Monday, May 14, 2007


I hope you all had a wonderful Mother's Day and if your family didn't look after you the way you were hoping that at least you looked after yourself! I had a wonderful Mother's Day planned. As usual (as it has been for the last 6 years, anyways) my Mother's Day was going to start at the ball diamond. This week end was Vernon's Fastball tournament for Kaetlyn's age group. I was hopeful, though, after getting the schedule. They were playing 2 teams they lost to last week and then two really, really good teams from the coast who would probably go undefeated. Which means that her team probably wouldn't go to playoffs and we would be done with the tournament by noon on Sunday. (great attitude, I know - completely self serving...)

I had told my family that I didn't really want gifts. What I wanted was their time - to be all together and I could really use their help in my garden getting the last beds done as the weather heats up and May 24 fast approaches and my window sills are overgrown with plants needing to be planted outside. Then after working in the garden to go to Juniper Bay (my favourite beach) and have a picnic supper. They were all game (except Erin who had to work but she hates working in the garden and hiking.... so I bet she asked for extra shifts... lol!) and I was really looking forward to it.

Saturday morning started perfectly. Kaetlyn was very eager to get to the tournament. She wanted to be at the diamond by 6:30 to warm up for her 8 am game (everyone else would get there around 7). She wanted to be really on for pitching. She was excited. She loves her team and her coaches. She has been saying how this is her best year - great coaching and a great team. And for her, great coaching means fairness and that she is learning a lot. And it is true. I would say it is her best year, too.

I watched the game until 9am when I left to go and coach Rhiannon's t-ball team. Our practise started at 10am but I had to pick up gear and get organized. I rushed home after and got ready to go to Kaetlyn's next game which was at noon and it was now 11:30. I never check messages when I am only home to leave again quickly but I checked the call display. There were several 'unknown name, unknown number' calls. And I knew. I knew in a way that a mother knows. I listened to the last message. It was Erin. Kaetlyn was in emergency. She's broken her ankle.

So I rushed to the hospital with Rhiannon nagging me about speeding... There she was in the ER, with tears running out of the corner of her eyes. And she wasn't crying from pain. She was crying because she let her team down and now she won't be playing ball for the rest of the season. Or umpiring. I asked to see the x-rays and they showed me. Her fibula had a spiral fracture and it was displaced and the bottom of her tibia called the malleolus was broken on the lateral side but not displaced. She needed surgery to set the fibula. They would put a very small plate in for the fibula and a screw in for the malleolus.

So do you realize that 6 years ago, when Mother's Day was on May 13, I broke both my tibial plateaux on a Sunday morning. And here she breaks the other end of her tibia on May 12 - 2 days after she turns 16!

But I digress.... I stayed with her and held her hand. By 1:30 they had her upstairs in a room. By 2pm they discharged her because the OR was so backed up (normal conditions since the wonderful Gordon Campbell government) and they wouldn't have time to get her in - maybe for 3 or 4 days.... So they sent her home with a prescriptions for T3's with her ankle in a splint. But it was several hours of agony that didn't let up. I was by her side constantly with her clutching on to me as it hurt. Nothing could distract her from the pain and the T3's didn't touch it. So we got all ready to go back in. I sponge bathed her and packed things for her to do and she got into he own pj's.

Back at the hospital they were wonderful. The did some fancy footwork and just erased from the computer that she ever left and got her back upstairs in a hurry. Up there it took 2 and a half hours and 3 doses of morphine an hour apart along with some gravol to get her so she wasn't writhing in pain. Her blood pressure started to climb and her blood sugars were all over. So I slept the night on a fold out chair that was actually quite comfortable and tested her blood every 2 hours and watched over her. I think the nurse that night did some insisting because first thing the next morning they got her into surgery.

There were so many miracles throughout this ordeal. Like the nurse on duty the first afternoon she was admitted was a mother of boy in Kaeltyn's class and she has known her since she was 7. And she was her nurse when she was diagnosed with diabetes and spent a week up there, too. When we came back, our nurse was Gobby, my friend Karen's good friend whose daughter is in my dance class. They were so kind to her. Our night nurse, Yolanda, although we didn't know her before, she was so incredibly kind to Kaetlyn and took her pain seriously. Kaetlyn is a really tough kid. Last week end I watched her take a line drive to the shin while pitching and she shook it off and hardly missed a beat. So when she says it hurts, it really hurts! When they wheeled her down to the OR the Dr who met her there who was assisting the surgeon was the father of a girl she has played ball with since she was 10. And the nurse in recovery was also the mom of kids she knew who Kaetlyn has known since she was very young. Everywhere they knew her and cared about her and Kaetlyn felt loved and supported. It was no coincidence, I am sure. And she let herself need me and called me mommy and clung on to me and I held her hand. And when they opened up her ankle they discovered that the malleolus was only cracked - 2 or 3 small cracks but it was not broken off. This is a major weight bearing bone so this was very good news. The surgery went really well - it was better than they had anticipated. I am sure that is because of all the prayers and loving energy sent her way. I think this break is a very symbolic thing. She is breaking with a past of being alone with her diabetes - a past of hating her diabetes - a past of feeling cursed by her diabetes - a past of feeling unloved and disconnected. As I held her through all of this and we clung to each other, I could feel generations of stuff slipping away - generations of the mother/daughter rift from my side of the family and generations of not looking after the body from her dad's side of the family. This morning when I woke up, I awoke thinking that her name is so significant. I named her for my sister Katie (Katherine) who I always saw as being so strong and, unlike me, was able to break away from family patterns to have more of her own life.

And it wasn't such a bad Mother's Day. I sat with Kaetlyn most of the time. She slept peacefully and I knitted and read and wrote in my journal. The room was very quiet, the sun shone through the windows. I made phone calls to update people. And at home my boys cleaned the house. I went and bought some organic, probiotic yogurt and some dried fruit (all those years of avoiding antibiotics and she has had 3 bags of them as the hospital's standard surgery procedure) and went home so Dean could drop me off and keep the van. Rhiannon stayed and played some Uno with Kaetlyn. Dean came back at 7pm and took me home for Mother's Day dinner with an ice cream cake (his favourite). I called and Kaetlyn was doing well and it was okay with her if I slept at home. I went to bed at 8pm. Now it is back to the hospital. They will be releasing her this morning. We'll take a cab home when she is ready while Dean works. And then I am going to be 'on call'. Worse things could happen....

Thank you so much everyone! Your love and support has meant more than you will ever know!

6 comments: said...

I'm glad she's ok. I always thought katie was strong too. strong and brave!

beetlemack said...

i'm glad she's ok too.

katie said...

wow--i can't believe they just sent her home at first. everybody should have to experience a broken bone like that in order to qualify them to make such a decision. and i really do not know what you are talking about.

Sarahstottle said...

Give her a big hug for me!!! Poor girl.

beetlemack said...

you mean the mother-daughter rift? yah i was confused about that too.

Andrea said...

Well, Katie, I think you are strong and I have always admired you... and as for the mother/daughter rift, I was talking about myself and not anyone else. I see a mother/daughter rift. Mom and grandma B have never been exactly close and grandma B has not much good to say about her own mother. And I've never really felt close to mom either. I've thought a lot about that and I've been afraid it would happen between me and my daughters.