The injury happened on Thursday night, November 14th, around 5 pm. Blake and I were in the kitchen and he had a little, soft plastic, almost soccer ball sized ball, he was playing with and kicking around. I turned my back to turn on the oven and start dinner, and he somehow stepped on the ball and fell. I didn’t see what happened, but based on the research I’ve done and how the ball was placed, I believe he went to kick it (or move it out from under the dishwasher edge with his foot), ended up stepping on it, and then his foot slid off. While his foot stayed stationary on the ground, his knee to his hip kept moving and the tension snapped the bone.
When he fell and cried, and I saw him, my first thought was “oh my gosh, he just broke his leg!” But then I quickly shot that thought down, thinking it was ridiculous and probably just dislocated. Little did I know that I was wrong. I moved his leg around, trying to get a feel for the injury, and I quickly realized that something was disconnected. I still thought maybe it was dislocated at the hip. I even tried to have him stand up, but he wouldn’t put any weight on it at all. His leg was totally floppy and when he laid down with his legs tucked near his tummy, the injured side went a weird direction. I could also feel something moving around abnormally.
My husband, Scott was gone at work, so I called our friend down the street who is in his class at Chiropractic school. They are both graduating in a couple weeks. I told his wife to send him over immediately to check and see if I should take Blake to the doctor. When he got here, he moved Blake’s leg around for a second and said something was weird with his knee and that I ought to take him to the ER. Since Scott was thirty minutes away, he met us at the hospital. It’s truly amazing how calm Blake was for the injury he sustained!! He calmed down a bit in the car and then snuggled up in Scott’s lap while we were waiting at the ER. He didn’t like being poked and moved, for obvious reasons, when they checked vitals, but then he changed into a new person after getting some Motrin. He became totally happy, cheerful, and was waving at and talking to all the nurses walking by (we were on a bed in the hall of the ER since there were no rooms open). I told Scott I felt silly and probably should have just given him pain meds and put him to bed.
After waiting for an hour or two, they finally took some X-rays and read the results. When the doctor came by with the results, she said “I have something to show you” and the nurse passing by gave a terrible face. I told her it was a bad face and she said “I’m so sorry, we’re getting a room ready for you guys.” The second the image popped on the screen, 5 or 6 feet away from us, both Scott and I gasped and were instantly in shock. I was literally speechless and couldn’t pick my jaw up off the ground. The break in his femur was that clear. The pediatric orthopedic surgeon was called in immediately and came to talk to us. She asked some tough questions and was pretty cold with us. They said they had to cast it immediately and it would be from his tummy to ankle on the affected side, and tummy to knee on the unaffected side. For 5 weeks.
Since Blake hadn’t eaten since lunch, they decided to hurry him to Surgery to do the procedure. He could tell something was wrong because he started freaking out and crying, and because we made him lay down on the bed and it was probably very painful. Once we were in a room, they had to put an IV in his hand. The casting process is considered surgery because they had to put him under General Anesthesia, though they did not make any incisions. Getting an IV in his hand was particularly difficult for me and I did my best to snuggle him, hold him down, and sing primary songs while they did it. It was all I could do to not cry too. He didn’t calm down at all from the time they laid him down on the bed (just after giving us the news) until he was under drugs (an hour later), aside from the brief moments that Scott had his hands on his head, giving him a Priesthood blessing. During the blessing he was completely still and quiet. Then when the blessing was over, he started crying again.
Wheeling him to the O.R. was like walking in a doctor show. All the hallways, all the big signs saying “only surgery scrubs past this point”, and then a team of doctors waiting in the hall just in front of the double swinging doors. The doctors were really nice and instantly made me feel at ease. They talked us through what would happen and gave Blake some drugs that calmed him down and made him really drowsy. Then they took him in. The procedure was non invasive with no incisions. However, to set the bone they had to pull the hip and knee in the opposite direction to set it correctly and then cast it. He was under anesthesia and they had to give him heavy pain medicine. A little over an hour later we were able to see him in the recovery room.
Once he was awake and functioning well, holding down liquid, and good vitals, he was transferred to his main room for the night. He was a trooper and the nurses thought he was the coolest kid ever. They loved him. Thankfully, I had remembered to grab the blanket his Grandma had made him and his bear before leaving the house so he had those when he woke up. He was pretty sad and scared during the night and woke up several times. Nobody got much sleep. The next morning he was doing a little better. We had to wait all day at the hospital to get a special car seat for him before we could leave.
We finally made it home late that afternoon. I felt completely overwhelmed and emotionally on edge. Once the boys were asleep for the night, I cried and cried. I wasn’t sure how I was going to manage everything with Blake in a cast, packing up to move, and taking care of normal life things as well. The first week was really rough. Blake has always been an amazing sleeper and has always gone to bed so easily. But after the traumatic events, he digressed in sleep. Lots. He woke up every night almost every half hour for over a week. He also didn’t take good naps, if he even got a nap. I think he was scared, anxious, in pain, and had some bad dreams.
Now we are almost 3 weeks in, and things are much better! He is finally sleeping the entire night, taking good naps, and is mobile. We had to have his leg re-cast after about 10 days because the swelling went down, the cast loosened up, and the bone shifted slightly. Now he is doing great. He crawls all over the place, is starting to climb a little, and is much happier. I think he can feel that his leg is more stable and doesn’t hurt anymore. We had it x-rayed again on December 3, and the doctor was very pleased with the healing. She had us schedule an appointment to remove the cast on December 20! We are thrilled and excited for many reasons, but especially since we will be moving on the 23rd and Scott’s graduation is the 21st. I anticipate many more hard days ahead, especially after the cast is off, with rehabbing, learning to walk again, and building up his muscles. We can get through it though!
The prayers, support, and outpouring of love and service has truly overwhelmed me. I am so grateful for many wonderful friends who have stopped by to bring toys, coloring books, movies, treats, visits, and dinners. It has made all the difference in the world! I am so grateful to be a member of a church congregation that is so service oriented and willing to take care of each other.