Thursday, May 22, 2014

sympathy pains

As I so ineloquently wrote in my post late last night, Elizabeth fractured her arm on Tuesday evening, when she tripped after running down the steps along the side of our house on her way to Girl Scouts.

While the thought had crossed my mind that she possibly fractured a bone, I wasn't entirely sure because it wasn't swollen and my x-ray vision wasn't working properly.  Also, we have a lot of "Cast Envy" going on at our house, because there are two children in the third grade with broken arms and I've heard our children say how fun it would be to have a cast for everyone to sign.

(Now that Elizabeth has experienced a broken limb, she says that she'd rather just have the cast and not the fractured arm because it hurts worse than anything she's ever had happen in her whole entire life.)

Thinking that perhaps there was a bit of hypochondria at play, I wrapped her arm in a bandage, elevated it on some pillows, and gave her a dose of Tylenol.  I figured I'd see how she was doing the next morning and take her to the doctor, if she wasn't improved.  Instead, Carolyn escorted her sister from their bedroom to our bedroom at 12:30 on Wednesday morning because Elizabeth had woken up crying as a result of her arm.  She remained with Charlie and I until 3:30 AM, when I reached my quota of being squished between two people in a Queen-Sized bed.  Charlie brought her back in to her bedroom and less than 30 minutes later, I was awoken by Henry who was standing over me with a bloody nose.

As a parent, some nights you just don't sleep very much - if at all. 

There were several meetings I needed to attend in the office on Wednesday morning, so when I dragged myself off to work, Charlie scheduled an appointment for Elizabeth to see the pediatrician.  They took one look and sent her to the radiologist.  As Charlie is waiting for the x-ray results, he receives a call from the elementary school that Carolyn has been sick to her stomach and needs to be immediately picked up.  He receives confirmation that Elizabeth's arm is indeed broken and with x-ray in hand, dashes to the school to pick up one sick Carolyn.  He then calls the pediatrician and asks for a referral to an orthopedist that can set Elizabeth's arm in a cast.

Here's where I should capture the huge lesson that we learned during this experience:  If you suspect that you have a broken limb, you might want to consider going directly to the hospital where you will likely be x-rayed and casted (if necessary) in one location.   When the orthopedist told Charlie that their next available appointment wasn't for more than a week - and Elizabeth would need to remain in a splint until then - my husband spent the next hour calling multiple orthopedic offices until he found one that could see Elizabeth sooner than nine days out.

Today, we took Elizabeth in to have her arm wrapped in a cast.  Carolyn, who was still home sick from school, accompanied us.

I'd also scheduled an appointment for Carolyn to see the pediatrician this morning, because I wanted to rule out the potential she had the onset of appendicitis, based on the symptoms she was presenting.  Since Charlie and I have both survived ruptured appendix, we're very sensitive to the prospect of it happening with our children.  But no sooner was the cast on Elizabeth's arm, and she visibly relaxed for the first time in 36 hours because the pain was finally abated, the color returned to Carolyn's cheeks and she told us that she felt better.

I wondered if it was merely coincidence, because she really was violently sick, but earlier tonight, I overheard her say to her sister,  "I love you so much and I was sick with worry that you were hurt.  But now that you're better, I feel better, too." 

Thankfully, Elizabeth (and Carolyn!) is feeling better. But she is very dismayed that because of her full-arm cast which she'll be in for at least the next three weeks, before transitioning to a smaller cast for another three weeks, she can no longer suck her left thumb. 

Hopefully, all of the cast signatures that she receives ....

Will help keep her distracted.