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  1. #1

    Default Positive thoughts appreciated...

    I wasn't sure where to put this so if it really belongs elsewhere, please feel free to move it. I didn't want to drag down the Roll Call thread with this either but I need to get this out somewhere before I implode.

    Ds spends most of his weekends with his paternal grandmother. This weekend ds(6), his grandmother and his cousin(I think he's 16 or 17 now?) were all out doing yardwork this weekend. Grandma had a huge tree between her house and her garden cut down because it was leaning over the house so they were gathering up the little branches, leaves and debris left from that and burning it. Apparently, his cousin was trimming with the weedeater, grandma was painting some trim on her house and ds decided he wanted to go play in his sandbox which is at the edge of grandma's property between our house and hers. He somehow managed to walk through the ash pile that they had covered with dirt to put out. He made it two steps in and got hot coals that fell into both of his shoes. He tried to run back to grandma, and this is where the details get fuzzy. What I've gather is they pulled his shoes off, which melted to his feet a little, but they got them off and put his feet in cold water and then call dh and me to come get him and take him to the hospital.

    Now grandma has a tendency to exaggerate and panic in situations like this. So I tried not to panic until I got over there to see for myself. We figured we would just have him checked out at urgent care. I see his feet and immediately can tell that this is out of urgent care's league. Huge blisters are already forming over half of the bottom of both feet and several on the sides and near his ankle on his left foot. Unfortunately, we live rurally and it is 20 minutes to the nearest hospital. It's 40 minutes to the nearest hospital you would actually want to go to. He is still screaming in pain. I can't bring myself to drive him 40 (25 - 30 if I abuse the speed limit liberally) So I took him to the less than stellar local hospital knowing that this is likely out of their league too and they will send us out. And I was right. At first, they thought he would be life flighted to children's but in the end, they decided he would be fine health wise for the less expensive ambulance ride there. They gave him 4 doses of morphine for the pain while we waited for an ambulance to arrive to take him to children's hospital. He finally stopped screaming and withering in pain about the time the ambulance arrived. I rode in the ambulance with ds for the normally 3.5 hour drive to children's hospital (it took just over two in the ambulance). Dh and grandma got to the hospital about 5 minutes after we left in the ambulance. Dh took the truck I drove to the hospital and followed us about 30 minutes behind.

    We got to children's and initially we were to be triaged in the ER there and then admitted to the burn unit. From the description from the referring hospital, they were pretty sure he would need skin grafts and planned to sedate him and intubate him not long after we got there. But the pediatric burn specialist was pleasantly surprised that it wasn't as bad as he had thought it would be and decided that rather than go through the risk and further trauma of anesthesia and intubation that he would just drain and clean the blisters (which were unbelievably huge by this point) and he could go home and just come back in 10 days to reassess. We let him talk to the doctor and explain his fears and he seemed to understand that it might hurt a little and that's scary but it was less scary than surgery if he didn't need it. They did an awesome job talking with him and helping him have at least a little say in what happens to him. He told them whatever they were going to give him for the pain, he wanted at least 4 of them lol. They gave him more morphine before they started and some anxiety medication because he was freaking out that they wanted to touch his feet. It hurt him a lot, but over all I think it was a good idea not to sedate and intubate him.

    So they drained and dressed the wounds. Then one of the nurses made the observation that he is a stocky boy and heavier than he looks and he can't walk at least for a week or two. Ds told them he would just borrow one of their wheelchairs lol. But they did arrange for a wheelchair he could borrow to be delivered to our house today. They gave him some more narcotic pain medication for us to take home and use for the first couple of days and then transition to ibuprofen. So he's still feeling pretty good all things considered lol. We got back home just after midnight last night so we are all pretty tired but surviving. They gave us letters excusing him from school until the doctor clears him so I guess I have to excuse him from lessons this week lol. I just got some books on mummies so we will probably just read aloud a lot and some fun school until he's no longer on narcotic pain meds.

    So if you've made it this far, thanks for reading lol, but I do have a question. Ds developed encopresis last summer. We have just now, a little over a year later, got him mostly accident-free again. The children's hospital gave us urinals for him to pee in but we didn't think to ask about #2. Any ideas or suggestions? Dh thought maybe a camp style toilet or the toilet chair they had for grandma after her surgeries would help. I'm fine with those ideas, I'm the one that emptied and cleaned the toilet chair when we stayed with Grandma after her surgery so that's no biggie. But I was more wondering if there were any other things we should consider or think about. My Google-Fu skills are failing me on this particular topic lol.

