First came the thud and then the screams.
‘My neck, my neck,’ Miss Three cried out, her eyes wild with panic before she burst into tears.
I raced to her and cradled her in my arms attempting to calm her down and survey the damage.
The last thing you want to hear when your child has a fall, no matter from what height, is that they’ve hurt their neck.
The tears went on longer than they normally do and I could feel the anxiety in me rising. I attempted to peel her off me as I asked her, ‘Where does it hurt? Show mummy where it hurts’.
As soon as she stood up and looked at me, her big, brown eyes wide and scared, I could see it. Her collarbone was protruding under her skin and her shoulder drooped lifelessly.
As I picked her up under the arms, she yelped in pain. I knew it wasn’t good. I put her in the car and sped off to the doctor. Despite being bleedingly obvious that she’d broken a bone, I convinced myself it was jump a bump, like an egg on your head after a fall.
As we stepped into the doctor’s surgery, a short five minute drive from our house, the shock was starting to kick in for me. I could barely speak. I was shaking from head to toe. We were told to take a seat and a doctor would be with us shortly. The doctor took one look at Miss Three and told us to go straight to the hospital.
I cursed myself for not taking her there in the first place. ‘Stupid, stupid,’ I scolded myself as I sped all the way. Miss Three was inconsolable in the back seat. ‘No, not the hospital. It doesn’t hurt. It feels better,’ she begged before all of a sudden falling asleep.
My panic rose further as I watched her in the rear view mirror. ‘Why was she asleep? Is she in shock? Is it okay that she’s asleep?’
We made it to the Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital only to find the car park full. Onto the next car park we went as I searched desperately for a park. I found a spot and gently tried to get Miss Three out of the car. She had no t-shirt or shoes on. With just her rainbow skirt around her tiny waist, she looked smaller and more vulnerable than ever.
I picked her up and ran with her as she moaned in my ear. We flew down two flights of stairs, down the hill and across the road to the children’s hospital. Down another escalator to the emergency room we went, where we burst through the doors. A nurse saw us straight away.
‘She was lying on the back of the couch and she rolled off,’ I said.
‘No, I didn’t see it.
‘I think it might just be a bump. It’s her birthday on Saturday and we have ordered a jumping castle.’
The nurse was gentle and kind and made us both feel a little better. We were directed into the waiting room to wait for pain relief and an x-ray.
As Miss Three straddled me her face wet with tears burying into my chest, it took everything in me not to cry.
‘I must be strong,’ I told myself.
‘I can’t cry. She can’t see me cry.’
Deep breaths in and out, we cuddled each other while I messaged my support crew to let them know what had happened.
After what seemed an eternity we were taken in to see a doctor. Again I explained the story to her.
‘She can’t have a broken bone,’ I said.
‘We have a jumping castle coming on Saturday for her fourth birthday.’
The doctor searched my eyes. She knew I was borderline crazy.
‘I’m pretty sure it’s broken,’ she said kindly.
‘But, I’ve been wrong before. Let’s take a photo.’
Our brave little sausage lay on the table whimpering as the radiologist pulled down the giant x-ray machine above her. She was terrified the poor love, but lay as still as she could.
Moments later we were back in the emergency room to find Dave waiting for us. Thank God.
We looked at the x-ray and there it was as plain as day, a broken collarbone.
The tears welled in my eyes and my glasses fogged up. Our poor baby. Again, I took a deep breath, blinked the tears away and listened to the instructions on caring for a broken collarbone.
She is to wear a sling 24 7, apart from the bath, for 4 – 6 weeks.
We are three weeks into the sling and Miss Four is doing amazingly well. She has rarely complained, even when she couldn’t suck her favourite thumb. The first week was tough with sleepless nights, but besides that she has been a soldier. It’s amazing how resilient these kids of ours are, isn’t it? We couldn’t be prouder of our little girl.
I’d like to take this opportunity to thank my mum, mother-in-law and aunt for pulling together to look after Miss Four over the past two weeks. We are ever so grateful and don’t know what we’d do without you.
Have your kids or loved one had any major accidents or injuries? How did you all cope?
Linking up today with Kylie Purtell for IBOT.