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Supergluing his head back together

8:00 am  I’m awoken to my phone chirping that I have a text message.  I roll over and it’s from McKayla, “Can you pick me up, I’m feeling sick”.

We’ve been battling the weirdest stomach flu ever at our house.  It started with Nathaniel who complained his tummy hurt and the announced he was going to throw up and then promptly threw up all over the bathroom.  Afterwards, he was completely fine.  He ate dinner, he helped clean the kitchen, he read to me, I read to him and he fell asleep.  This was followed by Michael screaming his stomach hurt and then throwing up all over the other bathroom, declaring himself better and going back to bed.  And then Jacob woke up in the middle of the night to cry how much his tummy hurt, “Why does God make my tummy hurt?  Please pray over me!  I think I might die.” We tend toward the dramatic in this house.  Everyone woke up one more time, threw up all over the floor and then went back to bed.  We would have labeled it possible food poisoning, except the following night Marshall was hit and Michael once more.  My poor, poor carpet. On the bright side, my bathrooms are sparkly clean.

So, when McKayla said she wasn’t feeling well, I came to get her right away before she threw up all over the halls.  She’s having a hard enough time without being known as “the girl who lost her breakfast all over the halls”.  I don’t think anyone could ever live that one down.

9:00 the glamorous life of homeschooling 4 boys.

9:23  SQUIRREL!  no, not a distraction, an actual squirrel.  The largest squirrel we’ve ever seen.  It was looked less like a squirrel and more like a cat with a bushy tail.  It sat right by our bird feeder, stared through the window with a look that said, “WTF People, why is this bird feeder empty?  This is unacceptable!”

9:40 back to learning.

11:17  OH CRAP PEOPLE!!!!  GET YOUR BATHING SUITS ON RIGHT NOW!!!!!  GO!!!  GO!!!!  GO!!!!  WE HAVE TO BE AT SWIM LESSONS IN 13 MINUTES!!!!

11:22 

Jake:  Oh no mom!  I forgot to take off my underwear!

Me:  Oh, well.  That’s okay, you can swim with them and we’ll come home without underwear.

Jake:  I don’t want to go home with no underwear!

Me:  Sorry, We don’t have time to change when we get there.

11:26 Jake:  You don’t have to worry about my underwear.

Me:  I wasn’t terribly worried, but why don’t I have to worry?

Nate:  ‘Cuz he was getting naked back here!

Jake:  Yep, I took off my swim suit, took off my underwear and then put my swim suit on.  All while buckled into my car seat!  Now I can have dry underwear!

Me:  For the win!

11:30  We make it to swim lessons right on time.

I have thought about doing something with those 30 minutes of freedom.  I could totally go run for 20 minutes, but then I’d have to give up the entertainment of watching swimming lessons.  For whatever reason, Jacob is absolutely terrified of water.  He doesn’t like getting his head wet.  He doesn’t like letting go of the wall.  He doesn’t like the whole idea of getting in the water.  It’s rather comical.  Though its rather hard to swim holding on to the instructor like they are your personal life raft during a tsunami, it’s hysterical to watch.  When they got to the pool the instructor had them put on floaties that go around their middles.

Jake:  This is ridiculous, there is no way this can ever hold me.

Instructor:  No, really this works great.  Let go from the wall, I promise you won’t sink.

Jake:  No, thank you.

Jake’s swimming looks, less like swimming and more like motion by electrical shock.  Meanwhile, Nathaniel swims circles around him trying to convince him he’s completely safe.

Jake:  NATHANIEL!  You are going to drown.  Touch the wall!

Nate:  I’m fine. Perfectly safe.

Jake:  MOM WE ARE GOING TO DROWN!!!  (we tend to the dramatics here)

12:15  We arrive at home.  I’m not sure if it’s the combination of the chlorine and the screaming at the pool or the lack of caffeine but I have a killer headache.  Lunch is made, school is wrapped up and I decide to lay down before my head splits into two.

 

1:00  “Mom, are you asleep?”

Me:  I was.

Random child:  Can we jump on the jumpoline?

Me:  Okay, open the door so I can hear you.

For the next 45 minutes I hear kids happily bouncing on the trampoline intermingled with whinnying, complaining, crying and laughing.

I’m sure you know where this is going.

1:45  I hear mike scream like he was just pounced on by a tiger.  Followed by Nathaniel screaming and then Jacob screaming.  At first I wonder if maybe zombies attacked them and they are now pinned inside the trampoline net.  This may not seem like a likely scenario, but it’s probably as likely as all three of them being hurt simultaneously with enough damage to elicit the amount of screams I’m hearing.

Mike comes running in the house dripping blood from his head “He broke my head!!  Oh my gosh!  HE BROKE MY HEAD!!!! CAN YOU SEE MY BRAINS???  (the drama)

I assess the head damage and it’s minor.

Me:  You’re fine.  Jump in the bathtub so you stop bleeding all over everything.

I assess Nathaniel.  He’s completely fine.  No blood anywhere.  We can’t find Jacob.  McKayla goes to look for him.  Marshall gets out all of the first aid supplies.

