Little Legs is a dancer now; he taps his toes, wiggles his hips, and shakes to the left and right. Sometimes, he even dances to the beat. He loves Ray Charles and wears sunglasses indoors. He bumps into walls, while bopping along to “Hit the Road, Jack.”
Adorable, yes. Dangerous, maybe.
He was working on a new move that involved flipping from one side to the other while on the ground, we’ll call it the Fish Flop, when the Flop got out of control, and he landed on his outstretched arm.
A heart-rending scream and an immediate flood of tears burst forth from the tiny dancer as he held his arm to his chest like a broken wing. It took a few minutes to confirm that this boo-boo was more than a band-aide, a kiss and a popsicle could restore.
The emergency room was at least a seven-hour wait, a few hours too long to only be turned away, as we heard happened to our neighbors. The community urgent care was at capacity for appointments. They graciously told us they were taking walk-ins but expected a minimum of two hours in the waiting room. The pediatric urgent care was the same, the waiting room was spilling over with sick kids (and their germs) with not enough time or staff to see everyone in a reasonable amount of time.
All the while, Little Legs was crying, “Hurts, hurts, hurts” and holding his arm against his chest.
As parents, Daddy Longlegs and I are similarly yoked in that we would move heaven and earth for our boys. We don’t want them to suffer one unnecessary minute. Yet in this world of Covid, our choices are severely limited in what we can and cannot do to care for them out of sheer availability when it comes to treatment and healthcare.
We aren’t doctors or magicians.
But we are resourceful. And determined.
So, we drove to the next county and went to an after-hours sports injury clinic where the moonlighting foot doctor agreed to see our son for his arm injury and our sweet boy’s arm was set and cast.
Silently, Little Legs watched with wide eyes as the technician wrapped his arm in cotton and then with various layers of cast materials, hardly moving muscle as he allowed his arm to be mummified.
“You should get a treat,” the technician commented on his stoic bravery.
“You have lollipops?” Little Legs asked, blinking several times as he came to life at possibility of sugar.
“You have yellow lollipops?” he continued, very specific and very excited.
“We’ll have to see, but I think we might. Mom, Dad, is it ok?”
“After all this, you have can have all the yellow lollipops that you want,” I declared.
I was grateful for the ability to seek treatment, for the kindness our son was shown and that it was a relatively minor injury compared to some. Still, there remains a persistent irritation that borders on anger/rage for the people filling the chairs and beds in the hospitals and urgent cares that could have been vaccinated or masked to prevent the spread and mutation of Covid, again.
It is for selfish reasons that I write, get the dang shot and wear a mask, so in the future the next little boy with a broken arm can seek treatment and get back to dancing as soon as possible.