Our first broken bone…and although it's his bone, it feels like mine too.
Other moms had told me that this was coming. I've seen their pictures on Facebook, of various ER trips when their kids have broken something or needed stitches. In the end, it makes a colorful story, but as it's happening, the sheer panic and fear takes years off your life.
I was out of town this weekend meeting my Manfriend's family, when I received a call from my local urgent care telling me that my son's orthopedic referral was ready. Excuse me? Orthopedic…What?! Terrified, confused and fighting back tears, I begged the receptionist to tell me what happened.
"Is this the mother?"
"Yes. I'm out of town and this is his father's weekend. What happened? Is he okay?"
"You'll have to speak to his father."
"Please can you just tell me now what's wrong with my son?"
"I'm sorry ma'am, you'll have to speak to his father."
I burst into tears and call my ex. He doesn't pick up the phone. Panic, mom guilt, and escalating worst-case scenarios wash over me. He's alive, right? You need to be alive to need an orthopedist, right? Does he need me? Is he in pain? Is there blood? Why isn't his dad picking up? I text. Still no response. I feel helpless and so very far away. The MF comforts me and tells me to keep calling. The minutes feel like hours of not knowing and finally end when K's dad picks up.
Turns out, K was running from a wave on the beach, tripped, fell on his shoulder and broke his collarbone. Not a fracture, but a break. They had just gotten back from the doctor and were settling in on the couch for a night of watching movies and eating snacks when I called. Thank god for FaceTime! We video chat and I can see that K is scared, but fine, and resting comfortably. Even though his collarbone looks like this:
Now 2 days, 1 orthopedic visit, and an adorably small arm sling later, my son is in one-armed hog heaven. Pain-free and completely content playing forbidden iPad games and watching movies all day while his clavicle rebuilds itself to be fully operational (yup, that's a Star Wars reference) in just 3-4 weeks. (Kids' healing ability is amazing, taking half the time it would take an adult.) No preschool? No problem. For him. We can't risk him furthering injuring his broken clavicle, so now, we embark on the adventure of staying home. Mommy's gotta juggle meetings, errands, and working from home, all while keeping a 4 year old as happily snuggled and still as possible for the next few weeks… an adventure indeed. Wish me luck!
-Diane Mizota, Host of This Week in M.O.M
What's been your biggest parenting scare?