Thursday, February 27, 2014

Blizzards, Blackouts, and Broken Legs...Good Riddance, February

I've had so much stress jammed into the shortest month of the year that it feels almost strange to take the time to blog.  But writing is my therapy, and thankfully, all of the bad stuff has or will eventually fade into memories.  In the meantime, I'm trying to stay positive, especially in the face of the unknown challenges ahead.

For the first half of the month, I was trying to get everything done for our trip to Disney.  Exciting, yes...but almost every school in New England has the same February break, and the Orlando parks reach alarming levels of crowds.  Since I'm a planner, I spent a great deal of time online, figuring out how to best avoid lines--and my efforts were successful, thankfully (see Disney Tips for more info).  But of course in addition to planning, there's laundry, packing, taking off work, getting the animals taken care of, finding our summer clothes in the middle of winter, etc., etc.

I'm a nervous flyer, so I was already feeling apprehensive by Saturday night before our trip.  Then the blizzard started.  We've had so many this year, I don't know if this one had a name.  All night long the winds howled and the house shook and my husband and I tossed and turned, unsure if our trip would be cancelled (and all my carefully made--and paid for in advance, of course--plans would be messed up).

My husband finally got out of bed at 4:30 a.m. and began shoveling us out.  We have a snow blower, but he thought the neighbors might not want that kind of wake up call before sunrise on a Sunday morning. 

Our cable was out, but a check on my phone told me our flight was still on.  We were dubious, but determined to try.  As we were getting ready, though, the power went out.  Super.  We had no idea what was on and what was off, and we were leaving for a week.  We had to unhook the garage door to get it down and turn off the water in the event the heat didn't come back on for a while.  More stress.  (The power did come back, 10 minutes before we had to leave...we ran around shutting things off at that point).

The flight took off as planned, and we had a great time.  Monday morning was back to school and work.  My oldest son, 15, had his first spring soccer practice that night.

A half hour into practice, I get a call that he's injured and I need to come get him.  By the time I arrived, his knee had swollen to the size of a large melon and he could not walk at all.  His friends carried him to my car and I went directly to the ER.

The x-ray films showed a very scary break of the proximal tibia and growth plate at the knee.  The orthopedist couldn't believe a healthy bone could break that way from just a slip and fall, but it did.  He said a surgical repair was needed, and a Children's Hospital was the best place for him.  By 11:00 p.m., my son and I were in an ambulance for an hour and a half as we were transported to Children's.

My husband met us, after dropping our younger son off, and we all waited in the Children's ER the rest of the night as doctors came and went and decisions were made.  At 5:45 a.m. we were moved to a room, at 6:45, my son was in surgery.  He had several screws placed in his leg and a giant brace put on to hold the bones in place.

Thankfully, the surgery was a success...but he'll miss at least a week of school.  He'll miss all of soccer.  He will be in a brace for 4-6 weeks and require PT after that.  All this is temporary, and I'm profoundly grateful for that.  But to see my son in pain, and struggling to move, is so difficult.

Recovery will be a long road, but he will recover.  In the meantime, I'd like to put this month behind us...except for maybe the 5 days we spent in Disney, with 80 degree temperatures and lots of family laughs (believe me, we have had some hilariously disastrous vacations--see Skiing Disaster and Shutting Down the Zip Line Course--so a great one was appreciated).  This new ordeal will be a memory soon too, and the big scar will be an interesting story one day.


  1. Wow. I am so sorry about your son's knee. Glad the ER doc sent him to a children's hospital that specializes in pediatric orthopedics. Makes a big difference when dealing with a fracture of that nature. I've seen some bad ones in my 30+ years as an x-ray technologist. Luckily, there have been many medical advances over the years. Hoping he makes a full recovery and your life normalizes.

  2. Thanks, Lilly...he's still in a lot of pain :( But we are hanging in there and are pleased with his will just take time.

  3. Kathryn,
    March has to be better! Thank God for Children's Hospital and the fantastic doctors there. We've made many a trip into the city with our two, and they're the best! The good news is, kid's bones heal fast and your son will recover from the trauma long before you do...mothers never forget. (sigh)
    Like you, looking forward to the end of the storms. At least we didn't get the one they forecast for today!
    LJ Vickery

    1. I know, LJ, we dodged another one - but I still see snow on the ground and I'm sick of it! Thanks for coming by and for the well wishes. I'm looking forward to spring and healthy bones.

  4. That must have been so scary. I'm sorry about your son's knee, but glad to hear he's going to recover.

    1. It was scary - surgery is always frightening. The recovery will be slow, but eventually it will all be a memory. Thanks for coming by Emma!

  5. I can only offer cyber hugs and lots of chocolate, Kathryn. Chocolate works for these things too, right? I've said it elsewhere, but want to say again how sorry I am for your son's injury. It's wonderful you all had a great vaca though before this mess. It sounds like you need it.