Well I thought I was emotionally prepared to write this blog post. Now that I actually sat down to do it, I feel my throat getting tight and my pulse start to beat faster.
The past several days have been tough ones here at the Carlin house. Sunday evening Josslyn broke her leg. We still aren't,(and may never be), exactly sure what happened. We know that she fell in her room and was by herself when it happened, but beyond that the details are kind of sketchy. Keep in mind, the details are coming from a very traumatized 3 year old that hasn't fully mastered the language and has definite speech issues. Honestly, though, I'm not even sure if she knows exactly what happened. We have given up questioning her because we just get the same answers and we hate to keep bringing up a sore subject. Litterally.
I heard her fall and start crying. Our house is on piers, so everything is loud. When the kids play it sounds like a herd of elephants playing rugy. Seriously. So when I heard a THUD that was quickly followed by a "WAAAAAAAA!", I didn't neccessarily think that it was something serious. Especially since I hear thuds followed by Josslyn crying many times a day. Coordination and focus are not her strong suits, and that combination can be the cause of many boo boos for her throughout each and every day. Even when she isn't falling/running into things and hurting herself, she is falling/running into things(or people) and not hurting herself. 90% of the "thuds" that I hear in our house are followed by either Josslyn crying, or Josslyn yelling, "UH-OH!!" We joke that her middle name should have been Uh-Oh, instead of Alina. When one of us hears her yell, "Uh-Oh!!" across the house, we giggle and say, "Josslyn Uh-Oh Carlin".
This particular "THUD", on this particular day, was a doozie. I could tell that her cry was a real cry, but my mama instincts still weren't alerting me that an injury out of the norm had just taken place. I trotted in her room and saw her laying on the floor. The way she was laying it looked like she had hit her head on the floor(which she had), so I thought that was why she was crying. I picked her up under her arms and tried to stand her up. When she tried to stand up she immediately let out a scream that I had never heard from her before and pulled her right leg up. At this point I KNEW something was bad wrong. I don't think I have ever heard any of my kids cry that kind of cry before. And hopefully I never will again. I picked her up like a baby and she just kept screaming. Josh was in the kitchen and came quickly. He took one look at her leg and said that he thought it was broken. My brain turned into fuzz. I tend to be pretty good under this sort of pressure, or atleast I had thought so up until this point. But I guess I had never been under that sort of pressure. We have never had a child have to have stitches. No gushing bleeders. No concusions. And up until now, no broken bones.
My fuzzy brain, that was starting to get tunnel vision, kept thinking, "Surely her leg isn't broken! How in the world could she have broken her leg?!" But after about 60 seconds of Josslyn's screaming, it didn't matter what the problem was I wanted to get her to the emergency room and get her something for pain. Josh quickly loaded all the kids up in the van and drove Josslyn and I to the ER. The next 24 hours were some of the longest of my life. For my own sake, I'll sum it up without alot of details.
Josslyn broke her right femur(thigh bone). She had to be transported by ambulance to Texas Children's Hospital. At the first hospital(the local one), we were told that she was most likely going to have to have to get pins or screws surgically and to prepare to be in the hospital for a week. Thankfully, TCH is the best. They have excellent doctors who were able to set and cast her leg with out having to use pins. Since there were no pins, we were able to go home on Monday afternoon.
There are alot of grizzly details that I'm leaving out, mainly because I don't want to think about them long enough to write about it. I'll just say that the whole thing was extremely traumatizing to Josslyn, and as a mother it is one of the worst things I've had to endure. I don't think I have ever seen anyone in as much pain as she was in. It would have been awful to witness a grown man who was a complete stranger in that much pain. For it to be your daughter is almost unbearable. They were giving her as much morphine as they safely could, without slowing down her respiration too much, and she was still in a great deal of pain. I would sale everything I own and live in a box on the street, if it meant never having to see one of my children go through something like that again.
When we got home Monday evening I was still running on adrenaline. I hadn't slept at all the night before. Josslyn's leg, even though it wasn't technically a surgery, had to be set and casted in an operating room. Because of the type of break, and the type of cast it would require, she had to be put fully to sleep and intubated. Another mommy first for me. Even though I understood and fully agreed this was best for her, I was still very nervous about her being put fully to sleep. She did excellent though. That girl is one of the toughest people I know.
Monday when we got home Josslyn was completely exhausted. She slept much of the evening and then, much to my surprise, she slept all night, without even needing pain medicine. I wanted to be near her, and since I had no clue what kind of night she was going to have, we thought the best arrangement was her on the couch and me on the reclincer beside her. She completely shocked me by sleeping like a rock. Barely letting out a whimper now and then, just to make sure I was nearby. Tuesday morning she was still pretty melancholy, as expected for what she had been through. My adrenaline was wearing off and I felt like a big pile of cow manure. If I didn't have 5 other kids that needed a mother, not cow manure, I would have curled up on the couch and stared at the wall for goodness knows how long. My emotions were a wreck. Thank the Lord for kiddos that need a "sane" mom, so that left curling up in the fetal position and dying not an option.
Tuesday afternoon, after a good nap and some quite time watching tv, Josslyn finally started coming out of her shell. It was Ray that did it. She crawled up on my bed beside Josslyn and held her hand. Josslyn slowly went from quiet, to chatty, to downright giggly. Sisters can be angels. Sometimes they know exactly what you need. Apparently, Josslyn just needed her sister. By last night she was her normal self. Once the old Joss was back I felt like the weight of the world had been lifted off my shoulders. I can now get back to being my normal self(whatever that was), I am just a slightly more aged. I am sure that the fine lines under my eyes have deepened and the gray hair on my head has multiplied. But I don't care. I have my daughter back. Recovering.