… That was the sign posted on the captain’s door of the private jet hired by a top-earning DJ in Vegas in a story in the most recent edition of the New Yorker. A big spender but deep thinker, he commented that its actually a profound life message.
And we’ve had plenty to ponder about slides these days.
Before the recent storms and rains hit, Adahlia and I, or Joe and Adahlia, or the three of us, used to go to one of the parks nearby nearly every day. Adahlia loved riding down the slide on my lap. Well, a couple weeks ago, two days after my surgery and with the fall winds blowing, we decide to go to the park. I was too weak to do much, but Joe held her steady and walked along the slide as she went down, solo, for the first time. I started to feel a bit left out, and being unable to play and enjoy Adahlia due to days when I feel too sick has been hard for me to accept at times. So, I tell Joe I want to slide down with her. It’s the first time she’s worn her new boots to the playground.
They are actually just new-to-us: a pair of brown, below-the-knee boots bought last year from a kids resale boutique. I bought them when she was barely sitting upright and before I understood anything about kids shoe sizes. (I thought, hmm… these kind of seem like they work” and at home, in a moment of clarity, I realized they were so clunky and heavy that she couldnt lift her foot. Into the closet they went. But, they fit her now! And they are her favorite outdoor shoes.
On that fateful day, we positioned ourselves at the top of the slide, and she was safely tucked on top of my legs on my lap. But as we come down wooshing down the slide, she throws her leg out from where I’ve nestled it between mine, and the rubber sole catches to the side of the slide like money thrown to the top of Kell’s Irish Pub downtown. Her foot stops. The problem is, we keep going.
Joe hears a pop but I don’t. Either way, her leg got torqued in a way that Joe describes as being impossible for an adult not to suffer serious damage (“thank goodness she’s so flexible!” He says.). Except whatever happened is beyond the miracle of Baby Flexibility. She starts howling as I lift her up off the slide, and when we get to the grass, she can’t stand. Won’t put any weight on it. We begin to fret around her like two wild animals with a lame baby.
Long story somewhat shorter, the pediatrician at Urgent Care tells us that it happens all the time: parents think they are being both cautious and fun-loving by going down the slide with their toddler, but its that weight of the parent that ends up snapping the bone. (By herself, a child would just stop if her shoe got caught.)
X-rays at the ER don’t show a fracture, but the pediatrician is adamant: a toddlers fracture doesn’t always show, and a toddlers bones will break before they’ll suffer a sprain or ligament damage, due to their flexibility. There is no or minimal swelling, and it has a decent range of motion, but she refuses to let us touch it.
Imagine how I felt. Over three weeks since transfusion, so she’s low on blood, and she’s standing but still hasn’t figured out walking yet, and I go and break her leg on a slide.
At this point, I am thinking about how every thing I would have not wanted for a child to experience in her first years of life, so as to grow up with a positive outlook on life, and feel safe, and cared for, has happened.
I’d like to say that I didn’t beat myself up over it, but I did.
I also did everything I could think of to try to heal it. When homeopathic arnica didn’t work, I tried bellis perennis and finally ruta graveolens (the last of which may have helped, so I used it in again on the following day.) We used fish oils to help with inflammation and I also gave her a dose of tumeric. To help the bones or ligaments to heal, I applied Zheng Gu Shui, a topical spray that roughly translates to “Righteous Bone Water” three times a day. I gave her reiki daily. We wrapped her leg in an ace bandage and waited.
The pediatrician told us shed call again in a day or two and that we could expect referral to an kids orthopedic specialist on Monday.
And Adahlia was due to get her blood tested with a possible transfusion on Weds.
The Slide Incident, as I like to refer to it, happened on Friday. The next day, she put weight on it once, made a face, began to cry, and held her leg off the ground like a little wounded deer. We did our best to keep her from trying to stand… or crawl. Though I was still in pain and exhausted from surgery, I carried her a lot. She was inconsolable. She’d wake up, roll over, and start crying. Everyone was miserable.
The day after, Sunday, she stood, (she is very strong-willed), tried to bounce in time to music, and began to cry. But she could crawl by pushing off her good leg and dragging the injured one along. We took it as a positive sign and reported it to the pediatrician when she called. The pediatrician was dubious and sounded almost disappointed (understandable, because its a rare experts on anything who is okay with being wrong) and warned me that it was still probably broken.
But the next day, Monday, Adahlia stood on it several times, very cautiously. She didn’t try to move much (or “cruise” because she doesnt free-walk yet, she just holds onto stuff.) But she could stand.
And then the next day, she was “cruising” fine.
So, either the therapies worked (I do think the ZGS spray had a lot to do with it) or the bone didn’t break after all, which, if that is the case, I believe we owe to her tall boots, which provided some stability to the bone, even as its rubber sole stuck to the slide.
The moral to loving parents everywhere is that if you go down the slide with your toddler, take off the shoes and go down with them in socks!
When your kid has a blood disorder, you’re depleted because your health isn’t so hot either (or maybe its just from caring for your baby), and things are tricky at best financially, the idea of “Don’t push, Slide” becomes even more paramount.
Adahlia and I got a real bad, supper-stuffy, sore-throat cold on top of everything, just days after the Slide Incident. It was tough, but it also meant that we took time to make a really, really good chicken stock and chicken soup (Low blood, broken leg, and a stuffy nose — a triple whammy for that last week prior to transfusion, poor baby). We even used chicken feet in the stock — excellent for vitamins, minerals, and bone-and-ligament health! Recipe follows courtesy of Sally Fallon’s article,
Broth is Beautiful:
• 1 whole free-range chicken or 2-3 lbs of bony chicken parts, such as necks, backs, wings, and breastbones
• gizzards from one chicken (optional, but do it if you can!)
• 2-4 chicken feet (optional, but do it if you can find them!)
• 4 quarts cold filtered water
• 2 tablespoons vinegar (I used apple cider vinegar)
• 1 lg onion, chopped
• 2 carrots, chopped
• 3 celery stalks, chopped
• 1 bunch parsley
I also added 3 cloves of chopped garlic
Combine everything in a big soup pot except the parsley. Let it sit for 30-60 minutes. Heat it slowly and bring to a boil, removing scum that rises to the surface. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer 6-8 hrs. The longer it cooks, the richer it will be. About 10 minutes before you’re done, add the parsley. Strain and reserve in fridge until fat rises and congeals. Skim the fat and store in covered containers in the fridge for up to a week, and a year in the freezer.
I also like to cut the chicken bones into pieces to let the marrow out. (If your parts are too hard or frozen, simply cut them after they’ve simmered a few hours and are soft.)
Now you have a soup stock rich in vitamins, minerals, nutrients, and all the good stuff that you’d have to pay hundreds of dollars to find in supplements. Enjoy!
Love light to you and yours. And if things get rough or don’t go your way (or even if they start looking really bad!) remember:
“Don’t Push, Slide.”