When Memorial weekend dawned on Friday, we thought the biggest stumble was that our customer had flipped us off and chosen another contractor.* Ty-man shot into work, fired off a reply, and demanded more information pending a possible protest. So, it's probably going to get us nowhere but at least we'll make the customer sweat a little.
We attempted to put this rejection behind us as the kids made their way north to the Georgia mountains for a grandparent weekend and the Ty-man and I drove south toward Savannah. It was to be a quiet four days and a celebration of the fifteen years we've been married.
It wasn't to be.
We only made it as far as Marietta when Ty's father called to say that J-man had tripped while running in the driveway, fallen nose-first onto a low stone wall, and broken his nose. They were at the hospital in Dahlonega and before I could blink, Ty-man arrowed our car toward our sweet little boy.
So many emotions went through me. Panic, anger, sadness, chaos, calm... it was all there. I was near insanity and, for the first time, experienced the verge of what would end up being a nine-hour long panic attack. I sat on the precipice for those nine hours, looking over, waiting to fall into a full-blown freak-out. But, for me to get there, I had to see my little boy first.
When we got to the hospital in Dahlonega, the terror on our faces must have been proof enough to the attending nurses that we were, in fact, J-man's parents and not some imposters. When I entered the room, there he was, cradled by his grandma. First, let me say this. Ty-man's mother is an amazing woman who managed to drive 30 minutes down a winding mountain road BY HERSELF with a 3-year-old who was bleeding and ready to fall asleep. She kept him awake (worried he might have a concussion), drove down 14 miles of steep, curving roads, kept herself in check, and even put together food for the twins before she left with J-man for the hospital. She's incredible and what happened to J-man? Would have happened regardless of who was there.**
My poor J-man. He was bloody and bruised, his eyes already black and dried blood all around his nose. His nose was all skinned up from hitting the stone wall, but what upset me the most was his right nostril. All of you, right now, take your finger and push up your right nostril, like you're imitating a pig. Now, go look at yourself in a mirror. See how that position has now crinkled your skin on the upper part of your nose, near your eye, and lifts your upper lip? Yep, that's been the J-man since Friday and he'll be like that until surgery is performed to correct it.***
I immediately held him and 15 minutes later, the ambulance arrived to transport us to Children's Healthcare of Atlanta. Why the transfer? Well, the CT scanner in Dahlonega was broken. Plus? The Dahlonega hospital wasn't all that great 16 years ago when Ty-man and I lived there and went to college. Sixteen years later? It's still not that great.
Friday evening was my first ride in an ambulance. They strapped me down to the bed and I held J-man. The medic riding in the back with us eventually saw my reflection in the back door window as I continually wiped the tears and snot from my face. He came around and we talked. He calmed me down and by the time we arrived at CHOA, I was slightly better.
Now, you know an injury is bad when the doctors and nurses at a pediatric hospital, who've seen it all, gasp and back up a step. J-man looked bad. His attending physician even asked to take pictures for training purposes regarding severe nose fractures.
J-man sat through his CT scan without flinching or crying. He held still and didn't move a muscle. Kid has bigger balls than many adults I know. When the results came in, it just confirmed what we already knew, that he has nose and facial (under his right eye) fractures and that our boy will have one heck of a story to tell his own kids. What upset me so much about the results was the fix. We won't see the plastic surgeon until Thursday, nearly a week after his accident, and surgery won't be performed until all the swelling is gone.
See, I'm an instant-fixer. When something or someone is broken, I want it fixed now, Now, NOW! I don't want to wait. And waiting for J-man to have his nose fixed is driving me nuts, because every time he hides his face from someone, every time he looks at his reflection in the mirror, my heart breaks. I just want to play the old game of "stealing" his nose. You know the game. The one when you pretend to steal the child's nose, but it's really your thumb in between your index and middle fingers. But, I don't want to pretend. I want it to be real and I want to trade noses so that he doesn't have to go through this hurt, this pain, the stares from others, and the inevitable questions that follow.
I don't want to be the mother who is emotionally strong, holding his hand through it all. I want to be the mother who can wave my hand and fix everything in the blink of an eye.
*Note: I cannot list the name of said customer here on my site, but suffice it to say that said customer can kiss my pale-white ass and go fuck themselves.
**Are you reading this Betty? I love you. Quit beating yourself up over this. Stop it, or else.
***I don't have any pictures of J-man's injury and I don't intend to take any. As I stated on my Facebook page, I don't want a visual memory of this weekend. I'll take a picture of him when he's out of surgery and recovering.