Robby has been looking forward to his friend Nick's birthday party for the past month. Nick and Robby became instant friends on the first day of school. My little guy loves a party, but the fact that this was a birthday party for his best friend- and that it was being hosted at Jumping Jimmy's (an inflatable playground for kids)- made the event near monumental in his mind.
Robby immediately began pestering me to take him to the party when he woke up on Saturday. I tried to divert his attention from the party but wasn't successful. By the time we were ready to leave, I'm not sure who was happier-- Robby because he could play with his friend or me because it meant that I didn't have to listen to his constant requests to go!
As soon as we entered the party complex, Robby shed his boots, the present, and his coat before he took off running after Nick and his friends. I was saying hello to Nick's Mom and hanging up Robby's coat when my cell phone rang. I was surprised when I saw my Mom's number on the caller ID because she knew that we were going to a birthday party so I immediately sensed that this was not going to be a good call.
It turns out that my sister Sheri was driving and became dizzy, pulled over and called my mom. By the time my Mom got to her location, my sister was nearly unresponsive. An ambulance was called and my sister was transported to the local hospital.
Hearing that news stopped me in my tracks. I was surrounded by happy jumping five and six year olds, yet I felt like I was in a dream. I was literally numb with fear and worry.
My Mom had no other details, and I knew that there was nothing that I could do. I felt so helpless, but I also knew that dragging Robby away from the party wouldn't accomplish anything other than disappointing him. I stayed at the party and tried to hide my anxiety and fears from the other parents.
Finally, after nearly two hours my Mom called back. It turns out that my sister had developed an infection in a hand laceration which was sustained earlier in the week. The infection caused her to become dizzy and pass out. She was put on heavy IV antibiotics and would undergo surgery to open the wound and clean out the infection.
Immediately my mind jumped to sepsis and the possibility of her losing her hand. I have come to know so many amputees who have lost limbs because of sepsis developing from a seemingly benign cut. I tried to remain upbeat but inside the anxiety was eating me up. I kept conjuring up worst case scenarios, including prosthetic hands. In that moment, the leap from a hand infection to an amputation didn't seem that far.
I hate that my mind instantly jumped to the worst case scenario. I've always considered myself to be an positive person who looks for the silver lining in every situation. In this case I suspect that my experience jaded my reaction. I've come to learn that there is no such thing as a "small" wound infection because it can rapidly spread without notice or cause.
Thankfully my sister's infection is under control and she is resting comfortably She is waking up in the hospital again this morning, but we are expecting her to be released this afternoon. With a continued course of antibiotics and with a freshly cleaned incision we are expecting a full recovery and are counting our blessings!