Jaysen and the Hospital Trip

So, those of you that follow me elsewhere, would have seen my increasingly worse updates yesterday regarding Jaysen, his injury, and our trips to the hospitals. Plural.

I was sitting on the bus with Tamsyn, minding my own business on the school run when my phone rang, showing a number it didn't know nor recognise. I answer it, and it's Jaysen... "Hi dad, I've just fallen off my bike, and I have a hole in my hand."

I'm a little sympathetic, but all the kids are known for, shall we say, making the most minor injury sound like they've been disemboweled. I ask the standard questions, are you OK, is your bike OK, can you carry on to school...? No, he has a hole in his hand, is bleeding lots, and the man that he's with is going to run him up to the hospital.

Now, I can tell what you're all thinking, but my brain was NOT firing properly. I have the guys home phone number, he's been nice enough to help Jaysen out, and I was mid-transit with Tam. I figure, he can run Jaysen to A&E, I'll drop Tam off, shoot up to the hospital, worst case, he'll get a couple of stitches, I can drop him back to school, get home, job done.

I call Kellie to let her know what's going on, and she tells me off... I can't let Jaysen go with a stranger, I shouldn't trust people I don't know, etc etc. Oops. So I book a cab and my phone rings again - it's Kellie panicking... She tried calling Jaysen, his phone rang then went to voice mail, and when she tried again, it didn't even ring.

Basildon Hospital, however, is known for being a mobile phone dead spot. When we're there for blood tests or consultant appointments, we struggle to get a signal. Jaysen was in the bowels of A&E (or the boot of a crazy axe-murderers car!) where signal is non-existent.

My cab turns up, and I tell him to get me to A&E where my son has been dropped, and the driver is brilliant - gets me across Basildon in zero minutes. Yay for warp speed! He drops me right at A&E and I go in, ask for Jaysen, am directed to the kids casualty section, where I am re-directed to a treatment room. In I go to be greeted with a scene out of a budget horror movie.

Jaysen is sat on a chair, his hand in a doctors lap, a nurse standing beside them. Jaysen is covered in blood. The doctor is covered in blood. The nurse is covered in blood. There is bloody gauze, bandage, tape, and towels all over the bed. The floor is covered in blood.


Jaysen, however, is fine. Not pale, not flinching, chatting away to the doctor and nurse, smiling to me, asking how I was... So obviously his little hole is just a bit of a bleeder. I can't see the hole, however, because at this point, he's been wrapped up. To protect from infection, apparently.

To make sure everything is OK, we're sent around to Xray, so I take the opportunity to call people, to let them know what's going on, and that no one needs worry as he's fine.

By the time I'm done, he's out of Xray and we go back to casualty, and are ushered into a room to wait for a doctor to assess and stitch him up. We sit and chat, and finally, it sort of emerges what happens...

While riding to school, Jaysen came to a corner, around which came another cyclist, travelling at some speed. In virtually a head-on crash, the two bikes hit, the other guy comes off his bike and he and his bike hit a fence. Jaysen, however, remains on his bike, and turns to make sure the other chap is OK. He says he's a bit hurt, and that his bike looks broken and holy crap you've got a hole in your hand dude!

Jaysen looks down to see a hole in his hand, dude. A hole that is rapidly leaking claret out all over the place. The other cyclist calls someone over to help, a woman, who panics and calls someone else over to help. The guy runs into his house, grabs a towel and gets Jaysen to put pressure on the wound. The cyclist goes his own way, the woman goes hers. Not sure what else to do, the bloke picks up Jaysens bike, and ushers him into his house, from where he calls me and lets me know what's going on.

Remember - I've yet to see his "hole" in his hand. I'm still thinking he's hit a bit of glass or a sharp rock and punctured himself.

So I turn to the nurse and ask her, "Is it really as bad as he's making out?" and she pauses, looks down at her messy apron, looks at me and says "It's probably worse than that actually!"

Hmm, interesting.

A doctor - a friendly chap from Jamaica - comes in, and starts questioning Jaysen as to how he did it, and starts unwrapping the bandage. Jaysen repeats his story, and the doctor says it looks like he has a break on a knuckle as well... And at this point, the hand is revealed to me...

