Today was one of those glorious Fridays: perfect, cloudless and warm. Casey finished up a round of meetings early, and we decided to meet downtown for a walk and an early dinner. I packed Dudley and the boys in the car and we headed down. By the time we got there, the 78 degree day somehow became an 88 degree one (total surprise) and before we’d even walked a block, we were all sweaty, Dudley was panting and Cooper was fussing and whining in the stroller.
It was still too early to head to dinner, so we decided to hit the city playground for a while. It’s a huge, safe, shady place and the kids love it. Kenny took off as soon as we arrive, and Cooper was not far behind. I followed a few paced behind him, making sure that he didn’t climb too far too fast. At one point, he navigated himself up to one of the highest points and started to sit down on the top of the slide. I grabbed him before he began his decent and sat him in my lap, intending to have a fun ride down together, as we have 100 times before. But this was a new slide, with a sharp curve in the middle. And it was narrow – I was a tight fit, and I’m not much bigger than the average 12 year old. Anyway, as we rounded the curve, Cooper let out an unbelievable screech. We actually slowed down and I looked at him to see that his rubber shoe sole had somehow gotten stuck on the plastic slide, and his leg had bent back and twisted and was now behind us. We were completely wedged, and I had to dig in with my own shoes to try and back us up so that I could get his leg out. He was nearly in the splits and his knee was bent at a crazy angle.
He screamed for ten minutes straight, while we stood there in the playground. Casey wanted to see if he could walk, but between the heat and the crowd and the pain, he just started crying harder and harder. We got back to the car and he was shaking. There was no visible swelling, but he whimpered when we touched his knee and wouldn’t put any weight on it. We piled back in the car and headed to the ER.
By the time we got there, he was sound asleep, so we decided to get home and have dinner and then see how he was doing. He was happy as a clam all through dinner and we started to breathe that proverbial sigh of relief. Until we set him down out of his highchair. He started to walk, then stopped and started to cry and reached out and held on to his chair. He stood there, tears streaming down his face and standing on one leg, looking up at Casey and I. Casey tried to distract him and get him to walk, but it was no use.
We got him into his pj’s, and I was all set to take him when Casey reminded me that I couldn’t go in with him to get an x-ray. I felt awful. I can’t take care of my sweet baby because I’m having a baby…
Casey took him to our local nighttime pediatrics, where they still wait. My biggest worry at this point is not his leg, but that they’re both going to come home with Swine Flu. Casey said that the waiting room is beyond packed, and they are actually standing on the sidewalk outside holding a beeper.
Going through my mind: “It’s all my fault. What if it’s some kind of ligament tear or joint injury that affects him into his adult life? What if he never plays sports? How could I be so stupid?” Going through Casey’s mind: “They are going to x-ray my tiny boy’s legs and I have to protect his nuts at all costs.” Seriously, I thought about that, too. Do they have tiny willy-protectors in radiology??
I will have to post an update once they get home. My poor little guy…
I just got off the phone with Casey. The x-rays are inconclusive, but the doctor believes that there may be a bend, or “green stick fracture” in Cooper’s femur. We’ve been referred to an orthopedic doctor… who happens to be a close friend. We will know more tomorrow, after a visit to the office. For now, Cooper’s in a soft cast. waaaa…