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It sounded like a book falling from the top bunk.  I know that sound well.  When he’s finished, he tosses it over the side.  It hits the ground with a loud thud, even though I’ve reminded him repeatedly that this is not how I wish for him to care for the books in our home.  I’ve even tried, “Books are our friends,” but I don’t think he buys it.

I heard the thud, and I have to admit – I shouted his name.  Not in the way of, “Oh, sweet boy, what was that horrific sound?  Are you okay, cherubim?”  But more in the way of, “For crying out loud, what have I told you about throwing books?!”

But then, a full two seconds later, came the shrieking scream.

I raced up the stairs, taking them two at a time, in that expert way I’ve learned so well.  Tuck met me at the top of the stairs, gasping and pacing in that mindless way any of us will do when pain hits and we’re trying to outrun it.

I knelt on the floor and he collapsed onto me, sprawled across the floor with just his head in my lap.  He gasped in short breath-catching groans, and I saw the purple stripe growing across his back.  It developed like a Polaroid picture: different colors emerged, and finally streaks of wet red.

He had fallen off the top bunk.  And he landed on his back.  On a toppled stool.

And then my son turned yellow. I do believe, for all of my days, I will never take it lightly when I watch someone turn a different color.

And then he coughed, “Mommy, it feels like something is poking me, inside of me.  Inside my ribs.  I feel poking.”

I had visions of punctures and ruptures and long term issues that forbid one from fighting infections twenty years later.

Three hours later, after a visit to an urgent care I know too well, they sent us home with a bandaged wrapped tight around his abdomen, orders to watch for blood in his urine, and instructions on how to care for an abrasion.  Abrasion pretty much means “mean scrape.”

I felt a little stupid. Maybe I’ve become the mom who overreacts.  But my perspective and sense of proportion have altered in some significant ways.

I talk tough, but when it comes down to it, I’m really not that brave at all.

Tricia Lott Williford

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  1. I strongly disagree. You are EXTREMELY brave. If he had stubbed his toe or ONLY had a scrape, you would not have gone to the Urgent Care. A high fall and internal poking are grounds for medical follow-up. Every day you get out of bed and face the day shows how brave you are.

    Also, I love you.

    That is all.

  2. You did the right thing.
    My son fell and hurt his back one time. Had it happened to anyone else’s kid, I would have known exactly what they should do. I am a nurse after all. But since it was my kid, what did I do? Call an ambulance. Seriously. My poor kid had to ride to the hospital in an ambulance.
    Even though it cost us a couple hundred bucks and it was totally unnecessary and I was really embarrassed for overreacting, it’s always better to be safe than sorry when it comes to our kids. My son isn’t paralyzed and yours doesn’t have a ruptured anything. You did the right thing.

  3. You sure as hell are brave, girl!
    So glad he is ok.

  4. You did exactly the right thing. When a child says it feels like something poking inside his ribs you seek immediate medical attention. Broken ribs can be fatal. Never, ever, be afraid to seek medical attention. Always better safe than sorry. Same goes for calling any emergency service.

  5. Glad he’s okay. It was scary to read.

  6. Oh sweet lady… Brave has nothing to do with fear felt. It has more to do with action taken despite fear. Of course, you know this. 🙂 You’re the queen of this.

    I pray he’s okay. And I’d have taken him in too. It was a smart move.

    Your words bless me. <3

  7. When a child talks about it feeling like something is poking him inside, in his ribs, it’s Urgent Care time for most moms, even if they don’t have your perspective on things. You didn’t overreact, Tricia. You played it just right.

    • Agreed

  8. You talk tough because you are tough. But here’s the thing I hate to think about even though it’s true: just because something bad/terrible/horrible/unthinkable has happened, it doesn’t give us immunity against any other thing going awry. Life is relentless. I pray that God will give you just what you need, for anything and whatever, right when you need it. If we have to get on the train, may God be there with the ticket, saving us a seat right beside him, for the journey. Even if there’s another tunnel ahead. I pray this for you. I pray this for me. I pray it for a lot of people….your story has reminded me that I have to be walking close enough to God that I’ll recognize his voice when he says, “Over here. Let’s ride this one out together. I’m with you here.” All the same, I am SO GLAD this injury didn’t involve Tucker’s organs. Sheesh. Does that boy age you as fast as he gives you reasons to fall in love with him?! I love you, Tricia. And I think you’re brave.

  9. Whatever the cost financially and of your time- all worth it for just knowing. So glad he’s ok.

  10. Really scary. I hope everything’s ok.

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