First of all, we can go ahead and laugh for a good 10 seconds at my lame attempt to document our summer. C'mon, now. I'm getting old. In fact, I turned 33 over the summer. It turns out, I'm just not too ambitious in my old age. So my intentions to blog our summer activities were great, but my efforts sucked. There ya go.
But I have to write down all the happenings of our last day of summer before I forget the details (as it turns out, my sharp memory is goin in my old age, & it is killing me). This will be long, but maybe someday Seth will appreciate my efforts to document my entire memory from this experience. (he's a boy, so probably not - but maybe his wife will, right?)
We ended summer with one hell of a bang - or at least Seth did. On our very last day of Summer Break (Saturday), Austin had soccer practice at 8:30 that morning. Seth had a soccer scrimmage at the same park at 9:00. I'm sure at some point I remarked how convenient it was that we lucked out to have both boys needing to be at the same park within 30 min of each other. Kevin headed off to work (thank you, looming tax deadline), Syd headed off to a babysitting job, and I loaded up the boys & Brooklyn, picked up the boys' 2 friends (& teammates), and headed off to the park. Seth & his friend Maddox had about a half hour to play at the park before their scrimmage, while I settled into my chair to watch Austin's practice. It was HOT. SO HOT. (I had no idea this blasted miserable Vegas heat would turn my day upside down)
About 10 minutes before the scrimmage was supposed to start, Seth ran over to me wailing & threw himself into my lap yelling that he was hurt. Any mom out there knows that cry - the one that signals true pain. The one that makes your instincts on high alert & in a split second you know this is not just a dramatic whine. There was no blood, so I just kept saying "Where are you hurt?" and "Calm down! What hurts?" It was then that Seth lifted his right arm and said "MY ARMMMM!" and it was as if there was a joint in the middle of his forearm. The entire middle of his arm dipped right down and I shrieked. He then moved his arm again and the whole end of it flopped down like he had another wrist. It was INSANE. I was expecting the bone to pop right through the skin. The 2 other moms I was talking to helped me get my crap loaded right back into the van, while I kept repeating "We gotta get to urgent care." I grabbed Brooklyn, loaded her up, and carefully got Seth into the car with his arm resting on the only flat thing I had handy - a Book of Mormon. Thankfully, my brother-in-law pulled up just then & I begged him to get the other 3 boys home for me. I screeched out of the parking lot with Seth still wailing and crying and moaning. I felt so awful for him. My momma bear instincts were in full gear, and I knew it was bad. I called Kevin who had only been at work for a few minutes, and told him that Seth had fallen somehow, and we were headed to urgent care - then I realized what I was saying & corrected myself - we were going straight to the emergency room. I've never taken any of my kids to the ER. Ever. We've always just gone to urgent care. RSV? Urgent Care. 2 broken collar bones? Urgent Care. Stitches? Urgent Care. This time, I knew this was much bigger than urgent care. I started to get emotional on the phone with Kevin, and told him to meet me at the hospital. As soon as I hung up the phone I had to do a little pep-talking to my momma self and tell myself I needed to pull it together and be brave so that Seth didn't see me losing it. So I wiped my eyes, and apologized to my baby boy for every single little bump we had to drive over on our way to the hospital.
I was right. This was much bigger than urgent care. We walked into the St. Rose ER, where they slapped a bracelet on Seth's (other) arm, and walked us straight back to the Peds ER. Within 5 minutes they got Seth on an IV and were pumping the pain medicine with his Harry Potter arm propped on a pillow. If you have seen the 2nd Harry Potter movie when Harry's arm loses it's bones and he has to re-grow the bones, that's exactly what Seth's arm reminded me of:
And then we waited for xray to come take pictures. As soon as the pain medicine started pumping, Seth was a-ok since he could lay there and watch Spongebob. Xray came and took their pics, and within about 15 minutes they had sent the pics to the ER doc's phone. Here's what we found:
I gasped. I knew it was bad, but seeing just how bad it was nearly made me lose my breakfast. In the same 5 minutes the doctor showed me those gnarly xrays, and explained that Seth would definitely need surgery to reset the bones. He asked me if we have an orthopaedic surgeon we have seen before. Well, yes we do. We saw him last week, in fact. The ER doc explained that since Dr. Thomas (our dr) is the only pediatric orthopaedic surgeon that HPN will approve, if he wasn't on call or would agree to come in, we may be out of luck. The ER doc left to try & get a hold of Dr. Thomas, and I started to cry. I couldn't take it. I was pissed. So mad at stupid HPN - how on earth is it that they will only contract with ONE surgeon in all of Las Vegas?!!! Are you freaking kidding me?!! I was so mad that I was sitting in the hospital with my baby, worried about surgery, but having to stress out that we may have to pay out of pocket for another surgeon if we couldn't get the ONE that they think we should see. Absurd. (Now would be an appropriate time to mention that I can't stand HPN) So I prayed. A lot.
