Sorry, but I had to shout that. We damn near missed the plane after being caught in a Sydney traffic snarl. The 40 minute taxi ride took an hour and a half. I am always a little panicked about being organised in a big city so we had left the motel two hours before the plane was due to leave. I was almost in a full meltdown by the time the taxi dropped us off. Luckily our plane was a full 40 minutes late too. (My fear was mostly that I wouldn’t get to the toilet before the plane took off and I would end up in the teeny, tiny aeroplane toilet and I’m never completely certain that the door would remain closed during turbulence.)
We were very disappointed by the fact that our metal chested tinman (thanks ashy) did not set off the metal detectors. I don’t quite understand this. When you see these photos it may perplex you too.
This is the actual metal bar which is now inside Pip. This is exactly where it is within his chest. It goes under his skin to the marked ‘x’, then under his ribs to a corresponding mark on the other side. The sternum, which in this photo is 3-4 inches deep, now sits on top of this bar. You can see how the bar has been bent exactly to the size of Pip’s chest.
Now here it is on the inside:
There are no discrete fractures in the ribs which have been pushed forward, but the doctor “crackled” the bones before pulling the bar through. He basically used a metal scoop to go under the sternum and push it upwards, creating greenstick crackles along his ribs. Sounds ghastly, doesn’t it?
Pip is managing his pain extraordinarily well. The doctor said to him that there are no prizes for putting up with pain, that he should take his strong pain medication for at least three weeks then to taper off it. In the first few days he was very aware of the pain as the four hourly medication wore off. He is not so conscious of it now. We are vigilantly clock watching, but he is not really looking for medication as the four hours pass. He is still having a little sleep here and there, but that could just be a side effect of the medication. He is talking and laughing and is beginning to move more freely.
He still has a few weeks of healing before I send him back to school. He needs to be off all medications before going to school and I need to be certain that he is not so fragile. I’m more scared that others might hurt him accidentally by being a bit rough. He is a thirteen year old boy – rough-housing is considered communication.
We are amazed at Philip. It has been a tough couple of weeks. He has gone through more pain than most boys his age can even imagine, but he has shown maturity beyond his years. This has all been so very worthwhile, even though it was more than just a little bit terrifying for all of us.
I have hundreds of posts to read, hundreds of emails to return, millions of thank you messages to make. I will make it a priority tomorrow to get back around to all of you.
PS I did get Philip’s permission to post this photo. He wants me to show before and after shots of his whole chest. He is very proud of it!