I'm back. I've been away for a few days. Are you ready for the next installment of the comedic- tragic-drama that is sometimes called, my life? God knows, I wasn't, but I don't seem to have much of a say about these things.
Here's the scoop. Monday night, I'm sitting here at home relaxing, and my cell phone rings. The caller ID shows that it's my oldest son, Nick. Thinking, Gosh, I haven't heard from Nick all weekend. I wonder what he's up to ? (silly me - I should have known better) I answer the phone, and I'm surprised to find that it isn't my son.
Instead, a voice says, "Is this Nick's Mom?"
As you know, ever since Nick was three years old, I feel a certain sense of impending doom whenever I hear someone ask me that question, and I'm never really 100% certain what the correct answer should be. I had already determined that the voice didn't sound any thing like a police officer , so I said, "Uh . . .Nick's mom? Yeah, that's me."
"This is Josh, Nick's room mate." He says,
"We've got sort of a situation, I thought you should know about. Uh, my girlfriend just took Nick to the hospital. Nick sort of got into an argument with a friend of mine this evening . . . And well . . . we're pretty sure that his jaw is broke. I thought you might want to know."
They had taken him to the hospital emergency room right down the street from their apartment, which is about 10 miles from my house. I told him that I was on my way, woke up my husband, and told him briefly where I was off to in the middle of the night.
As I walked across the parking lot towards the E.R. entry, I noticed that Josh and his girlfriend were standing outside waiting for me. He smiled apologetically, and handed me Nick's wallet and snagged my arm. He gave me a serious look and said, "uh . . . it's really bad." then, he walked away. At the time, I was just a little too distracted to realise how strange his behavior was.
The second the automatic door slid open, I could hear my son, screaming garbled obscenities and moaning through tears. He was sitting in a wheel chair only a few feet from the door. His girlfriend, Jennifer was kneeling down on the floor in front of him, holding a bucket full of blood, and trying to soothe him. As I walked up behind him, I saw what looked like burns all over his shoulder and chest, but when he turned and looked up at me, I realised that the pink color all over him was blood stains that had been hastily wiped away. The left side of his jaw was swelled to the size of a cantaloupe and twisted and misshapen. His mouth was covered with blood that was freely flowing into the plastic pan in his lap. He looked up at me with tears in his eyes and said, "I'm sorry, Mom."
I looked at Jennifer and said, "What the Hell is he doing sitting here in the hall?!"
"They say that they can't see him for FOUR hours!!" she said helplessly.
I turned towards the reception desk that was a mere three steps away. The receptionist was dealing with a woman who was complaining of chest pain. " I thought chest pain was supposed to be a priority ! I've been here over an hour!!"
I knew that trying to talk to her would be a waste of time. I turned back to Jennifer and said,
"Get him loaded up int the car, we're going to the hospital in Olathe."
As soon as Nick stood up and walked towards the reception desk, I noticed, from the corner of my eye, that the security guard, who had been calmly sitting in his little glass booth, suddenly stood up. I spun around and gave him a maternal death glare, and he sat back down. The two of us helped Nick out the door, across the parking lot, and into the car. On the way to Olathe, I got most of the story from Jennifer. Jennifer had been driving a friend home when it happened, but she got the story from Josh's girlfriend who took Nick to the hospital.
Josh had invited a friend over to the apartment, and the drinking ensued. Over the course of the evening, they both got obnoxious and mouthy. Nick, who is 5' 6'' and 130 pounds, started calling Josh's friend some very unpleasant names. Josh's friend, who is 6'5" and easily twice Nick's weight, told Nick to stop, or he'd get punched. Nick may be small, but when he drinks, he has no fear and even less brains. So of course, Nick looked him in the eye and repeated his comments. Before Nick knew what had happened, he was on the floor screaming in pain. Just one punch. In spite of the pain, Nick was as drunk as I had ever seen him, ranting and raving, all the way to the hospital.
I called Roy and asked him to meet us there because, it was obvious that Nick would be hard to handle. However, when we got to Olathe, they took him to a room right way and left Jennifer and I to do the paper work. When we finished, we asked to go back and see Nick, but they told us to wait until he was settled in. About 30 minutes later, a nurse came back and said that he was going to x-ray and it would be about 45 minutes before we could go back and see him. She also said that he was asking for pain medication, but that they couldn't give him anything because, he was too intoxicated. I knew that this news probably upset Nick, but since we didn't hear any of his screaming and ranting, we assumed that he was content just to have someone doing something to help. Instead of sitting and waiting, we told the nurse that we were going to pick up Jennifer's car at the other hospital and be right back. (Roy had gone home to be with Jake and Heather.)