  2. T4L In Forum Oct19
  3. #2

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    Oh man, hugs to you all. Scary and difficult for everyone involved. Hope your DS heals well.

    So, with the toilet, is the issue that it is a struggle for him to get out of bed to get to the toilet? Can you put him in a room closer/easier to access to the toilet until he is a bit better, and just help him there for #2 since it is not as frequent/many times per day as pee? Or otherwise, just the toilet chair sounds fine.

    Are they going to do any physical therapy for him if he cannot easily walk? Because I imagine he needs to be up and moving in some way to avoid sores and muscle atrophy.

    Did they give you any idea on how long it would take to heal?

    More hugs and best wishes!
    New Zealand-based. DD 11 (year 6 [NZ system]) homeschooled, and DD 6 (year 1 [NZ system]) who is currently trying out public school.

    Freelance copyeditor, specializing in scientific text, who will make mistakes in my posts (I don't self-edit).

    That's a kea (NZ parrot) in my avatar. You can learn about them on Beak & Brain - Genius Birds from Down Under on Netflix.

  4. #3

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    Well, the hospital arranged a wheelchair for him today and I just went out and got it and brought it home. He thinks it's awesome lol. We don't have anything definite on heal time yet. Probably won't until we take him back to children's next week for his follow up. They are thinking at least 2-3 weeks before he will feel comfortable walking again but he is welcome to try whenever he wants to try. We haven't really discussed physical therapy yet because we were all just relieved he didn't need surgery and inpatient hospital stay. Everyone, even the ER nurses at both hospitals, were pretty sure he would be admitted.

    I'm most worried about him backsliding on the progress we've made with him. He has been really good about telling us when he has to pee so far. But even when he could get to the bathroom himself, he will hold it until he leaks because of anxiety over going #2. It's a long story how he got to that point and I will go into it if I need to but mostly I just don't want him to lose the progress he has made. We are down to 3-4 accidents a month and not always in the same week. It has taken him a year of retraining and patience to get him to this point. Sigh. I might just have to accept that he may backslide a bit and we will have to retrain him to #2 in the potty... For the third time in his short little life.

    Dh was in a half body cast and then a wheelchair for months as a kid because he literally snapped his femur in half. He is a lot better at figuring out how these things need to work than me. I think we are going to give the camp style toilet a try.

  5. #4
    Senior Member Arrived RTB's Avatar
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    Oh my, your poor kiddo! I'm so sorry!

    Your idea would be mine as far as the toilet access goes.

    Keep on eye out for constipation, it can be a pretty common side effect of narcotics (and not being able to move much does not help either).

    I hope he heals fast.
    Rebecca
    DS 14, DD 12
    Year 8

  6. #5

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    Totally understand about the not wanting to backslide. I think I remember your original posts about when he had encopresis as my DD had it from about age 7 to 8, and I know what that journey is like!

    Hope the camp toilet works out.
    New Zealand-based. DD 11 (year 6 [NZ system]) homeschooled, and DD 6 (year 1 [NZ system]) who is currently trying out public school.

    Freelance copyeditor, specializing in scientific text, who will make mistakes in my posts (I don't self-edit).

    That's a kea (NZ parrot) in my avatar. You can learn about them on Beak & Brain - Genius Birds from Down Under on Netflix.

  7. #6

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    They decided to have us come back early since he is refusing to bear any weight at all on his feet. Hopefully they will have some inspiration and suggestions to get him to start trying because I can't even reason with him or bribe to do it. I can usually get him to do things he really doesn't want to do with one of those two tactics. We are making the trip back to children's hospital tomorrow.

    Bandage/dressing changes cause him so much anxiety that it makes them take an hour plus. I seem to remember one of you ladies here are or were a nurse, any suggestions for making it even a little easier? We started with pouring water over them to loosen them from the wound site, warm or cold water,it doesn't matter he freaks out. So last night we tried a bowl of warm (more like tepid) water and let him soak his bandages off since the doctor told us that was fine to do. Nope, he doesn't like water on them at all, he says it stings but openly admits that a lot of it is that he is scared it will hurt, not that it actually hurts. Any suggestions for either getting the bandages off easily or managing his anxiety?

