Some families collect trophies; we collect casts

If you’ve read our blog at all during the past two years, you remember that our girly-girl Chloe broke her arm in June 2010, after a botched attempt to escape her crib.  Turns out, two-year-old radius bones are softer than they may appear and cannot break falls like one may have expected.  If you’d like to take a trip down memory lane, click here to read about our first exposure to the world of broken bones.   It was “fun,” and “an adventure,” and something I hoped “would never happen again.”

HA.  HA.  HA.

April 26, 2012, was a beautiful day.  The weather was almost eerily perfect–a seeming continuation of the Winter that Wasn’t from late 2011 and early 2012–a warmer-than-normal Thursday afternoon.  I surveyed the housework I had to complete that afternoon after the kids finished up their morning schoolwork:  folding towels, the usual kitchen castastrophe, etc. etc.   We also had our upcoming beach vacation on our minds.   It was only about a week away, and despite the mad rush it takes to pack for eight people and somehow cram it all into our van, each of us couldn’t help but look forward to early May.

I wandered around the house trying to avoid my work as the kids played happily, running in and out of the back door and squealing as they chased each other.  As soon as I finally settled down to actually get something–anything!–done, I heard a sudden, blood-curdling scream from the resident redhead.   This is how the logical progression of my strange mind works:  I knew they were playing outside, and I have at many times in my life seen bees ALSO outside, so I came to the conclusion that based on the volume and intensity of her scream, that she must have stepped on a bee.  At least, I know that’s what I would have sounded like had I stepped on one.

Being the great and attentive mom that I am, I leisurely strolled into the kitchen to assess the situation.   To my dismay, I saw that she was not favoring her foot.  There went the bee sting theory, straight out the window.  Instead, she was holding her forearm close to her chest, looking very much like Napoleon but without the jacket or the quest to conquer glimmer in her green eyes.  “Ohhhhhhh SNAP,” I groaned to myself.   Seriously!?! Apparently, she and Andrew both wanted to go out the back door at the same time and were jockeying for position.  Since Andrew is bigger than she is, he somehow managed to shove her out of the way.  She lost her balance and fell backwards,  using her hand once again to break her fall.

Not wanting to jump to conclusions, I did what any other good mom would do:  I kissed her forehead and told her we’d “watch it and see if it changed.”   🙂  What else could I do?  It feels like we are already on a first-name basis with the ER and the x-ray tech there, and Chloe’s pediatrician has repeatedly suggested I buy bubbles for my kids to live in to keep them out of trouble.

Thankfully, I was distracted when a friend stopped by to copy a few pictures before leaving town.  I gave her the rundown of what happened and she agreed with my watch-and-see attitude.   Although Chloe was definitely keeping her arm close to her and holding it, there were times when she seemed to completely forget about it and go back to playing.  If she put weight on it, however, or turned it too much, she flinched and pulled it back to her.

We watched Chloe the rest of the evening and into the next morning.  She became increasingly louder in her complaints about her wrist hurting and less willing to use it.   I called the doctor, who of course asked us to come in as soon as we could.  She examined Chloe, who really complained most about pain in her hand and wrist.   After we looked at each other with repeated exasperation, the doc put a call in to the hand doc where Patrick had been so well taken care of when he broke his thumb last October, and we were sent on to them.   As we drove over to Kleinert Kutz Hand Care, my mind was racing about the increasing likelihood of Chloe having a cast for our beach vacation: how was she going to be able to swim and play at the beach with a cast?!  Meanwhile, Chloe was in the back seat talking nonstop.  “Mommy, do you think my hand is broken? I think my hand might be broken.  It sure hurts like I broke a bone.  Do you remember my first cast? It was pink.  I think this time I would get a purple cast if I get to get a cast.”  Oh my.  All without taking a breath.

After a short wait for an x-ray, the doctor confirmed that Chloe did indeed have another buckle fracture, almost identical to her first break courtesy of the Great Crib Escape.  Directly under her wrist, the radius on her left hand had a fracture and would require a cast for three weeks.   I sank back in my chair.  Chloe piped up, “LET’S DO PURPLE!”

Here are a couple shots of the cast going on…

The doc insisted on a cast that went above the elbow because of young children’s history of trying to pull them off.  Boo.

We left late that morning with an appointment to return in three weeks to remove the purple cast.  I couldn’t believe that we would have to deal with a cast on our annual beach vacation, but now that it was a reality, I had to figure something out.  Thankfully, a friend of mine had been cleaning out her garage a few weeks ago and came across a waterproof cast cover they had from when her daughter broke her arm several summers ago.  Tina had come really close to throwing it out, but decided to keep it and put it back on the shelf.   This decision helped to save our vacation.  With a small addition of waterproof medical tape, we had ourselves a working waterproof cover!

