There is absolutely nothing worse as a parent than seeing your child in pain. You feel so incredibly helpless and would stop at nothing to take the pain away.
On Saturday we were on our way to the school for a family event. We rode the bikes because that's our usual weekend mode of transportation. Ollie ride in a baby seat on Derek's bike, and Owen rides on a cushion on the back of my bike. This practice is incredibly common amongst expats here. Owen is a very good bike rider: he holds on well, keeps his feet on the foot rests, and he doesn't wiggle around. Until Saturday.
On the ride to school, he became distracted by a trash fire* right next to the road. He must have turned around just slightly to see it better, and his foot got pulled into the spokes of my back tire. I stopped immediately and got his foot out of the spokes and got his shoe off his foot. It looked horrible. I shouted for Derek, but he was already too far ahead to hear me with the noise of the highway so close. I had no other choice but to have Owen hold on and petal the rest of the way to school to get a taxi to take us to the hospital.
Owen did a great just of staying calm and following directions in an emergency. About two minute later, we were at the school, and Derek scooped Owen off the back of my bike and was carrying him towards the taxis. I gathered Oliver and the helmets and ran to catch up. Within 10 minutes (which felt like an hour), we were at Family Medical in District 1. I had called ahead, so they were ready for us with a wheel chair and a bed in the emergency area.
The pediatric special was there within minutes ordering pain reliever and an x-ray. He looked it over and happily announced that Owen would not need a skin graft. (In my head I thought, "wait, that was a concern!?!") The doctor looked at the shoes Owen was wearing and noted to me that his Keen sandals we make him wear on the bike (instead of flip flops) may have saved his foot. Apparently, when kids wear flip flops the foot stops the wheel from turning instead of the shoe. The doctor was right. Owen's x-rays all came back clean. His horribly purple, hugely swollen foot was "just" bruised with a few layers of skin missing. (I'll save you from THAT picture...)
The nurse taught me how to clean the wound and change the bandages and then sent us on our way with orders to keep him off his foot for a couple of days and to try to keep it elevated. That's it. It could have been so much worse. I am so glad we always made him wear those shoes despite his protests.
I'm so proud of how well Owen has handled this. He kept himself together and didn't really even cry until we had made in all the way to the hospital. He's been good about sitting still and keeping his foot elevated too. Kids are stronger than they are given credit for. Me, well, I'm a wreck. I hardly slept at all last night replaying the even in my subconscious. Ugh. I probably won't sleep again until that wound has healed. I am so thankful it wasn't worse.
I don't think we will be riding the bike again for a while, and when we get home this summer, we will be in the market for set of wheel covers.
*A very common practice in this part of the world is to simply burn garbage once its accumulated a bit. There is no public dump to speak of or even any sort of trash services, so people just throw things away on the side of the road. Then, every couple of months or so, someone comes along and rakes it all together, and burns it. Plastic, styrofoam, shoes, you name it, it gets burned. It's a horrible practice, but that's just how it is done here. It may be that I grew up in a very dry climate, but I still panic a little every time I see another fire in someone's yard from our apartment window.