Friday, July 24, 2009

The Break

Hey. This is Ryan. If the summer keeps goin' the way it's goin', all four of my kids will have had some sort of tragic accident.

Little Emma fell off of the trampoline last night and broke her arm. It was very traumatic.

I was working on folding and putting away the three-day, six-foot pile of laundry when I heard another scream from the backyard, "I BROKE MY ARM!"

Because I know my kids inherited the drama queen gene (from their mother, I'm sure of it!), I sauntered over to the back door when Ally the Narrator sprinted in. "DAD, EMMA REALLY BROKE HER ARM. SHE REALLY DID AND IT'S REAL THIS TIME!" As if there had been fake times when Emma broke her arm. (She's our first kid to break a bone, believe it or not.)

Because 300 of the neighbor kids were in our backyard, too, there was a unified chorus of street urchins to verify The Narrator's report. I scanned the crowd and saw Emma still yelling and crying. As she walked toward me, I instantly knew it was broken as well. She looked like she had a teen-sized bicep and she flapped her limp right arm up and down with the left hand as she wailed, "I don't want a broken arm! See, it's broken! It's BROKEN!"

The Narrator stepped up and admitted through tears, "I didn't mean to push her off!" This led to me to shove her through the door and yell, "YOU PUSHED HER OFF THE TRAMP?! GET IN YOUR ROOM AND I'LL DEAL WITH YOU LATER."

I had other things to deal with, mainly all the kids were in their swimsuits because we had put the sprinkler under the tramp. I was undressing Emma as two of our neighbors dropped by to help me. They are wonderful, but my feelings of inadequacy resurfaced when they asked what they could do. I mumbled, "Um, can you take Ally and Luke?" since Clark was with Lisha at Enrichment Night. The one neighbor said, "No problem" and the other neighbor was talking on her cell phone to her mother, an EMT. She offered advice and I ignored her. I know she meant well, but besides my TV medical experience (which I've already talked about), all my First Aid Merit Badge skills rushed back to my mind.

Then, remembering Lisha, I dialed her number. "Yes?" she answered.

"Um, we have to go to the hospital. Emma broke her arm."


"Really, really," I replied. That was the conversation. You gotta love a husband and wife's ESP after nine years of marriage. Unfortunately, this was the first activity she was in charge of since being put in as Relief Society 2nd Counselor. She was going to have to delegate. I hung up and focused back to getting Emma's arm through the pink shirt I had found for her.

Because the 300 neighborhood kids had 300 big mouths, word spread across the block like wildfire. Pretty soon our yard was full of gawkers and random people shouting suggestions like, "Don't move her arm!" and "Wiggle her fingers!" I waved to them like some kind of actor on a stage, trying to dismiss the crowd, but no one moved. It was then I noticed Emma's face had gone ashen white. She was going into shock. I wrapped her in her blanket and left through the crowd.

A quick stop to pick up Lisha and we were on our way. Emma was whimpering pretty good now so Lish stroked her hair in an effort to calm her down. We arrived at the emergency room and prepared to wait. Our friend, Edwin, is a doctor there, but he was at a family reunion. From hanging out with him, we knew this ER was a good one as far as wait time went, so I knew it wouldn't be too long. It was instantaneous. A nurse came out and took Emma and me into a side room to do vitals, etc., while Lish filled out the paperwork.

X-rays, pain meds, IV's - all this was a blur because Emma was mostly interested in watching "Phineas and Ferb" on Disney Channel (we'd gotten rid of satellite to discourage couch-potatoism during the summer and to alleviate one more monthly bill).

They ended up knocking her out while they set the bone and applied the splint. That was probably the hardest thing to watch. She just drifted asleep, midsentence. Then, she moaned a little when they set the bone and moved her arm. That was hard, too, knowing she could feel the pain on some level though unconscious.

The best part for Emma - besides "Phineas and Ferb" - was the free teddy bear provided with her health care. She was very brave and we are very proud of her. She got home around 10:30 p.m. and fell right asleep.

Oh yeah, I almost forgot. As a result from our investigation as to how the accident really happened - Emma wasn't pushed. All of the kids collaborated the same story as this: Emma slipped on the slick tramp mat, fell and hit her arm on the bar and fell off. That's the story and they're sticking to it. I apologized to Ally and told her she was off the hook.

