The air conditioner broke Friday night. We didn't want to call for service on a holiday weekend so we opted to tough it out and use box fans in the windows to keep the air moving. Box fans are pretty loud, and there are 2 of them in the dining room windows that overlook the backyard.
The schoolroom is in the front of the house. That's where I was sitting Monday evening when, over the loud hum of the fans, I heard a scream. I stopped for a minute and then heard another.
I walked onto the back deck and peeked between the boards thinking Bill and the kids were on the lower patio or in the basement. Didn't see anything so I turned to go in and head to the basement for a closer look.
Then I saw Bill and Ella kneeling over Shane under a tree at the far end of the yard.
Trying to stay calm I walked down the deck stairs in my barefeet through the prickly piles of freshly trimmed juniper trees. Bill yelled for me to hurry so I ran the rest of the way.
I had to take a deep breath in as I knelt down over my little guy and saw that he was not only hurt, but really scared.
No one saw what happened but we were able to piece together a likely scenario. He was standing on the bathroom stool pulling himself up into the tree when the branch broke. Based on the stool imprint on his back, he fell onto the stool flat on his back. Based on the scratch on his cheek and the red ear, the branch glanced his face.
We took him to the ER where thankfully a friend of ours was working as a pediatric nurse. After several hours they declared him ok, unbroken, and ready for home. They gave us instructions to keep an eye on him for neurological changes and to let him take it easy for a few days.
The hospital called Tuesday afternoon to say that after a closer look at the xray he *may* have a compression fracture mid-spine - the spot that he identified as hurting the most. I made an appointment with his old friend, pediatric orthopedist Dr Copaken, who has seen him through several adventures that didn't go as he had hoped.
At the dr appointment we clearly saw the compressed vertebrae - think of a marshmallow that is squeezed to half height on one side. With no neurological deficits, the treatment is to just take it easy and wait...and don't fall down, get tackled, jump on the trampoline, ride a bike or do anything else that may cause him to land on his butt or back.
He gets re-xrayed at the end of the month. In the meantime, I'm sure I'll have many opportunities to take a deep breath in.
We're so grateful it wasn't worse. So amazed at the strength and resilence of his little body as well as his mind. He's such a stinker some times. But moments like Monday night remind me what an amazing little gift from God he is, and the next time I'm tempted to feel impatient or even angry, I need to take a deep breath in and remember how much I love my little monkeys and what incredible blessings they are to me.