I was in my office trying to get caught up on my work after the Christmas break when I heard a loud boom in my son’s room upstairs. The kids had been playing a crazy game of hide ‘n’ seek and they had been running around the past few minutes. It sounded like one of them jumped off the top bunk bed.
I was on my way to tell them to calm down when someone handed me the crying 2-year-old. I thought she was just mad about something, but then realized this cry was louder and more intense than usual. I ran upstairs with her and looked in the eyes of one of our kids who had that, “I’m afraid if I tell you what happened I will be grounded for life” look.
The toddler kept screaming and pointing to her back. It was bright red.
“This is very important. You have to tell me what happened.”
“She fell off the bunk bed.”
My husband and I barely said a word as we ran to get her a clean diaper, coat, shoes and socks. During those moments, she sat quietly on a big chair in the living room saying, “I go-go. I go-go,” as if she knew we were taking her to get help.
“Immediate care or ER?” we asked each other. Before I could even think, he had her in the van and was pulling out of the driveway. I wanted to be the one to take her, but he was already gone. Plus, he is really good at handling medical situations.
I will never forget the first year of our marriage when I broke my arm learning to roller blade. He found me lying next to the street and made a sling for me out of a towel so he could get me to the hospital. This little one reminds me of myself in many ways, although I didn’t break my arm the first time until I was FIVE years old!
The three big kids and I paced around waiting to hear the news. One child was inconsolable for the first hour, blaming himself for not paying closer attention. The truth is that as the fourth born, that girl tries all sorts of stunts that none of our other children ever tried. She actually does such a good job keeping up with her older siblings and their friends that we often forget she’s ONLY two!
After crying and praying and calming down, the four of us actually started watching a home movie of our littlest one. We sat there telling each other how much we all love her. We called and texted my husband over and over again, hoping for some news. We were so thankful that it wasn’t much worse. The top bunk is a long way to fall when you are only 34 inches tall.
About an hour later, my husband called to say her clavicle was broken. “A clean break,” he said. I don’t like those words. They sound so painful.
The doctor sent her home without a cast, a sling or even a wrap. They couldn’t put a cast on her because of the location of the break. They said she would just wrestle with a sling or bandage until she got it off. They were right. I tried immobilizing it myself with a blanket, and she fought with it until she could get her arm free.
The first day and night went better than I expected. Each time she moves her arm, she screams, “Ouch!” but doesn’t seem to realize the solution is to stop using the arm. When she has a fresh dose of Vicodin in her system, you can tell that her pain is under control. When we approach the four-hour mark, she gets extremely irritable and cries out constantly.
The doctor said it should only take about 6 days for her young bones to heal. We are all super thankful that it wasn’t much worse.