That is, until I heard a scream no parent ever wants to hear.
Just as I dashed to the front door, one of the kids came and got me and said Susan did something to her leg. I went running outside. She was laying on the ground screaming and in tears with her leg in a weird position. The kids said she was just running and this happened. A few times in the past, she has sort of twisted her knee and acted like this. All we had to do was help her up and get her walking and she was fine. So I assumed that's what happened this time. As I told her I'd help her up, she cried no, something is wrong.
At this point, my skills of being an EMT for the last 10 years kicked in and I started assessing her leg. Immediately I felt a deformity around her knee and figured she either dislocated it or broke something. I knew she needed her leg splinted and there was no way I could do it on my own or get her to the hospital in the position she was in so I told Sarah to run for my phone.
I had to call for an ambulance. While I was on the phone with the dispatcher, my neighbor had went and gotten Susan a blanket as it was cool & breezy out. In the mean time, Sarah went back to the house to grab me a coat as I was just in a t-shirt, jeans (thankfully I had just changed out of my flannel pj pants) and sandals.
Thankfully by this point I had Susan calmed down as long as no one bumped or moved her. Since the dispatcher knew I was an EMT, she didn't keep me on the phone thankfully. Just said to call back if she gets worse.
The ambulance shows up, unfortunately I didn't know any of the EMT's that were on (I volunteer with a neighboring ambulance). They cut Susan's pant leg so we could see what we were dealing with. She was bummed as she said they were the new jeans her grandparents got her for Christmas! I assured her we will get another pair.
They then got several splints so we could brace her knee. This was uncomfortable for her as we had to slightly maneuver her leg so we could get the splints on. Because of the awkward position she was lying in, we had to put a board under her to lift her up onto the stretcher.
During all this, Sarah had went back to the house, woke up Olivia, changed her diaper, got her diaper bag packed & put her into the carseat so she would be ready to leave. I wasn't sure if they would let Olivia & I ride in the back or not as it's really up to the discretion of individual EMT's. Turns out they had no problem, so I strapped Olivia's carseat in one of the seats and I jumped into another one. We tucked pillows around her leg as much as possible to try and brace her leg from all the bumps, because frankly, the back of the ambulance is a really rough ride as you feel every bump. I felt bad for her as she winced every time we hit a rough piece of road.
Olivia was less than thrilled with her first ride in the ambulance. Being abruptly woken then put in an unfamiliar place with people trying to talk to her made for a fussy baby. Wish I would've thought to take pictures of the girls while in the ambo but I forgot.
Once at the ER, Susan got situated in a room and I put Olivia in the sling on me. The doctor came in and confirmed that she dislocated her knee. Prior to this, the nurse said depending on the injury, she can have pain meds to help. Unfortunately for a dislocation, pain meds won't help and they have to just shove it back in place. By this point, the Dr had been lightly touching Susan's knee which of course had her in hysterics from the pain. I was standing right by her head, trying to comfort & hug her as best as I could with Olivia in the sling. I knew what was coming and just starting praying over her as I knew she was about to feel a few seconds of horrible pain.
As the doctor popped her knee back in, she screamed which in turn made Olivia scream and there was nothing I could do to help Susan. I've seen and experienced some pretty awful stuff being an EMT but nothing brings me to tears more than seeing my own child in pain. Thankfully a few minutes later she calmed down and said she felt a lot better.
By this point, my dad had came to the hospital to be there with us, that really cheered Susan up. It also helped me as they want to xray her knee while someone else took info from me. So grandpa went with Susan to get her xray.
Thankfully nothing was broke but they wrapped her knee & said to stay off of it until we could get in to see the orthopedic specialist. Needless to say Susan was disappointed that she couldn't do anything, especially seeing at it was Easter weekend.
We got into the specialist that following Monday. She did an xray and said she could see bruising on the bone that confirmed a dislocation. She also ordered an MRI to be done to see in more detail what is going on. Then Susan got fitted with a locked brace from her thigh to her ankle that she has to wear 24/7 and was given crutches. The doctor said this type of injury takes several months to heal and that basically, she has to just rest and not do anything.
As Susan processed this, she realized she was going to have to miss her gym & swim class, 2 different track & field days, etc. She did shed a few tears over all this which is totally understandable. No kid wants to be laid up, especially with the weather getting nice. Thankfully, several people came to visit her & to play games and some brought her some baskets/bags of goodies & activities she can do while sitting.
Next week at almost 6 weeks post-accident, I am allowed to finally unlock her brace so she can have some movement up to 90 degrees. She is also starting physical therapy twice a week. But she'll be in this brace till at least June (this happened in April). It turns out, both her kneecaps sit to the outside & she has loose tendons/ligaments in both knees. The Dr said it appears she was born this way and will eventually need surgery to correct both knees otherwise this will keep happening.
We have all learned to adapt and adjust with Susan's extra needs. The kids all readily pitched in to cover her chores without complaint. It's been a learning process but then again, what in life isn't? I have no doubt God will use this time to teach Susan and/or us something through all this. We certainly do take one day at a time....
"The Lord is near the brokenhearted; He saves those crushed in spirit. Many adversities come to the one who is righteous, but the Lord delivers from them all."
(thank you Renee for encouraging me with this verse, much needed!!)