So, will we get rid of the trampoline now? No. Accidents happen. If anything, this served as a proper warning to the rest of the neighborhood kids. It was pretty traumatic just to witness it. When asked last night if they wanted to jump on the trampoline, our twin neighbor boys just shook their heads and buried their faces into their mother's lap.

What's your worst trampoline story? Reeeaaaddyyyy .... POST!


Stephanie said...

When I was young , I jumped backward and my leg fell between the springs. My leg caught, and I fell backwards, and ended up hanging upside down with my head an inch away from the ground. It was more traumatizing than anything else, but it could have been really bad if I were a couple inches taller.

Mike, Mary, & Maggie said...

Mike's broken Arm story-
When Mike was 13 he was jumping on the their tramp with his brother and friend playing games. Mike Fell and broke his elbow. I guess it was very bad and he had to have surgery. He almost lost his arm as there was no pulse in his wrist. Miracles happen and a bone specialist happened to be in the hospital checking on a patient when they brought him in. He had surgery and after a reaction to the anesthesia (stopped breathing) He came out with pins holding his arm together. He was in the hospital for a week and then the pins got infected and he had to go back in. He has a big scar and a good indent on his elbow. (have to have him show Emma next time we visit). I guess it didn't scare him as he was back out jumping on the tramp the day he got home from the hospital (until his mom got home that is). Who knows what would have happened as he was an allstar pitcher that year and was to pitch in the championship game. Maybe he could have gone on to pitch for the Yankees (see Tramps are can kill dreams- wink).

May want to limit the kids Ry -300 is a bit many!

Mike, Mary, & Maggie said...

Must say not a big fan of the Tramp. I just don't watch when all the kids are on it at families house. (lucky for me my back yard is to slopped and small for one). Tell Emma we send her lots of bobo kisses. I think it sounds like you deserve an I told you so Ry from Lisha..... ;)

Tandee said...

Poor Emma! But now she's a neighborhood star, right? When I was young I was bouncing on my back and up on the trampoline, landed my head between the springs when I went down, then did a backflip over the bar on my neck, and landed, thanfully, on my dog who broke my fall. No damage, just shook up. Crazy things can happen on those things! And we have one now for my kids, but no accidents so far (dang, where's some wood?).

Aarika said...

When I was six our whole family had gotten together. Everyone and I mean everyone was out on the tramp. All the cousins and even a couple of uncles. (note--this is not a safe way to jump on said tramp) As everyone jumped together, I was knocked off balance, fell and in the process it wove my arm in between the springs. So, as everyone came down on the jump the springs snapped my arm and broke it. Great story, but not such a great feeling did it give me!

Shanakin Skywalker said...

That sounds really disgusting to see your daughters arm in that kind of shape! I've got a pretty strong stomach for stuff like that, even if one of my kids is bleeding I can handle it, but to see the misshapen seems just... worse for some reason! I have never broken a bone, just a minor fracture once, but I did see a friend of mine break her arm when we were jumping on the tramp and she fell off. Her name is Heidi Schmidt Nichols. She is on Facebook. You should look her up and ask her about it!

Sandi said...

We were not allowed to jump on the trampoline when my mom was at work. And we were not allowed to have friends over either. So one day we were doing both when Mom was gone, and Karma decided to punish me. We had been playing a game where I pretended to be Michael Jackson (strange coincidence, I know), and the music I played was so bad that the audience blew up the auditorium (we all did a super-bounce in the middle of the tramp with explosive sound-effects) and then I got up, staggering, and said, "Am I in heaven yet?" And walked backwards off the tramp. I tried to catch myself with my left arm, but I broke it instead.

I started screaming while my sister and best friend argued about what they should do. (Their first thought was to not tell anyone and hope I felt better soon, since we would be in major trouble for breaking the rules. But eventually my friend's panicked cries of "I don't want my best friend to DIE!" convinced them all that action was needed.) My mom worked at the Site and couldn't come home, so we called my grandma, the nurse with the world's worst bedside manner. They took me to the hospital. While I waited, whimpering, in the emergency room my grandma filled out paperwork and my grandpa uttered the most words I'd ever heard him say at one time. "Can't you see she's in pain! I want her to be seen right now!" (He usually just ignored us and watched TV when we visited.) I got a cast for the rest of the summer, and I think I got grounded too.

sunnie said...

Glad it didn't happen on our trampoline. You would have sued.

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