Yesterday, Sabrina wailed about her wrist all afternoon long. We'd gone to a little carnival at her school; while she was scrambling around in one of those inflatable contraptions, she went down a slide and landed on her left hand.
Sabrina's been going through a phase in which something seems to hurt every five minutes, so I had a bit of a girl-who-cried-wolf reaction. I gave her some Advil, but she didn't let up and that's when I started to worry. So after dinner, off to the emergency room we went. She wanted me to go with her; Dave stayed with Max.
I dread hospitals. I doubt there is anyone who loves them, aside from bacteria, but I have a flash of post-traumatic stress anytime I'm in one. I think back to those two weeks Max was in the NICU and I can feel that mix of panic, worry, devastation and grief rise up in me. I picture Max lying in his incubator, hooked up to all the tubes. I see the face of the pediatric neurologist as he tells us that our baby has had a stroke.
But the passage of time has helped, because for once I didn't picture anything Max-related when we walked in the doors of the E.R. I have a cold, and so the hospital scent didn't trigger a visceral reaction. I told the nurse at the front desk that I thought Sabrina might have fractured something so they fast-tracked us, which meant the entire stay only took about two hours, not bad for an E.R. visit. Sabrina was pretty chill except for when a technician took x-rays and made her move her hand a lot. It hurt to see her in pain.
Sabrina broke a bone in her wrist. "The best kind of break, if there had to be a break," the doctor said, because it's the kind to heal quickly. Sabrina has a temporary cast on, and we'll be headed to the orthopedist to get a real one.
"Is Max going to be up when we get back?" she asked several times as we headed home.
The second the car stopped in our driveway, Sabrina flash-unbuckled herself, jumped out, ran into the house and up to Max's bedroom.
"Maaaa-aaaaax, look what I've got—a cast!" she said in a sing-song voice.
She'd been a little jealous of his serial casting this summer, and now it was her turn.
Max studied the cast. "Ur-ul!" he said, and pointed to his own arm. He wanted a purple arm cast.
I tucked him in, and then Sabrina. And we were all just fine.