I just got a call from my friend Mrs. D'Onofrio in Door County. It was not the call you want to receive when you have sent your kid off with a sleeping bag and a pat on the back and your last words to him were, "Please come back all in one piece!"
"We're taking C. Peevie to the ER," Mrs. D'Onofrio said. "He hurt his leg, and we're taking him for an X-ray just to be safe." There was lots of commotion and talking in the background.
"Really? Do you really think he needs to go to the ER?" I asked, thinking someone was possibly over-reacting.
Mrs. D turned away from the phone and asked someone in the background, "Does he really need to go to the ER?" I heard the answer, and then Mrs. D repeated it for me: "Yes. We need to get an X-ray." Keep me posted, I told her.
Next, I heard from the nurses in the ER at Door County Memorial Hospital, calling to confirm my permission to treat C. Peevie, and to make sure he wasn't allergic to whatever it is that gives hospitals their hospitally smell. Is he in a lot of pain?" I asked. He was deep breathing to control his pain, they said, and they'd give him some good meds soon. I did some deep breathing of my own.
Next I heard from the Nurse on the Case. "What medicines is he taking, Mrs. Peevie?" Nurse On the Case asked.
"None," I replied.
"C. Peevie said he takes allergy meds," Nurse OC said.
"Well, he's delirious," I said. "I have a prescription for him, but I haven't even filled it yet." We went back and forth a couple of times, and finally she understood that I was not withholding critical medical information.
Then I got a call from C. Peevie himself. "Mom," he said with barely any air behind his scratchy, deepening, adolescent voice, "Mom, I'm sorry."
I practically burst into tears. "Honey, what are you sorry for? You don't need to be sorry!"
"I'm...sorry," he said again, "I'm...just...sorry."
"C. Peevie, are you in a lot of pain?" I asked.
"No, mom," he barely croaked out--he, who never speaks at a volume below medium shout. "It doesn't hurt that much." I could tell he wanted it to be true.
At one point I got a call from the moms back at the shack, waiting for news. They filled me in on how the accident happened: the kids were using homemade ramps to play Tony Hawk and Trick Cycle Dudes. C. Peevie went up, came down, landed wrong, and didn't get up.
"It's not that he landed hard," Will'sMom said, "It's that he landed wrong. And then he didn't get up."
Finally, I got a call from the Doctor on the Case. "Well, it's a fracture," she said. His tibia was broken and the two pieces of bone were mis-aligned. They would need to line up the bone and put on a temporary cast.
"We'll give him some demerol before we do it," she said. Ah, demerol. Demerol would totally be the gorilla on my back if I were a medical professional with access to the good shit. I had some once, long ago, during a medical emergency, and to this day it is one of my fondest memories.
He'd need to see an orthopedic surgeon and have a permanent cast put on, the doc said. "What about school?" I asked. "It starts on Tuesday."
"No school until he sees the ortho and gets his cast," she said. I wonder how likely it is that we'll be able to get that done on a holiday weekend? I'm guessing, not so much likely--and this is before ObamaCare ruins health care for everyone. (You know I'm being sardonic, right?)
I kept wanting to cry all evening. I'm not really a worrier--I knew he was being well cared for, and that the moms and dads at Mrs. D'Onofrio's farm would ensure that he got everything he needed. But I wanted to be with him. I wanted to hold his hand when they straightened his leg. I wanted to push his hair off his face and kiss his cheek. I wanted to watch him experience his first narcotic high.
Finally, I got another call from Mrs. D'Onofrio. "It's a good thing it wasn't my son who broke his leg," she said, "because I would have killed him." Well, she can talk all blustery and stuff, but I know she's suffering because she feels responsible that C. Peevie got injured on her watch.
"Mrs. D.," I reassured her, "It was an accident. Accidents happen. He'll be fine."
"No," she said, "An accident is when you trip over a bump in the rug. This was not an accident, this was a broken leg waiting to happen because these kids insist on doing daredevil stunts like Evel Knievel." Problem is, we all knew they were doing it, and we didn't tell them to stop. It's what kids do!
It's what I did when I was a kid; and sometimes, someone gets hurt. If we forbade every activity that might involve someone getting hurt, we'd have to have our kids sitting naked on the floor in the middle of an empty room, instead of playing and exploring and riding and, occasionally, Evel Knieveling.
That's what I think, anyway. Of course you may not want to listen to me. I've had two kids with broken bones so far this year--although I'm just now realizing that I never blogged about M. Peevie's broken arm back in, what was it, May?
Bad mommy-blogger! Bad mommy-blogger!
But I digress. C. Peevie will be getting a ride home tomorrow, cutting his last pre-high school fling short by two days. I guess he'll be sleeping on the couch for the next six weeks, since I can't imagine him being able to climb up into his bunk bed with a broken leg.
And how the heck will he get to school with a heavy backpack and crutches, on the bus and the train and the walk across the Loop?
Is it too late for him to transfer?