt with, and will continue to deal with, but the messages and prayers are keeping us going. We are also exhausted and trying to determine if our 13 year old is telling us truly how he feels or trying to be strong and not worry everyone. Also trying to get him out a little bit because the weather is gorgeous and we don’t want him to just sit in the dark, but weighing that with how much do we need to have him out because his body needs to heal. I’m sure that by next week we will be in the clear, but we will go back to the surgeon just to check. I’m also sure that a visit to the eye doctor is in our future.
I wanted to let everyone know what was going on, but this was definitely too much to put into a social media post, so the blog just happened to be the best way to accomplish this. Know that we are so thankful for the prayers, food, offers to help, and everything else. We love all of you. I’ll keep posting updates as things change, but we are thinking we are in the clear at this point.