A Medical Emergency

My life has been such a whirlwind I’ve barely had time for any on-line presence.  It always seems that just when you think the week ahead is looking like plain-sailing and you might actually have the chance to tackle the overdue tax reports the accountant has been asking for since October, that another crisis rears its ugly head.

Miss Arabella was due to start uni today.  I’ve been counting the days.  But two days before she was to start her Arts/Law degree, she was asked if she could work one shift at a nightclub/restaurant.  They were desperately short-staffed and they would be so appreciative if she could drop everything and help them out.

Being wheeled into Emergency by the ambulance officer

Being wheeled into Emergency by the ambulance officer

‘I don’t know about that, Arabella; it’s your brother’s birthday tomorrow and he’ll want you up early so he can open his presents and we do have 16 coming for lunch to celebrate.  And are you sure you don’t want to rest?  Your face is still swollen from your oral surgery‘.

‘Don’t worry, mum; I’m fine;  he said I can be the first to leave so I’ll be home just after midnight’.

We gave her a lift to the restaurant and in the car she said, ‘Mum, I don’t know why I’m wearing these heels; I should have worn your flats’.  And I looked and she had on a pair of impossibly high heels.  ‘How are you going to stand up all night in those?’

‘I’ll be all right’.  As she got out of the car I yelled, ‘And be careful; uni starts Monday’.

Beautiful but damaged shoes

Beautiful but damaged shoes

I was woken at 2.30am with the phone ringing.  I just knew it would be Arabella.  ‘Mum, I’m in hospital.  I fell over at work and hurt my knee’.

‘Oh for heaven’s sake.  What’s wrong with your knee?’

‘I don’t know’.

‘I’ll get your father to come and get you’.

‘No, I have to stay in overnight.  I might need an operation’.

‘What are you talking about?’

‘It’s fine; it’s just bleeding’.

‘Should we come in and see you?’

Waiting for the marked-up leg to be operated on

Waiting for the marked-up leg to be operated on

‘No, I’ll be okay.  Just come in the morning’.  Then Drew spoke to the nurse who said her knee had been cut by glass and the wound would probably need suturing in theatre but that she wouldn’t be going to theatre until the morning’.  We were confused and dazed but tried to get back to sleep.

In the morning I phoned her and she said she’d been given morphine and endone for the pain.  I thought that sounded pretty heavy-duty pain for a cut to her leg so asked what happened.  She said that at around midnight she was carrying a tray of clean glasses up a few stairs when someone accidentally banged into her causing her to lose balance.  The tray of glasses crashed on the floor and she fell on her knee on top of the broken glass.  That sounded more serious than what I was told the night before.  I said we would come in and see her before everyone arrived for lunch but she said she was going to have a sleep and to come in later.

Waiting for theatre

Waiting for theatre

Well…it was the little guy’s 10th birthday and the show had to go on so I buzzed around getting ready for a sit-down lunch for 16.  I phoned her at around 12md and all was well but she was still waiting to go to theatre.

After the lunch we beetled into the hospital.  Arabella was now in a four-bed ward and looking a tad anxious.  Still hadn’t been to theatre, was tired of being nil-by-mouth and was complaining of pain.  There was a heavy bandage around her right knee and her leg was black, bruised and swollen.

We waited and waited and waited and whenever we asked what was happening with the surgery we were told, ‘Don’t know’.

Late at night and just back from theatre

Late at night and just back from theatre

That wore thin.  I went down to reception and said, ‘I realise there is only one emergency theatre and I realise the list can change with new cases with a higher priority arriving through the doors  but at what stage does my daughter become a priority?  You can’t keep her nil-by-mouth for forever’.  Due to the lengthy emergency list, extra staff were called in and a second theatre was made available.

Arabella went down for surgery at around 7.3opm.  She asked, ‘Will you still be here mum when I come back to the ward?’

‘Yes, I’ll be here’.  So she was wheeled away and Drew took the birthday boy home and I waited in the lounge area.  Two hours later her surgeon phoned and said, ‘It’s all gone very well and your daughter is waking up in recovery’.  He told me Arabella is very lucky; that it could have been so much worse as in, severing an artery.  He had to repair a severed ligament and a severed tendon and in one place the glass had gone right down to the bone, damaging the outer layer.  He then had to piece together some of the skin and flesh on her shin and as some was very mushed, he cut it away and then joined the remaining pieces together.  He said she may need plastic surgery down the track.  She is in a splint for six-eight weeks and will need crutches and maybe also a wheelchair.  After that she’ll need rehabilitation with physiotherapy and hydrotherapy.

A few drugs onboard

A few drugs onboard

Arabella came back to the ward at around 11pm.  She was very groggy with eyes rolling around in her head.  I told her all was well and that I’d see her in the morning.

No matter where you are, you shouldn't neglect your teeth

No matter where you are, you shouldn’t neglect your teeth

I was telling a friend who said, ‘She’s been in hospital ever since you got back from Vanuatu.  I think you need to go back’.  I said, ‘Did I tell you she also went to hospital in Vanuatu?’  But that’s a story for another day.

