Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Nathan's Second Year Birthday

When Nathan was just shy of two years old he ended up in the
hospital with a broken femur. He had been playing down the street where a
neighbor was putting new sod on his yard. All the neighborhood men of course
were gathered – offering insight and “directing”. One of the neighbors, John,
lived right next door to us and knew Nathan well. John was playing a “game”
with Nathan. Nathan would run up to John, and John would grab both of Nathan’s
legs and pull him down the little hill on his bottom. The “hill” was just a 2
foot bump really at the junction of the yard and the sidewalk. Nathan loved it!
He ran up again and again to get a “ride” down the hill. All went well, until
on his last try, Nathan for some reason turned and tried to run while John
still had hold of one of his legs. Tears and screams and we knew something was
amiss. I gathered Nathan up and raced home. After a quick “wash-up” since
Nathan was covered in dirt from his day outside in the mud, he had calmed down
a bit, However, it was soon apparent that his leg was askew and so we were
promptly off to the hospital.
Nathan was of course frightened and yet he was generally a
quiet, thoughtful kid. He tolerated his time in the hospital as best he could-
better than most adults would since he was in traction for two whole
weeks. He looked particularly pathetic
at times, because he had entered the hospital just shy of his 2 year old
birthday and had not had his first haircut.
He had long blond curls which after days in the hospital were beginning
to look quite scraggly.
He spoke not a word to doctors or nurses who entered his
room. Chuck and I stayed with him 24/7. Chuck spent the nights in his room and
I was there during the day while Chuck was at work. He had a private room so it was at least not
too hectic most of the time. Nathan played with a helium balloon that hung over his bed, we read to him, and he
played with “Woofy”, a stuffed dog that John had brought him. John felt horrible about the accident. He and
his wife had no children, and John had tears in his eyes when he came to the
hospital with the soft stuffed dog. Nathan held no grudges. He did not connect
John at all to his hospital stay, and was happy to see him. However, Nathan did
not treat the staff so kindly. He literally did not speak a word to any of the
doctors or nurses the whole time, except for one small phrase.
Nathan had his 2 year birthday in the hospital. We brought
his presents to the hospital room and had a very low-key “celebration”. The
nurses had a surprise for Nathan though!
Several of the nurses on the floor entered his room with a small
birthday cake, complete with 2 candles blazing, singing happy birthday to
Nathan! He looked up and gave them a
sweet smile and you could see the excitement in his eyes.
They were so happy to see him smile. One of the nurses, who
had the duty of checking and adjusting the tension on Nathan’s traction
apparatus, was especially happy. She exclaimed to him.” Oh, Nathan, we have
waited so long to see a smile on your face!
The smile faded quickly and Nathan looked up at them all quite sternly and
responded “You can leave now.” That was it. Not another word to them!
Nathan came home a couple days after his
birthday and spent the next 2 months in a body cast. He learned to lie on the floor
and spin around on the hard cast. He could
spin around like a lazy susan to get to his toys that were arranged in an arc
around him. When he did get out of the cast it took him several weeks to learn
to walk easily again, but soon he was running around as if nothing had
happened. His first outing after his cast was removed was to the barber for his
first haircut!

No comments:

Post a Comment