I breezed out of my afternoon meeting, feeling buoyed, despite the rain and threatening weather outside, by the fact that it had concluded early leaving me with some bonus time I hadn’t expected in an otherwise booked schedule. As I walked into my office, I heard one of the assistants say, “Oh, she’s just walked in. I’ll connect you right away.”
Then, Adventure Guy was on the line saying, “Now don’t panic, but…”
Has that statement ever prevented anyone from panicking? If so, that person is not I, especially when he followed that part with, “but Joe White just called.” Joe White is the president of the camps that my kids are attending right now. He’s a great guy, but he doesn’t call parents in the middle of the afternoon to just chat about how things are going.
Dancer Girl was in an accident on the lake this afternoon. She was tubing when they hit the wake wrong and she flipped, injuring her back. At the time Adventure Guy and I first spoke, she was back at camp being evaluated by the on duty pediatrician. She was walking but feeling tingling sensations in her extremities. The word was they’d keep us posted.
I went to the bathroom and cried, unable to keep visions of my beautiful 14-year-old daughter as a paraplegic out of my mind.
I had another meeting, then ironically I needed to go pick up the preview shots of our recent family photo session. Her smiling face in the pictures made the wait even worse. I stocked up on Swedish Fish, my current drug of choice, on the way home.
As I began cooking dinner, the phone rang again. This time, the call came from the emergency room physician. The camp doctor wanted Dancer Girl to have further tests to be certain he hadn’t missed anything. By the time we heard, Dancer Girl had undergone a cat scan, which looked normal. Because of her age, though, he planned to do an MRI as well. Adventure Guy asked how Dancer Girl was doing. I could hear the reply through the phone line, “She’s scared.”
I just about lost it at that point. My baby, no matter how old she is, was at a hospital undergoing scary tests without me. And there was absolutely nothing I could do to make that better. Fortunately, the doctor said he’d get a phone in to her so that we could talk. I had a few minutes to compose myself before she came on the line.
I could hear how hard she was trying not to cry, to be brave. I told her how much we loved her, that it was okay to be scared but that it sounded like the doctors were just being careful. I found out that her counselor and one of the camp nurses were there with her. That was about all I could stand to do without breaking down again myself, so I turned things back over to Adventure Guy.
Then we waited. For a long time.
Finally, we received another call from the emergency room. The MRI looked completely normal as well. Dancer Girl should be discharged in about half an hour. We’ll get a call when she’s on her way back to camp.
And, unlike the others, that’s a call I’ll be happy to get.