Girls Camp started today. I love my daughters dearly but I was excited about having them with other people for 5 days, expanding their spiritual awareness and growing emotionally and, I hoped, socially, as well. My 16 year old loves camp. She looks forward to it every year. My 13 year old - not so much. In fact, I had serious doubts she'd not sabotage her packing so she would have to come home at night. She was not looking forward to sleeping in a tent, girls stretched wall-to-wall. I could see her mind plotting ways to not have to go to camp for days. And then a miracle occurred. She suddenly got excited about going, packed her bags, shook out a sleeping bag, made a lunch and even made a sandwich for her sister.
It was like a Christmas miracle. In June.
The 16 year old thanked her sister for the sandwich as she was walking out of the bathroom after blowing her nose or something heroic like that. She then swung her outside foot around in an arc too large for the hall to accommodate and kicked the air return vent, caught her pinkie toe and immediately got hysterical. She insisted her toe was broken, sobbed and begged me to take her to the hospital right now.
Given, it was pointing a different direction like when you get a cramp and toes go all weird so I suggested she give it a little tug and straighten it out. I even offered to do it for her. This was not met well.
Finally, I told her I would be right back after I dropped off her sister and all their gear and we would address it then. Unbeknownst to her, I started asking known nurses from the gathered crowd for camp to come over and yank the toe back into place.
I know. Empathetic much?
My sister and I had traded boys the night before. She had my 11 year old. I had her 4 year old. I turned on the one eyed babysitter and instructed the 4 and 6 year old to obey the dog and not to budge and ran my hysterical daughter up the street to the pediatrician's office while using my overused Rook card to call Grandma and Papa to keep on eye on the wee ones. I strategically brought my bawling and hobbling daughter into the waiting area when I asked if we could just get someone to look at it. We got right in.
A physician's assistant walked in, looked at the toe, got all bug-eyed and told me to take her to the emergency room. He offered to splint it and give her Advil and left the room. Another physician's assistant came in and looked at it along with two more nurses. Wow. Great service.
I finally told the nice people that I really needed to get going. I'd been gone for a good 15 minutes and "Martha Speaks" had to be ending soon. There are laws, you know. I promised I'd take her to the nearest emergency room and ran past the house to make sure my Rook card had been used. The boys were missing and there were signs of Grandpa so I headed to the hospital.
Once at the hospital, my daughter was greeted by name (the P.A. had called ahead) and taken directly back to a curtained room. She was offered a *bed* and a pillow to scream into while a nurse shot her toe up with numbing stuff. Again, we had an attentive staff. Nurse after nurse came in to check on her toe then ask how she was feeling. Naturally, she performed her part well with waterworks.
X-rays were done and we returned to the curtained room. My sister called about this time and asked what I was up to. "Oh, I'm in the emergency room right now. Didn't you get my text? Oh. The doctor just came in. I gotta run." It didn't occur to me until an hour later how that might sound to a mother calling the woman who was supposed to be in charge of her son.
Two strokes and a heart attack later, the doctor returned again, pulled the toe and straightened it out. Just like I said. I'd feel vindicated except then he told me it was definitely broken then handed me a copy of the x-ray.
That's about the time I realized that all those nurses were not coming in for my daughter's sake, although one huge tip would be the girl who came in to say, "I heard I just had to come and see this toe... Oh." I also realized that I have, once again, earned my title of Mother-of-the-Year.
Need a babysitter? Want me to take care of your teenager for awhile? Keep walking.