Friday, February 24, 2012


We've had quite a day today. I got a call this morning just after school started from the school nurse. "Abby fell off the monkey bars and might have broken her wrist." She didn't sound too worried, so I didn't get too worried. I took a few minutes to finish up breakfast dishes, then left the younger kids with John and headed to the school. When I got there, there was an ambulance and a fire truck pulled onto the school recess field, and paramedics were swarming around Abby, who was still directly under the monkey bars. As I looked at her arm, my stomach did a few twists. Be brave--you're the mom! Between her right elbow and wrist, her arm was in the shape of an "S". Pretty deformed.

The paramedics tried to find a good vein to give her morphine to dull the pain and help her calm down before they attempted to splint her arm. She was beside herself with pain and kept telling me she was scared. Heart wrenching! After poking her in one spot and failing, they poked her in another spot. Failure again. So without any pain meds, they moved her around to splint her "S" shaped arm, then got her on a stretcher and loaded her in the ambulance. In the ambulance, another paramedic tried to poke her in a different spot to find a good vein. Failure. Then again in a new spot. Failure. This whole time, Abby was almost in shock with pain. And I had to just sit there, wipe away her tears, hold her hand, and tell her I'm so sorry and it's going to be OK-but had no control and felt completely helpless.

When we got to the ER, a new nurse tried to find a vein. Failure again. All her good veins had collapsed because of the trauma. By this time, Abby had worn herself out from crying and didn't want to get poked anymore. I felt tears welling up in my own eyes. Be strong --you're the mom. But they didn't stop. I didn't want Abby to see me cry, so I bowed my head and said a quiet, fervent prayer. Please, help the nurse find a good vein so Abby can get out of this misery.

Finally, almost two hours after the accident, a different nurse found a vein and was able to give her some heavy pain meds that took off the edge. My quiet prayer was answered. Within minutes, Abby was relaxed and much more comfortable. I thought her first few concerns were cute: I won't be able to play in my piano recital coming up in a few weeks if the cast covers my fingers or elbow, who is going to pick up EmmaClaire from her kindergarten class when school gets out today, and does this mean I can't watch Taylor and Mason's last basketball game or go on my school field trip on Monday?

She got x-rays taken. She broke the ulna and radius (both bones between her elbow and wrist) completely through. And it wasn't a very clean break. Kind of messy and jagged. Kind of graphic and gross. So don't look if you have soft stomach--it's definitely "X-rated".

Then we sat, and sat, and sat. . . waiting for the operating room to open up. Late in the afternoon, a surgeon was able to completely sedate her, then reset her arm without making any incisions, thank goodness. Had she been older and more fully grown, this break would have required some major hardware with surgery. But because she still has some growing to do, hopefully her bones will fuse together more quickly. Then he casted her from the wrist to just below the shoulder, with a few slits for swelling.

She's home now. After Panda Express, Jamba Juice, a few treats from neighbors, some fun movies from Redbox, extra TLC from her siblings, and lots of pain meds, she's feeling quite comfortable. Dr's orders are; lots of elevation for the next 10 days, back to the hospital for more x-rays and a new cast in two weeks, and lots of sitting around and doing nothing. She's such an active little girl, this might drive her batty!

After observing all the TLC Abby's gotten tonight, Taylor shared that he might like to get his arm broken too. Because breaking your arm brings extra treats, comfy pillows, favorite dinner from a restaurant, nice visits and cards from family, and tons of care. My first reaction was to lecture him on being so unsensitive, not recognizing all the pain and discomfort Abby had been through during the day. His comment kind of bothered me. John noticed that, shushed me before it turned into an argument (in his oh-so-gentle way, of course) then said to Taylor with a twinkle in his eye, "I can break it for you if you want". That brought laughs from everyone and dispelled the stress. He's so good for me, I just love it!

I know that prayer works, and it's real. And during that tough time when my tears reached the surface, I thought that maybe these helpless yet painful feelings were minutely similar to those of Heavenly Father, as He watched down on His Son suffer on the cross. I knew Abby would get through it, I knew that she would be feeling better soon, and that her life would continue to go well. This was just a bump in the road. But even with that knowledge, it still crushed me to watch her go through all the pain. I wished so badly that I could take it from her, or somehow do something to get rid of it for her. But I couldn't. All I could do was give comfort-stroke her cheek, wipe away the tears, tell her I loved her and that things would work out in time. It was one of those "ah ha" experiences for me.

Nonetheless, I hope that was my first and last ambulance ride.

Those darn monkey bars!


  1. Poor Abby......and Mom. I'm so glad they finally got a vein - that's miserable enough! I'm sure she and Autumn will have to talk - very similar thing happened to her. I wish I could think of something to help!

  2. Awww Mama! So sorry Abbs. Sure love you. Can't wait to give you a squeeze (gentle of course) <3 Aunt Amy

  3. Oh that sounds awful. I'm so glad they were finally able to give her the meds and set her arm. I would have been crying from the first moment I heard the news on the phone, I am such a wimp.

  4. I'm crying as I read all the details! I didn't realize it was so serioius until I heard the whole story! I wish I could just drive over and give both Abby and Mom a hug. We prayed for you in our family prayer tonight and will continue to pray that the healing process goes smoothly.
    Love you.


  5. Oh Becca what a tender post. Abby I am so sorry!! I'll be praying for you and thinking of you. I love you; you are the sweetest and kindest girl. And I love that you shared Taylor and John's "interaction"...priceless!