Archive for Thursday, December 10, 2009

Life’s routine changes in the slip of a moment when son breaks leg

December 10, 2009


Reporters occasionally will be writing about their health-related experiences, and they will appear in our new health section. If you have a health-related story to share, contact Karrey Britt, health reporter.

When our youngest son Daniel, who is 13, fell to the floor at home Monday night, he let out a scream and I knew this was going to be bad news.

After two nights in Stormont-Vail hospital, surgery and a cast from his thigh to his toes for a broken left leg, Daniel was being wheeled to the hospital curb on a bitter cold, icy day to get into our van to go home.

The care at the hospital was great, but once they wheel you out, you are on your own.

Daniel had to get in the front seat but because he is so tall, he then essentially crawled backward through the two front seats into the backseat so he could fit in his leg. This wasn’t done without pain. My wife and I winced.

Getting out was even more difficult.

But once out of the van, he maneuvered with his crutches — which he just learned how to use several hours before — up the two steps and into the house. I thought to myself, “How would we have gotten him home if we didn’t have this old van?”

On the couch with his leg propped up, he had the television remote in one hand and the ever-present phone in the other hand to instantly text message a world of friends on every move and thought.

Oh man, what a drag. He will spend six weeks in a cast and miss all of eighth-grade basketball season. This all started when he was walking backwards on the stairs to his room and misjudged where he was. Boom.

Now, things you take for granted every day are going to be challenges: Showering, going to the bathroom, getting from class to class. The drum set upstairs will sit silent.

And, he can’t be left alone in the house. What if he fell down or a fire broke out?

“So on a scale of 1 to 10, how bad is this going to suck?” he asked me.

During his hospital stay, he had been asked by nurses probably a dozen times, “On a scale of 1 to 10, how bad is the pain?” His responses started at 13 and then got down to 1.

It’s funny how something so simple as a broken leg can change the whole routine.


Leslie Swearingen 8 years, 6 months ago

May I inquire as to why you took him to a Topeka hospital and not to Lawrence Memorial? Why does he have to go to school? Could he not be e-mailed his homework and do his tests online? I'm glad you wrote this because I know I have never thought about that aspect of someone in the family being sick or injured. How do you get them home? No one would anticipate this kind of accident. I hope he is being pampered a bit during this time, or he is the kind of guy that would just shrug that off? Funny, I just finished reading a bio of Rachel Carson and a lot of it is about how family illness changed her plans and even the structure of her life. As Robbie Burns said, the best laid plans of mice and men,-

srothschild 8 years, 6 months ago

Forgot to mention in the story that we live in Topeka. That's why we went to Stormont. As far as school, he will have stay out this week and maybe the next, and then there is the two-week winter break. By that time, he may be much better able to maneuver on the crutches.

Leslie Swearingen 8 years, 6 months ago

Thanks, as soon as I hit the submit button I thought of that. As a grandmother I tend to worry about all children.

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