I should probably follow up yesterday’s post with a What I Did On My Summer Vacation flashback.
In July, Hero got hit by a car.
As anyone who knows her can tell you, that child is an incredibly independent soul. Where most of her friends sit around waiting for their parents to drive them hither or yon, if she wants to see someone, she gets on her bike and goes. Fortunately most of her friends live within two miles of the house, and she rides mostly on the sidewalks (because heaven forfend that bicycles get any respect as a mode of transport. But that’s a rant for another day.) So on this particularly lovely Thursday in July, she was out visiting, and I was waiting for her to get home, as it was her night to make dinner. She had wanted to try deep frying, and we had found a deep fryer at the thrift store that we were looking forward to testing out. But it was getting late, and she wasn’t home, so I was getting cranky. She has a bad habit of being late getting home, despite my reminders of both the carrot and stick variety. So when her name came up on my phone, I was ready to lay into her. What she said stopped me cold. “Mom, I’m really sorry to bother you and I know I’m late, but I just got hit by a car. Could you come?”
I scared the boys, who were both in the living room at the time, as I raced out the door. I remembered my keys, wallet and phone, thankfully, as I’d be needing them all over the next couple of hours. She wasn’t far, just at the train station a few blocks from the house, but I took the car anyway just in case. They were right at the entrance to the station, and as I whipped into the nearest spot, I could see she was sitting up on the curb and that there didn’t seem to be any blood. She was shaken, though. A couple of young men helped bring her bike over as an older woman came to talk to me. I don’t even remember what she said, other than that she’d been so scared she wet her pants. Which I could see the truth of. One of the young men offered her a pair of sweat pants.
Tangentially, I love these guys. I don’t know who they are, but if I ever find them again, I’m making them cookies. You see, there are two Pokestops for Pokemon Go right near the station, and one of them is kind of a hangout for the local players. People put lures on both of them and can sit around in the park talking to each other and catching Pokemon. Hero and I had both done it ourselves the week before. These guys, though, had been out playing, saw what happened, and immediately came over to help. Don’t ever bitch to me about Pokemon Go being a distraction and a waste of time. It gets people out into the world, and more people in the world is a good thing.
The police showed up shortly thereafter, got our information and called an ambulance for us. She hadn’t hit her head, but she insists that the car rolled over her leg. She certainly had the scrapes to indicate it, although I’m not sure how her leg wasn’t broken if it had. What we were able to figure out from the conversation is the driver didn’t see Hero riding on the sidewalk and went to turn right into traffic. By the time Hero realized the car wasn’t stopping, it was too late for her to stop. Fortunately they were both going slowly, or this story could have been a lot worse.
We left the officer to deal with the driver and got in the ambulance for Hero’s first ambulance ride and X-ray. She did a great job holding it together until we were waiting in the hall for the x-ray tech. She felt so bad to be crying, but I talked to her about shock and that she was going to be fine. And she was. I hated not being able to hold her hand while she was getting the x-ray, but it didn’t take very long, and she was good.
In the end, it looked like just a sprain on the top of her foot (not her ankle), so they gave her a wrap and an ice pack and sent us home with instructions to see the family doctor in a few days. She was not happy to be sidelined in the middle of the summer, but she did like having permission to basically live on the couch. She even slept there every night! The PA at the doctor’s office confirmed the sprain and just told her to keep off it until it didn’t hurt.
Except it didn’t stop hurting.
She was getting around okay, so when we went camping, she just did her thing. We aren’t hugely active when we camp, but we did do a couple of light hikes and a lot of swimming and bike riding. And then school started and it was still hurting, so we went back to the doctor. This time we got to see our GP, who ordered an MRI. Joy. Memories of my claustrophobic MRIs danced in my head, so I warned Hero as much as I could. Except she didn’t have her head in the thing, and she got good music, so basically I came off as a big whiner. I’m okay with that. Once the doctor looked at the results, she recommended we go to an orthopedist, so I got an appointment at CHOP. He looked at the results as well, and saw definite swelling along the bones of her second toe still. He said it could just be healing slowly, but the swelling could be hiding a break, so he put her in a boot. Now she was not a happy camper. No biking, no swimming, and she had to stay in it unless she was sleeping or bathing. This was the day before their placement tests in swimming class at school. But on the plus side, now she has extra time to get to her classes, and she gets a set of elevator keys for the duration.
She has another week of the boot. We go back to CHOP on Monday, when they’ll either release her or do another set of x-rays to get a better sense of what’s going on. She has everything crossed for the first, but she says it still hurts, so I’m betting she’ll have some more time in the boot. Not what an active teenager wants to hear. After my experience last summer, I can totally sympathize.
The driver’s insurance company has been very good so far. They gave us replacement money for her bike right away, and then gave a generous “pain and suffering” settlement. I’ve stuck that in her savings, and with the exception of her new computer, she’s not touching it until college. And they keep paying her medical bills without complaint, a pleasant surprise considering the unexpected MRI. Which is all I can ask.
If it had to happen, this was probably the best way it could. We both feel really lucky, and while she’s not scared to bike, it has made her a bit more cautious. But I would always choose for it to not have happened. That is the kind of phone call no parent ever wants to get.