My 16-year-old son, Forest, broke his leg during a soccer game a couple weeks ago, and he had to have surgery the next day. He’s in a full length cast for the next eight weeks and will require a six month recovery. Not only is soccer season kaput, but also basketball season and possibly tennis in the spring. While the surgery wasn’t complicated, the fracture went through his growth plate, which is of concern, as this could possibly slow/stop growth in that leg.

Yet, it’s funny how in the midst of what is a seemingly difficult and challenging time I can feel so full of gratitude.

I’m grateful that I was there when it happened and could take care of Forest and get him to the hospital quickly.

I’m grateful for his friends on the varsity team who carried him to my car and got him in the passenger seat.

I’m grateful to the incredibly nice people in the ER who came and got him into a wheelchair, brought him immediately to triage, and then to a stretcher so he didn’t have to sit in the waiting room for even a minute.

I’m grateful to live in a small town where we knew the ER doc, a paramedic in the ER, and the orthopedist on call (who was heading to the soccer game himself before being called in for Forest).

I’m grateful for x-rays that allowed us to know that his leg was broken, for pain relievers that allowed him to endure the excruciating pain he was in, for anesthesia which enabled him to withstand surgery so that his leg could be realigned and screwed in place.

I’m grateful for all the health care providers before, during and after surgery; for the careful, thoughtful surgeon, Tom Crowe, and the success of the surgery, and for the kindness, support, and helpfulness of everyone involved at the hospital.

I’m grateful to the Asian restaurant that made avocado rolls for Forest (his favorite dinner) so that he had a treat to eat that night.

I’m grateful to the pharmacist who gave me some extra info on Vicodin that was useful.

I’m grateful to Forest’s girlfriend, Tierney, who rushed to the hospital and was with him all night and who skipped school to come to the hospital for the surgery; who cleaned his room and continues to help him every day. Forest’s spirits are good thanks to her.

I’m grateful to Tierney’s mom, who made us dinner the night of the surgery, and dad, who came to visit Forest afterward.

I’m grateful to friends who have called to check in with him and me, and who have also brought us food over the past several days.

I’m grateful that everyone at Forest’s school is being so kind, helpful, supportive, and caring; that they’ve switched rooms for his classes that would otherwise require going up stairs, and that they’re thinking of him and trying to support his shifts into other activities.

I’m grateful it’s not worse. Our friend the paramedic told us in the ER about how her husband was the first responder several weeks ago when a rogue wave from a recent hurricane dragged a 7-year-old girl into the ocean. Although he did everything he could, the girl did not survive. When she told us this story as we were awaiting the orthopedist, everything was momentarily put into perspective.

I’m grateful I didn’t faint (almost) or throw up (almost) at the description of the surgery and the potential complications.

I’m grateful that we have health insurance.

I’m grateful for Forest’s incredibly good attitude. I haven’t heard him complain once.

~ Zoe

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