In the local hospital in Santo, Vanuatu

In the local hospital in Santo, Vanuatu

This week I am bedside at the hospital.  Miss Arabella has been distressed about missing the start of her combined degree but I’m sure there is a way she can keep up to date on that front.  And as for the little guy, well he said he had the best birthday ever.


  1. Oh Charlie. So very sorry to hear about Arabella’s injury.
    I shall breathe in some healing air for here here on the beach in Mozambique.
    ☺ Mandy xo

  2. Ouch, that sounds so painful. Sorry to hear and hope she recovers soon!!

  3. Oh my goodness, poor Arabella, and you, what a nightmare situation! Wishing her all the best for her full recovery. Xx

  4. P.S. Happy 10th Birthday to Alfie!

  5. Oh poor Arabella, that must have been so painful. Poor you too on your constant hospital vigils. I wonder why these things happen in groups? At least it was The best birthday ever! GG

  6. Oh My Goodness… I’m glad Alfie had a lovely birthday, but you must be exhausted! I’m sure that she will get back into the swing of things soon enough… And at least she will be able to do all the required reading as she won’t be able to run around all the time 🙂 Liz xx

  7. awww i hope Miss A recovers quickly!

  8. Oh my gosh Charlie, I’m so disappointed for Arrabella. That’s a shocking accident. Hoping recovery is smooth sailing. Kris x

  9. Oh dear Charlie, if it isn’t one it is the other. At least Drew doesn’t cause you too much stress! And great to hear that Alfie had a good birthday.

  10. Goodness! Our prayers are with your beautiful daughter, that she enjoys a quick and full recovery, and that school comes easy for her in spite of the delay.

  11. I’m so sorry, Charlie. It’s difficult to watch our children suffer through injury, but I’m glad to hear she’s okay and that the birthday could still be enjoyed. Take care.

  12. So sorry to hear of Arabella’s accident and surgery! I’m glad she’s on the road to recovery, though it sounds like a long one. As for you, I can just imagine how stressful this has been, starting with the dreaded middle-of-the-night phone call. No matter how old our kids are, they’re still our babies and their hurt is ours. When Arabella is all healed I suggest a mother-daughter pampering outing!

  13. Poor Arabella. And poor you. Sounds like the rehab is going to a while. Hope the healing is fast.

  14. I feel so badly reading about Arabella’s accident, hope she recovers quickly and heals well. You must be so stressed, do take care.

  15. How traumatic for poor Arabella. I hope she has a speedy and complete recovery.

    Happy 10th birthday, Alfie.

  16. Oh, I hate those high heels!!! I used to love them myself, but always have visions of breaking my ankles, and everyone in my little town assuming I drank too much. Hope Arabella is baack to normal quickly. Poor mom!

  17. Oh my goodness, awful! Hopefully March will be a nice, uneventful month for all of you. Hope Arabella is feeling a bit better today.

  18. oh no! What a random and awful thing! So glad it wasn’t worse but wow, crazy! I hope she heals quickly.

  19. Charlie, that’s awful. I cannot imagine what pain she must have gone through to bear all that mayhem to her knee. While I agree with the doctor that she is indeed lucky, yet I can’t help but feel it was such an unnecessary accident. Some people just won’t watch their step. It will be a long road to recovery and hope it won’t be long before she can wear those heels back again. Wish your little troper a great birthday, and I hope you princess feels better very soon.

  20. Oh, Charlie, from one mother to another, this is so scary. All of you have been quite brave, really. I would have been at that hospital immediately. Then again you were rather misled, or perhaps the seriousness of the injury was not fully realized until the surgeon got in there.

    Prayers and hugs for all of you.

  21. Oh what a day! Isn’t that always when things happen – just when you think the day/week is looking to be easy. So glad that she didn’t hit an artery. Poor thing! And I’m glad Alfie still had a great birthday! Parenting is never easy.

  22. Oh my goodness, Charlie – I am so sorry about Arabella! Her knee sounds like it was hurt so badly! I hope she starts feeling better -the poor dear.

  23. Your poor daughter and I feel for you too! I think she needs to be bubble wrapped for a bit, so you can get some rest from worrying!

  24. Oh no! You write with such a tone of humor and your resilience is admirable, but this is HARD on everyone. I am just so sorry! It sounds like Arabella is fortunate that it wasn’t much worse, so we’ll be grateful for that. And now the hope is that she will heal very, very quickly. Big hugs, my friend.

  25. Oh goodness, what an awful injury! Poor Arabella. I’m so glad you were able to make the birthday celebration good AND be there for your girl. XO

  26. OMG. Go well. At Least work will have to pay all the bills.

  27. Oh no! I’ve been unable to read for a week and look what happens! I’m going to have to backtrack on posts, but I do hope that Arabella will have a smooth recovery and it does sound like she was a very lucky girl. Hang in there!

