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Sunday, August 29, 2010

Our First Broken Bone

The kids got up this morning giddy with excitement.  First thing we had another butterfly ... our 18th.  They were sort of excited by that.  I think the novelty of the butterflies is beginning to wear off a little.  Which is sad because we have 11 in chrysalis and 4 caterpillars left.

But what really excited them was our church's Bounce Back for Fall event this afternoon.  Three big blow-up toys to play in, hot dogs, popcorn, snow cones.  They were pumped!  Three o'clock couldn't come soon enough!

So we get there and as soon as a friend sees me, she tells me her daughter needs to show me a picture of a cool caterpillar she found.  Apparently I'm gaining a reputation about caterpillars.  Just call me the crazy caterpillar lady.  :)  So her daughter shows me the pic on her phone (very cool, by the way), and we talk about our monarchs and the awesome Hickory Horned Devil we found.

My kids are off playing in the 3 big toys, having a blast.  A short time later, one of the girls comes to tell me that Keira got hurt on the middle toy.  So I mosey on over to check it out.  Literally mosey.  My kids get bumps and bruises all the time, so I've learned not to freak out, I guess.  She's laying inside holding her left arm.  The guy in charge of the toy at the time was comforting her and talking to her, helped her get up and out of the vest she was wearing to play in the toy, and another man helped her get out of the toy, since you kind of have to jump out, which she couldn't do.

We sat down to rest for a bit.  I went inside to get her a bag of ice since she said her elbow and shoulder were hurting.  A friend stayed with her and comforted her.  When I got back to her, we put the ice on her shoulder for a while.  

She was really hurting so I asked her if she wanted to go to the ER.  She him-hawed around a little then said that we'd better.  I asked her several more times if she was sure, since the last time we were there (for her appendix), we sat in the waiting room forever!  And it's just not the most pleasant experience.  She kept saying she was sure, so I asked a friend if she would watch the boys for me (be there if they needed anything, really), let them know I was taking Keira to the hospital, and we left.  Alex wanted to go with me until I assured him that he would have way more fun if he stayed.  He agreed and quickly returned to the balloon typhoon toy.

We got to the ER and a helicopter was landing just as we arrived, which was kind of cool, but scary too, since you know they don't pull the helicopter out for just anyone.  We didn't even have to sit down in the waiting room, went straight back to a triage room, and a nurse, who said he had several teenage daughters himself and knew just how to deal with a pre-teen :), took care of us.  After a few minutes of telling him our story, he took us back to an exam room where we were seen within minutes by a Physician's Assistant.  She looked at Keira's arm, told us she thought it was sprained but she'd order X-rays just in case, and left.

I sent Doug a text to let him know where we were and to call me when he could.  My phone rang immediately after.  I filled him in and we talked about what to do with the boys if Keira and I were going to be there for any length of time.  Doug was grocery shopping and would swing by the church to get them if he didn't hear from me by 5:30.  It was about 4:30 at the time.

Within a few minutes the X-ray Tech showed up and took her to Radiology.  She was back in like 5 minutes.  I was pleased with how quickly things seemed to be moving along.

When the PA and the Doctor came in and told us the X-ray was back and her arm was broken, my jaw about hit the floor.  I was completely surprised.  They were too, frankly.  The PA thought it was just sprained.  But the X-ray showed a clean break.

The doctor talked to us and answered our questions (after the shock wore off) :) and told us they'd show us the X-ray if we wanted to see it.  Keira was like, "Yeah!  I want to see it!"

A nurse came in with a sling and got Keira all strapped in.  We were referred to an Orthopedic doctor, who I will call first thing tomorrow morning.  The doctor told me to make sure I let them know we've been to the ER and her arm is broken so they'd see her right away.  He said otherwise they might be able to see her around Christmas.  :)

The PA had me sign a few papers, explained everything, gave Keira a few narcotics to take home until we get her script filled.  Then she showed us the X-ray and asked Keira if she could spot the break.  She found it quicker than I did (smarty pants).  She asked us if we had a phone that we could take a picture of the X-ray with.  Um, no.  Bummer.  But my camera was in the car.  I didn't really feel like running out to get it though.  I should have asked her if she could print it out for me, like they do an ultrasound when you are pregnant.  Oh well.

So we were in and out of the ER in just over an hour.  Much better than the last time.  Of course, this was the "new and improved" ER, and our conditions were much different also.

We went back to the picnic and Keira got oodles of sympathy from everyone now that she was walking around with her arm in a sling.  She was milking it too.

So I'll call the Ortho doctor first thing tomorrow and we'll hopefully see him quickly.  The ER doc didn't think Keira would have to have surgery, but he admitted he wasn't an expert when it came to broken bones.  I'm really hoping she doesn't have to have surgery again.  The ER doc said it was a "good break" if there was such a thing.

Her discharge papers say she has "a fracture of the Humerus".  And it will take 6-8 weeks to heal.  She's not real happy about that.

So tonight I washed her hair for her and she took a sponge bath in a few inches of water in the tub.  It is amazing all the things you can't do when one arm/hand is out of commission.  She's sleeping on the recliner chair because it hurts to lay down flat.  And she's afraid she'll roll onto her left side and hurt her arm more.

Thankfully it is her left arm, so she can still write since she's right-handed.  She'll probably not be playing her violin for a while though.

And after having me wash her really long hair tonight, she's considering getting her hair cut and donating it to Locks of Love again.  Not because I hurt her or anything, she just thinks it would be easier to deal with shorter hair for a while.

So we've got our first broken bone under our belt.  I'm just surprised it was Keira.  I thought for sure it would have been Nicholas.  :)


Sheri said...

Ouch, poor Keira. You tell her to milk it for all it's worth! It's not often in life that they can get that sort of attention.

We still have no broken bones.

*K* said...

Ouch. I broke my ankle in 6 places in seventh grade, and they thought it was just sprained too until they saw the x-ray. I remember all too well the sponge baths! Once she gets adjusted to it, it won't be too bad.

kathryn said...

Oh, the poor thing. She's allowed to milk it for all it's worth! How many girls actually break bones? I definitely consider it a boy thing. Maybe you're done now? We can only hope...with 2 boys yet to go!