Monday, May 28, 2012

baby maximus: trauma

Last week there was an eclipse.  I read an article that said you have to wear special glasses to view the eclipse.  It said if you look at the sun with your bare eyes it can burn a permanent image onto the back of your eyes.

I have a permanent image burned onto the back of my eyes.  It's the one of Maximus high centered on a log.  His hands in the hot ashes, crying as he is trying to push himself up.  

And when I close my eyes that image is the first thing that shows up.  
And then I add one more thing to the list of 
the should haves,
the could haves, 
and, the dang it, I wish I would haves.
I have thought of every possible one.  And I have thought of every impossible one, too. 
And let's not forget the never agains.  
Little promises I make myself to make sure that we will ever have to go through this again.

They keep running through my head. 

The camping trip started out as usual.  Me freaking out over getting everything packed, us rushing out the door three hours later than we planned. Getting there, setting up, playing in the water, making dinner, and then my favorite part, sitting around the campfire talking story with friends.  We cover all kinds of topics around those campfires. We got on the topic of taking our kids into the emergency room. I said, "Knock on wood, but I never have."  

The next morning the fire was still going.  Not too many flames.  Mostly hot ashes and few little flames.  Hot hot ashes.  Karl was on the other side cooking breakfast and I was herding the kids.  My friend, Melissa, gasped, "Oh no!" I turned to her and saw that she was running toward the fire.  I looked and saw that image.  The image.  I screamed.  And here's the thing.  No one really remembers who pulled him out.  Karl doesn't even remember how he ended up in his arms.  I remember trying to open a jug of water, but not being able to get it open and then someone taking it from me.  

I calmly ran to the car and got it ready.  I collapsed the pack-n-play that was in the back, put the seats in place, installed the car seat, went and found my bag and the sippy cup, asked Melissa to take my kids, told my kids to go with Aunty Melissa, and then found the car keys.  I remember thinking, I shouldn't be this calm.  But I was. 

In the mean time, someone had brought Karl a big jug of ice water and they had immersed his arms into the water.  Karl ran to the car with baby and giant jug in hand and hopped in the back seat.  He asked our friend, Will, to give Maximus a blessing.  I started driving at what must have felt like a snails pace to Karl because after about 10 seconds we were switching places and he sped out of there.  We were so lucky that they had grated the road.  What could have taken a hour, took about 20 minutes. I was afraid of two things at that point, how badly Maximus was burned and dying of a heart attack because of Karl's fast driving.

We found the hospital okay but couldn't find the emergency room.  A sweet couple was watching us frantically drive around the parking lot.  And they must have noticed how their directions were not computing in our over-occupied minds because they just motioned for us to follow them and led us to the emergency room.  We never would have found it without them.

I kept thinking about how bad it hurt when I was little and I was making peanut butter cookies and I burned my finger on the oven.  Just a tiny spot.  But I remember the pain being almost unbearable for days.  
And here was my baby, with his left hand and his right arms so badly burned.  
I hated not knowing how to calm him.  I almost always know how to calm him.  But in this case, there was nothing I could do.

They took him in right away, gave him some fentanyl,  dressed the wounds, and he seemed to calmed down.  Until they taped a monitor onto his toe.  He freaked out about that.  We thought it was kind of funny considering his arms and all.
The surgeon came in decided that he needed to be sent to Oahu.  
So I drove home, and sobbed, and packed a bag with stuff to get us through the nest couple of days.  
At this point, I was afraid to tell anyone.  I was afraid to do anything because I just felt so incredibly stupid.  I texted my friends that were calling and told them that I was afraid to talk because I was afraid that stupid was going to ooze out if I started talking.  While I was calmly panicking, they were orchestrating a whole schedule of taking care of Eva and Samuel, packing up all of our camping crap, informing people to go the hospital to give Maximus another blessing, getting us food to take to Oahu, and even contacting friends in Oahu to let us know that we would be there in crappy crappy circumstances.

