Again?! So soon?!? With four older brothers who could have a turn?!

I’ll admit it. One of the biggest struggles of the homeschooling day is trying to keep five different students focused on their own work and not on anything anyone else is doing. Usually it’s an uphill battle, and even if it’s successful, it doesn’t last long. I get it. It’s just part of the job. If my kids were in any other school, the four boys would have trouble staying on task. This Thursday morning must have been the exception that proves the rule, however. I was at the kitchen table with Patrick, going over his writing assignment. It takes us a while to get a) motivated to even tackle it, and b) into the groove of thinking like a writer, but we were there. Meanwhile, Hannah was working on her stuff and the other boys were doing their regularly scheduled math work. Andrew and Chloe, we thought, were playing in the family room while he waited for me to work on his kindergarten lessons. Todd was even here, working at home for the morning, trying to catch up on paperwork and phone calls.

All of sudden Chloe started crying. I didn’t jump right up, because she and Andrew fight fairly reliably about different things and I figured it was probably something like that, so I wanted to at least give them a chance to work it out on their own. But then she didn’t stop crying. When we all had that feeling that her cry was different and when to check it out, we found her grasping her arm and still crying hard. In fact, the next two hours were more or less filled with inconsolable crying. It was obvious that she’d hurt her arm, but none of us could find out what had happened. OF COURSE it was in the instance that we were all actually working and focused that she did something and there were no witnesses to the accident. Immediately there were countless versions of the story by wanna-be helpful children, but we couldn’t get Chloe to stop crying long enough for her to say anything coherent. Every time Todd touched her arm, she winced and howled louder. She firmly grasped on to the area of her arm just below her elbow. At first we thought that maybe she and Andrew were playing around and she fell off the couch, but then Andrew told us he had been in the bedroom getting something when she got hurt. We looked around the room and saw that there were things that she could have fallen into, but it just didn’t seem worthy of so much crying.

After hemming and hawing for an hour or more and being met with louder howls every time we tried to inspect her arm, we decided to call the doctor. I was mortified at the thought of calling her, though, and having to describe another arm injury almost exactly three months to the day after her first one. I was thankful when she was more than empathetic, and suggested the same path as before: wait for an appointment to see an ortho, or go to the ER. This time, Todd planned to take her, which would prove to be very helpful later on. It was torture trying to get her to change her clothes and pull a shirt over her head, but we managed. I have to admit I was incredibly nervous having them go to the ER when we couldn’t definitively say what had happened to her and wondered if the questions and raised eyebrows would invariably come.

It seemed that things moved along quite quickly at first for Todd and Chloe and before 2pm they had gotten through the whole intro process through getting an x-ray since both the ER doc and someone else thougth it was a probable fracture. Todd could elaborate better than me, but he said the x-ray procedure was not pleasant for anyone involved. Before we even decided to take her to have it looked at, any time we wanted to touch it, she would yell “Don’t twist it! Don’t twist it!” So when the radiologist had to extend her arm to get a good shot of the bones, she reacted in a similar fashion. Somehow, though, they got the x-ray. I’m sure they’ve seen worse!

Then the waiting started. It was almost an hour later when someone came back to tell him that it wasn’t an obvious break, but the ER doc wanted the radiologist to give a second opinion. The radiologist concurred that although there wasn’t strong evidence of a break, something was going on, and they started to suspect that her elbow was dislocated. The plan then became one of medicating her and popping it back in. More waiting ensued, followed by some medication, which then led to more waiting. By 5:30 they had decided not to attempt the manipulation process, but planned to just put her in a splint and have an orthopedic pediatrician see her for definite diagnosis about a week later. Todd and Chloe finally arrived home at 6:45pm that evening, complete with temporary cast from fingertips to above her elbow and a little sling to go with it. Her brothers and sister absolutely doted on her for the rest of the evening, attempting to make her comfortable before she collapsed into bed.

The next day she told us (sort of) that she had fallen backwards on her twisted arm. That’s the closest thing to a story of what really happened that any of us have heard, so we still don’t know what happened. It makes my stomach churn to think that anyone even entertained thoughts that we had hurt our baby, but both Todd and I wondered if maybe the long period of waiting that he had in the ER wasn’t them considering if they would look into it. Ugh, I don’t even want to let myself think about that. Our pediatrician also briefly mentioned earlier in the day the possibilty of Chloe having a bone development disorder worth investigating if it should prove to be a break. We are covering our little redhead with prayer that if there is a problem, we find out what it is, and if there is or isn’t, that she heals perfectly and her arm is completely restored.

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. anna
    Sep 20, 2010 @ 08:27:06

    Poor Chloe. We will be praying for a FAST recovery too! Love you guys.


  2. Trackback: Day 3 of 31: What just happened?! | Mom2the6pack

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