Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Sara's first broken bone

I guess it doesn't surprise me since Sara is more of a daredevil than Adam but it was a silly accident instead of a high flying adventure! On Saturday she had just finished jumping on the neighbor's massively awesome trampoline and was getting out. As Shannon turned around to look at Adam, he heard Sara scream and looked back to see her laying on the ground.

Shannon carried her into the house, pulled all the leaves out of her hair, and tried to assess the situation as she cried uncontrollably and held her left arm. We snuggled, got some ice, and made her comfortable on the couch for a bit. After an hour she had calmed down but every time we tried to move her arm either to bend more or straighten, she would cry. It didn't really look swollen and there was no bruising but we decided to play it safe and take her to the ER.

We finally figured out that she tried to go down the ladder facing front, slipped, and her elbow hit the metal support of the trampoline once she landed in the grass.

I was thankful they moved us thru pretty quickly. They took vitals and her blood pressure was 110/68 and her heartrate was quite elevated. I told the nurse the BP was high compared to her last nephrology appointment a few days ago, which was 86/56. She said it was a sign of pain.

The doctor came in and was moving Sara's arm around and pushing on her elbow. No tears, not even a wince. The doctor asked if what he was doing hurt and she said yes. They were going to do x-rays but I thought for sure it wouldn't show anything since she was much more calm. 3 of the x-rays were no problem for her but 1 she couldn't hold her arm up without it shaking uncontrollably. The doc came back after looking at the films and confirmed her arm was broken right above the elbow. He expressed his absolute shock over Sara's calm demeanor and explained how hard he had pushed on the spot where it was broken and that would have caused a lot of pain. It had been a while since we got a reminder of how amazing her pain tolerance is.

It took 2 sets of hands to get the splint set from her armpit to her wrist.


We tried the sling for a bit but she really didn't care for it because it wouldn't adjust small enough.


Sara had only had a few snacks at the ER and missed dinner but she decided when she got home that she was tired and just wanted to go to bed. The doc had written a prescription for pain medication but Sara has never needed anything strong and she didn't want it. We gave her some Tylenol and headed up to her new room.  She needed a little help balancing on the first step of her loft but figured it out and climbed right up to tuck herself in. I told her how well she did at the hospital and that I was very proud of how brave she was. She smiled and said "Mom, I like it when you say that to me. It makes me happy." It was a very neat moment for me.

We spent the next few days working thru some logistics...how to get her dressed, whether she could go to the bathroom on her own, sleeping positions to make her comfortable. Tonight she figured out that she could rest her bowl against her cast in order to scoop her strawberry shortcake easier. The hardest task is tearing toilet paper off the roll so I have had to leave some piles pre-torn on a stool for her.

Yesterday morning I called the pediatric orthopaedic doctor for an appointment and we were able to see him this morning. They took the splint off and revealed her little arm full of wrinkles and creases after just a few days.


The doctor came in to give us the great news that the bones were aligned very well and surgery would not be needed! Then they started on the cast--can you believe she picked green?!




They put a ton of gauze around the elbow to protect where it is broken. Her elbow is huge and it was making me laugh. It is extremely heavy for her. I wonder if her left shoulder muscle will be bigger at the end of the 3 weeks of lugging that around!

We go back next Friday for another x-ray to make sure nothing has shifted and surgery is still not warranted. 3 weeks with the cast and probably no physical therapy after that. Healing of a 5 year old is amazing!

The picture below is the best x-ray that shows the break. On the left side of the base of the upper bone, you can see a black line straight thru the bone. It then goes down slightly and out the other side but is hard to see on that side.


1 comment:

Heather said...

What a brave girl! I'm sorry you're dealing with a broken arm and hope that it's all in the past soon!