We had a rough day on Friday.
A day where Pete – home alone with the kids – managed to break his arm.
After Sage and Lupine ran for ice packs and and arnica and the hurriedly made phone calls to me and various neighbor-friends (I was at work, some 20 minutes away) we managed to get him to the emergency room for x-rays and splinting.
After several hours, plenty of pain (and even more worry), and lots of support from our friends and community, Pete had his bones more or less back where they belong and a temporary splint in place until the swelling reduces enough for a proper cast in a couple of weeks.
On the way home we picked up Rescue Remedy, pain pills, frozen pizzas, ice cream, and more arnica.
(Because sometimes a crisis calls for the whole gamut, don't you think?)
We debriefed as a family, talking through the big feeling that the event stirred up for us all. And then we fell into a fitful sleep, exhausted from the day but still full of adrenaline from all that had unfolded.
And then, just like that, it was Saturday.
And like magic, like always, the sun came up once more.
The sun came up on a scruffy little farm with animals that still needed food and water and care; meals that still needed preparing; dishes that still needed washing.
And so we put down our worries and picked up our boots and got to work.
We worked together, the kids and I, without complaint. It took longer than usual, but we got it done. Even without Pete. Even worried; even tired; even overwhelmed.
And somehow between the doses of pain medicine and doses of herbs; between ice packs and experiments with arm elevation strategies; between dishes and hay bales and water troughs, we exhaled.
It was a long and slow (though still unsteady) exhale, but it was an exhale none the less.
And then we started crunching numbers. Because sometimes a crisis calls for that, too.
As you likely know, we're self-employed. As you may not know, for us (and many other small business owners) that also means we are uninsured. We live in a strange no-man's land, making too much money to qualify for affordable healthcare, and too little to afford any healthcare all.
And so a trip to the ER is something that I worry about almost constantly (along with lots of other things). And month after month, year after year we bite our lips and throw the dice, hoping to come out on top. Usually we do. But not always. Like on Friday for example.
We hung out with our Amish friends this weekend and they gave us an idea of what to expect from the bill that is soon to arrive. We shared some much needed laughter as they described their reply to the hospital when they were told they had to pay their bill online. ("Well, we have a clothesline. Should we hang the check out back?")
I was so grateful for the diversion of laughter and the feeling of kinship we shared – despite our obvious differences – as we discussed hospitals, payment plans, clothesline humor, and herbal remedies for bone healing.
So for now, I guess, I'll just keep digging in on farm chores, distracting myself with making of every sort, and keep hoping for a gentle landing when that bill arrives.
Mostly though today I am grateful for a husband who is (more or less) still in one piece, helpful friends who cared for us in our hour of need, and Western medicine.
Because when you break an arm, hot dang if Western medicine isn't the most marvelous thing.
And would you look at that? Pete's already helping out with farm chores again.