Saturday, April 13, 2013

If it's not one, it's another!

That about sums up how Chad and I feel right now.  I'm sure every other parent in the world with more than one child can relate as well.  If it's not one child getting hurt, it's bound to be another.

In this case, it was Ashley.  Our fourth child (third daughter), Ashley is very active, always running around doing this or that.  This week saw the beginning of Junior Volleyball practice for grades 3 - 6, so Ashley and her friends have been all excited about that.  Then, yesterday just as school was about to end, Ashley came limping into my classroom, holding onto her friend Emma's arm.  Ash was in tears and obvious pain.  I looked up from my desk where I was trying to grade my students' health tests while they were clearing the classroom and getting it ready for Sunday school.  Seeing the look on Ashley's face, I immediately asked, "What happened?"  She stammered out that she had been playing basketball and had been going after the ball when she came down on the side of her foot.  I thought she had rolled her ankle, so I sat her down in my desk chair and pulled another chair over to prop her foot on.  She was in quite a bit of pain, crying and begging me not to touch her foot.

I had no choice but to divide my attention between Ashley's injury and my departing students.  Thankfully, they all realized she had been badly hurt and, for the most part, sat quietly waiting for their parents to pick them up.  This process took about fifteen minutes, during which I alternately comforted Ashley and smiled a goodbye at my students.  I looked at Ashley's ankle which didn't seem to be swelling but sent Katie for an ice pack anyway.  It was only when Ash said, "Mom, the ice isn't on the right spot" and pulled off her sock that I realized the real problem.  She had a growing lump about halfway down the top and one inch from the edge of her foot.  This lump was extremely painful to the touch and looked highly unnatural, to say the least!  Anyone who looked at it had one thought---she broke a bone.  I resorted to asking help from a higher authority, in this case, Chad.  I called him and described Ash's injury, how she sustained it, and what he thought.  We decided that I should head home ASAP in order to show him her foot and get his decision on whether or not to have it checked out.  Please understand:  if she had injured her ankle, we wouldn't have thought twice about how to treat it.  But I had never seen an injury like that before, so I was unsure how serious it might be.  I was so glad Chad was home and could give his opinion.

First, we had to get Ashley in the car without putting any weight on her poor foot.  This proved to be an adventure!  I pulled the car as close to the curb as possible so that we could use the side door of the school to get Ashley out.  Amanda elected to carry Ash out the door, down three small steps to the parking lot, and heave her through the open van door, all in the pouring rain while avoiding the mini mud slide that always collects by those particular steps whenever it rains.  Once inside the van, Ashley had to maneuver herself over to the other middle seat in order to be able to prop her foot up on the first seat.  What confusion!  By the time I had turned off lights, locked cabinets, and closed my door, the kids were in gales of laughter, Amanda was acting like she was driving home, Katie had somehow crammed herself into the storage compartment in the "way back" of the van, and Ashley was more than ready to just go.

Once we got home, Chad came out to look at Ashley's foot and agreed that she should have that looked at by a doctor.  He got on the phone to the consulting nurse offered by Blue Cross/Blue Shield, obtained her advice to have Ashley taken to the ER (apparently Urgent Care wouldn't be able to do x-rays), found out which hospital was on our insurance plan, and wished us well on the next leg (pardon the pun) of our journey.

Traffic was fairly light; we got to the ER in good time.  Amanda came with us which greatly relieved my mind as to how to get Ashley into the ER without putting any weight on her foot.  We had been advised by the consulting nurse to use a wheelchair for Ashley, but I was unsure where to find one.  As it turns out, they were parked right inside the foyer!  There were not many people inside waiting for attention, so the triage nurse called Ashley in within about ten minutes.  She took Ash's vital signs and ordered an x-ray, then sent us back out to the waiting room to await the ER nurse's call.  That took another twenty minutes or so.  Once Ashley was established in the bed and her information entered into the computer again, the real wait began.  A nurse popped in occasionally; the doctor made an appearance; an x-ray technician stopped by to take pictures of her foot and joke with Ashley.  Meanwhile we watched at least four elderly patients wheeled in by paramedics, and, while we felt for these poor folks, each stretcher wheeled past meant that much longer we would have to wait for the doctor's pronouncement of Ashley's condition. When a nurse came in to fit Ashley with a comfortable supportive shoe, I kind of figured that she hadn't broken anything or they would have wrapped her foot securely before putting on the "boot."  It still took another twenty or thirty minutes before the doctor breezed in to assure Ashley that nothing was broken, just sprained.  I had never before heard of a sprained foot!  I knew you could sprain your ankle or wrist but not your foot.  At any rate, getting the x-ray was the right call just in case there was a fracture.  So, four hours later, we left the ER with Ashley again being carried by Amanda (I think Mandie likes to show off her strength!) out to the waiting van.  The nurse had given her some ibuprofen to help with the swelling and pain; now all that remained was getting some much-delayed dinner!

Praise the Lord---today Ashley's foot has been much better.  The swelling has gone down a bit; the large lump is gone because the fluid has dispersed across the foot more.  There is a lovely bruise on the top of her foot, but that's to be expected.  The real challenge is going to be keeping her off that foot for at least a few days in order to allow it to heal properly.  Ashley is like Amanda in this regard:  stubbornly refusing to listen when we tell her it's not healed yet nor will it heal properly if she doesn't keep it off of it.  She'll need this healing time if she doesn't want to keep re-injuring that same foot; plus, she'll not want to have problems with that foot the rest of her life, so she'd best listen to advice!

Tomorrow is Sunday again and we get to go to God's house.  What a privilege it is to attend services as many times as we want each week!  We don't have to hide our worship of God; we don't have to suffer persecution in order to serve our Lord.  We get to freely walk into the church house and sing praises to Him and hear His Word preached.  May we ever thank God for our freedom in this and other areas.

Psalm 122: 1  "I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the LORD."

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