As I write this, I am sitting in a post operation recovery room next to my son who has just been extubated. Not a fun thing to witness. Seeing my baby belted to a stretcher in an ambulance will also go down as one of my least favorite visions to date. He is sleeping soundly and all I can think to do is lose myself in the writing of an entry while I anxiously await the opening of his eyes.
Yesterday, while at a birthday party in Central Park, Zachary (2 years, 9 months) broke his femur bone.
A year and a half ago he broke his tibia on the same leg, and in the third trimester of pregnancy with his baby sis, I thought that was horrific beyond horrific.
This injury makes that one seem like a hangnail.
The femur, for those who don’t know, is the thigh bone and the largest bone in the human body. It’s best to keep that bone in one piece… If you can….just do your best.
The story goes…
We had just arrived, and I ran off to the bathroom leaving the kids playing soccer with my husband and other guests. On my way back across the vast green lawn, I was greeted by my friend’s husband who calmly informed me that Zachary hurt his leg.
Still walking toward the picnic area.
“What do you mean?”
“Well, the ambulance is on its way”
“Ambulance?!” I picked up speed and sprinted to my baby lying in the grass screaming under my husband’s hold.
There is so much that happened in between that moment and this one, but I am too emotionally and physically drained to go through them all here. (And I’m sure none of you have the time or energy to read the 17 pages that would require.)
Instead of a play-by-play of the nightmare and all the emotions that go along with it, I am dedicating this entry to a detailed depiction of the treatment we’ve received at this state of the art children’s hospital on the upper east side of Manhattan.
I am overwhelmed, astounded and bowing in gratitude to the Kravis Children’s Hospital at Mount Sinai. To each and every employee of the 56+ that we have come into contact with since the blinking lights and sirens fetched us from the damp grass of sheep’s meadow yesterday at around 3 pm,
We Love You.
As the ambulance pulled out of the park with Zachary and I in tow, Steve ran off to our car with Isabelle to meet us at the ER. The paramedics informed me that we were in between two hospitals and gave me my pick. All I said, with our experience at St. Barnabas in NJ at the forefront of my mind, was that I wanted a place where they had the skills to communicate amicably with other human beings, especially small ones. In unison, they answered,
“Mount Sinai”, turned right on Central Park West and headed north.
As I assisted them with wheeling my son through the double doors of the emergency room on Madison Avenue, I was struck by the walls of brightly colored, fanciful murals of underwater palaces, zoo animals and merry-go-rounds. I immediately knew we were in the right place. The admitting nurse, dressed in Care Bear scrubs and a cheerful smile, grabbed Zachary’s trembling hand, spoke to him with more of a maternal tone than I can often muster and the deal was sealed. Thank God.
From there, with no paperwork, we were brought to a little private room decorated in a jungle theme and were met there seconds later by Crystal, the Child Life Specialist. Crystal handed Zachary an iPad and asked what his favorite shows were so she could fetch a portable DVD player and some of his personal requests.
A few minutes later, a sprightly and warm doctor walked in accompanied by Crystal and a nurse. She approached Zachary and talked with him about what happened.
“I tripped over a soccer ball and hurt my knee”
He said with a sad little pout.
With what lay ahead, they felt a morphine shot was needed. While the nurse administered the needle into his good leg, Crystal pulled out a colorful bottle and blew happy little bubbles over his head.
I can go on and on, but every person we met moving forward from radiology, to the pediatric admittance wing, to the OR, to OR recovery, treated us in the same kind, loving, patient and joyful manner.
THIS, ladies and gentlemen is how we take care of our kids.
(Says the woman whose child has broken two bones in a year and a half…)
It seems that this establishment has paid St Barnabas’ karmic debt in diamonds, ten times over.
So, I guess I could have written this entry as a panicked desperate question of how in the freakin’ hell we are going to survive the next six eternal weeks during the dead of Summer with two toddlers…one running around with unbridled vim and vigor and the other, vim and vigor tightly bridled under 15 pounds of plaster, immobile from the sternum down in what they call a “spica cast”. But, I feel it might be best to write that entry in a few weeks when I actually have the answer. Right now we are almost as paralyzed as our son concerning that question and have no earthly idea. Stay tuned….
For those who are nervous to point out that two broken bones in 18 months is a bit suspicious and could point to something more serious, we preemptively thank you for your concern. Rest assured that the thought has crossed our minds as well, but five different doctors and six nurses have told us that both injuries “make sense” as far as the accidents themselves, and we should chalk it up to good old bad luck. 50 percent of me believes them. Don’t think for a second that I won’t continue to look into it further.
If you ask him about it, he says
“I broke my leg. The doctors helped me, but I was a little bit scared”