independence day break

Yesterday afternoon while he was playing with his toys, Calvin fell out of his safety bed and fractured his metatarsal, the foot bone that leads to the big toe. The break is more serious because it extends into his growth plate and, we were told by a physician's assistant, it could affect the development of his foot. We spent the good part of two hours this morning having it examined, x-rayed and imobilized in a fiberglass splint wrapped with ace bandages. The physician's assistant told us that Calvin would likely have to keep weight off of it for four to six weeks. That means we'll be spending much of our time thwarting his attempts at standing up, which is already proving to be difficult since all Calvin wants to do—all he really can do—is walk around the house, out in the yard, down the street and up and down stairs. Likely due to drug side effects and their withdrawal, he's not accustomed to sitting still ... ever.

I'm not yet sure how we'll be able to manage doing things like giving him a bath, but maybe after we meet with the orthopedic surgeon later this week we'll get a better idea and, perhaps, a better solution. And since Calvin isn't capable of using crutches, any walking is out of the question. Therefore, we'll be lifting and carrying him everywhere, and using a stroller a lot more than he'd like.

I feel guilty for not pulling the safety netting over his bed. Of late, I've kept the netting down more often, in part because it is so cumbersome but mostly because Calvin has seemed more aware of the danger of standing up in bed. I was wrong.

If I sound unfazed, it is only because of the blog platform. I'm in utter despair and spent much of today in tears. Michael tried to dry them and assuage my guilt. Woody and Lauren validated them. Luke and Sarah wooed them away with their boundless empathy, love and kindness. It is hard to shake the funk, however, when a child so chronically disabled who has to deal with seizures, drug side effects, withdrawal and poor digestion also has to deal with a broken foot. To make matters worse, he likely has no idea why he can't stand up and go where he wants to go. I'm heartsick.

I'm trying to tell myself that we will adjust. But it's hard to swallow just how significantly this will no doubt negatively impact what little independence Calvin and I both had when he could walk.


  1. Is it possible he could have a rigid cast strong enough to let him
    bear weight and keep walking? I hope your doctors can think out of the
    box on this one and find a creative way to help all of you out.

    1. dear A, i am hoping so. crossing my fingers and toes. thank you so much. glad to know you are still out there reading, whoever you are. take care.

  2. Don't beat yourself up. Katie put her finger in the crack of a door once just before another kid slammed the door, almost took her finger off. She also burned her eight fingertips touching the BBQ once. I didn't even know she had done until I put her in the bath that night and she started crying.

    It happens. I hope the docs can figure out a way to make Calvin's life easier while his foot heals. Sending hugs.

  3. I'm really feeling for you. It's another stone on top of the weight that Calvin and your family have to carry. Wishing this passes quickly for all of you. ~Dave

  4. This is one time where you MUST believe that "these things happen." It's awful, but you and Calvin will pull through. Sophie's tibia snapped and broke during a seizure when she was about 12 or so , and we went through much the same. It got better, though. It'll get better.

  5. Sending so much support Christy- to you and Calvin. I hope the docs can come up with a solution that allows you both some mobility. In the mean time take heart that your pals are pulling for you both. xo Jessica

  6. The epilepsy meds cause osteoporosis, which I'm sure you know. I had to figure that our ourselves, after years of Tegretol caused visibly thin teeth (which even the dentist couldn't explain- I don't know why they keep asking about her meds if they don't know how they pertain to dentistry). Make sure your son is getting plenty of vitamin D3 and K2 to counteract AEDs effects on bone metabolism. I believe calcium is not helpful, but am not sure.

    I have plenty of guilt about the injuries that happened because it simply was impossible to prevent everything. We all make constant judgements about risks, recalibrating every minute, if needed. Until society provides families like us with adequate support for kids like ours, we are going to have to make our best judgements with our finite resources. You are doing an incredible job, Christy, keeping it together at home, and still managing to help other families- like ours. Thank you.

  7. You are one of the most attentive Mom's I know. You should have no guilt ( it happens to all of us) but as a loving mother we all carry guilt when our kids get hurt. Watching Calvin through your blogs, I have a feeling he will have less trouble adapting than you will (like most kids) and he will do just fine once you get the permanent cast or splint on. Deep breathes Mamma, this is another bump in the road that you will come out on top off. You are so courageous and strong and the strides that Calvin has made is a product of all that.