Yes, it's true Bracken broke his arm. He was shoved from the top bunk by his naughty little sister who I'm sure was trying to impress the neighbor boy who was over for a play date. Dylan has come over to play many times but has always been restricted to driveway play. So far there are only two finished homes in our cul-de-sac, ours and his. Dylan is five years old and therefore a very desirable friend in my kids eyes because he is older and wiser----and even more importantly has his own two-wheeler (with training wheels) AND a Powerwheels tractor given to him by his grandparents. Any child of the 80's totally gets that a Pow-Pow-Powerwheels makes you amazingly popular with all other children in the neighborhood.
Anyway, Bracken (who was dressed in his Peter Pan Halloween costume at the time) was giving Dylan a complete tour of the house. When I could no longer hear Bracken's directives I assumed that they had ended up in the playroom upstairs. I was wrong. Bracken, Dylan, and Abbie had all decided that the top bunk in Bracken's room would be a great place to play. Unfortunately Abbie---who seems to always be jockeying for the attention of others---must have thought that it would get a laugh out of Dylan if she made Peter Pan fly. Instead what she got was a puddle of tears and a host of shrieks from her big brother who was crumpled up on the floor.
Dylan was taken home, Abbie was put on time out, and Bracken was given some Motrin. I have never broken any bones and wasn't sure quite how to assess the damage done. Justin has suffered a few breaks and had Bracken try and do various moves, like making a fist and moving it all around and back and forth. Bracken seemed to be able to accomplish those tasks with minimal pain but it was clear that his wrist was a little swollen. We decided to feed the kids dinner and see how our little patient was doing after that. We had not anticipated Bracken falling asleep while the other kids ate and didn't want to wake him once we realized that he was out cold.
Of course once all of the other kids were in bed asleep and Justin and I were amped for "Debate Night in America" (as Wolf likes to say), we heard stirring from our bedroom. Bracken was awake and in pain and needing attention. At that point I wasn't sure if heading to the ER would be our best bet especially since we did not yet know where the closest hospital was and Bracken is a bit of a 'fraidy cat. So, we decided to wait out the night and reevaluate in the morning. We gave Bracken some ice cream because he was sure that he didn't have the strength to eat "real" dinner but that he could manage ice cream as long as I spoon fed him, which I did.
******completely off-track side note: Abbie has just come to me sobbing, when I asked her what was wrong she told me that "[she] doesn't want to be beautiful anymore"...ah, yes, what a curse it must be to be beautiful*****
For the next two hours we attempted to watch the debate in our bed with Bracken. He is actually quite an interesting commentator, making comments like, "Mom, is that Uhrock Obama?" "Is he President yet?" "Why is that white man so old?" (white being a reference to his hair color, not race...Bracken has a "white grandpa" and a "brown grandpa"...I can't wait to hear how he distinguishes between them once my Dad's hair is no longer brown) "Why does that man look like an egg?" "When are they going to stop fighting?" "Who decided that they wanted to be president first because who ever decided first should get to be it."
The last thirty minutes of the debate were spent answering Bracken's nonstop questions of when it would be over. When it finally did end we were not allowed to watch any of the after show analysis because Bracken was too sleepy and did not want to sleep upstairs in his own bed. So, needless to say, it was an uncomfortable night for us all and in the morning things did not seem to have gotten any better. His arm wasn't bruised but it was still quite swollen and he was clearly being very protective of it. The night had only changed one person, it seemed that Abbie had realized the error of her ways some time during the night because she showed up by my bedside first thing and looked right at Bracken and said, "Bracken, are you better? I'm so sorry that I pushed you. I will never push you again." Apologies, better late than never.
It was about that time that I began to wish that there were a doctor in the neighborhood who could give us a more educated opinion on what our next step should be. But since the only doctor I know of is an opthomologist we dropped Abbie off at preschool and took the other kids to run some errands and vowed that if by lunch Bracken was still uncomfortable then we would take him to the ER.
Well, lunch time came and he was still not back to his old self, though he was bolstered by the many cards that were sent home in Abbie's backpack made for him by his teachers and classmates. So I called the pediatrician who had been recommended to me by all of the moms at school and in the neighborhood and asked their office where they recommend we take Bracken. The nurse told me the name and location of the closest good hospital and off Justin went, broken child in tow.
Bracken was mostly concerned that he may need to have a shot (clearly he takes after his father when it comes to needles) but we assured him that the doctor would just take a picture of the inside of his arm and see whether or not the bones had broken. I am told that he was a little trooper and happy as can be to watch Cartoon Network in the ER waiting room. I had to get all of my updates and information via text messages and pictures Justin would e-mail me to keep me informed since I was stuck at home with napping babies.
When it was all over and X-rays confirmed that he had indeed broken both bones in his arm Bracken was mostly just glad to have gotten a Speed Racer sticker and a pack of Starbursts from the vending machine at the hospital.
Some day I will figure out how to place captions directly under the pictures in my blog, but until then here are some of the choice quotes that Justin texted me from the hospital (they should accompany the pictures).
At the hospital:
Justin: [I'm sure he asked this for blogging purposes] why are we at the hospital?
Bracken: My name is Bracken and I hurt my arm, my right one, because I have bunk beds with a ladder and my sister pushed me all the way off and down. So I hurt it.
Bracken: [after getting his hospital ID] It's my bracelet Dad.
Doctor: How did this happen?
Bracken: Abbie pushed me off my top bunk.
Doctor: Why did she do that?
Bracken: My sister is always so naughty, that's why she pushed me.
Bracken: So, when are we doing the x-ray?
Justin: We did it already.
Justin: See, it was easy. Just a picture.
Bracken: A picture of my bones?
Bracken: Can we keep them, the pictures?
[we were not able to keep them]
Doctor: We will cast you then in a few weeks cut it off.
Bracken: CUT IT OFF! WAIT you are going to cut off my ARM????
Bracken: [after being "casted"] Look dad, I can still do thumbs up!!!
*****Special thanks to my good friend Landrey (who graduated from Georgetown Medical School last spring) whom I call whenever I have ANY medical question. I sent her a text about Bracken and she called me immediately even though she is going to have a baby any day now and is in the middle of her residency. She is always very patient with me and gives me great advice. I just wish that we lived in the same city so I could rush my children over to her each time they had any medical issue! Which is, I'm sure, exactly why she is glad we do not live in the same city :)!