Family · Life

Not on the Schedule

Well. I’m writing this in the half-dawn light from the comfort of the parent cot in a room at Children’s. When I say “comfort,” I mean that I didn’t have to sleep on the floor, for which I am deeply grateful.

Levi jumped? fell? onto a friend’s deck last night and broke his arm. I wasn’t really alarmed until I turned him over and saw one of the bones of his elbow sticking up like a finger poking up in the skin (skin not broken). While I never studied anatomy, I was pretty sure THAT wasn’t supposed to happen.

Poor Elias got left behind without so much as a hug and kiss. I know it’s no comfort to him now, but I’d walk away from his brother just as fast if it were Elias that were broken. My sister reminded me last night that someone asked my maternal grandma – mother to 10 – if she had a favorite child. She said, “The one that’s gone until he’s home, and the one that’s sick until he’s well.”

And little brother was in good hands. We were with several couples. As I walked through the living room carrying Levi and said, “Can someone please watch Elias for a bit?” there was a chorus of YES!!!! behind me. We have good friends.

Our friends gave us a towel to wrap his arm to his body, and an ice pack wrapped in a hand towel. I still have the ice pack and the hand towel, guys, but I lost the other towel along the way. I’ll get you a replacement.

Our pint-sized hero had a couple of x-rays and got poked by a bunch of different people before getting a splint. He did really well with pain, even though that situation was a little complicated by his CF. He’s on high-dose ibuprofen – no one knows exactly why, but taking ibuprofen regularly as a little kid and up through young adulthood reduces lung damage in CF patients – and we can’t give him anything with ibuprofen in it without consulting the CF doctors. The people in the ER, of course, don’t know his whole history, so I repeated “no ibuprofen” to every person that opened the door of our little exam room. No one openly called me a pain in the tuches, which demonstrates great restraint.


And here he is with his splint, and shortly after finally getting a little morphine. I’d say that explains the goofy grin, but you all know he’s like that anyway.

Our nurse last night was great. In addition to sneaking in and out super-quietly and never once waking Levi, she was pretty knowledgable about CF and very helpful. She was expecting a kid with a broken arm, not a kid with 10+ meds, medical equipment, and infection control protocols, but she adjusted immediately and found out everything she could. And assumed that I knew what I was talking about. Bonus!!

The orthopedic surgeon has yet to come through this morning, but Levi is on the schedule for surgery around 11:00 AM. I don’t love the idea of anesthesia, since it poses more risk for a person with CF. And also because I’ve always had kind of rotten experiences with anesthesia. I know that doesn’t really mean anything for Levi, since we’re not biologically related, but thinking about it just makes me feel a little ill.

At least we’re in the right place. I know it’s not 100% true for everyone, but we’ve always had really good experiences at Children’s, and I am confident they will take good care of him. And I believe we are all in God’s hands. We’ll deal with whatever comes.

Right now, that means telling Levi he can’t have anything to eat or drink. Please continue to send good thoughts and prayers, for both of us, and for the people taking care of him.

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