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Mom's Time Out

The “Summer Fun” list

Mary Angel

(8/2013) Every summer I make big plans with the kids, whether it is outings, activities, pool time or just family movie night. This summer was no different, I made big plans and then they all came to a screeching halt. Don’t get me wrong, I never accomplish everything on the “Summer Fun” list. Usually I accomplish at least half, however this summer started with a bang or should I say a tear.

My summer started out on the last day of school with sirens and a hospital visit that were completely unrelated. As I stood in line to get into an eighth grade graduation one of the moms standing with me asked if we were hearing sirens in the back ground. A few minutes later the school informed me that my friend was trying to reach me. When I spoke to her I found out that one of my daughters was stuck in a cabinet at her house. In essence three little girls made some bad decisions which led to two of them being locked in the cabinet and one crying hysterically on the outside. The sitter immediately tried the key in the lock to find out that something inside the locking mechanism was broken. So the sirens we heard were the 40 paramedics and firemen coming to their rescue. A simple morning had just gotten more complicated. The firemen ended up making a hole in the top of the cabinet and inserting a camera to make sure the girls were ok and to make sure they stayed at the back of the cabinet so they could dismantle it and get the girls out safely. By the time I got my friend on the phone the girls were already out of the cabinet and leaving for the last day of school before summer break. I spoke to both of them on the phone while they were going to school.

I left and went to the school to check on them and found out that the one who was locked inside was enjoying telling anyone who would listen about her adventure of the morning. The younger one was still upset and feeling guilty since she had shut the door. I explained that she had only done what she was asked and maybe next time she better think before she listens to the other girls, but that it wasn’t her fault at all. That evening of course we went through the whole speech about not getting into cabinet or anything else that closes, which of course got way more complicated than I had intended.
What happened next was just the cherry on top. While I was at the school I got a text from my husband’s best friend to give him a call. I assumed it was meant for my husband and disregarded it. Then I got another, and this time decided I would respond but not until I got outside. As I finished up in the school my phone rang and it was again my husband’s best friend. At this point I got a little nervous but after the way the morning went I didn’t think it could be too bad. He started his conversation like this, “don’t worry he is alright”, followed by every wife/ mom’s favorite, “he is on his way to the hospital”. I of course thought this was a big joke since I had already told my husband about the morning’s events.

It was no joke, he had lifted something at work and his bicep had torn. He was in the ER when I caught up to him. After a day at the hospital and the workman’s comp doctor he was referred to an orthopedic surgeon. A few days later the surgeon confirmed the diagnosis and scheduled surgery. He was in a sling until surgery, but that was easy. After surgery was when we had to get creative. When you say your vows to become husband and wife and out of your mouth comes the words, “in sickness and in health”, you can never be sure what that will entail.

When I brought my husband home from the hospital he was not allowed to take a shower for almost two weeks. That meant no pool either and sponge baths, very careful sponge baths. We were not to get his dressing wet at all. Since he was left-handed and the surgery was on the left hand it also meant we needed to help him with almost everything. Cutting his food, putting his blanket on him, driving him to and from work, buckling his seat belt and dressing him were just a few of the daily tasks we all take for granted that he was unable to do on his own. After the almost two week period between the surgery and our return visit to the surgeon, to get the splint off and the brace on, he was finally able to get a shower again. You have never seen a happier man. I didn’t take it personally but I am pretty sure he looked happier than he did on our wedding day. The brace is great from a showering stand point but he is in more pain now and there is no light at the end of the brace tunnel. The two weeks with the splint will probably feel like nothing by the time he is done with the almost two months of the brace followed by physical therapy.

Since the brace can be removed it makes me way more nervous. When we were in the office getting it on the surgeon warned us that there have been men who have taken it off and lifted something they felt wasn’t heavy and reinjured the bicep. That means a second surgery! Luckily that was enough, so far, to get my husband to follow the rules and continue to allow us to help him. The hardest part for him is letting us do for him, the hardest part for me is finding enough hours in the day.
So this summer we will not accomplish much on our “Summer Fun” list, but we can add nursing skills to all of our resumes and at least this summer we have a good reason for time getting away from us!

Read other articles by Mary Angel