87 days, 3 casts and 1 walking boot…
The first hours were the worst. It was agonizing to see the pain in his eyes and not be able to take it away. We spent the next few days confined to the couch, he was immobile and bored. His frustation deepened after a week of relying on others. He felt helpless and trapped. I did too.
Emotionally it was such a drag. His 18-day winter break felt like eternity. When you are used to running around all day, Legos and games of Sorry just don’t cut it. We both wanted to get out and play in the snow.
It took a toll on me physically too. This 54 pounder had to be carried up and down stairs for several weeks. He had to be lifted into the car along with his wheelchair. And that smell! Have you been around a boy who couldn’t shower for several days? It’s not pleasant.
Our first visit at Children’s Hospital was around day 8. I’m not entirely sure which day because my sleep deprived brain was in survival mode. My new roommate needed pain killers regularly. He often woke up in the midst of a lively nightmare…narcotics may have been to blame for that. We had many sleepless nights!
While we sat in the bustling lobby of Children’s Hospital, I noticed the kids with permanent disabilities. My boy was sitting in his wheelchair that we rented for a month next to kids who lived in a wheelchair every single day. My heart broke.
I imagined their lives. Those families had to modify their homes, their cars, their entire lives to accomodate these disabilities and I sat with my normally healthy young boy. I was overcome with emotion, with empathy for other families in that lobby, with gratitude for the health of my family.
We get to have a normal life, we climb mountains and ride bikes, we swim and kick around a soccer ball. We get to just hop in the car when it’s time to go and everyone gets out on their own two feet. How did we get so lucky?!
Although it was terrible to watch my son go through this, I am now thankful for the perspective that this experience offered.
Over the past 12 weeks we recieved so much love and compassion from the community. Friends & family dropped by to play board games and express their sympathy. Students at school helped him hang his backpack, get his supplies and get around the building. Girls flocked to him at recess to chat and draw hearts on his cast. We are lucky to be surrounded by love!
Now, just in time for Spring, he has been set free. Hallelujah!
Look at the beautiful new bone growth…and his joyful eyes!