The life flight rescue hero people came and started loading us up.  I kept seeing dollar signs and then I would feel guilty that I was even thinking about such a thing.  This was a someone's life.  Not just someone.  It was Baby Maximus.  
In Oahu, the plastic surgeon and the pediatric surgeon took a look.  His left hand has severe second degree burns and maybe some third.  They will see if starts healing and will get an idea just by watching.  His right arm was burnt with his fore arm being the most severe.  And I guess the charred, blistery stuff that looks the worst, is not the worst.  It is the white stuff that is the worst.  The side of his chin and a tiny spot on his chest were also burnt.  But nothing compared to his hands.  He also has little blisters on his lip, nostril, and his right eye lashes are singed.  When I thing about what could have happpened...
He has to keep his arms elevated to reduce swelling and he has an IV in his foot.  I hate IVs.  When I was giving birth to Eva I really remember, of all things, the IV hurting so bad.  I hated it.
It's hard to believe this was our life just two days ago.  Playing at the beach, jumping in the waves, digging happily in the sand.  It feels like a lifetime ago.

I love him because he is mine.  But I know so many of you love him, too. We have had an outpouring of love, prayers, help, and concern for Baby Maximus.  Thank you.  I will keep you updated here.  

I am so grateful that he is okay and that this will get better. 

Thank you, thank you, thank you.  

31 comments:

Kat Clark said...

Christina and Karl, my heart breaks in this tragedy. I keep catching myself say, "of all the babies in the world, of all the babies..." and then I tear up and feel so sad. It's about this time that I turn to prayer and the Lord boosts me up, calms me down and reminds my head and heart that this will all be okay. I know that you must be feeling that peace too whenever you pray. I'm grateful for a god who is tender and merciful in our times of trial. Remember his mercy and try to be like him. What I mean is, be merciful on yourself. Let him calm your troubled mind and heal the burns. Both on Maximus and on your eyes when you close them. I love you. I'm praying.

Emily said...

Christina, this is Emily Bake. I'm so sorry to hear about baby Maximus. That is such a scary age, and I've already thought the "I should haves", and "what if's" several times with my baby Lily. I hope you aren't too hard on yourself though, you are a great Mom! I'm glad it wasn't worse, and I hope his poor little hands heal fast. I will keep you guys in my thoughts and prayers.

Liz O. said...

What they said! Amen to that. It could happen to any one of us, and I am praying my guts out for you and sweet baby Maximus for healing and comfort. We love you.

kto1s said...

Sending love, prayers, and healing --both physically and emotionally, your way!

Michelle said...

We are praying for all of you and wishing Maximus a speedy recovery. Little ones are so resilient and you will be home and back to normal before you know it. Wishing we could be closer to help and give hugs.

Zar said...

Praying for peace and comfort for Baby Maximus and all of you. We love you.

MarilynG said...

Oh, Christina, my heart was breaking for you as I read your post. We have been praying for Maximus and your family ever since we heard about the accident. I'm so glad that things are going as well as possible. We love your family and will continue to pray for you.

Anonymous said...

Christina, we are sending all our love and prayers from Oregon. The photos touched our hearts for you and Maximus...poor little man. Thank you for showing so we can support your emotional journey. Hugs and love, Kristen

Brady and Karen said...

Thanks for the update, Christina. This is so, so sad. We are wishing you well, and want to help if you can think of anything. Give that little guy some kisses and we'll give loves to your other babes! I'm sorry it happened to you--to anyone--and I'm sorry we weren't right there to help. -Karen E

steve and jessica said...

We are praying for Maximus and your family.

jamie parker said...

Christina...you and Karl are amazing parents...as a mom, I can tell you with complete certainty that this could happen to any of us...we are praying for your family and sweet Maximus, who touches everybody's heart in the biggest way. We love you and know everything will be ok and Maximus will be back on the beach singing and dancing and wrapping our hearts around his little finger, in no time! xoxo, Jamie

Eric and Laura said...

Oh my goodness Christina. I can't stop crying as I read this. I hate that you guys are going through this...that your sweet baby is going through this. We are praying for you & so grateful things will be okay!
Love,
Laura

pamela said...

i started crying as soon as i knew where this post was going. before i even saw the pictures. i wish i could do something more than pray. you are such an amazing mom, and he is such a beautiful boy! wishing you the best - pam

Nikki said...

Hugs to you and your family.

Ester said...

Christina!
We love you and your sweet Maximus and will have you all in our prayers!!
Love you!
-Ester

Unknown said...

Dear Karl and Christina, we so enjoyed spending time with your family and are so grateful for the friendship that you have shown to Mike, Jamie and Ethan. You have been a blessing to them which in turn is a blessing to me. We were so sad to hear about Maximus. Jamie sent me a text to be praying and I starting praying right away as we waited in the Lihue airport for our flight home to Oregon. I continue to pray for Maxiumus' complete healing. I hope I am blessed to see you again. Many blessing to you and your family. Love, John and Sheryl

Melissa and Lance Atkins said...

