Pain Pain Go Away-blood clot after angioplasty

Kalvin woke up in the middle of the night crying.  Something he has never done.  He said his leg hurt.  The area he pointed to seemed like a possible pulled muscle in his groin.  So there we sat in the middle of the night doing stretches together.  He never really went back to sleep.  Nor did I.
He began limping as he walked.  Using the wall to get down the hall in the morning. 
All of this on the first day of school.

Fist day of 2nd grade.  You can see in this picture how his left leg is bent a bit
 to avoid having any pressure on it.
First day of pre-school.
"Pain, pain go away.  Come again another day," we sang.   And it worked.  The pain went away.  For four days.  Gone.  No pain during soccer.  Baseball was fine.   And then,  Monday morning came. And with it,  pain.  In the morning Kal couldn't walk again.  This time the pain lasted all day.  He was still limping and holding onto the wall to walk when I picked him up from school.  The pain was right where he had his angioplasty.  Too coincidental to let it go unchecked.  So off to Children's we went.  It was a long visit.  A long visit that ended with not such good news.  Kalvin has a blood clot near the area in his femoral artery that was widened during an angioplasty procedure in his left leg on July 29th.  Why the clot five weeks later?  That seems to be the big question.  One that has stumped the Interventional Radiologist, the Cardiologist, the Pediatrician and the Interventional Catheterization Chief.   Hmmm, what to do?!?  We went home and awaited instructions.

Two days later, I was driving home when I received the call.  Kalvin was going to be placed on a blood thinner called enoxaparin.  Lovenox.  The only way to receive Lovenox is through a needle.  Kalvin's worst enemy.  The only treatment he is afraid of.  He can handle a CAT scan, an echo or a lung scan like a champ.  The only treatment that makes him cry.  Needles.  A shot twice a day.  For two weeks.  Here we go.  We get to give him the shots at home. Lots of fun for everyone.

I was also informed that playing soccer was out.  Not even at recess.  Kal loves his recess play.  And the recess soccer has helped him bond with other boys.  Two weeks is going to be tough.

I continued on my way when a call came in from home. Finn had missed a step on the playground and hurt his arm. He was still complaining of pain hours later.  The general consensus was that it was broken.  Are you kidding me?  Really?!?

I felt like crying myself.  And not just tears.  You know, the real kind of crying.  The kind you need to do in the shower.  I felt sick to my stomach.  I tried to digest the news about Kalvin and wondered what awaited me at home.  As I turned up the radio to drown out the thoughts in my head, the song playing, as if on cue,  No One Said It Was Easy by Coldplay.   It  is has been confirmed.  I am living a Lifetime movie.  I was playing out a scene right there in my car.  Music and all.

Finn was not excited to head into the doctor. Kalvin has always loved going to the doctor. We are blessed this way.  Finn screamed the entire hour ride there. Pleading with me to turn around and go home.  He said he just needed his ice and the pain would go away.  Kalvin tried reasoning with him by explaining that Finn had nothing to worry about,  that he was actually the one with the real problem today.  And Kal didn't even know about the shots...yet.  I was waiting to let the doctor tell him all about that!

This was Finn...the entire way to the doctor.

We headed into Children's. First a stop across the street at the Pediatrician's office. We got the word an x-ray would be needed on Finn's arm. The Cast Room and Hematology.  Two new area of Children's we would be visiting.  Looks like we will succeed in working our way through every department of Children's Hospital. One at a time.

After the x- rays revealed a buckle fracture in Finn's wrist,  we were off to the Cast Room. And then Hematology Department to learn how to administer the shots of Lovenox.

You can see how Finn is holding his arm against his belly. 
He did this all day but kept up his normal activity level.
Yes, broken.  The bulge in the right bone is the buckle fracture.
Onto the Cast Room.


I love how they are both watching so intently.

Finn is not sure what to think.  He tried to take the cast off. 
This is the look when we told him it was here to stay for 3 weeks.

A visit with the Anticoagulation Services to pick up our Lovenox kit and we were ready to go home.  Just another day at Children's Hospital.  Kalvin loves to sing the lyrics "Until Every Child is Well" from the BCH commercials. Repeatedly.

Lovenox kit complete with our very own sharpie disposal box

Kalvin gets to wear this new fancy bracelet indicating he is at high risk for bleeding. 
He was not thrilled at first. 

As I gave Kalvin his first shot and real tears rolled down his cheeks, my own pain became real. I know he is genuinely scared. It is hard to watch. You try to do it fast, but he likes it slow. He delays the pain. I try being stern and forceful, but he is too strong and with a needle you can't wrestle around.  I have to wait until he is ready.  It makes it harder for me as well.

He starts saying he hates his life.  Wondering why is this happening to him.  He hates his leg.  He repeatedly asks me why this is happening to him.  I don't know what I would say or how I would respond if I didn't have the words of a dear friend.  Words I referred to from here in an earlier post.  They come into play again.  I remind Kalvin that the why doesn't really matter. We can't control the why.  Life can be unfair.  Life can be hard.  Sometimes,  we don't have all the answers.

How we handle ourselves is what we can control and is what defines us.  Makes us who we are.  It is not the challenges placed upon us, but instead how we choose to face them that will have the most bearing on the path our lives will take.  I ask him to think of Will.  To think of Will playing hockey again and how he has responded to adversity.  I remind him, when life hands you lemons you make lemonade. He seems to understand.


  1. Oh my goodness, these are just such hard lessons for any of us to learn, much less a child. My heart is with you all. And what lucky to get a fractured wrist in the midst of it all?! Hang in there, girl. I think you are seriously amazing.

    1. Thanks Erica. The boys, especially Kalvin, are such troopers which makes all the difference. Now we have moved on to the cast being a weapon and Kalvin proudly displaying all the needle marks on his tummy as a badge of courage! Thank you for your kind words, as always. XOXO

  2. Dear Kristen, May God be there always with you guys. Can you plz update on Kavin's current situation.