Sunday, May 22, 2011
Today began as most Sundays, with a nice family breakfast, some play time with the kids, showers and dressing for church, and then putting the kids down for an early nap before church. We had to go in a little early today to meet with the bishop of our new ward, so we had to cut the kids' naps a little short and bring some lunch for them. After our interviews, David stepped outside to make a phone call. Liliana and Emmett were trying to find ways to entertain themselves while we waited for church to start (which wouldn't happen for about 20 more minutes). Emmett began turning the hall lights off and on - which I didn't particularly approve of, since many other people were using the hallway at that time. I grabbed his hand and started walking away from the light switch, but he decided he wanted to continue playing with them and became a dead weight as he dropped to the floor and tried to twist away from me. As soon as he hit the floor, he started screaming and I knew immediately he had pulled his elbow ligament out of place. How did I know, you ask - because I used to pull my elbow very frequently as a little girl, as did my brother and one of my nephews, and I could see Emmett instantly hold his arm to his side and stop moving it. To test my theory, I pulled out a granola bar and held it out to my little crying boy, while holding his right hand. He wouldn't even attempt to reach for it with his left hand. At this point Liliana decided to start flipping her dress over her head and asking for her own granola bar very loudly. I was worried about Emmett, who was still bawling and I hadn't seen David in awhile and I was feeling a little less than patient with Liliana's shenanigans. After several more minutes, Emmett had only slightly calmed and I was certain he had nursemaid's elbow. I went outside in search of David, with a sad sad boy in my arms and dragging Liliana behind me. Emmett began to calm down, but was still very clingy and refused to move his arm. He would whimper and cry if anyone bumped or moved it. Once I spotted David in the parking lot, I frantically flailed at him to come over. I explained what had happened and asked him to help me locate some medical professionals that we knew were in our new ward. The only problem was, neither of us knew what they looked like. After some time and several attempts by various ward members to help us track down someone who could help Emmett, we began looking up urgent care and walk-in clinics in the area on David's phone. Of course his battery was low, so we didn't get very far with that. We started asking around and received a few suggestions for clinics to try that might be open on Sunday. We were standing in the nursery watching Emmett eat snacks one-handed and trying desperately to figure out what to do. I was supposed to be speaking in sacrament meeting in about 45 minutes, so I wasn't going to be able to take him. David plugged his phone in to the car charger and got enough "juice" to try calling a couple of the suggested clinics. One was closed, another one said they couldn't help and we'd have to go to the ER. Finally a chiropractor in the ward who had experience with nursemaid elbow was tracked down and he attempted several times to "pop" Emmett's elbow back into place, but it didn't work. David was about to try driving to some other clinic when we got stopped by a member of the bishopric in the hall and were asked if we had a few minutes. We explained the situation and he said he'd keep it short. I was asked to be the compassionate service leader for the relief society. I accepted the assignment, although I felt overwhelmed at trying to help meet the needs of people in the ward while knowing very few individuals or resources in the area. It was now minutes before sacrament meeting and I had to run grab Liliana from her class, grab my scriptures and notes for my talk, and get on the stand. As I walked into the chapel, the same brother from the bishopric who had extended my calling came down from the stand and asked if I needed someone to sit with Liliana while I spoke since David was taking care of Emmett and possibly leaving any minute. I gratefully accepted and he quickly arranged for Liliana to sit with a nice little family while I took my place on the stand. Needless to say, I was more than a little distracted by the time it was my turn to speak, but several people told me that my talk went well. Church was over and I collected Liliana and found David and Emmett - still there - waiting for us. A few people stopped to chat with me about my new assignment and then I was invited to be set apart. By the time we were headed out, church had been over for about 45 minutes. I felt so bad for Emmett. We stopped at the first walk in clinic we saw, but they said they don't see kids under 10. They told us to go to the ER. Having suffered with frequent pulled elbows as a kid, I knew that it was a quick fix if we could find someone with experience doing it and I hated to make Emmett wait for hours more in the ER. Emmet fell asleep on the ride home and once there I ran in and called a nurse line. They recommended a few more clinics in the area, but one of them was closed and the other was the third clinic to tell us to go to the ER. A sister from the ward had tried to call twice while I was making these other calls, so I quickly listened to the messages she had left. In the first she said she had heard about our son and wanted to know if she could bring us dinner. In the second message she said she was making a double batch of dinner and wanted to know when she could bring it over. I was so surprised and grateful. It was getting late and I was still dealing with Emmett's crisis and hadn't even thought about food for my family yet. I quickly called her back and thanked her and gave her our address. I told her about our dilemma with the clinics and she told me of one not too far that she knew was open late and that took young children. I called them immediately and they said to come right down. David hurried over with Emmett. They hadn't been out the door more than a moment when my phone rang again. This time it was the Relief Society President and she was putting me to work in my calling already. A sister in the ward needed a ride to Seattle for a doctor's appointment the next day. I hung up with the president and called the sister to get the details on the time and location of the appointment and while I was talking to her my doorbell rang. I asked her to hold a moment while I answered the door. It was the other sister delivering dinner. I thanked her profusely and then returned to my phone, to find the call had dropped. After several attempts to call the sister back who needed a ride, I gave up and sent her a text message, which she eventually responded to. I fed Liliana the delicious dinner we had been given and got her ready for bed. Emmett and David came back from the clinic and Emmett was back to his old self. In fact, it seemed as if he was trying to make up for a full day's missed playtime in the 10 minutes we let him run around between eating his dinner and putting him to bed! Now it is late and I'm exhausted from this overwhelmingly crazy day. I am so thankful to the members of our new ward who tried so hard to help us with our trials today, and especially for that special sister who reached out to a total stranger in our unexpected time of need and provided us with a meal and the solution to our problem. God really does answer our prayers - even before we have time to utter them - but it usually happens through someone else. Whose prayer can I help answer tomorrow?