Friday, August 9, 2013

OBX, The Part In Which Charlie Broke His Arm

Growing up in North Carolina, I saw those OBX stickers on the back of almost every single car but had never vacationed there (we were Hilton Head beach-ers)... until we moved back to VA in 2011 and were invited to go with our friends. We had so much fun together that we were beyond certain by the end of the week's vacation that we'd do it again in 2012. And every year after that for the rest of our lives. Heck, by the end of the week we were trying to figure out how to convince our hubbies to take another week's vacation and they were not objecting. Heck, by the end of the week, I was trying to scheme how to sell all the things, pack up and MOVE there. I could run a photography business in the Outer Banks, right? And spend my days catching all the freckles. I don't know what Mike would do. But there has to be oil there somewhere...

Needless to say, our vacations in the OBX are pure heaven. I always want to go and I never want to leave.

This year, however, was going to be different. Different good, but different. Our BFFs who have been our beach partners-in-crime for the last two years moved to Louisiana in June. Being the kind of people of the "more the merrier" persuasion, we invited our friends, the Millers, to drive up from Charlotte to meet us for the first half of the week and my parents to meet us for the second half.  We were really excited to enjoy our favorite place with even more of our favorite people.

Our drive down from DC on Friday July 5th still held up the tradition of stopping at Sonic for the most giant Limeade possible. Extra limes, please. Seriously, how are there no Sonics in DC?
We got to the house early, around 2pm, and Cakes and her Crew were there by 3pm and we were on the water with beers and sand buckets by 4pm.
The water was FREEZING. But the weather was perfect. It was not too hot. Not once. Not the whole week. It stayed in the 80s with a really tolerable amount of humidity. It was perfect.

Saturday morning, we were up and out to the water nice and early. Well, early according to Jenn and Mandie time. {We're not really of the rushing sort.} The kids had so much fun! They dug holes and built sand castles. They played in the waves and rode their boogie boards.
And then, around 5pm, we headed back to the house -- and the Robertsons diverted to the swimming pool for a quick rinse of chlorine since the hot water heater had broken and was being fixed. I remember the swim very vividly -- just the four of us goofing around in the pool before dinner.

I remember the pool so vividly because by 8pm, as we were running around the house trying to find shoes for all the kids so we could walk across the street for Big Bucks ice cream, I heard Charlie scream. And everything about our vacation took a 180. I rolled my eyes at first. I thought he was fighting with Mandie's daughter, Bella, again. But then, he screamed...


I've never raced down stairs so quickly in my life and when I got to the front deck where everyone was,  I saw him, already snuggled up in Mandie's arms, and then I saw his arm - dangling and bent - clearly no longer in the normal position of arms and bones... and I screamed. I don't think you're supposed to scream when you're the mom because you're supposed to hold it together for your children. But, I screamed. It was terrifying. Seeing my child's arm so clearly broken was one of the most awful things I've ever seen in my entire life.

Thank God for Mandie, Josh and Mike. I was in shock. I couldn't think. I still couldn't even believe it was real and all I wanted was for my baby to be fixed. I was almost just waiting for everything to just go back to normal. Mandie kept asking me questions of what to do and I just kind of stared at her. She stopped asking and just started telling me what to do. We got him in the the backseat of our car with his head in my lap -- and Mike and I drove him the 45 minutes south from Corolla to Nags Head to the Outer Banks hospital. He was a flippin' champ. FORTY FIVE MINUTES and he didn't cry. Not once. He just closed his eyes and zoned out. I was shaking and he was calm as a cucumber.

Bella and Charlie had been playing a game of chase while waiting for the rest of us to get ready -- and they had climbed onto the top bunk in the kid's room. Bella went to teasingly kiss Charlie and he decided to jump off the top bunk to get away {oh, how funny this will be in 7 years when getting kisses from girls will be all he can think about}. His athletic shorts caught the rail and turned him sideways as he went down. He stuck an arm out to break the fall and it snapped in half under the weight of the fall.
The hospital was amazing. The nurses and staff were just wonderful. Absolutely wonderful. Charlie is a worrier and they were kind and patient with him. I even noticed that our one nurse - a big guy with a deep voice and dry humor - was gently rubbing his hand while calming him down. He didn't have to give comfort in that way - but he did - and I found it to be so sweet. Truly caring.

After some meds, and then some more meds after barfing up the first dose, and some Xrays, they called in the Orthopedic Surgeon who showed up wearing a tan, a tshirt, board shorts and tennis shoes. This made us laugh. Dr. Matt. Wearing the board shorts. Only at a beach hospital...

Mike later asked me if I found him attractive {I did} because I wouldn't stop talking to him. But I told Mike, "Yes, I noticed he was good looking, but more importantly, I noticed he was in his beach attire... and I wasn't going to stop talking to him until I found out where he got his medical degree." :) He went to Georgetown. So, we were all good. Hot doctors with medical degrees from Georgetown may set my child's bones in board shorts.

They gave him an IV - which he screamed louder over than the actual break - and dosed him up with a drug called Ketamine, which would basically make him high as a kite for awhile so they could set the bones back in place and he'd have no memory of it.

They got him all fixed up and set in a cast and sent us home. The doctor said there was absolutely no reason to stop our vacation. Apparently, the ER in Nags Head sees broken bones constantly - and LOTS of them are bunk bed broken bones - and they didn't really think it was that big of a deal at all.
On Sunday, Charlie and Daddy stayed in the house to chill out and kind of, get over the previous day's trauma while the rest of us headed down to the beach.
We had scheduled a sitter for Sunday night so the four of us could go out without the kiddos. We decided to keep the sitter even though our big guy was feeling less-than-100%. We've had the same sitter in the OBX for three years and she's the BEST. I felt completely comfortable having her take care of my little patient.

It was really so good for the mama-soul to have an evening out to de-stress.
And on Monday morning, Charlie was feeling much better and he decided he'd get up and out at the mention of Duck Donuts and the Currituck lighthouse.
Yup, he climbed up 103 feet to the top of the lighthouse. Kids, y'all. Broken bones one day. Tops of lighthouses the next.
Then we said our sad good-byes to Mandie and the Miller clan and spent a little time at the pool that afternoon. Daddy pitched a ball to Charlie and they played left-handed catch! Papa & Blah arrived at the house around dinner time and brought a new Lego set to cheer up Charlie.

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