Sunday, July 20, 2008

Feeling very old

Feeling very, very old. Wishing I could have a vodka with Aunt Becky. The inside of my head is still ringing and I'm reduced to listening to the echoes.

Hoo boy. The morning began with Connor asking for a bath and I was all-to-glad to comply, to keep the wounds clean. Well, he became increasingly uncomfortable and began to yell in pain and demand that I kill him. He had seemed to be doing so well that I'd not thought he'd need medication first. So I gave him half a hydrocodone and waited with him for the eternity before it took effect. He yelled nearly the entire time. It amazes me that he didn't wake my younger son, or that the neighbors didn't call Children's Services.

Twenty minutes after administering the medication the pain abruptly shut off. It was like turning off a faucet. He loved me again and could tolerate me rinsing his shoulder with lukewarm water. He asked me to read, and so I continued from The Freedom Writer's Diaries: (How a Teacher and 150 Teens Used Writing to Change Themselves and the World Around Them) That's part of my bid to interest him more in reading, by appealing to his maturing sense of fairness and justice. I was so jangled by what we'd just been through together that I kept crying as I read the entries of these high school students.

But we were at peace for hours. I researched online, trying to find the best way to manage this and was a little confused between the traditional approach, and using the transparent dressings that you can leave on. For days.

I called the pediatrician's advice line and they called in a prescription for Silvadene ointment. They clearly advocated for the old school method. But that was going to mean needing to handle the wound twice a day, and clean it as well as covering it. I knew after the experience of the telfa pads sticking that this would be a tough sell. But I was still on the fence.

I went to the pharmacy, taking Scott. They had the Silvadene, but no dressings that were large enough to completely cover the shoulder wound. The pharmacist said the Beaverton Pharmacy might carry it. He was kind enough to call to see how late they were open. In the meantime I got a call from Connor saying his wounds were beginning to 'burn' again. I'd medicated him before leaving, so that was perplexing. Rather than go straight to the other pharmacy I went home where he seemed to feel better.

I made a decision to commit to the transparent dressing. Drove over to the other pharmacy and bought one large sheet for the shoulder, smaller for the elbow and hip. He called when I was nearly home and was clearly in distress again.

I really hope that the cause for pain was that the wound had begun to dry out. The reason I hope this is because that has now been addressed. But he was truly beside himself while it was being addressed. It made the morning look mild by comparison. I had to look online to find instructions for applying the Silvadene and tegaderm and he was shouting the entire time. He was louder and nearly hysterical for at least 15 minutes after I applied it. I broke down and medicated him again, even though it had only been 3 hours since the prior time. Scott and I had gotten a movie, "Airport: The Movie" and it was running. About the time of the bar scene where the women are fighting and one is flung down the length of the bar so her head hits the juke box and "Staying Alive" starts playing he noticed it.

Perhaps I should have had him watching it before applying the dressings. Or, what I REALLY should have done was checked my e-mail because my friend sent me some research that says that children can tolerate pain better while they're playing video games! I felt so helpless in my attempts to engage his mind to reduce his suffering even as he was in pain. He was frantic.

Anyway, the wounds are dressed, covered with appropriate healing ointment and a clear protective cover. I can leave it for the 3-5 days it's supposed to adhere. The wounds will stay moist, and with any luck what happened this afternoon will not be repeated.

I don't think either he or I could stand it.

And I really want to stop giving him the codeine. I feel vaguely like an unfit mother.


Aunt Becky said...

Poor guy. And poor you! It's so hard when they're in pain like that and you can't do a thing to help it.

Douglas W said...

I have only just caught up on the saga of the skate board fall and subsequent agony.... ouch!

But not wanting to get in to the discussion about which medication is best and which dressing, all I can say is...

...what Patients like this need is Patience.