Thursday, August 6, 2009

Broken wrist

What I learned:
Make a big deal out of everything and you may feel silly, but everyone and everything will be perfectly fine. Brush it off as no big deal, wait it out a few days and it will feel better and it will turn out to be much worse than you thought. (Then, you don't feel silly anymore, you feel bad.)

What happened:
Monday (Yes, MONDAY) the kids were outside swinging and Aspen fell off. I ran out to see what was going on. She had hurt her wrist. I tried to get her onto her feet to bring her inside, but she wouldn't move. It turns out that we HAD (Notice the past tense here) a yellow jacket nest in the ground where Aspen was sitting and they were a bit peeved that she sat on their front door. One of them tried to politely ask her to move by landing on the little finger of her hurt hand. This was plenty invitation for her to move very quickly, but the yellow jacket didn't really like the noise and blowing at it so it stung her.

She was now very motivated to come inside and I could finally look at what had happened. "Can you move your fingers? Your hand? Your wrist? Squeeze my fingers." OK. Looks like you just bumped it or sprained it. On to the sting. Oooo. Yellow jacket stings really hurt. They really hurt for a long time. Her finger was swelling a little so I gave her some benadryl and some ice for the finger.

All of this time she is sobbing and yelling at Cedar to get out. He was peeking in trying to see what was going on. I had asked them to leave the living room so I could check Aspen out, but he was still hanging around a bit. I figured if she was more interested in getting Cedar in trouble she was hurt, but not too bad and a few hours or a day or so would cure everything.

So, basically I did nothing. She stopped complaining about the pain and only told people that she had sprained her wrist and she couldn't use it for a few days.

Tuesday was the (last) primary activity that I was in charge of. (I got released on Sunday but was asked to finish with the activity.) It was a big outside water activity. Aspen did everything except the tug of war. Her favorite was throwing water balloons at the leaders. The kids all brought canned food to give to the food pantry and in exchange they got water balloons to throw at us. She didn't seem too hurt then.
She said it hurt to practice the piano, but I thought she was just trying to get out of practicing. (I probably would have tried to if I were her...) That night when she tried to put weight on it it hurt really bad. I was a little concerned, but still I didn't think it was serious.

Yesterday I finally bought her an Ace bandage. As I went to put it on her I noticed that compared to her other little arm, this one was swollen. Not a lot. And you can't really tell unless you put them side by side, but it was swollen. Though, she said it felt a lot better.

This is when I start bugging anyone I can get a hold of with medical training. I called my mom, explained it all and then asked the fateful question, "I would know if it was broken right? I mean she wouldn't be able to use it as well would she? She would have a hard time moving her fingers or wrist or bending it, right?" Well, no. (Guilt oozes from the walls and ceiling and surrounds me.)

We get an appointment with the Dr. All through the exam I am thinking. Good, she's fine. It doesn't really hurt her now. She can do everything that the Dr. is asking her without pain. (relief.)

We go get an x-ray. This is very interesting for her and our tech is really nice. She lets us go in and look at the x-ray and to my untrained eye it looks great. We go out into the waiting room while the radiologist goes in and takes a look. We are all feeling better about the whole thing. We see the radiologist go out and the tech comes back to show us out. She says that our Dr. will call us. Then she looks at me and asks if we have an orthopedist that we use. (Bye bye good feelings.) I mouth "Broken?" I know she really can't tell me. There are signs up all over the office announcing that techs cannot give results of the x-rays, so don't ask. Our tech gives the smallest nod then I tell her that we don't have anyone particular that we use. She said that there are several there that are good and they can recommend one. Oh boy...

At five till five the Dr. office calls. We need to go back in to get a splint. She broke her wrist in two places and they need to immobilize it until we can get in and get a cast. When we get there Dr. Melling takes me over and shows me the x-ray. I had seen it before, but then he points out a little line about a half inch down on the biggest arm bone. (I am obviously not up to speed on bone names.) It goes all the way across. Then there is a little crescent shape line on the little arm bone next to the other one. Oh! I see it now. It's broken in two places. Lovely.

The good news is that it's a clean break. They won't have to set it, just cast it.

She gets her cast on Friday, right before we go to school registration. Aspen is really excited. She will choose a pink cast and can't wait to get everyone to sign it. As for me. I don't know what I feel. Relieved that it isn't worse. Bad that I didn't take her in Monday. Wondering what to do next time I want to say, "It's not too bad, you'll feel better in the morning."


Liz said...

Oh, Sarah! I am so sorry. I can only imagine how that feels. At least Aspen will get a really cool pink cast, right?

Emily said...

Yikes! So scary I mean I went to the ER for a nursemaids elbow. What I have learned is that there is not always a straightforward answer. You did the right thing.

Seth and Julie said...

I have been the crazy lady at the ER with a newborn who it turns out...just had a cold.

Then I have been on the other side and taken a newbron in to the doctor's office, only mildly concerned and been scolded for not taking him to ER immediately and told how dangerous his breathing (or lack of) was.

I felt horrible about putting my child in danger but I had no idea it was that bad. We do the best we can. Also, it is tough with dramatic children like Aspen and Alyssa to ever know how bad it really is.

Anyhow, it doesn't get any cooler than going back to school with a pink cast. I never had a cast or braces and I felt so out of the loop.

Katrina said...

You are doing great - and this from a mom who had a Dr. nearly give HIMSELF whiplash when he found double earaches in my kids, who just seemed grumpy. It happens to all of us, so you can stop whipping yourself with a noodle. :D You did the right thing, and she'll be fine! Good job. :D

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