We were only gone 25 minutes, but when we returned, Nick was standing outside, surrounded by a security guard and four police men. Apparently, while we were gone, Nick went psycho, and started screaming for morphine, cursing up a storm, and spitting blood all over the floor. They kicked him out of the emergency room, and called an ambulance to transfer him back to the hospital that we had just left !!! All the while I was talking to the policeman, Nick was doing his best to be verbally abusive to them. When they finally got fed up with him, and threatened to take him to jail, broken jaw and all, he finally settled down a bit. When the ambulance arrived, Nick refused to go and insisted that Jennifer and I drive him. So, for the sake of sanity, Jennifer left her car (again), we loaded him into my car, and drove him back to the 1st hospital,; while an Olathe police officer followed us!!
When we arrived, they took Nick directly to an exam room, while two police men stood outside the door, in case he got out of hand again. I guess he had worn himself out because, he fell asleep waiting for the doctor. They finally got him x-rayed. When the doctor saw the damage - He explained that he would require surgery. They gave him three shots of morphine before they sent him to a room. The sun was just coming up as Nick finally settled down to sleep. However, they could do nothing for the bleeding in his mouth. Jennifer and I took turns dumping the bucket of blood that he kept coughing up, changing the pillow cases that he slept on, and keeping him from trying to drink anything.
At 2PM on Tuesday, the doctor came in and explained that his jaw was broken in two places, both on the right, and the left side. The left side was the worst. It was totally broken and severely displaced - the worst he had ever seen. The right side was broken, but still in place. Nick had taken a huge bite out of the inside of his left cheek, and that was the source of all the blood. He was able to schedule him for surgery at 5PM, so that he could stitch up his mouth, remove a wisdom tooth that was cracked, and then, set his jaw, and wire his mouth shut.
24 hours after that single punch, Nick was out of surgery, and in his hospital room, with his mouth wired shut. And it will stay that way for the next 6 to 8 weeks, if he behaves himself.
Before I left to go home and sleep, Nick asked if he could come home to my house for a few days. After being up for more than 36 hours, I was too tired to ask questions, I just said sure.
He was released from the hospital at noon on Wednesday, and that's when I discovered, that Jennifer goes everywhere that Nick goes ! (apparently, Jennifer decided NOT to go home last week as planned.) So I spent most of Wednesday tracking down a pharmacy where I could buy all his pain meds and antibiotics, in liquid form, for less than the price of gold ! His meds only cost about 20 dollars, in pill form; but in liquid form, they are 150 dollars !!! It's insane !
This afternoon, I took him to see the doctor for a post-op check, and more x-rays. ( I can hardly wait to see the bill on this one. The little drunken spill off the balcony that he took 2 weeks ago ended up costing almost $2000.oo in E.R. charges!)
Anyway, Nick is doing amazingly well with his new "grill", so he and Jennifer decided that they could handle things at home, on their own, this evening. My house is finally quiet tonight. Of course, it's a wreck, I have to reschedule three appointments that had to be cancelled over the last few days, and I don't even want to think about all the other people and jobs that have been neglected. To be honest, all I can think about is, if this last adventure has finally gotten through to Nick. Is he going to go right back to his old lifestyle when he gets home? He says that he's done with drinking and drugs, but I've heard that before. His doctor knew, without being told, that he had a drug and alcohol problem because, he had such an unusually high tolerance to the pain killers. He warned him not to drink while his jaw is wired shut - if he vomits, he could easily choke to death; but before he left the hospital, they gave him a pair of scissors that he is supposed to carry with him at all times, in case an emergency arises and he has to cut the wires. None of that is the sort of thing that I want to think about.
God, I don't want to think about any of that right now. I've got a busy day tomorrow. I have a doctors appointment, Jake has an appointment to get his haircut, and Heather and I have a Midnight book release party to go to. But before I can do any of that, I have to clean the blood out of the inside of my car. If I get pulled over by the police, they are going to want to know who I killed! Right now, It's late, and I just want to go to bed and sleep. Sorry that this is such a long post, but it's been a LONG three days. Good night.
Thursday, July 31, 2008
Posted by Auburn~haired~artist at Thursday, July 31, 2008