“What? You say today is Saturday? O.k. I’m going outside to…” break my arm

When Josh texted me saying he was taking Abby to the E.R. I did panic a bit, but figured it was just a simple break and maybe not even a break at all. I mean this kid falls ALL the time. She is a walking bruise and scrape. Little did I know that 2 short hours later I would be in a waiting room while my 7 year old had surgery. I know kids have surgery all the time. Tonsils, appendix, ear tubes, broken bones, and of course the really really horrible stuff that I can not even imagine a child having to go through. And my husband works in pediatric surgery so it is all he does every day. But when it is your child. It is rotten. I was a mess. I am still a mess.

So a beautiful sunny early fall day, a child’s cartwheel turns into a dislocated and fractured elbow. (Supercondylar fracture with a closed reduction for all you medical people out there)

And throughout this process I learned a few things about parenting, negotiating hospital bureaucracy and friendship

1. Having a spouse that knows how hospitals work is amazing. He knew which Dr. to request, what the blood pressure cuff was saying, when to stand up for what you know as a parent and what the nurse is telling you.

2. Knowing all the people taking care of your child gives that extra sense of trust. The charge nurse used to work with Josh every day. The CRNA, also a friend of Josh’s had a daughter who had the same surgery 2 years ago and Josh took care of her. The Anesthesiologist works with Josh almost every day (and Josh took care of him after surgery). Even the transporter knows Josh. It is little stuff, but it is so important. I know they give every patient the same care they gave Abby, but somehow it just felt better. When your daughter just came out of surgery and there are 3 nurses and a doctor in the curtained room talking to you about how amazing she is, well, you just feel like your daughter is amazing.

3. Why is it that the first thought I had when I realized Abby would miss school for a few days is “I can’t miss work!” What nerve my brain has! Why do I think about work when my daughter is in pain and just needs her mom?

4. Pillow Pets are excellent rewards when your child gets and I.V. especially when they are from the hospital and not my budget (although that trip to the ER set me back $100).

5. Speaking of money…Why did I keep thinking how much this surgery/meds/hospital stay was going to cost? Shouldn’t just be happy I have insurance?

6. When the little neighborhood kids show up with a random variety of “wild” flowers for your daughter you know that she has amazing friends. And that was just the tip of the iceberg. This kid has been showered by gifts and love. As a parent, knowing people love, care about, think about your child… it is powerful.

7. We need more 24 hours pharmacies in this community. Or our local pharmacies should not keep minimal weekend hours…

8. It is possible to sit through 12 episodes of Wizards of Waverly Place when you feel really bad for your hurting kid.

9. My 7 year old has learned to walk, talk, read, write, add, subtract, cross the monkey bars, ride a bike and ripstick, but I have never be prouder of her when she was bravely laying in a bed letting doctors and nurses poke and prod her.

10. I will NOT be signing her up for gymnastics this winter….

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