Clicking on these pictures will reveal the UNCENSORED version! Don't click if you're squeamish, and don't click if you're then going to tell me you're offended.

Jaysen really didn't do it justice. "A hole in the hand" is NOT what was revealed beneath the bandage. Look at the back of your right hand. From between your pinky and ring finger knuckles, go backward towards your wrist three to four inches. THAT'S the length of it. Go down into your hand about a half an inch, and there's the depth. Yes, it's gross.

The doctor showed me all the main blood vessels (which were visible!), poked at the tendons all showing their faces, checked for nerve damage (of which there was none) and started to wash it out. With a pair of tweezers, he pulled what appears to be a wiggly worm in the actual wound. If you look at the uncensored picture, it's clearly visible.

Giving the wiggly worm a gentle tug, Jaysens pinky finger started to bend. He then got the boy to straighten his pinky - and the wiggly worm pulled the tweezers downwards.

"THAT -" proclaimed the Jamaican doctor "- is a tendon. We're going to have to refer him..." I looked at the boy, and rolled my eyes, then the doc finished his sentence. "To Broomfield Hospital."

I know for a fact, that's in Chelmsford. Not really that far away, but bare in mind, we don't drive. Uh oh.

So, the doctor washed and repacked the hand, but not before I got some cool photos. Again, clicking on them WILL reveal the uncensored version.

My personal favourite - because it's gross
I call everyone, let them know what's going on. Kellie shows the photo around the guys at work, and they are all as impressed as I am with the damage he's done... Clearly it's a battle of the sexes - every woman that has seen it has felt sick, every bloke that has seen it has applauded.

While he's wrapping the hand up, the doc explains that had he managed to go a half-inch deeper still, he would have separated his little finger from his hand - but it would have remained connected at the wrist.


As a precautionary measure - and because of the scale of the injury, the doc started him on a very strong course of antibiotics...

So, Mr Doctor Man starts to examining the wound, checking out the bits and pieces that are literally bulging, oozing and hanging from the hole. In the pictures (assuming you're brave) you'll see what appears to be a wiggly worm... Well, the doc seemed concerned with it, and took it by the tweezers, giving it a little tug.

Jaysens pinky moved. Hmmm.

Getting Jaysen to wiggle his pinky, the tweezers gripping the worm pulled downwards. "That's a tendon." the doctor explained. I kinda figured that out myself. He checked for nerve damage and blood-flow, but they seemed fine.

"I'm going to have to send him to Broomfield Hospital - the plastic surgery team will need to rebuild him from the inside out..."


With a new box of antibiotics, a referral letter and Jaysens open wound redressed, I call everyone to let them know what's going on... When I call Kellie, she arranges for one of the guys at work to come and get us - and she rides along. I think she knows where today is heading, and aside from wanting to see Jaysen, I am Jaysens little rock, so Kellie gets to be mine. And she comes along too.

Chris and Kellie roll up ten minutes later, and we all pop home so we can change before heading up to Chelmsford.

Broomfield Hospital is beautiful. It more like a cross between a University and posh shopping centre... So pretty. We check where we need to be, and a helper takes us to Phoenix Ward, which I think is the kids Plastic Surgery ward. The staff are amazing - just like every other kids ward I've been on - and get Jaysen booked in and checked over, asking lots of questions about his health and questioning how he managed to splatter his hand.

The surgeon arrives within a few minutes of arriving, and has a look, a prod, a poke, and tells us he's pretty sure the wiggly worm is one of the two tendons attached to the pinky - and it's snapped, plus the other is damaged. So he will need surgery.

Out come consent forms and the discussion of what is going to be done, which I have to sign with very shaky hands. I'm being tough and strong, but not liking the situation at all. Jaysen is then given the option of Local or General Anaesthetic, which we discuss with him, and it's generally agreed that Local would be the best bet for health, recovering and himself.

I need to point out at this point that so far - every single step of the way - Jaysen has been a star. He's not complained, not whined, not moaned... The only thing he DIDN'T like was having a needle of local stuck into the wound before the Basildon doc could examine it. He's had no painkillers of any kind, despite being bent and fiddled with. I was, and still am, amazingly impressed with how he held himself all day.