Marshall:  I am completely qualified to wrap his whole head in gauze.  I have almost earned my first aid merit badge.

Me:  Okay, Tell me exactly what happened.  Marshall I think we can hold off on mummyfing your brother for a few minutes.

Mike:  HE BROKE MY HEAD!!!  We were jumping and Nathaniel’s chin hit my head and broke it!!!

McKayla:  I found Jacob, he was crying under the bed scared.

I look more closely at his head, but can tell if it’s ER worthy or not.  I call Dave.  He doesn’t answer.  I call him 4 times in a row.  Still no answer. I call my mother-in-law.  No answer.  I take a photo of his bloody head and text it to dave.  I call my best friend whose been to the ER for two head injuries on two separate kids.  No answer.  I call her cell.

Me:  THANK GOD YOU ANSWERED!

Her:  What’s up!  Did you know they sell vanilla vodka!  I have some in my cart!

Me:  Why do you live so far away!!!  I need Vodka!  (I promise, we always speak in such a way that requires all of these exclamation points).  How did you know that you needed to take the boys to the ER?

Her:  The copious amounts of blood on one kid and being able to see his skull on the other one.

Me:  What does skull look like?  Do you think I could text you a picture?

Her:  Didn’t you just meet your insurance deductible?

Me:  I know, but I hate the ER.

Her:  Just think of it as a little break.  Bring a book.

2:15  So off we went to the Urgent Care. There wasn’t anyone there but the intake lady was on the phone.  A nurse came by to see if we were okay.

Me:  Um, can you look at his head and let me know if you think this might need stitches?

Her:  Oh, yeah, that’s probably going to need some s-t-a-p-l-e-s (in a mock whisper).

Mike turns a little green.  While we wait for the doctor I text Mike’s coach.  “Mike probably won’t make it to practice.  We’re at the ER.  Tragic trampoline accident.  Mike’s head vs his brother’s chin.  Chin wins”

Mike:  Did you call dad?

Me:  I did but he didn’t answer.  I texted him a picture of your head.

Mike:  Is he coming?

Me:  I haven’t heard yet.  Probably not.

Mike:  Oh, I kinda need him.

Me:  What am I?  Chopped liver?

We get back to the doctor and explain the whole story. She washes the wound and offers us staples or super glue.  I was really trying to sell the staples, but Mike wanted the super glue.

Me:  Come on!  Don’t you want to see the medical stapler?  Maybe it’s run by an air compressor.  Kachunk!  Kachunk!  Kachunk!

I don’t know why that didn’t win him over.  I can’t imagine why he wanted Dave and not me…

Mike:  Do you think I can go to baseball practice?Doctor:  I don’t see why not.

3:45 We head home, Mike quickly changes into his baseball clothes and we’re off to practice.

 

6:00 Home from baseball everyone quickly eats frozen pizza, prepared by chef McKayla and changes into Awana uniforms.

6:30 All of the boys are dropped off at church.

6:45  I run home and take a quick shower, down some more Advil, because my head still feels like it might crack open at any minute and my eyeball will fall out.

7:15 I run to a Cubscout leader meeting.

8:15 I leave the riveting leaders meeting, mid discussion on Fish drops and run to pick up all the kids from church.

9:00 When we are all finally home, Dave inspects Mike’s head.

Mike:  How big is it? Do you think my brains will leak out?  Do you think we should make a doctor appointment to get my bones checked?  Don’t you think my skull has to be really wimpy because Nate’s baby chin could crack it?  Should I wear a helmet all the time? Should I sleep sitting up?

No wonder he wanted Dave.  All these unspoken fears he’d been carrying around all day.  Poor kid.

 

 

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After Jake received his soft cast, the ER told us to follow up with our regular pediatrician in one week.  Friday morning I called our pediatrician office, explained everything that happened and they gave me an appointment for the following Wednesday.

Friday

We spent quite a bit of our day cuddling.  Jake spent lots of quality time with his special blankie.  I gave Jake regular doses of tylenol, mostly because if I broke something I’d want a continuous morphine drip.

Saturday

We decided to trust McKayla’s babysitting skills and left the kids with her to go wine tasting.  No one died and no one required an ER visit.  It was a success.  In the evening we went to a baseball game and camping.  Jacob didn’t complain of any pain, so I denied his requests for tylenol.

Sunday

We went to church where he thoroughly enjoyed being in the limelight.  Someone knocked him down on the playground.  It was a tragedy.  Cake made it feel better.

Monday

I found him on top of the table, leaning over the deck, jumping off the couch, perched on the top of a rocking chair, hanging off a book shelf.

Tuesday

The mayhem continued.  It’s kind of like he realized that fracturing a bone wasn’t that big of deal and decided to become much more daring.

