There are times when it’s amazing how quickly life will come at you. It’s akin to a game of hide and seek with a count of only two (one, two, ready or not here I come). This past week was definitely one of those times. We took a few lumps, but it was a week that I’ll dare say that we’ll never forget (in a good way).
Megan had her regular scheduled pamidronate infusion this week. It was a week in which I thought we might slide into our new routine of work, preschool and hospital visits without much resistance. I believed that because we had eliminated the surgery part of the hospital visit that everything would go as smooth as silk. Of course that was a ridiculous notion because nobody’s life actually goes that way. We kicked things off with the slight hiccup of the hospital not having a room available. Flu season has been so bad this year that there are sick kids galore. That meant that Megan and Les stayed in the lobby of the hospital for half a day until someone was discharged and the room cleaned and made ready for a new guest. That’s not a huge deal, but it is a little worrisome to be stuck in the lobby of a hospital that’s full of kids with the flu when we’ve been told that Megan might not survive a case of the flu. The other thing is that this delay pushed back the schedule of the infusions which pushed back the discharge time on Thursday for Megan which would prove to be a the first domino in a frightening series of events.
Schedule hiccups aside, the treatments went well and there wasn’t very much that was notable to report. Megan is just such a little trooper and really rolls with the punches. The only thing that had seemed a little odd during the course of the treatment was that Megan cried quite a bit when the nurse accessed her port, which was a bit unusual. Out of an abundance of caution before Megan was discharged on Thursday they decided to take some x-rays to make sure that everything looked good, especially that collar-bone under the port. Those x-rays have certainly made me feel foolish as I’ve been typing and bragging about how well things have been going with no broken bones in sight. The reality is that there are plenty of broken bones, but we just had no idea. Her right arm had been broken in two places mid-humerus and upper humerus, she had rib fractures too numerous to count and her clavicle appeared to have a small break. It was really disconcerting to hear about all these breaks as we really didn’t know directly about any of them. There were days that she had been a little fussy, but we had been wondering if it was normal baby stuff like teething… apparently not. While these x-rays gave us an idea about the breaks that we had missed, the more critical thing would be that they had set a baseline for the many x-rays that were coming.
With the treatment complete and x-rays done Megan was discharged and my Mom, Les and Megan headed for home. This is when our routine little week definitely took a turn. The girls only made it about half way home before someone turned into an intersection directly in front of them as they were going through causing an accident. If they hadn’t been late in getting into the hospital room on Tuesday, they never would have been at that intersection then. Complete chaos immediately ensued. Both airbags had been deployed in Les’s car and the horn was going off. Les jumped from the drivers seat to the back to check on Megan only to discover that Megan had completely flipped over inside her car bed and was face down and pushed to one end. This was inside the car bed that afforded absolutely no protection in a crash according to the car seat tech who installed it at St. Joseph’s. Needless to say everyone there was absolutely panic-stricken with fear. I got a call from my Mom that they had been in an accident, so Pete and I who had just gotten home jumped into the car and took off toward the scene. We arrived fairly quickly and found fire fighters, several police officers, two very scared ladies and an ambulance with Megan inside. After answering a few quick questions Leslie and Megan headed to Children’s hospital in the ambulance while my Mom, Pete and I stayed on the scene to get the car towed and finish out the paperwork. After finishing up at the scene I took my Mom and Pete home and I headed to Children’s to check on my girls.
We’ve since learned from our insurance company that our car is totaled (although since the other driver was at fault we’ll have to make sure that their insurance company is on the same page before it’s official). I should also go ahead and say that the driver and passenger of the other vehicle were fine. However, as you might quite naturally expect there were indeed injuries in the vehicle of the girl who suffers broken bones from gentle handling by her parents and nurses. Go ahead and take a moment to formulate the end of the story in your mind. To me, the end of the story seemed perfectly obvious and terrifying at this point.
When I arrived at Children’s Hospital Les had already been there with Megan for over an hour feeling there was a decent chance that she was sitting there watching our daughter die from her injuries. Megan had been crying pretty well non-stop since the accident, which is totally out of character for her, so she seemed very clearly to be in a good deal of pain. I walked in as they took the last couple of what had been a ton of x-rays. Fortunately there were the films from only 2 hours earlier to compare the new x-rays to in order to distinguish any new breaks from the old. Les and I headed back to the ER from Radiology with Megan to await the results of the x-rays. By this time members from our church were arriving to sit with us and see how Megan was doing. After a fair amount of waiting in order to give the radiologists enough time to read all of the x-rays, they came in with the news. To our absolute amazement Megan had no new acute fractures and no internal injuries. They did make note of some compressed and fractured vertebrae, but all of those seemed to be old injuries. Before too long we were discharged (again) and headed home with Megan.
Is this story going like you thought it would so far?
It seems like no small coincidence to us that the corner where the accident occurred was the same corner where the cemetery is that we had selected for Megan. Remember we were thinking she wouldn’t survive birth. I suppose as they passed by, that cemetery decided to reach out and make a grab for my little girl. I’m so glad that it didn’t work.
Wait, wait, you might find yourself saying… I thought you said that there were injuries in this accident. I did say that! The following morning Les went to the doctor to get her arm looked at as it was hurting her. It was broken. So the girl who breaks under gentle handling was flipped over in her seat in a car that was totaled and sustained no injuries. Granted, she’s been a little uncomfortable and not really moving some of her limbs right now, but there aren’t any bad breaks. There’s no earthly explanation for that one! My Mom also made it out with only the typical post accident soreness. When Les called me on her way home from the doctor to tell me that her arm was broken I just had to laugh (By the way guys, this is not an appropriate response for when your wife breaks her arm and you’ll pay the price for your laughter… trust me).
This Sunday was baby dedication day at church and though the odds had been against her, Megan was there. We weren’t about to be deterred by the fact that we were in the middle of the snow storm that would eventually dump about a foot of snow on us. Actually, not only did we go out despite the bad weather, we then came home and built a snowman. Today was a triumphant day for our family and friends. Les and I cried when 8 months ago there was a baby dedication service at our church. At the time it looked like our daughter wasn’t going to survive and the service was a painful reminder of what we thought was coming. Now here we sit on the other side of the baby dedication service! Despite all the difficulties and complications we were able to be there and pledge to raise our daughter in the nurture and admonition of the Lord and have the support of our church family along the way. What a fine day!
There was a moment as we sat in the ER that we were wondering what God was doing in this scary situation. We were absolutely certain that our daughter was broken to pieces. It turns out that wasn’t the case at all. I guess on some occasions it’ll be made perfectly obvious to you what the Lord has been doing. This was one of them. There are many times where we may be afforded the protection of not having a wreck or not getting sick or whatever the case may be. The problem is that you don’t know it. How would you know that God had stopped something from happening? After all… it just didn’t happen. Sometimes you need a scenario where you can plainly see God’s protection in your life. Here was a case in which a terribly fragile girl was in an accident and was perfectly fine while her healthy Momma in the same accident broke her arm. How on Earth does that make any sense? Simple answer… it’s doesn’t! I hope that this will always come to my mind when I don’t understand what God is doing in my life and I can’t sense his presence. When I find myself in that situation I can think back on this happy accident and remember that although I can’t always see it or understand it, our God is always at work in our lives.