While it sounds like this is the latest offering from Disney channel, starring a line-up of soon-to-be-hot-messes, it’s not. Well, the hot messes part is on target, but this is the painfully non-Disney like story of my sons Alex and Nick. Who might as well be named ‘Jesus, you outweigh your brother by 70 pounds’, and ‘for fuck’s sake, we told you tackle football was a bad idea’.
Last Sunday, my husband’s brother invited us to watch the opening day of NFL football. Also invited were his other brother, and a few friends they had grown up with. It seemed like a relatively benign way to spend a Sunday. If you define benign as ‘ha ha, life’s about to mess with you’.
During the games, our boys decided to go outside and toss a football around. I do believe my husband’s instructions were something along the lines of “be careful.” I was more to the point. “I am not interested in spending my Sunday afternoon or evening at the emergency room, so don’t be stupid.”
Turns out ‘careful’ and ‘don’t be stupid’ took a holiday.
At around 6:30pm, my husband jumped off the couch and headed to the patio door that led to the backyard. He grumbled something like “Nick isn’t getting up.” My husband’s brother said “it looks like he may be hurt”, and went outside to help. I figured they had everything under control.
If you define control as ”oh shit, party’s over.
My husband came back inside about 5 minutes later and growled “get your shit, we’re leaving.” I quickly grabbed the container of cookies I had made, and headed toward the door, thanking my sister-in-law for the hospitality.
When I got to the car, one thing was clear. Karma was letting me know my little snark about not visiting emergency rooms was not going to be tolerated. Nick was completely silent, with his right shoulder very obviously slumped forward and his eyes closed. His brother Alex was sitting next to him — equally as silent — with tears running down his cheeks.
We stopped at an urgent care near our home. My husband dropped Nick and I off, and took Alex home to walk the dogs. And probably to chew on his ass a little more.
They took Nick back to the x-ray room right away. During the initial medical review, Nick heard the words ‘surgery’ and ‘pins’ and turned pale. He said, “I think I may throw up.” His blood pressure dropped and they laid him down on the exam table. I kept my cool and told him everything was going to be ok.
Once he was stable, they got him ready for the x-ray. By this time, my husband had returned. And my cool had departed. Because this showed up on screen:
Which I think made my face do one of these:
And my mouth made a very loud noise, something like “ooowwwweeewwwwughhhhhhhh!” My husband shot me a “shut it!” look, because there was no point in freaking Nick out any more than necessary. So I sat there silently, with my hand over my mouth, as tears started to flow.
Turns out Alex had fallen on Nick after tackling him, and the ball was under Nick’s shoulder. Nick’s shoulder gave way to the pressure of being squeezed between the football and his brother. Nick’s collar bone was broken. Broken completely in half.
Because when the Rices do something, they don’t do it half-assed, bitches.
We were given a print out of the x-ray, a referral to an orthopedic surgeon for the next day, and prescription for Tylenol with codeine. Since our normal pharmacy was already closed, we went to the only 24 hour pharmacy in town. Yay – they were out of the prescription and wouldn’t be able to get any before Tuesday. But they told us we could try the next closest 24 hour pharmacy, which was about 45 minutes away.
Being the loving, caring parents we are, we
said the hell with that bought liquid ibuprofen and Tylenol, doubling the recommended dose once we got him home.
The next morning, all four of us piled into the car and headed to the doctor’s office. It was pretty busy, but we were grateful they had been able to fit in our emergency appointment. Of course, the waiting is always the hardest part:
It’s the hardest part until you end up seeing the doctor and he examines you, touching your very injured shoulder in a sneak attack that makes
you your son jump and yelp.
And the examination is the hardest part until the tech comes in and has to reset the bone, then put on the brace and sling, causing you, your oldest son, and (most importantly) the injured son to start crying. This episode of The Adventures of Collar Crusher and Broken Boy brought to you by Kleenex.
After all the drama of Sunday and Monday, this popped up on my Facebook feed Tuesday morning:
This memory reminded me that when times are good, my boys love and support one another. And this experience let me know that when things are tough, they will empathize with and definitely support one another.
When it comes to The Adventures of Collar Crusher and Broken Boy, Disney couldn’t have scripted a better ending to this episode.