It was quite likely all but inevitable. In a house with five sons you might think this would’ve happened long ago, but you would’ve thought wrong. On Monday, Ty and one of his brothers were taking turns leaping from the couch (HOW many TIMES have I said don’t DO that?). Now that’s verboten enough… but here’s where it gets fun. The non-jumper sat behind the jumper who was crouched like a ski-jumper. Non-jumper applied swiftly moving feet to jumper’s backside to provide added acceleration as the jumper leapt. The first round went smoothly as can be; Crouch, kick the bum, fly, land, accept accolades on an impressive performance from your brothers. Then it was Ty’s turn. Ty crouched, jumped, received the boost from the brother behind him, flew through the air and landed square on his wrist.* Cue pain.
*You may be wondering how all this escaped my notice. It didn’t. I was in the kitchen, I heard the first thud, dropped my dinner preparation and was on my way into the room hollering, “Knock it off!” as Ty hit the floor. Boys can move remarkably quickly when they’re afraid the game will be stopped by Mom.
I knew there was a big problem as soon as Ty hit because that boy does.not.cry. And well, he won’t like me saying it, but he was crying. Big time. It took The Evil Genius forty-five minutes to get home since he was already en route and he hasn’t figured out tesseracting or self-contained flight pods just yet. By the time he got home, Ty had eaten his dinner (“But MOM! I have to eat if I’m going to the hospital!”) and his wrist had started looking mighty big and there was a lump where one ought not be. And my ankles started feeling weak. Because isn’t it really all about me? (Sorry, son. I’m trying to improve.)
Getting his coat on was tricky -and completely mandatory since it was a balmy 12°F outside. The Evil Genius rigged up a splint (of course he did) and got Ty out to the car and strapped while I grabbed insurance cards and our five-gallon bucket of hand sanitizer. (I’m kidding, it was really only a half-gallon. That’s the biggest size I can find locally.)
The Urgent Care department wasn’t exactly hopping (there was just one woman in the waiting room) and Ty was triaged straight into the examination area. This was greeted with protests from the other woman who had apparently been “…waiting for two hours with a very sore throat!” and insisted on being seen ahead of my child whose arm was dangling (oh dear Lord please help me not look at his dangling arm. I already can’t feel my feet.*) The last I heard, she was still complaining loudly as the door closed behind us in the Urgent Care area.
*Unlike my R.N. mother and First Responder father, I have an extremely helpful auto-response to other people’s pain. I go numb. Physically. It starts at the feet and the more I observe pain/bruises/cuts/contusions, etc… the less of myself I feel. My parents have at times found this to be a hilarious parlor game. Talk about awful stuff seen at work/on ambulance runs and watch Rebecca dissolve into a puddle of uselessness on the floor. Har har. Hilarious when in my misspent youth, but not so useful as a parent. When Leif fell down the stairs and stood up with a bloody head years ago the most vivid memory I have of the whole thing was vaguely dabbing at his head-wound with a dishrag. Not a clean one. Oh boy.
So the kind nurses and doctors iced Ty’s arm and wheeled us toward radiology because that bump on his wrist was growing larger by the moment. (Help! I can’t feel anything from my knees down!) Ty, at this point, was cracking jokes with the doctors. His humour was mainly revolving around the fact that he had uncontrollable gas that was the result of the massive pile of refried beans he had consumed for lunch. That’s right. A likely broken arm and my boy was breaking wind in public and joking about it. I can at least say this; he’s consistent.
The radiologist had me wait outside while she snapped many, many lovely interior pictures of my third born. I was slumped on my back in a chair and my legs flopping akimbo in the waiting room since I was now without sensation from the waist down. The radiologist popped her head around the corner and motioned for me to join them. I jumped up, trying to act all casual like that’s just how I always sit in waiting rooms. She apologized because, “He hadn’t liked her much when she had to twist his arms like this…” GACK! My eyes! They are NUMB!” When the room stopped twisting I realized she was telling me that there were ‘obvious breaks’ (BREAKS! Plural! Oh heavenly father.) and ‘less obvious areas of concern’. She took a few more films and decided that Ty had a fracture in not just his radius, and not just his ulna, but his radius, his ulna AND his humerus. That’s right. Because when we do things in our family we do them ALL THE WAY.
And then they said they would send us home. Now hang on one cotton pickin’ second. “Home? With no cast?” asked I, “You do know I have four other sons, right?” They said, “Don’t worry, ma’am. We’ll put a splint on him and you can go see an orthopod in the next day or two.” DAY OR TWO? Come on, people.
Well, as it would turn out, they knew what they were doing. (Go figure.) The swelling (oh dear, the swelling…) had to subside so they could cast him properly. And the orthopod was quick to get us in the next morning.
Ty left the office (where he cracked yet more gas, beans and related jokes and was joined in the tomfoolery by his Nana.) with a spiffy camouflage full-arm cast. I left feeling a little more fortified since his arm was now protected (although it was a near thing when they removed that sling and I saw his REALLY PUFFY arm. Oh my poor baby.) I felt equal to talking loudly to cover up the fact that I was about to fall over every 15 seconds when I looked at his puffy fingers poking out of the cast. Nana treated us to a fun lunch at Subway (What, Mom? Do I look peaked to you? I don’t know what you mean…) and we got home before getting socked by a winter storm.
And Ty? Well, he’s doing just fine. He took the news that sledding season is over for him with a reasonable amount of aplomb for an eight year old boy. He discovered that his cast makes a mighty formidable weapon of intimidation against his brothers. (“I’ll brain ya with THIS if you don’t back off!”) And he managed to make it a full 43 hours before he was compelled to, just had to, felt an undeniable biological need to wrestle with a brother.
They were happy to oblige.
As for me, it took me twelve hours to type this since I did it from the floor with the keyboard resting on my stomach with completely sensation-free wrists. If someone could just proof-read this for me…