Remember when you were a scout or in youth group or what ever and you did the trust fall? You stand on a table, close your eyes and fall into the waiting arms of your team. You can't see. You can't see that they will catch you. You hope and you believe, but you can't be sure until you fall. This week we fell.
Johnny fell quite literally. Off of a piece
of playground equipment that he has jumped off a million times. Onto a
safe, padded surface. The result was this.
I was a little ways away, looking in the wrong direction when I heard him crying. I turned to see him running towards me and knew from 20 feet away that it was quite broken. Little arms are not supposed to be that shape. I was standing there with a group of parents from his preschool class, my friends. They all took a breath and then moved. One dad ran to his car to get a towel to immobilize him, another mom made a phone call to the neighbor whose child I had also brought to the park to let her know I wouldn't be able to bring her child home and a third mom helped us to the car and insisted on driving my car to the hospital so that I could make the necessary calls in route and sit in the back to hold his hand. I'm relatively sure that we were in the car and on our way within 2 minutes.
We went to nearest ER. My friend parked the car and waited in the waiting room to help Ty find us when he arrived. She then drove Ty's truck home so we wouldn't have to worry about it. She did this all with minimum fuss. The doctor and the nurses at our local ER could not have been more gentle and sweet with my little guy. They got him pain meds almost as soon as we were in a room. They talked to him and reassured us. They found a portable X-ray machine so that he wouldn't have to be moved anymore than necessary. They took one look at the x-ray and informed us that we needed to head over to the children's hospital, by ambulance. Johnny was thrilled (by now the meds were kicking in) and the ambulance crew was delightful. The nurse sat in the back with him and downloaded his favorite songs to her phone on the fly. She laughed at his jokes and was generally delightful. The paramedic driving took the easiest route to avoid bumps and jostles, even though it took a little longer. He even flashed the lights, just for Johnny.
The staff at the children's hospital was just as lovely. They had all sorts of little tricks to distract him from the pain and to keep him comfy. It was a very long evening. They went back and forth about surgery or reduction and all the concerns with both but all the while made sure that Johnny was cared for.
Johnny showed us his true mettle that day. I always joke about the fact that he is undaunted by any challenge. Once again, he was his cheerful little self. He had stopped crying by the time we started the car to leave, granted I think he was in a little bit of shock. Once we got to the hospital and got a little pain medicine in him, he perked right up. Even though he must've still been dealing with quite a bit of discomfort, he did not complain once. He wasn't allowed to eat or drink anything all day long because they were considering surgery and he was perfectly pleasant about it. He told his knock, knock jokes to the nurses and was polite and patient for hours and hours. I am so very proud of him.
They finally decided on reduction under sedation. Depending on how the the bones set in the next few days, surgery is still an option but possibly avoidable. Once he was sedated I had to step out. I couldn't watch. They casted the arm in a cut- cast up to his shoulder and after another hour of waiting for him to recover from sedation, we finally were able to head home. He had broken his arm at 1:00 PM, it was now 11:45 PM.
For those of you who are unaware, he also had a sinus surgery last Thursday during which stints were placed into his sinus cavities. He had a second surgery to remove them scheduled for Friday morning. The doctors decided to go ahead with the surgery due to the risk of complications and infection if they were left in longer than necessary. At 8:00 AM the next morning, he and I were at the surgery center to get that taken care of. All went well and we gratefully headed home, ready for a well-deserved rest.
So that's the story, but here's the lesson. All through that day I received texts, and messages and phone calls of support. I haven't had to cook all weekend because of friends who keep bringing dinner. People have brought little treats for Johnny. They have filled in at my church job without complaint since we won't be there this weekend. They have helped me get my other son to and from where he needed to be. They caught us when we fell. I know that this will all be fine, even now I am spending much of my time pulling Johnny off of things that he has climbed one- handed. In the long run it will be a terrible inconvenience and not much more, but in the moment it was overwhelming and to feel like I wasn't in it alone, that I had a team, a village who loved my child and supported our family was invaluable. I cannot thank you all enough. Thank you for catching us. Thank you for being my village.
2 months ago