Day 3 of 31: What just happened?!

When I committed to myself to write a blog post a day for the month of October, I will admit that a thought sprung to mind: what on earth can I find to write about? Why do I even worry!?  With six kids and two puppies running around, a husband whose office is at home, and a large homeschool community to oversee, how could I possibly think that there wouldn’t be something to talk about almost every day?  Take this morning, for instance… I have no earthly idea what context Chloe came from when she hollered at Andrew before breakfast, instructing, “DO NOT drink from that! It has FLY PUKE in it!!!!”  I mean, what?!?!  I didn’t even stop to ask any details; I simply went about quickly writing it down, so that later I didn’t have to wrack my brain trying to remember what funny thing she had spouted off.  It didn’t strike me as strange until I just wrote this that when she yelled out such a strange statement, Andrew immediately put the cup back down and sighed, “Ohhh, OK,” as if this were something they’d talked about before.

Some things are funny, but others are not.  Take, for instance, this past Wednesday night (October 1 for those of you not paying attention.  Day 1 of my blog challenge and the cards were already falling into place for at least a few days of blogging material).  I had pulled up to pick up Andrew from his church activities and he emerged from the gym with Ben, and a face red from crying and an arm surrounded by an ice bag.  He completely fell apart as he climbed into the car and said he’d been playing, tripped over a friend, and landed on the back of his hand, hurting his wrist.  Fabulous, I thought to myself.  I quickly drove home so I could properly check him out while trying to get the story of what had happened.  Through his complaints, he said that a good friend (who also happens to be a doctor) helped him get some ice and she checked him out.  That instantly made me feel better (as did her follow up phone call a few minutes later).  As soon as we got home, I inspected his arm and wrist, but woefully, I’m not a doctor, and couldn’t tell anything other than from what Andrew told me.  We gave him some pain meds, iced it for about twenty minutes, and put him to bed.

Some time during the night, Andrew crept into our room and lamented that he couldn’t sleep because his arm was hurting.  Being the optimist that I was before bed the night before, I didn’t collect things I might have needed throughout the night to keep them by my bedside, so I had to stumble out of bed and rummage around in the kitchen to retrieve the needed supplies.  After about a half an hour or so (and more than his fair share of the bed), he settled back down and went back to sleep.

The next day, we went back and forth between thinking he should be seen and thinking we should wait it out.  He complained, sure, but I was looking for obvious deformity and bruising and swelling.  He had a bump on his forearm, but not bruising.  Definite swelling.  I kept at a close schedule of tylenol, ibuprofen, and ice and watched carefully.  In retrospect, I probably should have gone earlier, but we’ve had some false alarms of late and I didn’t want to somehow get on the DO NOT X-RAY list if there should even be one.  Seriously, we have had our share of the visits to the radiology department.  See this or this or this or any other choices of stories about trips to the diagnostic center or emergency room if you don’t believe me!  By the time I hopped off the fence and called the doctor’s office, it was too late in the day to get an appointment until the next day.

Jump ahead to early Friday morning (or late Thursday night, depending on what your glass looks like), and Andrew was back in our room, gently tapping my shoulder complaining that he couldn’t sleep.  More help, more bed-sharing, and we made it to Friday morning.  After waiting for the usual amount of time in the waiting room, Andrew’s doc was thinking he’d injured a ligament or tendon, but just couldn’t be sure.  She ordered the x-rays after drawing two lines with pen on his arm.  “If he’s broken,” she hypothesized, “my guess is that it would be somewhere in here.” And off we went to get the films.

After driving to the x-ray extravaganza place, we waited for a while before being informed that we’d have to schedule his x-ray and come back.  “Would that be OK?” she asked rhetorically.  Could I have said no?  Would it have been socially acceptable to sarcastically reply that “I would like nothing better than to break up my day further by driving home and returning again at a slightly later time”?  I did neither, but smiled and answered, “OK.”

We ran home, grabbed some lunch, completed a few other half-tasks, and then drove back to wait some more.  Thankfully, we did not wait too long in the waiting room.  Andrew was seated in the x-ray room and I could hear the tech getting him set up for the first picture before she called another tech over. Talking ensued and then she poked her head around, informing me, “The machine is acting up and not working.  It’ll be a minute while we try to figure out how to pull the cassette out.” Not knowing what that really meant other than “You have to wait longer,” I smiled and nodded.  It was Friday afternoon and if something had happened to his arm, the time to get it corrected was quickly waning.

After the x-ray behemoth was rebooted, the machine was good as new and they completed the films.  Andrew walked out and shared that he did not care for the positions the tech had placed his hand and arm.  As if customary for our “regular” x-ray facility, they gave us a copy of the pictures after a short wait and we were on our way back home.

The rest of the afternoon Andrew really bemoaned the x-ray process and it seemed to be the worst pain he’d been in thus far, other than when he’d first hurt it. At one point, he lined his arm up with mine and exclaimed, “OH, Mama! My arm is bigger than yours!”  And he was right.   It looked even more swollen.

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As is my custom, I came home and immediately tried to play “I’m not a doctor, but I slept at a Holiday Inn Express last night” by poring over the slides and trying to see what, if anything, was wrong.  The internet is both a blessing and curse in this regard.  You can find the most heinous of forearm breaks, let me assure you (and hopefully save you the grimacing of imagined pain looking at someone else’s x-ray of misfortune).  In the end, I thought things looked off, but again, I just couldn’t be sure.  After all, the poor guy’s bones weren’t fully formed, so how was I supposed to tell if still-growing bones looked like what I was looking at normally?  I just wished the doc would call and we’d know for sure.

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It was just before 5 on Friday when I heard from her, and the verdict was this:  incomplete fracture of the distal radius (in other words, the break occurred exactly between those two lines she’d drawn on Andrew’s skin earlier in the day).

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She explained that the break hadn’t gone all the way through the bone, so the plan for the weekend was to wrap it, keep icing it, and try to get an appointment for Monday to cast it unless his pain levels get crazy or he starts to feel numbness and/or tingling in his fingers.  The news started off a new round of tears for the little guy, mostly because he didn’t want to have another pain-interrupted sleep.   Patrick did a great job of wrapping his wrist and lower forearm, which seemed to do a world of good in helping his pain level to go down.

 

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And now we wait for the next step, and I guess the next step for Andrew is to answer the burning question: what color cast will you choose?!?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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