A week ago, on Tuesday afternoon, I received the phone call that no Mother ever wants. My youngest son, Jordan, was involved in a serious car accident and he was being transported to the Medical Center.
I was at the hospital before the Rescue Squad arrived. Waiting to see him in the ER was torture, but he had to be ‘checked in’ before I could get past Security and into his room. (What parent gives a damn about their Admissions Policy or their security when their child has been seriously injured and they don’t even know what those injuries are?)
Twenty-three long and stressful minutes passed before I was allowed to enter. I found him in Room 20, already surrounded by a staff attending to him. He was boarded and collared, and all clothing had been cut from his body. He heard me call his name as I went to his side. Black and blue all over, with an obviously broken right ankle and deep lacerations along both knees, he was alert and was handling the pain well.
The accident happened on a back road, and he was driving on-the-job. An unidentified driver on the other side of the road swerved into the curve and ran him off the road. He hit a tree head-on at 40mph.
Seat belts save lives. And he is living proof of it. Both air bags deployed, and that little Honda Civic did its very best to cushion him against the impact of that large tree. Body scans for internal injuries and x-rays from head to toe showed no internal injuries, but he had fractured his right ankle in 4 places. The gash in his right leg had cut into a tendon in the knee. The gash in his left leg required 15 stitches. For the right leg, surgery was scheduled.
He wasn’t out of recovery until 11:30pm that night. His ankle now has metal plates and screws to provide life-long support for a now-compromised ankle. The orthopedic surgeon, a specialist in sports medicine, has already said that he will always have a weak ankle, and he will suffer with arthritis. I prefer to think that he may have arthritis, instead of the definitive statement from the specialist.
Since he lives alone, I’ve now become taxi-driver as well as caregiver. And with the legal issues involving the accident, I’m the liason between him and the law office we have retained. Fortunately, his girlfriend is taking on the role of round-the-clock nurse/maid. Two days ago, he went for his first checkup and has progressed to The Big Black Brace. He is still not permitted to put weight on the leg, so he is on crutches (or the wheelchair I rented for him).
The day after he was released from the hospital, I gave him 2 new quilts that I had made. I love having a stockpile of quilts on hand so that a quilt can be given away when the need arises. To help with his recovery, Jordan got a new quilt for his sofa and a new queen-size quilt for his bed. Even through all of the pain, he gave me one of his really large smiles when I showed him each of his new quilts.
There is a healing power in a quilt. I see it when I lay my grand-daughter down with her quilt at naptime. I see it when an elderly person is gently covered with a quilt across the lap. And I have my own memories: I remember how our family quilts would help to heal me through a feverish illness when I was young. That healing power is right up there with chicken soup — gifts from the heart and home that feed the soul. There’s a snuggly goodness and comfort-factor stitched into a quilt, enabling the power of healing to occur. And no doctor-prescribed medicine can come close.