Mommy Diaries: The Case of the Broken Leg…
Let’s cut to the chase. As nearly everyone knows- I broke my leg. I broke my fibula in a diagonal fashion, not before snapping all the ligaments in my ankle like a pile of sad rubber bands. This happened at midnight on Sunday, April 22nd- just over 3 weeks ago.
There’s not even a good story that goes with it. I rolled my ankle in Danskos on a wet floor. The floor was just wet enough that I couldn’t right myself and my ankle and leg were left to bear the fall. I’ve never broken anything, but when I hit the ground I looked up at my friend and said “my ankle is broken.” It was gross. The ligaments had all snapped so there was nothing holding my foot in place properly and it just kind of flopped from side to side. yuck. By 8:00am I was in surgery and was gifted with 3 metal plates and 10 or 11 screws that are fashioning my ligaments in place while scar tissue forms.
Going home, however, is where our story begins. When the PA was giving me my discharge information, my parents (who had only been home in MA from China for a few hours before my husband called them about my injury) were in the room. This is how the conversation went;
PA: “Do you live by yourself?”
Me: “No with my husband…and my 3 kids.”
PA (eyes beginning to widen in concern): “Oh ok,” trying to sound cheery, “how old are your kids?”
Me: “I have a four-year-old and 2-and-a-half-year-old twins.” (I say it as if she asked what State I reside in, because, well, it IS the State I reside in).
PA (eyes have fallen on the floor and she’s trying to pick them up, feeling around the hospital floor): “Oh. WOW. So..you’re going to need some help.”
Me: (in my head) “I’ve been saying this for years.” (what I actually said) “Yea, we’re working on it…it’s ok.”
And I wasn’t lying, we were working on it and it would likely be ok, so get that look off your face (jk)…but really, get that look off your face. This is one of the few times in the history of my relationship with my husband that his work schedule of 2:30pm-11:00pm has worked in our favor. This meant that while Quinn was at Head Start from 8:30am to 2:00pm, Scott would be here to help with the kids and with me. I understand that not every husband would be up for sudden mommy work, and I’m very grateful that he didn’t try to weasel out of it.
We were in the middle of most parents’ worst everyday nightmare- parent down. There are certainly worse things that can happen, but that’s why I said “everyday nightmare.” Having a parent that’s actively involved in a 2-parent household down and out is devastating to the ecosystem of the household. When that parent is the mom- it’s an F5 tornado that’s situated itself over the household. For 2 weeks I was instructed to be on my butt with my foot elevated unless I was “crutching” to the bathroom. Nightmare of 1st-world proportions.
As God would have it, my friends, family, and church all stepped in immediately to help. Scott’s work (local high school) had a sign up sheet, and we were given enough meals to last more than a month (I assume, since both of our freezers are still full), and my friend Amy coordinated childcare efforts. People either came for the whole time between Scott going to work and the kids going to bed, or they split shifts as they needed. We had help cooking, cleaning, washing kids, bedtimes, and playing with kids. This was all going very smoothly.
To everyone except for Quinn.
My broken leg is the worst thing that has ever happened to Quinn.
My sweet 4-year-old boy with Sensory Processing Disorder and a desperate need for order was thrown in to a vortex of different people every night (which was fun for a the first few nights but he tired of it quickly), an altered schedule, and a mom that couldn’t jump in the van for afternoon playground runs, or even just easily take them outside. All of this was left in the hands of others as I sat on the couch, chair, or in my bed. This was not ok with Quinn. He hates my broken leg and he has made it very clear. He stares at my leg as if it’s his arch enemy- the Riddler to his Batman.
He has tried several times to smack my leg, and succeeded on one occasion, but by then I had the big black boot on so my leg did not bear the brunt of his anger. He wanted me to open the bathroom door for him, and my friend was standing right there so she did it for him. This was not OK with Quinn. He threw himself on the floor kicking and screaming “I WANT MOMMY TO DO IT! I WANT MOMMY TO DO IT!” I went over to him, and he stood up and slammed the bathroom door shut so I would have to open it for him. He said he wanted mommy to do it.
He’s fallen apart at school, too, but there’s nothing I can really do about that right now since I’m dealing with his behavior at home. His life at home is upside down, and he’s going to carry that to school.
I was in the tub last week and he came in and saw the large incision line and asked why I had it out of the water. I said “So it doesn’t get sick” (not wanting to explain infection at the moment). He said, “So you don’t die?” This statement could mean that he associates sick and die, as he had a peer at school lose their mother this year and they told the kids she “got sick and died.” I’m not sure that he knows, really, what die means, but he certainly is associating it with my leg and that pisses him off, makes him uncomfortable, and scares him.
The past week has been slightly better, because we’ve had our regular high school babysitters over in the afternoon. Finally, on Thursday of last week, Quinn crawled in to Kylee’s lap as she was reading Aiden a story. He’s accepted her place in our lives right now. But he still hates my broken leg.
Either way, today I went back to my job as an Aide in the preschool I work at. The kids were SO happy to see me and told me they missed me and loved me. They had some questions about the crutches and my boot, but they don’t seem to hate my broken leg right now- they’re just happy to have me there.
It’s going to be a long start to summer. I still can’t bear any weight on the leg, and won’t be able to attempt such a feat for another 4 weeks. Even then, I’ll need crutches probably right through July. Joy.
Moral of the story for moms out there: Don’t break your leg……
A broken leg is a burden for anyone, especially for someone like you who has to provide for and take care of her family. It’s actually good that your friends and family were there to help you out in such a trying time. How’s your leg now, Andrea? I I hope you’ve recovered by now.