A Rollar Coaster for Sure

The trip to Six Flags was a rollar coaster of highs and lows indeed.   My sweet boy was elated to go.  When you have Duchenne’s muscular dystrophy, you degenerate a little every day.   I try to make the most out of the saying carpe diem.  We seize the day to make it a good one.   We made a pact to try the rides he felt comfortable with doing.  Ones that would not load his spine to worsen compression fractures from the osteopenia and osteoporosis.   We thought we had a plan.   Lot’s of big “football” type boys and ride workers helped me load him into some rides.


Sombrero, check.   Log ride, check.   Tobogan, check.   Bubba tubs, check, check and check.   He loved those.  He was doing okay.  We were into about the seventh ride when disaster struck.   When we were lifting him into the Scrambler, the seat was higher than we thought.  His leg bent at an angle higher than his hip.   SMACK, CRACK, a shriek of pain he cried out.   Harrison never complains!  I knew something was instantly wrong.   He was in agony and tears.

I felt like the worst mother in the world, trying to show him a good time and now this.   He was hurt!    We tried to get through the rest of the day.   I so wanted to deny that anything was wrong.  He did too.  But to no avail.  He was just miserable.   The nurse in me knew.   Something was broken.   Surely.

We got through the night, but in the morning, when he was still hurting, it was time for the ER.   We sat, fully of anxiety and fear of the unknown.   I advocated for an IV and some IV Morphine for pain relief prior to the x-rays.  The ER doc agreed.    His pain was at the top of the scale, as he bravely mucked through the testing.    Some wonderfully, gentle ER techs carefully lifted my boy to the stretcher.

The first x-rays were negative.  Pelvis and hips intact.  But the doc just didn’t believe it.  She knew something was amiss.   And, it was.   Further x-rays revealed a buckle fracture to the neck of the femur.   My spirit was crushed for him.   I was terrified about what kind of long term healing that meant.   It was not surgically repairable!    They were talking about six weeks in a spica-sitting hard cast.  How could I possibly lift that?   What about work?   I would be broke!   The housepayment.  I surely didn’t have six weeks of paid time off.

I felt the bottom drop out of my courage stronghold.  I felt broken, helpless, and hopeless for him.   I began to pray.    Would God pick up the yolk?  Surely this was too much.

As his father arrived and I shared the news, Dr. Wong phoned.  She was visiting with the orthopedic surgeons about options.    With the osteopenia these boys endure, bone healing would be a challenge.

What to do. . . . and then a disposition was given.   No surgery.  No casting.   It would have to heal on its own.   Just gentle care and lifting.   No stretches or adduction inward of the leg.  Just TLC and pain meds.

TLC.  Meds.  I could do that.   I had a week of vacation to just be a Mom to my son.   I could do that.   By some miracle, some interventions from above, we were going to get through it.   My mother always told me that God would never send me anything that I could not handle.   Sometimes, I am pushed to the brink fighting this disease.  It nearly breaks me.   This event nearly did.   But that is what motivates me to keep going.   To keep blogging.  To keep writing.  To keep peddling as fast as I can.   My boy and his indomitable spirit.