Wednesday

9 AM We went to the doctors and explained what happened.  She asked him where it hurt and he kept telling her his wrist hurt.  Up until this point he hadn’t once complained of wrist pain.  What he had complained of though was the cast and wanting it off.  I’m pretty sure he was using the wrist as a decoy.  She examined him, told me she thought it wasn’t much more than possible a deep bruise but sent us over to the hospital for a wrist, arm, and elbow x-ray.

9:30 AM We walked over to the hospital and then spent the next 40 minutes looking for radiology.  This hospital is color coded.  Radiology is in coral.  We followed the coral signs until they abruptly ended.  We found a sideways pointing coral arrow which lead us to a dead end.  We turned around and started again.  We spotted another coral sign.  We found a desk checking people in.  We waited in line.  We were in the wrong place.  She sent us on our way with the most complicated directions ever!  “Turn left at the end of the hallway, right at the espresso cart, left at the escalator, left at the baby grand piano, right into the double doors with the fish tank on the left.”  We finally found our way in.  We checked in and waited our turn.

Yes, they are reading, while we wait!!

Once we made it back to the xray room, Jake assured him that he didn’t have a broken arm.  After the a few x-rays, the machine broke.  Thankfully they had another room.  We got the whole radiology tour.

Did you know you kind of look like Chuck Bartowski?

Did you know they no longer put kids in little lead aprons?  Now they just get their junk protected.  I guess they are more worried about radiation to his little mr. happy than to say his heart…

11:30 AM  After the x-rays we headed back to the doctors.  And waited some more.   After talking to the radiologist she said that the x-rays looked good and she put him in a small wrist splint and sent us home.

4:30 PM I received a 5 minute voice mail from my doctor saying that after more careful consideration from the radiologist, they believe that he has fractured his radial head and she already called and spoke with the pediatric orthopedist from children’s hospital and I should be expecting a call from them.  I immediately called her back with a frantic voice mail.

She called me right back.  Somewhere around 2 minutes in, I realized that I was the wrong parent for this phone call.  When the twins were in the NICU, Dave completely took care of all of their (and my) medical care.  He knew exactly why the doctors were doing what they were doing.  He knew schedules and nurses.  He knew what all of the wires and tubes were for.  He knew how to read the monitors.  He asked all of the right questions.  I was in charge of holding a baby and lactating.  I was definitely out of my realm with this conversation.  After talking to her in a haze of stupidity, because all I really heard was anesthesia and surgery,  I called the pediatric orthopedist and scheduled an appointment for Thursday.

5:00 PM

Me:  So Jacob fractured a radial something and if they would have saw it on Thursday they probably would have put him under and pushed the bones back together and maybe even done surgery but now his bones are sticky because it’s been so long and tomorrow we’re going to children’s to get a full cast or maybe surgery! (This was all said as one long sentence, without taking a breath)

Dave:  Um, what?

Me:  I should have just told the pediatrician to call you.

Dave:  I could call her now?

Me:  Okay.  And can you come with me tomorrow?

THURSDAY

Our first trip to a children’s hospital!  Heck yes!  More xrays.

Yep, I’m a pro.  And I’m sporting a cool lead apron protecting my junk.

Any minute this kid might turn into a super hero with all this radiation. But we won’t.  We got to stand behind an x-ray protected piece of plastic.

Note to self:  Buy one of these and cover the house in them.

Dr:  Yep it’s fractured.  We’ll know more at the three weeks mark (in a lot more words).  We’re going to cast him and because he wore the splint for a week, he only needs to wear the cast for two weeks.

Me:  Awesome!  Credit for time served.

The caster came in.

He was hilarious!

“What color do you want.  I have purple, I have pink, I have green, I have white.  Please don’t pick white.  It will only be white while you are in this room.  You are a boy.

You are very lucky.  I have magic cast making materials.  In the 70s you would have to actually stick your cast in a curing oven for 40 minutes.  Yes, you would have to hold still for 40 minutes.  I don’t know how they got kids to sit still in an oven for so long!  Now it dries while we talk.

Don’t put anything in the cast.  You can only stick things larger than your head.

It will itch.  don’t scratch it.  Remember nothing smaller than your head.  No chopsticks, no coat hangers, no knitting needles.  No pens or pencils.

Don’t put any money smaller than a $20 bill in there.

It’s gonna smell.  Don’t put anything in it to make it smell better like perfume, febreeze, axe body spray, baby powder.  Tell your sister that too.  Don’t put anything in it to make it smell better.  You will still smell.  You’re a boy.

DO NOT GET THIS WET!  No baths, no showers.  If you must bathe, have mom and dad help you.  Maybe a sponge bath.  One inch of water at the most.  Don’t worry, you are a boy.

Don’t use this as a weapon.  Parents this can break noses and gives some pretty nasty cast rash.

Tell me, what chores do you do?

Jake:  um…

No really, tell me, I am doing research.

Jake:  I make my bed.

Good, you can still do that with this cast.

Jake:  clear the table.

Good, you can do that too.

Jake: Feed the chickens.

Good, you can still do that too.”

and after he assured Jacob he was still capable to do all of his chores we were done.  We made an appointment for two weeks out and went home to have his siblings sign his bright green cast.

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