Aug 11, 2012

The Accident

8/11/2012 — cori
Yesterday, the kids and I got to spend the entire day (8am - 8pm) with 30 Japanese exchange students.  It was wonderful.  We enjoyed the day canoeing 7 miles down the St. Croix River (a destination we seem to spend a lot of time at).  The day and weather couldn't have been more beautiful.  Gavin helmed his own ship with Bennett as second mate and two other Japanese boys.  I was Captain of my ship with a co-oarsman that often went awol.  Chloe preferred taking in the sights rather than being my assistant paddler.  We also had two students in our canoe who were scared out of their minds.  They slowly warmed up to the idea of this little floating vessel and by time the end of the trip rounded the corner, they could paddle with the best of them.

No one got injured the entire time....that is until Gavin tripped and fell upon trying to enter our car at the end of the trip (no pun intended).  Here's the damage:

First of all, yes, this is my first born even though he no longer looks like it.  He's on some "warp-speed growth plan" that I am unfamiliar with.  That being said, let me explain what happened....

The bus dropped us off from our exhilarating day of fun.  We went inside the university to change before we got in the car.  On our short walk back to the car, I was listening to my voicemails and the kids were skipping, running, jumping ahead of me.  We get into the car and I look over at Gavin and see him crying and holding his head.  My phone falls out of my hands as I reach up to touch his face and see what he's covering.  As I pull his hand away from his eyes I see blood dripping down his face and a bulbous form swelling his eye shut (larger than the one in the picture - this picture was taken after ice had been on his wound for quite a few hours).

Not knowing what to do, but knowing something needs to be done, I jump out of the car, run around to the passenger side and pull him out of the car and start "excitedly" directing everyone to run with me back to the bathroom area in the University Center where we just came from.  My main goal was to ice the wound.  If we could get ice, I knew I could get the swelling down.  That was all I could think about  at the time.   Triage nurse is not my calling in life, but it is a role I am forced to play often in this family.

Now I am in "Mama Bear" mode.  I am protective and in charge and no one mess with me until this mission is accomplished.  Of course we run into NO ONE at all.  I start roaming the halls looking for anyone.  Two unsuspecting students walk out and I ask them to point me to the nearest ice machine.  They quickly take me back to the Biology Lab where a Biology professor was working late and let us in and packed a baggie with ice for us.

Phase One is complete.  On to Phase Two - reassess the in, do we need stitches, is his eye damaged, where are his glasses, how did this happen, is this contusion going to affect his brain, did he break a know, stuff like that.

Remember, I am alone with the kids, far away from Chuck who isn't quite as emotional or irrational in his decision making as I am.  So, I decide to call him, "Chuck, you'll never believe what just happened. Gavin just injured his eye!"  Not something you want to hear when you're an hour a way and can do nothing about it.  We were supposed to be meeting in 2 hours.  That meeting just got pushed up as he left the minute he got my call.

I remember having a first-aid kit in the trunk of the car (I actually have no clue how I remembered that, miraculously, evidently).  I go pick out some antiseptic wipes, neosporin and a band aid.   I take care of the wound and am very concerned with the instant swelling and size of the gash.  But I am not comfortable making the call on whether or not to go to the doctor.  So, since I can't decide, we go get ice cream instead.   Seemed to work.  That is where I finally get the full story from Gavin on how this whole thing went down.

Apparently, he was running to the car but stopped abruptly.  He said his momentum did not stop when he did and made his feet fall out from under him right there at the car door.  He said some people walking by saw him fall and called out to him asking if he was okay and he said 'yes', just thinking he bumped his head.  Only later did he realize his head received the full impact of the fall since he didn't have time to brace his fall.  He fell onto a parking lot covered in gravel.  His glasses probably saved his eye from getting severely damaged.

Once we finally met up with Dad an hour later, he was concerned, but not as overly as I was.  He said the same thing happened to him as a kid and he ended up ok.  Great, then I'll just keep getting up every hour on the hour to check and make sure he's breathing in order to confirm there was no brain injury involved, no problem.  Of course I have tad bit more fatalistic, worst-case-scenario problem than he does.

I'm sad to say, I didn't wake up even once last night, but as soon as I woke up at 9am this morning, I ran downstairs as fast as my little feet would carry me and saw my poor black and blue eyed boy sleeping peacefully.  Chuck's assessment was true and although Gavin's eye looks even more black and blue today, the wound is already healing nicely.  I told him how he should make up a story of getting beat up but he was able to use all his cool tae-kwon-do moves.  My literal child did not buy that story.  Nor did he like my idea of wearing his sparring headgear all day everyday just incase he randomly falls again.  You can never be too careful.  He did say, "Mom, too bad I didn't have time to use any of my break fall techniques that I've been learning in tae-kwon-do.  It all happened so fast!"

Bennett exclaims, "Man...this is one of those things you just never think will happen to you."

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