By 11 am today we were out at the end-of-season Little League Picnic. OH such fun, jump houses, swimming, potluck, trophies for every kid. And at 11:20...
Ki, "MOMMY, I hurt my arm. AJ jumped on me in the jump house!"
Ki can be a bit dramatic and is quick to cry. Especially if wronged in any way by AJ. Of course AJ is very rough and I have no doubt he jumped on her.
Me, "Okay, okay, just sit here and rest a bit and I'll give you a hug." My version of pacifying her. But she continued to complain about her arm, although she wasn't crying much. She held it close to her body and declined to return to the jump house for a final romp before swimming.
Me,"Where does it hurt?"
Ki pointed to her lower arm.
Pops, who is an athletic trainer and physical therapist, began to look concerned.
Pops, "Ki, can you straighten your arm?"
Pops, "Can you turn your arm and have your palm face up?"
Pops, "Can you open and close your hand?"
By now we have moved and are sitting on a bench next to the pool and AJ is swimming. Pops tells me he thinks she has broken her arm. She keeps pointing the "radial head" in her lower arm as the place where it hurts.
That is when "the feeling" starts to overcome me. That I-can't-catch-a-fucking-break feeling. Thoughts churning in my head:
Pain for Ki...
AJ will have a howling, earth-shaking fit when we tell him we have to leave.
There will be staring, his "cover" will be blown...
It's Sunday, it'll be hours in the ER...
Are we going to be reported by the ER to Child Protective Services?
Last year AJ was in the ER when he broke his arm. A few months ago he broke a
finger. Now Ki with a broken arm.
Ki has camp tomorrow. No sports camp with a broken arm.
Fight-or-flight shallow breathing. I just need to cry for a little bit. I know the drill. I cry, but don't let the kids see. Pops comforts me. I'll feel okay and then be ready to take this on. But first I need to reach out and touch the icy burn of this feeling of being totally overwhelmed. And then I start to feel better. I am ready to take this on. In fact, I'm good. I'm always good in an emergency. Pops and I strategize. Eat lunch first, Ki is not in a great deal of pain. She needs to eat. Break the news to AJ. Head home, drop off AJ. Pack for the ER stay.
I run into Brian's Dad. Brian is the boy AJ had the play date with 2 weeks ago. He is also one of the coaches. I explain our situation. He offers to keep AJ. I explain to Brian and AJ and they are both thrilled. I am happy for AJ.
We drop by home and I change into pants, closed shoes and grab a sweater (the ER is always cold). I pack books for the 3 of us and a deck of cards. Ki is quiet on the way over. We know where to park, and that the guard at the door will want to look in the bag I packed. I am dreading the hours ahead. The ER is almost standing room only. I laugh to see that the TV is showing a competitive pool game. Who the hell would want to watch that? We fill out a form and sit down.
Ki entertains herself by putting her palms flat and elevating her torso up and down in the chair. I eye Pops and point to Ki. That doesn't look like an activity for a sore arm.
"Ki, how is your arm now?"
"Lots better now, Mommy."
"Can you straighten it?"
"Can you turn your hand and make your palm look toward the ceiling?"
"Can you shake my hand?"
Pops does a strength test and compares her right and left arms and wrist.
Yep-they look the same.
"Can you wave?"
"Ki, I think we can go now."
"Why? We didn't have our turn yet."
"I don't think you need a turn. And if you do, we'll come right back. How about if we go to Jamba Juice?"
"Great - there's also a Peet's there. Mommy and Daddy are feeling a little tired and need a cup of coffee."
That is when I get the other "feeling". That sometimes-I-can-catch-a-fucking-break feeling.