My first week back from France is intense to say the least. The work created from the conference is so full on I feel like it has taken over my life. I'm getting up really early, doing extremely long days, doing work and e-mails at home, and seem to be so consumed with the preparation everything else has gone out of the window. I have tunnel vision and excess energy. On the flip side of this mental health coin, my depression is pulling me down very quickly. I am emotionally fatigued, over sensitive, tearful and short of breath most of the time. I'm having terrible nightmares and my sleep is rubbish.
The week leading up to the conference, my boss and I deliver a workshop to a select group of people ranging from regional police officers and local councillors to front line staff and senior managers. It goes well and both of us are pleased with the result. Walking back from the venue, I get a telephone call which begins with, "Try not to worry but..." and my stomach lurches and I feel sick, and start to cry when they tell me my eldest son has come off the slide at nursery and has broken his arm. Immediately I feel terrible, as normally I would have picked him up and hour ago, and the only reason I am late is because of the workshop. Its my fault. Trying not to panic and focusing on what the nursery manager is saying, I attempt to quell the panic and figure out what to do.The manager has called an ambulance and they are on their way. I am already in the City where the A+E hospital is, so staff from the nursery will come in the ambulance and a car following, and we will all meet at childrens A+E.
When they arrive the nursery staff have been crying and everyone is traumatised by what has happend. My husband also arrives and is the epitome of wrath. He wants someones head on a plate. I have to remind him that our son is the one that needs attention and going on a rampage at this point in time is not a good idea. My darling son now has a right arm that looks like a banana and he is visibly in pain and terribly upset. When I reach to take him, the nursery lady finds it hard to let him go. We all want to hold him.
We go to our little cubicle and my husband hopes its not a break, but that's just wishful thinking. All I can hear in my head is, "You should have been there, you should have picked him up earlier, if you had of done this he would be ok." I try hard not to imagine how frightened my son must have been and in how much pain. We get an x-ray and he's broken both bones in his right arm, up high on the forearm toward the elbow. It is a nasty break, and he's going to be in overnight and in surgery in the morning. I'm trying so hard not to sob the whole time and it feels uncontrollable.
On the morning of the operation a lovley lady tries to explain what is going to happen in theatre, but as the time draws near, complete panic sets in and we have to drag our son to the aneasthetic room. He is kicking and screaming, pleading for us to help him. My husband has to go through to the aneasthetic area alone as two adults aren't allowed in, and I can hear the continuous pleas from outside. Its harrowing for all of us. When it does finally go quiet my husband comes out in floods of tears.
I do a Low self esteem reaction to the situation, and tell my husband that I should give up work and never let the kids leave the house again without me. I can't get it out of my head that its my fault and it's crippling. When my son does come out from theatre, he has a lovely smile on his face and a lovley plaster cast to match. Our relief is palpable. We have to bring him back to fracture clinic on the Wednesday to see how its setting. Immediately my husband and I flinch as he has all day meetings and I have the conference. Its on days like these you realise you really can't have it all, no matter how hard you try. We decide to do a split visit. Hubby will pick up son and meet me at the clinic. We'll both stay for the appointment and I'll take our son back to pre-school. This means leaving my own conference for 2 hours. Its not ideal but its less important than my son. My stress level is through the roof, my anxiety is ridiculous and my sleep is active nightmares all night long. I'm buring out and I appear to have lost control of my internal steering wheel. I'm begining to feel quite frightend.