Surviving the Big Break
I got the call from the school every parent dreads.
I was preparing for my shift last week when I noticed a missed call on my phone. I saw it was the school and was about to call back, as my HR administrator rushed in to tell me the school nurse was on the phone.
Shaking, I ran up to the front desk phone and was told I needed to take my child the ER. She had fallen off the monkey bars. I can't recall the whole thing because my heart was already breaking into a million pieces before I even got to her. Getting to her couldn't happen fast enough.
Doing my best to stay as calm as I could, I got her to the ER and was trying not to cry. I was, but not as hard as she was. She was in so much pain. There was no consoling her. She was saying whatever came to mind and that was OK, even if it was very opinionated or understandably stern with the nurses. Kids say the craziest things, even when they are in the ER.
Despite the pain she was in, her quick and witty responses kept me from panicking almost as much as it made the nurses laugh. When one nurse asked her how old she was, she said: "Old enough to break my arm!"
Another one asked how she hurt herself and she said: "Curse the monkey bars!"
When we got back for the initial x-ray, she said to the nurse that her arm looked 'pretty curvy' and she knew it was broken.
She said some other cute things along the way, which, ultimately, were my indicators that she was going to be fine. You couldn't have told me that the next day when we were in getting her cast.
While I was thinking we were just headed in for a routine cast, I became bewildered once I realized were headed to pre-op. I know, I know, these things happen all the time to kids but that doesn't compute as well when it's your kid. The whole thing about having an anesthesiologist and an IV was not in 'things I was prepared to say to her' that day. Funny thing about life, most of it happens when we least expect it.
I cried as much as she did at that point, trying to wear my brave mommy-face, but I couldn't as much as I would have liked to. Kids, they are like wasps and can smell your fear. I kept reminding myself of that. She could sense my panic, so I took deep breaths and in came the anesthesiologist. He was so nice and had genuine, true kindness in his eyes. That changed everything for me. All she could do was giggle that he had hair on his ears. Scared to death and still laughing, she still found humor. That's how we survived.