Well this is two weeks later than promised, but I still wanted to share what Chris and I learned from his elbow breaking experience.
Overall, this was a great experience for us. Obviously we wish this wouldn’t have happened, especially now that our medical bills are rolling in, but there are so many things we are thankful for. I think we are most appreciative of the extra time we got to spend together. There were several moments where we had nothing to do but wait together, so we filled those times with talking, laughing, studying, etc. When things are so busy, it can be nice to have a forced step back to focus on what is really important with the most important person. We had so many great conversations that we might not have had if we weren’t sitting in a waiting room for 5 hours or chilling at home after surgery.
Our best conversation happened the night before surgery. We decided to go out to each to celebrate Chris’s last night of having an extra bone. Plus, Chris had to stop eating and drinking by midnight, but his surgery wasn’t until 1:30pm, so we wanted his last meal to be a good one.
During dinner we started talking about lessons that we had learned from our experience (which at that point was only three days). We learned several lessons about ourselves and about each other. I think the biggest lesson I took away was a taste of motherhood. I’ve always heard how selfless you have to be as a parent, and while I have not fully experienced that, I got glimpses of it. When we got home from the emergency room there were so many things to get done (dinner, prescriptions, etc). I was stressing out and very hungry… not a good combo for me. Sunday I was not only trying to figure out our doctor’s appointments, but realizing that I would be missing some work that week and I had a lot of work to get done, so I went in for a few hours while Chris’s family was visiting. I think Monday was the day I really felt it (right before dinner). We went to the doctor’s that morning, but realized Chris wouldn’t be having surgery until the next day. Seeing that is was still the morning, I decided to go into work for several hours. When I got home, exhausted, Chris asked me to help him with is homework. Did I really want to help? No. But I made that sacrifice to love and serve Chris. And that day I got a glimpse of being a mom. Having to work, run around doing a million things, helping with homework, and not have a lot of “me” time. I saw a glimpse of the sacrifice and while I know it will be very hard, I know I look forward to that some day.
In the same respects, I think Chris was affirmed that I will be a good mom (not that he thought I would be a bad mom). I can see why this experience encouraged him. Normally I am very task-oriented, I can get irritated easily, and I am an introvert/homebody, so I like my down time at home. While I can also be compassionate and nurturing, I’m not always in situations where I express those attributes, and honestly, when I have the opportunity to show those towards Chris, I don’t always do that. So I think he was pleasantly surprised to see my mothering nature come out and I’m glad he was encouraged by it.
At the beginning I was surprised how cautious Chris was being. I thought he would push himself more to get better faster, but he has been doing really good about listening to the doctor’s orders. Though now that he is feeling better he is starting to push it a bit. Like our conversation on Tuesday:
Chris: “I think I will be able to play soccer in three weeks after my appointment with Dr. Lamb.”
Me: “No, you’re not supposed to play sports for another month after that appointment.”
Chris: “Yeah, but those are contact sports or sports where I am pulling or pushing things, like football flags and shooting basketballs.”
Me: “And what if you fall on it or someone else hits you there?”
Chris: “Then I will fall the other way and protect my arm.”
The boy can’t help but want to play. I can’t blame him for having a hard time not being able to do what he loves, especially since it connects him with other people.
Speaking of what the doctor will say, he went in last week and here is his most recent x-ray.
You can see there is still a part of the bone that has not reattached to the other, but that was only at 5 weeks and bones take 6-8 weeks, so he is still progressing well. After his doctor’s appointment his physical therapist started pushing him harder. Before she was mostly massaging his arm, measuring his extension and flexing angles, and doing stretches. Now she has him lifting some weights and he is feeling the pain. Because is arm is feeling better and he is wanting to push himself more, I think he is feeling discouraged that it hurts to do certain exercises and that his fluidity of motion is not as good in his right arm as it is in his left. But something we have to keep reminding ourselves is that this is a long process and especially now, patience is key. Another lesson we are continuing to learn.