Two weeks ago I received a text from our nanny that no mother wants to receive. I was in my office pumping when the text came in: "Harper fell at the playground. She is hurt. You need to come home."
Our nanny has been with us for over 2 1/2 years. She has seen and taken care of Harper with horrible colds, vomiting, high fevers. When Harper is sick, she has a preferred list of three people - her mommy, her daddy, her Sha-Sha.... in that order. I immediately called our nanny to learn of the damage.
These are the words I heard in 10 seconds: fell ladder cried limping not walking emergency room.
If you know our daughter, you know that she doesn't sit still. EVER. She doesn't walk. SHE RUNS.
"What do you mean, she doesn't want to walk?"
I leave my office in a panic. I don't even tell anyone I'm leaving. I hail a cab and tell the cab driver that I need to go over the Manhattan Bridge to Fort Greene, Brooklyn and politely (or not so politely) say "you better not tell me you aren't taking passengers to Brooklyn." I email my office to tell everyone that Harper is hurt and that I'm already on the way home. On my way, I call Harper's pediatrician for advice on what to do. They tell me to bring her in.
Harper is a tough girl. No, really. She would rather hang out with the 5 and 6 years old boys she sees at the playground than the little girls playing nicely. When we met in the doctor's office, she immediately told me she was hurt. I asked her to see if she could walk. She was scared, but she put weight on her right leg and crumbled to the floor in pain.
She was called back to the room at her pediatrician's office and was seen by the physician's assistant. At this point, Harper was Harper. She was joking around - laughing - smiling. Being her charming self. The PA ruled out a fracture, saying, "If it was broken, she'd be in pain. Her spirits are too high for a broken leg." We were sent home. After getting home, Harper still would not walk. She sat on the couch unable to move.
The next morning, her leg was swollen and bruised. Back to the doctor we went. The PA ruled out a fracture but said she would like to send us to the ER "just in case". The x-ray tech at the hospital also ruled out a fracture. Told me that our child was too happy to have a fractured leg. We were sent home.
It was 28 hours after the fall at the playground that I got a call from the PA. She explained that she got a call from the x-ray tech over at Long Island College Hospital and that Harper has a fractured leg and we need to go back to the ER immediately to have her leg casted.
Visions of a ruined Summer flashed before my eyes. No sprinklers? No swimming lessons? No dance classes? No pools? My heart was broken for her.
She was the life of the party in pediatric ER. The doctors and nurses loved her. They didn't want her to leave! She was such a trooper and didn't shed even one tear as they put the cast on her.
She was bummed for a couple of days, but quickly learned that she could still get around if she crawled and scooted. About 8 days after she got the cast, she learned that should get actually stand upright by holding on to furniture. It took her 10 days to learn that she could walk. Took her 16 days to learn that she could climb.
She got her cast off today. It was the longest 18 days of my life. She still isn't walking. She is taking is slow. But before we know it, I'm sure we will be yelling at her to slow down while she runs and jumps. We will be yelling at her to slow down while she uses her scooter down our street.
"She is determined!" her preschool director told us.
"Nothing is stopping her!" her preschool teacher told us.
"All her friends have stopped climbing at the playground and they sit with Harper and write with chalk!" her nanny told us.
"She is amazing!" everyone told us.
And she is! She really, REALLY is.