and so can jungle gym fun, apparently
The other day, my little guy was being a typical boy. He was playing on a jungle gym with his friend, and thought he could do exactly what his friend was doing. He pushed himself more than he usual (trying to impress his friend), and wound up falling and fracturing his leg. Yes, my 3-year-old has a fractured leg and is now in a cast.
It was a pretty crazy couple of hours which came after that, between x-rays, getting his cast on, and trying to handle everything and be as strong as possible for him but with your heart breaking. He is now sporting a blue cast, which we call the “super band-aid”. It is a little more than 24 hours after it all happened, so we are still at a pretty painful point, but I am hopeful it will all get better soon. I figured I would share some highlights from the experience and my initial lessons learned…
1) A great pediatrician can be the biggest comfort for a mom. I called our pediatrician’s office, and they said to bring him right in. After a quick assessment of his leg, our doctor helped to get us to a local radiology center and orthopedic doctor so we had an x-ray and cast on in an hour and a half. The pediatrician called us after we were settled at home, and sent me several supportive emails since then with different pieces of advice. If you are not happy with your doctor, and find that you tolerate them with the regular check ups…find a new doctor, please. In an emergency, you need the best support possible, you want someone fantastic, who takes the time to know you and your kids, and is going to help you get through a tough time.
2) Even though someone works at a medical center does not mean they have compassion is something we unfortunately have to accept. This lesson was learned at the radiology center, unfortunately, several times over. I was filling out paperwork in a chair with my son, who was screaming and obviously in pain. They kept calling me up to ask questions and get new paperwork to fill out. I get insurance paperwork, but honestly, they had the script from the doctor, and my son was screaming. I would have thought someone could put 2 and 2 together. Maybe its just me, but I was in shock someone couldn’t just leave the desk and come over to hand me something. I didn’t say anything and I probably should have, but I am not sure if the woman could have heard me over the receptionist’s TV show. After the x-rays, I was sitting in a small room by myself with my son waiting for the CD with the pictures on them, so I could give them to his doctor. My son fell asleep on me, and I lost it. Tears were streaming down my face. I was overwhelmed, exhausted, and still unsure what was coming next. One of the employees came in, and told me I had to get strong, and that my son did not have a disease, it was a fracture, and he was going to heal. Yes, this was true – he is going to be fine, there are people who are in MUCH worse positions. I know this, I respect this (I truly truly respect this…), but at that moment – it broke my heart that my son was in so much pain that he was whimpering in his sleep, and there was nothing that I could do about it. Moms are allowed to cry, the fact that she didn’t appreciate that, stinks. I just sat there and didn’t respond to her, she decided to say it again (and I guess she just really had to make sure I understood that point); I just buried my face in my son’s sweet-smelling hair and matched my breath to his deep breaths, and found myself in a much calmer place.
3) My husband’s suggestion…we learned we needed a better communication plan. He works 2 hours away, and has a pretty stressful job. We hate to bother each other at work, and rarely call unless it is an emergency, or we know each other is free. I called him, but downplayed the situation. With all the running around I was doing, and trying to comfort my son, I didn’t tell him what was going on besides little updates (i.e. “this doesn’t look good”) until the car ride home. The was clearly an F up on my side, and he was freaking out being far away. He wound up ignoring me and got on a train to come home, but he was much more stressed than he needed to be!
4) Good friends and family help make life better. Texts, Facebook messages, emails, calls, and visits have been pouring in the last 24 hours. They have truly given my husband and I so much support during a stressful time, and my son loved listening to all the messages I read off to him. He also was the happiest little boy during a visits from his buddies today….
So…in the next couple weeks, you can look forward to some posts about various activities to keep a 3-year-old busy but off their feet, creative child care as he is not going to be back to school for a bit, and maybe one or two ways for moms and dad’s to keep their sanity during this crazy time!
In the meantime, if anyone has any suggestions on tips for broken legs, activities, or anything else….please send them over!