Blessings in the Broken Arm Ordeal

On Thursday afternoon, I felt like I had my act together.  I rushed home after school, threw a pre-made dinner into the crock pot,  changed into my work out clothes, packed swim bags for both the girls and headed to Miss Diana's to sweep the girls off to the gym. It was an exciting day. . . Molly's first time to do pool play at 5:30. I dropped her off at 4:25, went to a spinning class and about 5 minutes before I was going to change her into a bathing suit so she could swim while Anna Cate did swim team practice and I could do a strength work out, I heard my name called over the loud speaker.  

She was tumbling on the alligator mats and tried to do a cartwheel and she fell on her arm wrong. At first, I said, " are you sure you just don't want to go swimming?"  She couldn't bend it, and after her Dad got to the gym we took her the ER where we learned it was broken, a compound supracondylar fracture and needed surgery that evening. 
So she was taken by ambulance to Richmond where they have pediatric orthopedic surgeons more qualified to do the surgery. She said she wanted me to go with her in the ambulance and then on the way down she said, "I picked you because I didn't want Daddy to get fired if you drove his truck." She looked up at the rail on the top and said, "this is sort of like riding a train; it's kind of fun  . . . not the broken arm part."
In the Emergency Room in Richmond, we were met by many surgeons and residents, and the only time she cried was when they cut her new shirt.  By midnight, she was awaiting surgery. Below, she meets with the chief resident who performed her surgery. They were able to put three pins in without opening her up. She will get a hard cast on Wednesday. 
 The nurse called me to tell me surgery had begun, and that she didn't cry at all when we left her and chatted with the doctors about Disney princesses. She was in a room in the pediatric floor around 3am. 

 A few hours later, she had jello and a popsicle for breakfast, but was too worn out to enjoy it. 
 We received fabulous care, which makes me ponder and appreciate health care, the very reason I went back to work when Anna Cate was 2. 

 Integrity is embodied in the health field where nurses and doctors mix precision with compassion in such awe-inspiring ways. One doctor just became a mother herself 6 months ago, and when she came to check on her I gave her a sticker to give to Molly in my sleep-deprived delirium.  Then I thought, this doctor doesn't have time to give my kid a sticker, but she actually thanked me for letting me give her the sticker. We noticed the stuffed animals she was given at both hospitals went into surgery with her also got bandaged on their left arm.
 Daddy figured out how to get FROZEN on her phone and I figured out how to sleep with her.  She has told us Daddy is better at taking care of her, and Mommy is better at cuddling. I think that means he's a doer and I'm a sloth. 

Less than 24 hours later, we were on our way home. 
 Home to rest.

 Anna Cate spent Thursday night with her aunt and uncle, Greg and Sarah and our best friend Norah picked her up from Miss Diana's Friday afternoon. So when she came home, she was still really unnerved.  Her teacher emailed me that Anna Cate was concerned about Molly all day and used her free writing time to process it. Mrs. Rigby wanted me to know what a special, thoughtful, daughter/sister we had in Anna Cate. 

 When Anna Cate saw Molly struggle, she couldn't contain her tears. Soon Molly fussed, "stop crying, I am the one who broke my arm," and before the evening was over, the sisters were catching up. Anna Cate had a lot of questions and Molly loved sharing. 
I think Anna Cate was just worried that this would change Molly, but it hasn't. The experience just showcased Molly's spirit, her humor and her tenacity.  The ordeal also illustrated Anna Cate's tender-heartedness, love for family and desire to take care of people. She has been a compassionate nurse and sister.  

I have a very sweet kid who can be tough, and a very tough kid who can be sweet.  Opportunities like these force me to notice the blessings and if I spend my energy on that, I focus less on the trauma. Similarly, we've also been overwhelmed with kind words, thoughts, prayers and acts from our friends and family. 

A visit from friends made Molly's day. Lindsey brought lunch and playmates as well as her nurse expertise.
Molly couldn't even walk by herself, but seeing her friends play reminded her how to be a kid and these boys were so gentle and sweet.
Owen and Ethan gave her a great "side ways" hug.

We received a beautiful and delicious edible arrangement from my dear Aunt.


And a gorgeous bouquet from my dear friend Dorinda. 

 Molly received presents from Miss Diana and her gang and Sarah and Anna Cate got her balloons and toys. We have friends helping out this week and her Baba brought Carl's ice cream tonight.  Luckily, Molly has figured out how important her right arm is.

One of the first people she wanted to call from the Emergency Room was Miss Diana to tell her she broke her arm. Later I found out that Miss Diana was at a church meeting at Judy's home. Ironically, we were at a meeting together about six years ago at the the same Judy's home, and I did not know Diana very well, when she told a story about earlier that week she had been with a kid who she cared for when he was in the Emergency Room.  I distinctly remember thinking, "wow that's a caring day care provider" but it sounds a little unique.  On the night that Molly was in the ER, Diana told a group of ladies, "I need to keep my phone on to get check ups on Molly."  So years later from a similar story with a different child, Diana is now a part of our lives as part of our family. It is sort of a full circle story because if I didn't have to work outside the home, I would never know this kind of love that Diana has for my children and our life would miss out. 

 Likewise, while I'm not happy that Molly had this horrible little accident, I've received clear insight to the character of my children, the blessings of good health care, the depth of my friends' generosity and care for my family. The smallest acts of outreach have been meaningful, and as I've learned so many times in life, I notice the blessings outweigh the concerns.  

So I could focus on how this messed up my perfectly planned evening, or the planned trip to Tennessee Molly and I had this week to go to a dear friend's wedding and leave her for her first trip by herself at Nana & Daddy Doug's. . .  but even if life is meant to be perfectly planned, it certainly doesn't always follows those plans. The only thing that keep me appreciating whatever comes is my attitude, not the change of plans.  The intentions help  me live, but the accidents or the unplanned occurrences provide blessings as well. I think the key is to not attach myself or my happiness to what I had planned, to let it go and go with the flow.  Much easier said than done for me. 

As I told Molly as she went into surgery, I am so sorry this happened to you but it gives you the chance to show people how brave you are. I am not thankful she broke her arm or that we have this annoying road of recovery, but I'm thankful for the bravery and for all we've reminded of: how wonderful BJ is at taking care of his girls (all of us), how tough and funny Molly is, how precious and kind Anna Cate is and the value of true friends.  We received so many messages, phone calls and text messages as well as acts; they all have meant so much to us. Thank you. 

“To banish the Hideous Damsel's darkness is to sterilize one's chance at the evolution she brings.” 
― Elizabeth LesserBroken Open: How Difficult Times Can Help Us Grow

We are going to be ok. 


Darnell Wright said…
Sara and BJ I'm so sorry to hear about Molly's broken arm. Your story was amazing and shows what a perfect family you have. I sit hear in my livingroom and cried. You two have precious little girls and even with a few downs they are bringing you such joy and love. Whit and Sam were here this weekend and we enjoyed their visit. Hope Molly is better soon and love to your family.