We have all been praying and fasting for you guys! I am glad you guys are at a good hospital where they can take care of him so well and I am so glad you guys can be there with him. That is enough to make him happy to have you guys with him. And just know that you are a wonderful, loving, loving mother. Just think about how he is going to get better and better.

Brooke Moench said...

Christina - Your post brought tears to my eyes. There is nothing more heart wrenching than to see your child suffer so much. Don't focus on the could've, would've, should haves - because you can't change them, and it will only drive you crazy. I am so thankful that you have been blessed during this awful time with all of the love and support of the people around you. Your family and especially baby Maximus will be in our prayers. Sending you lots of love! Brooke Moench

Kelly t said...

Sending your family prayers for healing of body, mind and spirit. Friends of friends across the ocean...much love, the tanguays

onolua said...

Aloha Ohana
We send our love to little Max to get well and our prayers has been sent to our Heavenly Father to do what he does best, heal and continue to have that strong love for one another. Baby Maximus will be heal by the power of the greatest healer Our Father in Heaven. We love you kids... Let us know if you kids need anything... lots of love to you all

brendarob said...

Christina and Karl, awful, awful news. So so sad, but glad to hear that he will get better. Josh and I are praying for a speedy recovery for your little Max...and that he can be comfortable. Love you guys, miss you.

Michelle said...

Oh, poor baby Maximus. I'm so, so, so sorry to hear this. Such a traumatic thing for everyone I'm sure. You guys are in my prayers.

EBD said...

I am so so sorry. I cannot even imagine this experience. And, no, you are not stupid - it was an accident and they happen. My heart is aching for you, your family and for Baby Maximus. BUT, I am in love with your sweet friends who could help orchestrate everything that needed to happen with your other kiddos. We'll be praying for you but know you are in wonderful caring and loving hands. Emily Decker & Family

Courtney said...

I feel powerless to help, but I have faith in one who can. I am praying to Him for Maximus. Lots of love to both of you. Please keep us posted on his progress... we are hanging on every word. Even though I don't know Kat, she spoke from my heart too in her comment about god and his mercy in times of trial. Hugs to you and to all those that are helping you and with Eva and Sam. You do live in paradise with wonderful people at every turn. Court

Jen Ballam said...

Christina and Karl, we love you guys and are thinking of you and your cute kids and especially sweet Maximus. You are all in our prayers!

Adri said...

Holy crap... I am so sorry! I was reading this post and crying. Don't feel stupid... Accidents happen and you can't sit and think about the what ifs, you just have to move forward and take each day as it comes. Your family is in my thoughts and prayers.

Dawn Sumsion said...

Holy Cow! I had no idea this happened until today! I'm so glad that he isn't as bad as he could have been. This is a scary age and you never know what will happen. You are a great Mom so dont be too hard ib yourself. I'm just glad that he's ok. Our prayers are with you and your family. Love you and know Heavenly Father is watching over him and your family.

Mellises said...

Ah, that picture of Max with his arms all strung up just breaks my heart Christina! He's such a sweet little boy. And he's so lucky to have such great, loving parents that can take great care of him when he falls and gets burned bad. It's not so much IF you have a child that gets hurt that matters, but WHAT you do when it happens. And sounds to me like he was in good hands. :) I'm sure Max's little arms will recover and he'll have great parents to help and comfort him along the way.

AEL said...

Christina, we are devastated for you. Been thinking about you all weekend.

Amber said...

My husband knows Burns. We went through a burn trauma 8 years ago when our son was 4. We understand some of the things you are going through. Annie Williams sent me a link to your website. If you have questions or need support from a burn survivor family please contact us. Darrin.amber@MSN.
It is so amazing to experience the love from family members friends and strangers. My advice is to let them help with everything. Is your little guy still in the hospital?

Ashley said...

I just read your story for the first time, and I wanted to let you know that I know exactly how you feel. My son (about a month younger than yours) was also recently burnt, though not quite as extensively. We were cooking and he fell onto the hot pan. I felt exactly the same way: kept replaying the accident in my head, feeling incredibly stupid, going through all the coulda, shoulda, wouldas, shuddering to think of how much worse it could have been. My heart goes out to you, your family and baby Maximus. My son had to have a skin graft but only had to be in the hospital a total of 5 days. He's almost fully healed now, thank goodness. I'm glad to see that Maximus is also recovering so well. It comforts me to know that another mom in a similar situation had the same feelings I did.

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