Wednesday, October 29, 2008

You think I Had It Bad!

If you read the tooth saga of the last week and a half, you know I've had it pretty bad lately. But that's nothing compared to what my son's going through now. And it all started because I wanted to be a good Mommy. Believe me, guilt and recriminations are eating me alive.
You see, with all that tooth pain for almost a month, I'd really only been phoning in on the mommy duties. Now that I was finally feeling better, I wanted to regain my spot in my children's lives. I also needed to get back into exercising. So I decided to kill two birds with one stone (something I've done before, which has never done the birds much good.) I decided to go play tennis. The court we usually play at has a playground right next to it, so we let our children play there. So after I got off work on Tuesday of last week, I told the boys to get ready to go to the park.
I especially wanted Joel to go. You see, he tends to dawdle over his schoolwork, and last time he missed out on the park outing because he wasn't done with school on time. That day he finished just in time, but he said he didn't want to go--he wanted to hang out at home. I overruled him and soon we were on our way.
After getting the kids at the playground settled, Theresa and I went over to the tennis court. It took only a few minutes to play two games--we were out of practice, so it was easy for the server to win--and were just starting to switch sides when I saw Joel walking across the field from the playground. He was crying and holding his arms out in front of him. Seems he'd been swinging and fell. One look and I knew we had a broken bone. His right hand was already swelling and it was clear that something was out of alignment in his wrist. His arm seemed to swell more as I examined him.
If you've read my blog for the past couple of months, you know that we've had more than our share of experience with injuries. My husband and I always strive to be calm and not panic the injured child any further, so I asked Theresa to call my husband and explain the problem while I helped Joel into the car. Terry ended up calling back a moment later, so I was trying to talk to him in code as Joel sat and cried in the back seat. Terry asked if I thought it was broken, and I told him, "Based on alignment and enlargement of the area, YES!"
Theresa took my other two boys and I headed for the emergency room with Joel. I have to admit I was a little nervous. I brought Nicky in for a broken collarbone in August, and Paul had to have his head stitched up in September. I knew it wouldn't take much for DCFS to start looking at us with interest. With that in mind, I started asking Joel just exactly what he'd been doing on the swings. Was he standing? Jumping off? If you knew Joel, you'd know these were logical assumptions. But no, he assured me all he'd been doing was swinging. As the swing went back, he felt himself sliding out and couldn't catch himself. In his words, "I hit the ground with my right hand, and then my left hand, and then my forehead." Sure enough he had a swelling around his eyebrow and scratches across his forehead as well. He moaned and cried softly all the way to the hospital. At one point he told me he couldn't move the fingers on either hand. His left hand wasn't swollen, but I decided to tell them to x-ray both arms. Might as well, as long as we had to be there anyway.

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