  8. #7
    Senior Member Arrived RTB's Avatar
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    Hugs. I'm a nurse.

    I'm glad to read you are going back! It had seemed like a long time between non-walking and follow up to me.

    Sounds like you are doing all the right things. We would often wet bandages to get them off without damaging new skin in the hospital. You could try giving him some pain medication 30 minutes before you do a dressing change (like the Ibuprofen).

    If he is really experiencing a lot of pain when you change the dressings, I'd definitely bring that up with the MD. Also things to consider asking - how long should you bandage for, and if he should see a physical therapist. The nurses there might be able to give you tips on changing his dressings (they usually have all the tricks) - so I'd ask their opinion too.

    I don't think it is possible to make it a 100% pain free experience though. Maybe acknowledging that it may hurt a little and that it has to be done so he can get better - but you know he is a brave kid and/or can watch his favorite TV show (while you do it) / pick a candy from the bowl to eat / put a star on the poster to earn a bigger treat.

    Keep us posted!
    Rebecca
    DS 14, DD 12
    Year 8

  9. #8

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    Poor wee guy.

    My DD has a lot of medical anxiety about anything that might be painful or cause her to vomit (as she also has a phobia about vomiting). The things that help her the most seem to be allowing her time (LOTS of time) to go through all her what ifs, and giving her ways of feeling that she has some control over when the medical thing happens so it does not just happen to her. Can he do the water pouring or the initial lifting of part of the bandage and then you help him with it? She also seems to benefit from talking about how even though it will hurt, the pain has an ending and putting that length of time in a form she can understand easily (like it is going to hurt for as long as it takes you to count doing five breaths).

    Hope all goes well at the next appointment!
    Last edited by NZ_Mama; 09-18-2019 at 06:06 PM.
    New Zealand-based. DD 11 (year 6 [NZ system]) homeschooled, and DD 6 (year 1 [NZ system]) who is currently trying out public school.

    Freelance copyeditor, specializing in scientific text, who will make mistakes in my posts (I don't self-edit).

    That's a kea (NZ parrot) in my avatar. You can learn about them on Beak & Brain - Genius Birds from Down Under on Netflix.

  10. #9

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    Thanks everyone. Ds is trying to walk now, begrudgingly. I'll post more later on, I just didn't want you guys to think I had forgotten you! This week has been a whirlwind and I have been reading and using your suggestions, they have helped! I'll have to give details later though, I hate trying to type on the phone. Lol

  11. #10

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    OK, so ds is walking a LOT more comfortably now. Apparently, he was never suppose to have been offered a wheelchair in the first place, they wanted him walking from day one. They have informed the ER staff that in the future, foot burns that can be discharged the same day do not need wheelchairs. They gave him a new type of dressing for his feet. It is some kind of surgical foam (Mipilex I think it is called?) and then bulky gauze then burn netting. Before he just had vaseline infused cloth, regular gauze and then burn netting. They said that this new dressing didn't need to be changed but every 5 days but I went ahead and changed one of them last night because walking on it had made it come loose and despite trying to keep the floors as clean as I could, it had gotten a little dusty (it's impossible to keep the dirt outside here!) The difference those foam wound covers made! The sores are healing much faster, they come off with no effort at all, no water needed, and after getting over the apprehension factor and fixing that wrapping they did at the hospital that came loose (I made it so it should be a lot more difficult for it to come apart without squeezing his foot too much) he is walking more than he is even required to every day! The physical therapist that saw him in the hospital on Thursday wanted him to get up to 30 minutes a day of walking, more if he could, by the time we go back on the 30th. As of today, he is walking everywhere himself! No wheelchair at all!

    @RTB thank you for your experience and advice. When we were still having to change them everyday, we dosed him his meds and then let him play Minecraft until bedtime after his bandage change. That helped get him through it some but I am so glad we don't have to do that everyday anymore lol. Not only did it cause ds a lot of anxiety but it would wear me and dh out trying to get it done and keep him as calm as we could while we did it. It was just exhausting for everyone involved!

    @NZ_Mama your suggestion to tell him it will be over by the time he can count to X number worked great! We do that with these new dressing since they come off so easy but he still has anxiety about it hurting, understandably, but even he was surprised when it was all done even before he finished counting lol. Thanks for that, I'll have to keep that trick in my bag of tricks, I'm sure this isn't the last time we will have to use it. ;-)

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