My darling husband decided to take the kids canoeing down the river last weekend. They’d been swimming there the day before but he wanted a little more action.
I took them up to the first crossing, helped unload the canoe, gave them a push and sent them on their way. Not 20 ft. in front of us, JD had to step a leg out and push them over a small rock fall. No biggie. I didn’t think twice about what they were doing. I was to meet them at the second crossing to help them portage over the road.
Yeah, I’m an old hat at canoeing. In my third foster home, we went to the Boundary Waters in northern Minnesota every summer, on extended wilderness canoe trips. I’m not sure I could do it now, given my advanced age, but I’d consider it!
The youngest didn’t like the ride in the boat. JD and the two older girls had to get out one too many times, rocking the boat and scaring the poor wimpy child half to death. She was sure she was going to drown. When they reached the second crossing, they were all still smiling except Miss Sourpuss … and we decided that she’d go with me to town to grab some milk and bug juice, and we’d meet them at the third crossing — which is where they usually swim.
They loaded up in the canoe and I pushed them off.
Little Miss and I made it to town, got provisions, and we sat at the third crossing — she swimming a bit and me impatiently waiting on the nature lovers to paddle up to us.
It never happened.
Next thing I know, I see the kids in the back of a pickup truck that I didn’t recognize, pulling up in front of our auto. JD is screaming at the 2 middle kids while he’s giving KB a piggyback ride to the Suburban.
ahem. Queue Tammy.
Seems they had to stop the canoe to get over more falls and JD told DD#1 to just slide down the rocks on her bum and the rest would follow. She did as he suggested, but landed way bad on her right foot. By the time they got to us, her ankle was as big as a grapefruit and the kids were all sobbing while the dad was raving mad. At himself for thinking this was a grand idea, mind you, but mad nonetheless.
We get the kids home, get ice for the ankle, unload the canoe, JD changes into suitable clothing and we head to the ER. SIX HOURS LATER, we get to come home. We had to wait on an old lady and a baby who were in respiratory distress. We had to wait on a man who sat there for 2 hours and finally passed a kidney stone, who really just wanted to get home. We had to wait on a man who collapsed in the waiting room, then screamed at the nurses when they told him he was too big for them to pick up and so he’d have to get up and get in the wheelchair himself. And we waited on four ambulances who brought in patients that they had to scrape off of the pavement (their words, not mine). We watched all of this while wiping up the ice melting as we went through three bags of ice while waiting our turn because there was no staff around to clean up the floor.
My first comment, when we were seated in the exam room, was one of trepidation. Perhaps, if you know anything about medical lingo, you’ll understand:
The gurney was named “STRYKER.”
I’m a medical thriller book reader, loved watching Dr. Michael Baden on HBO (when we had cable) and know that an autopsy saw is also called a Stryker:
ummmm, where’s the door???
The kid is in a plaster splint-cast (it goes behind and around her leg but doesn’t totally encase it) from toes to knee:
And my blonde daughter, who can barely walk across a room without tripping over her own feet, is on crutches.
The ER doc said he didn’t see a fracture of the bone but her foot was so swollen that he couldn’t tell if there was anything amiss with the growth plate. He had the nurse wrap the kid up and then sent us on our way with instructions for Motrin, T3 and absolutely no activity until an orthopedic doc looked at her.
Went to specialist yesterday and he cut away the splint-cast, touched her a time or two, and replaced the ER’s work with a boot. She’s to keep the foot immobile in the boot for two more weeks, and then we’ll go back and get another xray and see if there’s a fracture there. If so, she’s in the boot another month. If not, she’ll be able to walk out of there.