Within about 20 minutes the ER dr came back and said he had called in some favors, and Dr Thomas had agreed to come in to do Seth's surgery. I breathed the biggest sigh of relief, uttered a complete prayer of thanks, and we got down to business with getting Seth admitted. But first - they had to splint his arm. THAT was, by far, THE most heart-wrenching part of the entire ordeal. Because his arm was so unstable, it was EXCRUCIATING for the 2 nurses to lift up his arm and move it around while they put the splint on & wrap it. I had to fold my arms and hug myself tight because I seriously wanted to punch those nurses in the teeth and rip their hands off. Seth cried and cried, and begged them, "PLEASE stop! No! No! That hurts so bad!!!" The tears were streaming, and was almost too much for this momma.
He couldn't have the surgery until 4pm when there was an OR available and it had been enough hours since he had had breakfast. So they wheeled Seth's bed out of the ER and up to the Peds floor. He thought it was sooooo cool to not have to walk - to have his bed rolled up to his room. He was enjoying the hospital a little too much - it was hilarious. Loved the bed, loved the TV, loved that he didn't have to get out of bed, loved all the people doting on him. Loved all of it. Except the broken arm part.
Then we waited for the doctor. As soon as Dr Thomas showed up and came in to explain what he was gonna do, I felt so relieved. It was nice to already have a relationship with him, and know that Seth was in good hands. He is the one treating Sydney for her scoliosis, and we have already spent a great deal of time visiting with him. He was soooooo good and so funny with Seth in explaining to Seth how he was going to fix his arm. Seth had a bunch of questions - more about whether or not he was gonna get to wake up in his fancy bed than about the doctor putting nails in his arm to put the bones back together. When Seth asked him "When am I going to get the sleeping potion?" I figured we were good to go. Kevin gave him a blessing, and we were ready. (what??? Is any mom ever ready for that?)
We headed down to get him prepped for the OR, where the kind and sweet nurses were waiting for us. The anesthesiologist explained to Seth how he was gonna fall asleep and she would be right by his head the whole time, and the other nurses were so nice. My little Sethro was so brave. He didn't even seem scared. I tried so hard to not show how scared I was for him. Before we knew it, Dr Thomas came out and put Seth's little surgery cap on him (to match his) and wheeled him back to the operating room himself. Talk about feeling the saddest feeling EVAH to watch your baby go off all by himself. So lonely. So scary.
And then we waited. We went down to the cafeteria to finally eat something, and I dined on a gross hot dog and a delicious Coke. We caught up on a little Hurricane Irene news, and headed back up to the surgery waiting area. I got a really sweet call from Seth's soccer coach calling to see how he was doing, and I had to break the news that he was going to be down a player for a while.
After about 2 hrs 15 min (the longest 2 hrs & 15 minutes of my life) Dr. Thomas came out & let us know everything went well. He told us that when the ER dr had sent the xrays to his phone, he didn't think the ulna was broken all the way through. But it was. Both the radius and the ulna were broken all the way through. He had to put 2 long pins in (1 in each bone), make 4 incisions, and it all went back together so nicely. Here is the finished product:
The pins will have to come out in about 6-9 months. He put a cast on that is split on 2 sides & wrapped in a bandage to allow for Seth's arm to swell after the surgery. We'll go back next week to get that cast taken off & a regular cast put on for 5 weeks. At this point, Seth can't wait for that - he can't wait for the COLORED cast that his friends can sign. He was so funny when he first woke up, wiggling his tongue instead of his thumb when the nurse tried to get him to wiggle his fingers & thumb. He had a few visitors that night, although who knows if he has any recollection of that since he was pretty loopy still.
As soon as he woke from surgery he had a few visitors, including his friend Maddox who had been with him when he fell that morning.
We stayed overnight in the hospital so that we could take full advantage of the morphine available, and went home the next morning. I came home so thankful, and am still so grateful for all our caring friends and family - all the texts full of concern. Everything worked out, and I know the good Lord was watching over us. So thankful for Dr. Thomas spending his Saturday fixing up my boy. So glad I was the one to drive the boys that morning (we alternate carpool). So thankful for the power of the priesthood and feeling even more blessed than ever to be my little Sethro's momma. He is such a sweetheart and was so so brave. He came home and rested some more - a lot of well deserved naps, and LOTS of Harry Potter movies (Momma ain't complainin about that!)
He got a visit from our bishop the next day, his Barlow cousins, and late Sunday night just before bed (amidst the 1st day of school hype), Grandpa Garrard showed up with SEVEN maple bars for Sethro. Seth loves maple bars, and so does my dad. Several months ago Seth pointed out that he and grandpa are a 'match' because they both like to sleep, and they both like maple bars. So funny. So Grandpa came through with Seth's very own stash of maple bars (and a few chocolate cake donuts for mom). Grandpa is so thoughtful that way! We finished off Sunday with 1st Day of School blessings, and sent my little loves off to bed (with a fresh dose of tylenol with codeine for the little bone-breaker).
And that's how we ended our Summer of 2011.
On Tuesday we went back to the same park for Austin's soccer practice, and Seth was so eager to show me the scene of the accident and exactly what it was that he fell off of: