My best friend, Jen Parks, broke her arm in the second grade and although I felt bad for her, I was jealous of her new found status. With her concrete-hard arm she was the center of attention; students and teachers alike. It happened to be her right arm and she couldn't do her homework or classwork like the rest of us, someone did all of the writing for her. Her cast was covered with signatures and drawings, a child's version of having a sleeve tattooed, and just as cool. In my seven-year-old mind it seemed as if the perks must have outweighed the pain. I never was so "lucky" to have broken a bone, although I tried on several occasions in hopes of getting out of homework. Thankfully, my children have never had any bones broken either. A somewhat selfish relief, since I don't deal well with emergency situations. Even Jace whose interests lie in extreme sports, has never sustained anything worse than a sprain - that was up until yesterday.
Yesterday the call came, a call from Jace crying, thinking he had dislocated his shoulder. I hung up and tried to spur the other children into action so that we could pick up Jace from his friend's house. Brynna stepped up; brought the dog in, grabbed her homework, and ushered Ryleigh to the truck since she was the only other one completely ready. Vance and Keely had no pants or shoes. I quickly located some and headed out the door. Jace's friend, Sam, lives three country blocks away, and when I arrived Jace was waiting out front covered in dust with tears streaming down his face, his helmet still on his head, holding his right shoulder. I knew this was the real deal and we were off to the doctor's. I called Brian to tell him what was going on and he asked if I looked at his shoulder, to which I replied, "no." He thought if his shoulder was out of socket I should put my knee in his armpit and pull his arm and put it back into place. I kept driving. I can't believe I've been married to this man for 13 years and he thinks I would or could ever do such a thing.
We arrived at the doctor's office and in accordance with Murphy's law as I unbuckle Vance I smell poop. Jace had stopped crying and just sat there with eyes closed so I quickly changed the little man before I got everyone out. We first headed to the Urgent Care. Brynna was relishing her role of being in charge of the younger girls and ensuring they didn't run out in the parking lot. As we crossed the street in front of two waiting cars Brynna led the way with her arm outstretched "halting" traffic. We got inside and as I waited in line I was told by security that because he was 11 we needed to head to Pediatrics. At this point Jace couldn't walk anymore, as it hurt too bad. I grabbed a wheelchair and with a baby on my hip and three in tow, I pushed Jace across the medical campus, trying not to be bitter that the two guards sat and watched me struggle and never offered to help. When we got to Peds we signed in and the waiting began. The kids were awesome. Then after 40 minutes Vance began to fuss, I had no pacifier, no snacks, no sippy cup. Can you believe I have had five children and don't have a well-stocked diaper bag? I can't. So I stood and rocked and bounced and walked and swayed. Jace seemed to settle again and his pain level decreased. He moved from the wheelchair to a normal chair so he could dangle his arm. Then, the domino effect began with Keely having to use the bathroom, followed by Ryleigh. I left Brynna to watch over Jace and I took the three small ones to the restroom. After Keely used the bathroom and touched every foul surface in there we headed back to the big kids. (Yes, she washed her hands.) Five minutes later she had to poop - of course. The bad thing about potty training is that you can't tell them that they don't have to go, because the next thing you know you're sloshing poop filled underwear in a toilet or throwing them in a trashcan, which by the way I didn't have extra with me. We headed back to the bathroom, where she just fondled her porcelain friend without pooping, peeing, dripping or even farting. Frustrated we rejoined the older two; Jace and Brynna had done fine. They finally called us! Back in the room they took vitals, gave him a pain killer, removed his shirt (not a fun time) and put a hospital gown on him. Keely washed her hands several times in the doctor's sink and made huge puddles on the floor for me to clean up. They sent us to X-ray. We had to wait but not very long. It was however, long enough for Keely to pull her pants and panties down and do a spinning "moon" dance. Trying not to laugh and wrestling her with Vance still in my left arm I was able to get them up. Poor Jace began laughing at the site and ended up in tears from the pain. They called his name, but I was unable to go back with him since I had all the kids. Thankfully it was very quick and we were headed back to Peds. We waited 10 minutes in the lobby, where Keely spit on the fish tank and 10 different chairs before I caught her. Visible pools of saliva were in the center of each one. How could she have that much spit? They called us and we waited another 20 minutes for the doctor to come into the room. I hit the lollipop bowl twice to keep the kids quiet and Keely away from the sink, it worked.
Up until this point, Jace had not been able to remember how he had gotten hurt, he only knew he was riding a bicycle on Sam's BMX track. With the painkillers starting to kick in, he began to recall the details. He was on the bike trying to jump a double but didn't have enough speed. He made the first jump, not the second and flipped over the bike with it landing on top of him. He said when he got up he lifted his arm and heard something crack. I felt woozy just hearing the story.
The doctor came in and told us that he had broken his clavicle, and he would need a brace. Off to Orthopedics. Again, Jace was tired and sore so we found a wheelchair and Brynna pushed him. The tech who put the brace on was great and joked with all the kids and printed out the x-ray for Jace.
After a total of three hours at Kaiser, we were done. Jace was still in pain but was on the phone with friends reaping the status and bragging rights that go along with a broken bone. He filled them in on how he didn't have to go to school for the rest of the week, that he has a picture of the broken bone, that he can't write for a while, and that he doesn't have to take a shower for a few days. Ahhh, the mind of a child - why was jealous of this list when I was younger? To add one more perk I took the kids to get a Frosty from Wendy's. As everyone said "thanks", Jace said to his sisters, "You're welcome I broke a bone so you could get ice cream." What a good brother to share the benefits of a broken bone with those with intact skeletons.