We got home from our Boston trip on Monday December 17. Andrew jumped right back into work on Tuesday and by Thursday the stress of the last few months hit me hard. I was feeling super overwhelmed and a bit discouraged that Andrew was only going to take two days off for Christmas (instead of the month we had when he was a student). I prayed hard and asked for something to change in our lives to help give us a break.
I decided to go to a new park with the kids to just get us outside to try and turn things around. We had a great time wandering around and playing poo sticks. They wanted to check out the skate park by our car before we left. I had Laura in the baby carrier and stepped up on the half pipe to explain to the kids how it worked. Unfortunately it was super duper slick and my feet went right out from under me and I landed on my side. It was a huge blessing that Laura wasn’t hurt, but the extra weight plus the curved surface popped my shoulder right out of my socket.
It was immediately really really really painful. I had Emily try and help me get up. We made it to the car and Emily helped get out the keys to unlock the car, get my cellphone so I could call Andrew (he started biking to us) and helped me get Laura into her car seat. Once Andrew arrived I started feeling lightheaded and nearly passed out before lying down on the front seat of the car.
Andrew helped me get into the car (it hurt!) and drove us to the ER. By the time we got there I was in so much pain I couldn’t walk. I got wheeled into a wheel chair and the lady at triage bumped me up to the top of the list. When then assessed me in the ER it was determined the best option was to cut my shirt off me since there was no way it would come off any other way. They tried numbing my shoulder (I don’t think it worked). After a few hours they put me out and kindly put my shoulder back in. Someone in the room told me after words that I had been saying “ow ow ow” even while I was asleep so they figured it hurt. This picture was taken AFTER my shoulder was put back in place.
The kids and Andrew hanging out in the waiting room with the suckers the security guard gave them.
Next the kids came down with a stomach bug. Andrew helped me with my limited left handed abilities and managed the laundry and food for three kids who threw up a lot. It was just what our family needed to slow way down and rest.
On Christmas Eve I went back to the ER for increased pain and finger swelling. New care instructions made a huge difference. Andrew spent the day making orange rolls and made all sorts of christmas-themed shapes. Very impressive and it was a nice touch of the holidays.
We tried having a Christmas Eve dinner with a few other families that were also staying here for Christmas, but it was relocated three times and eventually canceled due to everyone being sick! The kids opened their pajama presents and then we tucked them into bed. Andrew and I stayed up and set out presents and arranged the stockings. It was waaay hard for me to contribute left handed but I offered moral support and some creative direction.
Christmas Day it became apparent that Emily needed to go to the doctors. She couldn’t even keep down ice cubes and was crying because she was so thirsty. We let the kids each open a present and then headed for the children’s ER. We brought gold fish, iPad with the Tabernacle Choir Christmas Concert and a book. Emily got Zofran and then we stayed until confirming that she could keep food down. During this time Nathan threw up everything he’d eaten that morning all over both of us in large volumes. The nurses ran in saying, “Don’t move! Wait move! Wait it’s everywhere. Take it off. Wait.” It was quite humorous (and very smelling) from the get go.
We returned home early in the afternoon and had a lovely Christmas afternoon. Nathan took his turn being sick so we slowly opened presents. Emily and Nathan laid next to each other with their throw-up bowls and worked their way through Nathan’s kiwi crate kit. It was a sweet Christmas in its own way. We all got the rest that we desperately needed. Emily spent a lot of time watercoloring and filled our space with beautiful artwork. Nathan played the nutcracker and toy solider and acted out the nativity story – complete with riding the donkey (pikler triangle). Laura loved her new block set.