Sitting in the garden next to my beautiful boy James, I was flicking through Facebook and my memories popped up. As I have mentioned before on Facebook, some memories are wonderful and really make you smile; some memories are not they really bring you back to that dreadful time and the struggles. Today’s memory made me sad and angry and very frustrated.
Three years today James was in hospital, the previous evening I had taken him to A&E as I thought he had dislocated his shoulder (quite common with children with (CP), Cerebral Palsy), unfortunately it wasn’t a dislocation it was a break!
He had broken his arm just underneath the shoulder, not a pleasant break, if there is a pleasant break?
I think the A&E Doctor believed I had done this to him, as the next thing I knew James was been sent up to the children’s ward and Social Services had been called!
My head was spinning and my heart smashed into pieces!!
I really started to question my care, how had he broken it, when had he broken it, did I break it?
He was in such pain and I couldn’t help him. The guilt was enormous and the questions going round and round my head were painful.
The nurses on the ward came in to see what was going on as I don’t normally go to hospital let alone leave James. After a phone call to James’ carer to come to hospital and sit with him, I returned home to collect his equipment, medications, clothes and toiletries. I truthfully don’t remember driving home as the tears flowed, I was totally lost and heartbroken. I arrived home to James’ dad, he opened up his arms and held me close as I sobbed uncontrollably. He said it’s fine we will sort it, I explained Social Services had been called as it was an unexplained break. He reassured me they would need to, as sometimes there is a safeguarding issue. I think he was trying to make me feel better, but it only put more question in my head?
I left James that evening with his carer and she kept me up to date overnight, I went in first thing and found him comfortable which was a huge relief. He had managed some sleep unlike me! I sat with James all day as I normally do, learning to seat him and do cares was a test as I couldn’t roll him or straighten his position using his shoulder, his arm was in a sling and would be for 8 weeks! A complete nightmare!
James’ consultant arrived and sat beside me. I broke down, which to be honest doesn’t happen often. I wiped my eyes and looked up to find her wiping her eyes too. She said I’m so sorry Christine that we find ourselves here, I have been on the telephone for 3 hours today trying to explain to the Social Worker team about James and his condition, the wonderful care you provide for him, and also you have just been by his bedside in Paediatric Intensive Care (PICU) in RMCH (Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital) for the last 9 weeks!
She informed me they would need to assess James and I couldn’t be present. James and I have a great relationship with his consultant, she assured me it would all be fine.
Sometime later she arrived back in our room to say she was incredibly sorry but she was getting no where with the Social workers and James had to stay in hospital. I asked what are they proposing to do, she said I am not sure but they are unwilling for him to return home at this point in time as he is at risk.
At risk are you having a laugh, he’s one of the best cared for boys alive! She said Christine you need to stay calm, I said I know but I can feel myself getting more and more frustrated.
After our second night in hospital our consultant arrived at the door to say she still hadn’t heard from them. I said fine, if they want to take him into care, take him but if they harm a hair on his head I will hunt them down! She smiled and said I know your upset but please try to understand they have a job to do. I said let me talk to them, let me tell them of everyday life with him, can you not let them see notes of what we have just been through? I could never have let James go anywhere, it was my frustration and temper which got the better of me.
Later that afternoon she appeared at our door and said you can go home, I have sorted it all out, it wasn’t easy but she had finally got them to agree to letting James home. Thankfully. She said before I let you go, can I have some bloods done and I want to review the x ray with an orthopaedic consultant, it shouldn’t take long as the consultant is on his way to chat to us. Ok no problem.
After speaking with the orthopaedic consultant is turns out James has brittle bones due to his CP! Oh I said, what does this mean for him, he explained you are more than likely to get more fractures and they tend to be the long bones, like the arms and legs, however please be very careful with his neck and spine! Slightly shell shocked we packed up his room and I finally managed to hoist and put James in his wheelchair which was so difficult to do without hurting him or moving his shoulder.
Our drive home was slow and painful for James, we don’t live on lovely smooth roads. To be honest our farmer next door asked when and where I had been done for speeding as he knew it was my van, but couldn’t possibly be me driving!
What a nightmare but thank goodness there was an explanation as to why James had broken his arm. Unfortunately we did have a second break within 10 days of the first, this was due to a very nasty seizure. We went to A&E and received our second sling! A total total nightmare for James and his care team, bathing, cares, seating was a 3 person job for 8 weeks!
We now have a series of bone infusions (of bone supplement) which so far so good has strengthened his bones: every click makes us so nervous!
The journey of a child with special needs never gets boring, I learn every single day and I believe I always will. I have strength and determination I never knew I had. I wouldn’t change the path I am on as I believe I was destined for this journey to make me a better person.