  28. OMG that sounds like an intense day – poor Arabella – Sounds like she wont be wearing her strappy high heels for a while – my nephew cut his foot badly last year and spent some time in a wheelchair but he is now bouncing up and down again – hope she is soon -and all the online resources might be really helpful to her in catching up at uni. Glad the little man had a great birthday – am sure it will be one that you talk about for a long time!

  29. Oh, my gosh, you CANNOT catch a break. Poor Arabella, poor you!!! But you managed to make a wonderful birthday for Alfie. I think you’re super-mom. Please take care of yourself, too. xx

  30. Goodness me, that’s a horrible cut, poor thing. I’m glad you had a happy 10th for Alfie and that the wounded one gets home soon and finds that rehab is quick and easy.

  31. Oh Charlie, so sorry to read this … it sounds like quite a serious fall … I hope Arabella has a speedy recovery and there’s no more hospital visits on the cards for you for quite a while!

  32. Wishing Arabelle a quick recovery and your son a very happy birthday. When you have kids life is never boring. Boring would be awesome, boring would be cool. Boring will never happen for us ever again. So is life… Hugs!

  33. Oh the poor love – hope it heals up quickly. I also hope that never happens to any of my kids – I was so squeamish reading this post, god knows how I’d cope for real!! x

  34. Wow that does not sound good the poor thing! That’s just crazy. Wishing her a very speedy recovery although it doesn’t sound like that will be the case. I’m glad the little guy had a good Birthday anyway.

  35. Oh you poor things, what a horrible thing to have happen! Please, please, please make sure all legal angles are covered – like was Arabella on the books for her shift etc. As someone who’s still in the midst of work related injury stuff, I feel so sorry for you all and hope poor Arabella mends quickly and well. All my love xo xo

  36. Oh dear, poor Arabella… sending best wishes for a speedy recovery xo

  37. Poor darling, what bad timing and what a bad injury! I hope she’s on the mend soon! xxx

  38. OMG Charlie, that is horrendous.
    Please tell Arabella to heal quick, wear closed toe flats to work AND…. like Bec said, check the insurances cover her.
    Good to hear Alfie had a rippa birthday!
    Take care! xo

  39. Oh Charlie…a drink, a stiff whiskey for you?
    Sheesh. Kids certainly keep you on your toes don’t they.
    And Happy Birthday little Alfie. xx

  40. How awful – what a terribly unlucky accident from one impromptu shift. I hope she recovers smoothly and you all stay out of hospitals for a while! Best wishes to Arabella xx

  41. I am so sorry to know that Arabella has hurt her knee so badly! That poor girl!! I hope she’s no longer in pain and getting better 🙂 x

  42. Oh my, that poor child does get herself into some very unique and dangerous situations! I wish her all the best and that there is no long term damage from this unfortunate accident.

  43. Oh my Charlie – what a lot to go through for her – praying her recovery is fast and complete!

  44. Oh, my goodness, Charlie – my father always used to say “We were always his children” when things like this happened and he had his fair share with me! Hope Arabella is on the mend, a very happy birthday to Alfie and hope you and Drew are weathering the storm:)

  45. Oh my goodness will this ever stop! I am exhausted just reading about it. Maybe she might take mums advice in future.

  46. Wow! The life of a mum certainly looks to be demanding at times…Sending prayers for an easy recovery for your daughter…and a bit of R & R for her mother =) P.s. Glad your little guy enjoyed his birthday =)

  47. Poor Anabelle! That girl has had a lifetime of hospital stays in just a few months. Big hugs to her and the whole family!

  48. Wow, that’s terrible! Poor Arabella. Take good care of your baby girl.

  49. Poor Arabella! That sounds awful. And such a bummer to miss the start of Uni. Hope she’s back to snuff soon.

  50. I’m sorry it took me forever to stop by, but I really wanted to say I’m so sorry to hear about Arabella! Poor thing! She wanted to help out and this seems not fair. 🙁 You must be so stressed out too. Sorry to hear all this, but thanks for updating us. Keep us posted. Hope she’ll get better and go back to school soon. Last but not least, very happy birthday to Alfie! <3

  51. What a scary phone call to wake up to!! Glad she will be ok… 🙁

  52. A call from the hospital–every mother’s nightmare. I am so sorry for her. I live in a 500-year-old city that is filled with rough cobblestone streets, and where the young women insist on wearing really high heels. I don’t know how they do it, but I do see a lot of crutches as well. At least Alfie, that trooper, had a great day. I hope Arabella is up and feeling better soon.

  53. Oh know poor Arabella, and poor you – glad the party was enjoyed by Alfie. Hope things have settled a little now, of to read the next blog post 🙂

  54. now that’s weird. i remember putting up a comment here but it isn’t showing. i hope poor arabella is doing really well now. she does seem to get in the wars rather a lot poor thing!

  55. Oh Charlie how stressful. This is when the clone machine that we all wish we had would come in handy. One of you at hospital the other organising the birthday lunch.


  1. […] does seem a very long time ago that Arabella fell on broken glass and ended up in hospital.  In fact, it was 10 long weeks […]

  2. […] ‘But you’re so thin already, Arabella, you lost so much weight when you were a cripple‘. […]

Speak Your Mind