Broken Bones And Blessings
Posted October 9, 2020 by Prairie Wife -
Broken bones and blessings…holy cow has it been a week.
I had other things planned to post about this week (after all it IS our 7 year anniversary of the blog this month) but I didn’t feel like it would be right to talk about all things I had planned when in reality our lives had ground to a screeching halt.
In the end, I decided that it would be good to write about this week, not only as a way to offer support to other families that may deal with this same situation but because I knew writing about it would allow me to process all that has gone on.
Monday night Cowboy J had a football game a few towns over (about a 2-hour drive). While we try to make it to as many of our kids’ games as possible we don’t always make it to out of town games. Monday nights are also ballet and tumbling for the girls so I opted out of going to the game. The Cowboy had a packed workday but often works remotely while he travels so decided to head to the game.
He texted me as the game went on, sending me pictures and video and commentary.
I had the 4 younger kids with me at our dance studio trying to keep them entertained and relatively quiet for the 2 hours we were there when The Cowboy called.
“Cowboy J broke his arm we are headed to the ER.”
My response was quick, I told him to keep me posted and then said a few prayers.
Of course, I was worried, but I knew The Cowboy could handle it and while this was our first broken bone it was by no means our first medical emergency.
When The Cowboy sent me pictures of the break and called and said we needed surgery I was a bit more concerned but again, not too worried…having gone through my fair share of surgery I had confidence in doctors and we thankfully have insurance so money wasn’t a concern.
I called our neighbor and made sure her daughter (our regular babysitter for years) could meet up with me at the house when I got home, spend the night, and get the Cowkids on the bus in the morning. It was such a relief to know that everyone would be taken care of until the next afternoon so we could focus on Cowboy J.
The plan was for The Cowboy to drive up here with Cowboy J where he would immediately have surgery at our local hospital that night. The small-town hospital where he currently was didn’t have a surgeon or doctor that could handle repairing the break.
All through this time, we had been consulting with our good friend Dr. Michael Boulter and one of the towns best physical therapists (the one who helped me get back up and running again after I tore the tendons in my ankle last year) to make sure we were making the right calls on his care. I cannot begin to tell you what a blessing it was to have his advice…especially as things suddenly took an unexpected turn.
For some unknown reason (not COIVD related based on Wyoming’s current numbers) every hospital in Wyoming that was within 3 hours of us was full.
Noone could take Cowboy J.
Finally, at 8:30pm we had a plan.
There was a chance that he could have surgery the next morning in Fort Collins, CO (a 3.5 hour drive from our home) and if not Tuesday then for sure Wednesday.
The Cowboy drove to Cheyenne, Wyoming (45 minutes away from where they currently were, and 45 minutes from Fort Collins) to spend the night at his mother’s house.
We figured then it would be a short drive in the morning if we could get into surgery, as well as a good place to spend the day if we had to wait until Wednesday.
I packed a bag with clothes for a few days for all three of us, got the Cowkids settled in bed, hugged our sitter, and hit the road.
I arrived in Cheyenne around 11:30pm and prepared for a long night.
Cowboy J was being so tough, and had been given some pain meds but was uncomfortable and in a lot of pain.
He was up every hour and a half or so, and I did the best I could to comfort him.
We learned the next day that we would have to wait until Wednesday morning for his surgery so we spent Tuesday getting prescriptions filled and buying a few things we knew we would need to get Cowboy J down to Colorado and then back home to Wyoming with the least amount of discomfort.
A beloved family friend was available to stay with the Cowkids for the extra day we would be gone, and yet again it was a blessing to be able to focus on Cowboy J thanks to the kindness of friends.
We arrived in Colorado in the afternoon and did a drive through COVID test for Cowboy J (that was an experience for us all), checked into a hotel, and did our best to distract him from the pain and the upcoming surgery.
By this point he was exhausted, having not had more than a few hours of rest since Sunday night. He was in pain and nervous and more than a bit short-tempered (though apologizing nonstop when he caught himself acting a little grouchy).
Thankfully he was old enough to understand our calm conversations about hanging in there until surgery, how things would be better once the bones were fixed, and how to breathe through the pain and use prayer to ask for strength.
His confirmation Saint is St. Ignatius of Loyola, a military man who found God while healing in a hospital after a cannonball shattered his leg. So, we talked a lot about how he could use St. Ignatius as an example of courage, strength, and faith through this experience.
The medical staff at the hospital were phenomenal and it was a true blessing for all of us. The nursing staff were thoughtful and kind, the surgeon (Dr. Rusnak) was clear with explanations, and obviously one of the best at what he does. The anesthesiologist was comforting and quick, and when he learned Cowboy J was thinking about that as a career path he took the time to walk him through everything he was doing.
The surgery took a little over an hour, and I spent the first part of it saying the Rosary, using my Grandmother’s rosary that was handed down to me. For me, it’s the best way I have found to use my faith to combat my fear.
Dr. Rusnak met with us after surgery, told us that everything had gone wonderfully well and that our son was now the proud owner of 2 plates and 11 screws in his arm. He explained all the post-op care and we made plans for a follow-up appointment in 2 weeks.
The plates will remain in his arm, he doesn’t need a cast (only a splint) and can do whatever he wants allowing for pain. He should be fully healed and cleared for all activities in 4-6 weeks.
We gathered up our boy, who was smiling ear to ear in relief now that pain was gone (thanks to an amazing medial invention called a nerve blocker), and on the way out we were complemented by all the staff for his incredible manners.
We headed back home to Wyoming and arrived in time for him to great his siblings as they got off the bus.
The relief on their faces when they saw their big brother was both heartbreaking and heartwarming. They had been so worried about him and had called as often as they could to check up on him.
As the day wore on the pain and exhaustion of the week caught up with our boy and he was a bit short-tempered again, but who could blame him?
He spent most of the next day sleeping and The Cowboy spent the morning with him so I could handle some work commitments.
By the end of the day, he was back to his old self again and not taking any of the hard core medication.
He’s already chomping at the bit to get moving and get to PT to ensure he can have a great wrestling season…and we couldn’t be prouder of his strength and focus.
Throughout this whole ordeal, The Cowboy and couldn’t help but be overwhelmed and humbled by all the blessings that came our way.
Prayers from you our readers, hundreds of friends, and family members poured out to us and I have no doubt are responsible for the successful surgery.
What a blessing to have insurance that will cover the cost of the medical care.
Family and friends that helped with the other Cowkids so we could focus on Cowboy J were yet another blessing.
The blessing of friends that dropped off meals for the last two days while we got back on our feet.
And last but not least, what a blessing that both The Cowboy and I have jobs where our bosses and coworkers clearly value family above all and showed this with their actions over the last few days.
Broken bones and blessings, what a week!
God is good, all the time.
All the time, God is good.
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