Tuesday, November 2, 2010

In Which Things Plummet Downhill

Well today was . . . interesting.

And by “interesting,” I mean “insert your choice of inappropriate language here.” It started okay and then veered dramatically off course and ended up in a ditch. Literally.

So this morning was all right, other than the fact that Connor decided he wasn’t going to get out of bed—probably due to the issue that he’d stayed up until midnight. I swear the kid has jumped straight to the teenage years as far as sleep habits go; he must be trying to prepare us for when Ellen gets here. He played the “no really I’m still asleep” card while I was trying to get him dressed, which makes for a fun time: kind of like trying to put clothes on a bag of wet sand. Anyway, he had a relatively uneventful school day and came home happy, though very tired. I put him to bed and he had a relatively decent nap.  There he is pre-nap, looking very dashing (and sleepy) with one of his art projects for the day perched at a jaunty angle on his head.

So then we were off to speech therapy. We got about halfway there and were rolling down the highway when Connor started having a seizure. This one wasn’t very long—maybe two minutes, and was of the jerking-but-thankfully-still-breathing variety, but it still necessitated pulling over to the shoulder and getting him out of the chair, which is never fun. After it was over I turned around and drove home, where I put Saddy McSadkin down for the second nap of the day.

Nap number two was fairly short and the little guy woke up refreshed and in pretty good spirits. It was a gorgeous day outside, and so I thought that a fun, low-energy (on his part) activity might be to hit the Puyallup Foothills Trail with the wheelchair and my roller skates. Connor and I drove out to the trailhead and I strapped him in tightly and put his helmet on before gearing up myself. Then we were off! We went down a smooth, fairly level section of the trail for about half an hour without incident and then turned around. Connor seemed to be thoroughly enjoying himself—he would laugh with delight whenever we went around a curve or over a bump.

We were coming down a very gentle hill about two thirds of the way back towards the trailhead when Connor’s wheelchair ran over a stick. It lodged in the spokes of his right front wheel and the wheelchair jerked abruptly to the right, wrenching the wheelchair out of my hands.

To my horror Connor’s chair plummeted over the side of the trail and into a ditch, where it flipped forward and landed upside down in a blackberry bush.

I sprinted down into the ditch (not an easy thing to do in roller skates) and pulled Connor’s chair upright. Thanks to his harness and helmet the little guy was totally unscathed except for a couple of scrapes on his cheek from the blackberry brambles, but of course he was terrified. I checked him from head to toe, got him calmed down and then took off my skates so I could get enough traction to haul the wheelchair out of the ditch and back onto the paved trail. Then it was a long walk back to the car while Connor periodically made me feel even more horrible by signing such lovely things as “Connor sad. Mommy hurt Connor. Want Daddy.”

We got all the way back to the car and I reached down for my car keys. They’d been right on the top of everything in the bottom of his wheelchair basket, so it seemed odd that I had to dig for them. And for that matter, where was my cell phone? It should have been right next to my keys . . .

Connor was not particularly happy when we turned around to go back down the trail.

Thirty minutes later I managed to find the exact spot where we’d gone off the road and miraculously my keys and cell phone were sitting in plain sight on a little hillock of marsh grass not six inches from each other, completely surrounded by water. So we were able to actually get home, which was nice. It was a very near thing though, and I believe that marks the permanent end of Connor’s Outdoor Skating Adventures.

So we went home where Connor went down for his third nap of the day and I seriously considered joining him. Instead I decided to make dinner; I wanted to use up the last of the tomatoes and peppers from our CSA program and I figured that chicken quesadillas would be the perfect entrée. Unfortunately I’d forgotten that the peppers were jalapeños, a fact I rediscovered when I got an eyelash in my eye. I highly recommend not rubbing your eyes just after cutting a bunch of jalapeno peppers. This is a Very Bad Idea. My eyes have stopped watering enough that I can see enough to type now, but I’m going to look like I’ve had some sort of Horrible Tragedy for a while. The one plus side to discovering that the peppers were in fact jalapenos was that I managed to scrape most of them off before eating the quesadilla. I had three on there, and of course CSA jalapenos, like the rest of the produce from local farms, have a lot more flavor than what you typically get in the grocery store. It would not have been pretty.

The ends of my fingers are still burning whenever I wash my hands, though. I’m not particularly looking forward to taking my contacts out tonight.



Mary said...

Ugh. Sounds like a No Good Very Bad Day. I'm sorry Jess. :(

Julia O'C said...

Well. Glad that day is over!

I think it's kind of cool though that when things suck for you, there's always a little bright spot in there somewhere. I mean, yeah, Connor had a seizure and that's AWFUL, but he didn't stop breathing. The wheelchair crash - obviously horrendous and horrible but you're both [physically] okay and your keys and cellphone weren't lost forever. And the jalepeno...well, um, you weren't permanently blinded!

I'm sorry, Jess. Hope today is a MUCH better day.

Julia said...

Yuck. Glad that one's over. How many of these jerky seizures has he had now? Is this a trend?

I'm so glad neither of you were hurt on the trail. Doesn't sound like it had anything to do with the skating -- just a stick in the wrong place at the wrong time.

I gotta say, as much as it must have stung at the time (and I'm not talking about the jalapenos), those communications by Connor ("Mommy hurt Connor") show a very sophisticated sense of agency and cause and effect. I've never gotten a good feel for what sort of cognitive delays (if any) he has, but that's very encouraging.

leah said...

Oh my goodness- I was reading the section about Connor taking a Great Big Flying Leap Into the Ditch and I realized I had my hand clamped over my mouth in horror. I am so glad no one was really hurt, and that his helmet and harness kept him safe! May those wayward sticks stay out of your way in the future!

Here's to a MUCH better day today.

Teal said...

YUCK!!! I am so sorry for your terrible, rotten, no good, very bad day. But so thankful that Connor was ok through it all. You deserve a LONG nap! Thinking about ya'll!

Wherever HE Leads We'll Go said...

Sounds like a good day to put behind you! UGH!

Leah said...

Oil or fat neutralizes the hotness. First wash your hands in oil - canola, olive, whatever you have. I rub my hands together in a lot of it, then wash with soap, and repeat several times.

Then, use full fat milk to rinse the stuff out of your eye. You can just lean over the sink and pour a little milk in a cup and just hold the cup up to your eye and blink a lot. It really helps!! When it happened to me I only had goat milk, which isn't very high in fat, but it still worked.

ANewKindOfPerfect said...

What a day!! Ugh ... that must have been terrifying to have him flip like that. I am so glad he is okay! I hope you get the jalapeno off your fingers somehow. I have done the eyelash in the eye thing and OUCH it hurts.

Bugg's mama said...

What a nightmare, oh, my goodness. I have a 4 year old son in a wheelchair and I can't imagine how that accident must have been for you both!

Nice to meet you!

Love, Bree

AliciaD said...

So glad Connor (and you) are ok, even if it was a terrible day.

And I fully sympathize with the bit about jalepenos. I never thought they bothered me until this last time when I touched my mouth. My entire lower half of my face and nose BURNED for a couple of hours. Finally, yogurt mixed with baking soda did the trick.

Just a warning - washing with water or splashing anything on your face can cause it to spread. That's what happened to me.

I hope the rest of the week is better for you.

xraevision said...

Oh my goodness, Jess! I had a quick sinking feeling when I started reading the paragraph about Connor in his chair, you on your skates and a STICK. I had to skip to the end to make sure that you were all relatively well. Whew! What a story. Better day for both of you tomorrow!

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