About a week and a half ago Ms Piggy took a tumble down a few steps. I was finishing unpacking – there were a few boxes still upstairs. Ms Piggy was up there with me, and I usually leave her there for a few moments by herself with no problem. Also, she’s never had any issues with taking the stairs.
She decided to follow me – no biggie – except that somehow or other, she fell. I heard three thunks, it took me all of a second to get over to her and by the time I got there, she was crawling down the steps. No crying, no anything, so I assumed she was alright. Until I picked her up. Then she started screaming. I gave her tylenol and noticed that she seemed to be favoring her left arm. Initially I thought maybe she was bruised, but I decided to keep an eye on her.
I took her with me to do the laundry, because she loves transferring things from the washer to dryer. She did it, but whimpered, so I was starting to think maybe it was something worse. Then she started falling asleep. Apparently, a head injury and sleep isn’t that big a deal, unlike what Hollywood has shown us.
By this time, my husband was almost home, so we took Ms Action to the neighbor’s and took Ms Piggy to the ER. We got there and everything seemed to be going fine, they took her vitals, examined her, then dropped a bomb shell – because of the way Ms Piggy’s bone had broken, they were going to start a CPS investigation. Ms Piggy was going to have to stay overnight and I may not be able to stay with her, they said. We had to do three x-rays, which she hated, the whole, being held down and unable to move thing really isn’t any fun.
After talking to us, they told us that I could stay overnight with Ms Piggy (and all the staff kept saying that they thought this investigation was ridiculous – that if it were up to them, they’d have let us go home and not done any of this). The nurses up in the pediatric unit were awesome (and also patient advocates), they helped keep Ms Piggy asleep, and helped calm me. We didn’t get up to the room until sometime around 2 in the morning, and I didn’t get to sleep until after three, and didn’t sleep straight through – I woke every half hour or so, partly because they had Ms Piggy in a crib beside me instead of letting her sleep with me as we usually do, so I didn’t sleep as well, and partly because she didn’t sleep as well for the same exact reason. The doctors started making their rounds at 6, so any night I had had was over then. I met the doctor who raised the issue, who hadn’t met us at all, just looked at the x-ray and saw the strangeness of the break.
After all that, my husband and Ms Action arrived, and the girls played in the playroom. While we were in there, a chaplain came in to see us (I had specifically asked NOT to see any chaplains, but there he was…) and since the hubs was super tired, he had word vomit. Attacking religion, ridiculing it all, which, honestly, I’d normally not mind, but we were under investigation for child abuse, no way in hell was I going to bring up religion. Here in America, atheists are still not entirely trusted, so I didn’t want to raise any flags we could avoid. Fortunately, nothing came of it.
Later, we had to do a full-body skeletal to make sure there were no healed breaks from before to suggest abuse. That was the worst nightmare – I honestly don’t think I’ve had a nightmare worse than going through that. It took four adults to hold Ms Piggy down, and she screamed the entire.time. It was horrible. And because she kept moving, we had to keep retaking shots. And retaking them. It was to the point that if they had come out one more time and said that we had to take more, I would have vomited all over their nice clean floor. Between shots, while we were waiting, Ms Piggy would fall asleep nursing, then she’d be woken to take more x-rays. It was a real version of hell.
Finally, the floor doctor came in to see us and told us that as soon as the papers were ready we’d be discharged. That, naturally, took a couple hours. A really long couple of hours. The girls had a bit of fun, because we got some ice cream out of the freezer. Right after they got the ice cream, we got discharged. Twenty-four hours after Ms Piggy’s fall, we were finally on our way home.
Ms Piggy has been healing beautifully. She’s had pain meds maybe three times in the past four days, so that’s all good. But the story is hardly over.
That all happened on Thursday the 9th, the following Thursday, CPS came out to the house to talk to Ms Action, to get her take on how Ms Piggy fell (since, after all, no one had seen it). While the CPS agent and county sheriff were here, Ms Action had a dress on and sort of rolled around, exposing her undies. Which made the CPS agent ask me four times whether there had ever been any sexual abuse in her past. I kept saying no, but felt like I wasn’t being listened to. Even though I know that’s a standard question, it was unnerving that she asked four times. Then it got stranger, because the sheriff said he would probably want me to come down to his office alone to talk to him. Which seemed strange to not only me, but attorney friends.
This morning, as I started writing this, my hubby got a call from the sheriff saying he was closing his end of the investigation, that he’d talked to all the doctors at the hospital and they all said they didn’t think there was any abuse going on (which obviously, there isn’t).
Friday is Ms Piggy’s follow-up appointment, at which point I’m hopeful the entire thing will be closed and behind us.
While I’m glad CPS investigates, because honestly, it’s a good thing to take care of and protect our kids; it’s one thing to be for it in theory, a completely different thing when you’re the subject of the investigation. And I truly am glad they investigate, our children are far too precious to let them be harmed. But knowing I would never abuse my children, and being under investigation for it, is a scary thing. Growing up, CPS were the big bad boogeymen of the homeschool movement. The Home School Legal Defense Association succeeded in scaring everyone I knew, in convincing all of us that the CPS was out for one thing and one thing only – taking children away from deserving parents, especially homeschooling parents. Because religious persecution, that’s why. So all those childhood fears were raising their ugly heads.
So, while I’ve been super stressed and even scared, I’m still glad CPS does what it does.
And I’m even more glad this is almost over.