We then have to sit and play the waiting game. We know Jaysen will be seen "that afternoon" but by now it's already gone 1pm. As he's only having a local, he's allowed to eat, which cheered him up no end, so we sit and chill out with some lunch. And then we wait. And wait.

And my phone dies!

And we wait some more.

Finally, at a quarter to four, the surgeon comes in, and tells us they are all set. Time to get gowned up, and despite demanding the nurses make him remove his boxers so his arse hangs out... No, now they allow children to have "dignity" or something. Pah.

Of course, when I'm around, your dignity goes out the window...

Next came the part I was dreading - walking my child down to surgery. I hate it. I hated doing it, I hated thinking about it, and I knew I would hate actually doing it.

So with Kellie holding my hand, we led Jaysen down to the surgical wing, where we had to leave him - then walk back to the ward and sit and wait.

Kellie made me a coffee, and I did my best to ignore the time. Now, I know that, logically, he was only having surgery on his hand. Logically, he wasn't hooked up to any machines. Logically, he was having some tendons repaired and a wound stitched up.

Logic, however, had done a runner, and didn't want anything to do with me that afternoon.

So we sat and waiting, running on "Hospital Time" which a lot of you fully understand. Up to this point, I was holding it together pretty well, but was definitely filling my pants with stress.

At 5.15pm, the nurse came up to get us. He was done and the surgeons were finished. Walking back to recovery, I couldn't breath, my chest was tight and I was ready to bolt. I had Kellie go in to see him, because I didn't know what I was going to see, and didn't think I could do it. It might sound wussy and weak, sue me, but my mind was racing in over drive.

Five minutes later, a cheery Jaysen is wheeled out, still in his very pretty robe, with an arm wrapped so securely, it resembled some form of boxing glove. From the tips of his fingers, down to his elbow, complete with a solid plastic splint, he was totally immobilised.

Which, you know, is sort of obvious as he has to allow his tendons to heal.

He looked so happy with his arm being strapped up - and that he was still in his dress - I had to get another picture of him...

Yes, you will notice that his thumb is totally free and able to move. This is him giving me a thumbs up. Despite the look on his face. And the very attractive socks.

The surgeon came back up a little while later, just to reassure us that everything went fine. They had to fully reattach one tendon, and repair another. To do the reattachment, they had to make the wound longer, as the other end had retracted up into the arm. Luckily, it was only an inch or so further up, so they didn't have to do too much more damage. Once that was repaired, they sewed their way up and out of the wound, closing it with very fine thread. I assume, considering the chap is a plastic surgeon, that the scarring will be minimal.

Jaysen has to remain in his bandaging for at least six weeks. We have a surgical check up next week to make sure everything is healing OK, at which point I am hoping to see the closed wound. You've seen what it looks like up above, but I've not seen it since fixed up.

I'm very interested.

Finally, we got in at 8.15pm, exactly twelve hours after I stepped out the front door to take Peanut to school. We were all hot, exhausted, Kellie and I were stressed out still, and Jaysen was a little bit worn out and aching (unsurprisingly) but had been a complete star all day.

All in all, it was a rough day. As usual, many people came out to see if they could do anything, to see if they could help, to send us and Jaysen their love. Facebook was full of good luck messages and similar, and again, a massive thank you to all our friends for their support and everything else.

Last night was a bad night for me, with things playing on my mind, and after a stressed-out stomach decided to evacuate it's contents at half four or so, I gave up, got up and had a shower.

Jaysen remains in good spirits, is cheerful and jokey, is only in a little pain - more dull aching than anything else - but we've been out and about together most of the day, wandering around town, seeing his mum, visiting his good Samaritan, popping around Asda, then home again...

Downside - his hand is so well wrapped - his RIGHT HAND of course - he cannot hold a mouse, cannot hold a console controller, cannot hold a pen, cannot get it wet... For at least six weeks.

I'm sure this space will have more, but for now, a massive thanks to the staff at Basildon Hospital Childrens Casualty Department, the staff at Broomfield Hospital Phoenix Ward, the A&B Taxis that ran us around, Big Chris for driving us from Basildon to Broomfield, Les for lending us his Fun Bus, and especially the man that helped Jaysen - that looked after him, wrapped his hand up, looked after Jaysens bike, and drove him to hospital regardless of his own plans at that point.

And to all of our true friends, a massive thank you for being there.

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