Our first stop was to Atlantic Beach, NC, where we had the chance to try out the cover.

It was bright that day, as you could probably imagine.

IT WORKED!!!

And with that, our vacation was saved–or at least made a lot more enjoyable.  Chloe had to wear the cover every time she was near either water or sand, but she was able to swim and play, so that was wonderful.    Although the majority of pictures from vacation will have to be in another post, here are some different shots of life with a purple cast:

Finally, three weeks had passed and the day arrived to return to the doc and remove the purple beast.  Chloe was ready to kiss her cast goodbye!

Right before we left….Excited to be rid of it!

Since this was not our first rodeo, Chloe was not anxious or fearful at all about the saw needed to remove the cast.  Can you tell?

The nurse said the longer casts take more work to remove.

Once free, they took her back for an x-ray to check on the healing process.  This is what she looked like while waiting for those results.

I reminded her that it didn’t always feel great as soon as the cast came off when she complained about it still hurting.   When the doc came in with the x-rays, she showed them to me and it was obvious that she’d had a complete break (even to this non-doctor), but it was healing.   The doc examined Chloe’s arm, and when she felt it, Chloe recoiled and said, “Owwww…”  With that one “ow,” we were given the exciting sentence of three more weeks in a cast.   Bummer!  I was really disappointed.  Knowing that Memorial Day was fast approaching, and along with it, the opening of the pool, it looked like we had to deal with cast covers for a bit longer.  Chloe, however, did not share in my dismay.

“THIS TIME I CAN GET A PINK ONE!!!!!!!”

Here we go again…

Nope. Not upset at all about this new development…

As soon as we got home from the new cast application, the kids and I left for a weekend trip to Michigan to see my parents and attend a surprise birthday dinner for my sister-in-law Melissa.  Chloe was excited about having everyone sign her cast and wouldn’t let any of us sign it until they did.  (who can guess what floats a five-year-old’s boat?)

Nonnie Fennell had a chance to sign…

Followed by Papa Fennell.

And then Uncle Mike….

Uncle Tom.

After that, we were all allowed to sign the cast, although she’s so tiny, there wasn’t a lot of space left.

This three week period wasn’t so exciting.  The cast got wet a couple times, despite the “waterproof” cast cover, and when casts get wet, they get stinky.  This one was particularly bad.   One night, Chloe stuck it in my face and exclaimed, “Smell this!! It stinks like Patrick’s socks!!”

Since I didn’t have a very good attitude about the second cast, we made a chart to check off how many days remained before she was free.   Because stickers were involved, Chloe loved this idea.

And here’s the finished product:

Finally the night came when she crossed off her last day!

Here are the pictures of having her pink cast removed, six weeks after her original fall.

One more x-ray to confirm healing, and we were free to go.  Chloe still favored her arm immediately after the cast removal, but when the doc came in, he asked Chloe to give him a high five.  When she gave him about twenty of them without flinching, he was confident that she’d be OK.

And thus ends our most recent foray into the world of broken bones.   May it be a long and fruitful period before we enter into it again.   At least, one can hope.

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4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Marta Grentz Wetmore
    Jul 05, 2012 @ 23:05:28

    Love your writing style and it takes me back to Abigail’s 2 fractures (sept. 2011 and march 2012). She was so devastated with the 2nd fracture because we were afraid she had fractured BOTH legs and so she had her mind made up that she’d get TWO casts. She announced 2 pinks please, and was told just one. She did at least get to wear a splint on her other leg – but the ace wrap was not PINK, so not a complete win. I got lots of questions and LOOKS from people and doctors, and my friends told me I was going to jail… Fun times! I am enjoying being injury free right now, but just wondering how long that will last. At our rate this September she’s due for another one… Good blogging topics though, right?!

    Reply

  2. Annette d. Giacomazzi
    Jul 14, 2012 @ 12:59:58

    We must be sisters in another life-time. 🙂 My daughter has broken 8 bones! On her 6th, I created http://www.castcoverz.com. We are now international and have been featured in Parenting, other mom blogs, Yahoo!, Orthopedic This Week, Good Day, and so much more. God forbid, Chloe breaks again, but if she does, please contact me. We will gladly send you our CastCoverz! care package. I love “resident red-head” reference. 🙂
    Big Hugz!

    Reply

    • 2pink4blue
      Jul 28, 2012 @ 14:50:59

      Thanks, Annette! What a great idea you’ve come up with! I’m glad you got in touch with me–hopefully not so I can use your products, but that other people will see that you’re out there from my small circle. Keep up the fantastic work, and thanks for stopping by.

      Reply

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

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