On January 26th I received a call in the office from one of the teachers who works at the school I direct. The teachers frequently call me to help with little things such as bringing them items they need or asking me questions about different children. However, this call was with regards to my son. Charlie would not stop crying after a fall on the playground. The three teachers on the playground did not suspect any kind of major injury, maybe he twisted his knee. Because he wouldn't stop crying, I called our pediatrician to see if he could take a look. Just our luck, our beloved Dr Richards was not in, therefore we were seen by his colleague, Dr. Olmstead. Once she removed Charlie's pants, you could see that his thigh was severely swollen.
Immediately we were whisked off to the ER for Xrays (Stat!). The X-Ray technician kindly explained that only one parent was allowed in the x-ray room, so after a quick game of rock, paper, scissors, Joel in victory went back with Charlie to get the x-ray. Not more than 2 minutes later, the xray tech emerged and with much urgency said, "Mrs. Wasson, please come back here."
Joel fervently yelled, "No, I won fair and square! Rock beats scissors*." Ignoring him, I ran back to the x-ray room to see the picture of my sons leg which you can now also see above.
Poor guy - at this point we had moved him from the playground to his classroom to my desk, where I walked around with him, to the doctors office to the ER to the Xray room and finally to the Examination table where he finally received pain medication. Once they got the IV inserted and arrangements were made they quickly escorted to Children's Hospital in Seattle via the ambulance. Charlie was very disappointed that they would not turn on the lights or the sirens for him. What good is a ride in an ambulance without lights and sirens? (that is Charlie in the ambulance to the left)
After quite a few hours and literal interrogation (the dr's were concerned that the story of how the break happened were not consistent with the injury itself - leading them to question our parenting) they finally took Charlie back to the operating room and placed him in a spica cast, more commonly known as a body cast. Once he came out of the operating room we realized we were in for a quite an adventure. Our All-Terrain Wagon was swiftly transformed into a Charlie Transportation Device. The first few days were pretty miserable. Learning how to deal with the cast was quite an adjustment, it was then however, that the first of the silver linings because clear. Our families and our Crossroads family were unbelievably supportive. From providing meals to bringing creative toys and games to keep Charlie occupied, they were always trying to think of ways to make our lives easier. The love they showed us was incredible and always at the exact right time. (Did I mention that Joel happened to be out of town 2.5 weeks of the six week time frame??)
During the second week of the cast the next of the silver linings showed through. God was giving us a new glimpse into the character of our son. We always knew he was rough and tumble, yet gentle-hearted. What we didn't know was that he was resilient, strong, capable, and most of all determined. Each week Charlie got stronger and stronger and eventually abandoned the wagon all together. He started getting around by scooching and rolling. This led to crawling which eventually led to WALKING! He could literally hold my hand and walk through the grocery store and in our house he could walk from the couch to the chair, from the chair to the table, etc.
Charlie had the cast removed on March 10th. The doctors reported to us at that time that we should not expect him to walk on his own for 3 to 4 days. Joel and I were very nervous about Charlie's condition after the cast came off. He seemed like he was in a lot of pain and didn't seem to have much energy or ambition for walking. We both feared that he might have to return tot he cast or somesort of brace. However, our amazing son was walking within a day and a half!!
Our final silver lining was a HUGE blessing to us. We have been nervous as to how we were going to pay for the medical bills we have encountered due to this adventure. Friends of ours encouraged us to apply for Financial Assistance through Children's Hospital. With hopeful reluctance we submitted the application and were approved!! Anything above our insurance will be covered through Children's Hospital Financial Assistance. Please do me a favor and whenever you see one of those hotair balloons you can purchase for a dollar at the check out stand, please purchase one on our behalf and families like ours. What an amazing blessing! This financial blessing was even more abundant than we first realized....Charlie is an acute asthmatic. He spent the late summer and early fall in and out of the hospital with asthma. We finally have the asthma under control thanks to over $200 monthly in medications. Because we qualify for the Children's Financial Assistance Program we can have Charlie seen by one of their pulmonary specialists and our prescriptions will be covered!! So not only will he be seen by a state of the art pediatric pulmonary specialists, but the financial burden will be lightened on our family. SILVER LINING!!!!
For God works everything together for good for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose. 1 Cor.
I am not so naive to not understand that there are those out there that are far worse off than we and that they might be yelling at God similar to David in the psalms. But I must trust my faith to know that they too must have some silver linings in the midst of their trying circumstances. A friend of mine who is going through a difficult time said that others kept trying to encourage her with the light at the end of the tunnel. Being unsure that light was ever going to come she has decided to choose joy in the midst of the tunnel rather than waiting or hoping for a light that might not show. Choosing to praise God even in the darkness. Looking for the blessings; maybe searching for the blessings, but choosing the joy.
Thank you to all of you who helped us during this crazy time. Those who rallied around us were definitely easy to find in the darkness. You are silver linings, you are blessings.
* There was truly no rock, paper, scissors played while our son was lying there in excruciating pain. I promise...