Saturday, October 07, 2006

My Worst Fear

Since becoming a parent my worst fears have naturally changed quite a bit. I think every parent has their own particular worst fear about their children.

Mine happens to be getting a call at work from whomever has my child in their care and reporting that they have an injury of the type that requires a visit to the emergency room.

Yesterday afternoon at about 3:00 I am wrapping things up at work and very near to being on my way out the door when my cell phone rings.

I notice that it is the school calling. (Odd thing. I usually keep my phone set to the vibrate mode and keep it in my purse checking it from time to time so as not to have the disturbance during sessions. For some reason this week I have felt compelled to keep it on my person instead, which as it turned out yesterday was a good thing. Mother's intuition? (cue dramatic music) I don't know.....)

So I answer it:

"This is so and so from the school. We need you to come and pick up #2. She fell on the playground and we think she broke her arm."

Despite my shaking and horrific anxiety, I managed to convey that I was on my way, and even proceeded to call beloved and tell him that he needs to get to the school. Of course this was after I snapped at the poor innocent secretary who had the misfortune to answer my call. I told her from the get go this was an emergency. I waited while she paged him and waited...waited some more. She got back on the line and said that she had paged him three times and he was not in the building. I begged to differ with her and said he was at rehearsal and suggested she look for him there. Now I may have been a little shall we say....abrupt with her. I don't do well when my babies are hurt. Niceness goes Fuh-LYING out the window at warp speed.

I managed to get to the school without having an accident or getting a ticket. The drive (all of about 5 minutes give or take) was JUST enough time for me to go through about a bazillion different scenarios of what I would find when I got there. The most vivid being me hearing her screams from the parking lot because she has bone protruding through her skin.

Fortunately it was not that dramatic. What I found was a very sad and scared little girl with her arm in a splint sitting with her big sister. That diffused my anxiety by several levels. (Props to the school for thinking to get big sister right away.)

The nurse explained what happened. #2 had been trying to flips on the bars on the playground. She fell and landed on her hand with her arm fully extended. The first time she came to the nurse she checked her out and there did not seem to be any swelling, disfigurement or dislocation. She gave her some ice and sent her back to class. Not too long after that #2 was back still obviously in a lot of pain and crying so she splinted her up and made the call.

About flips. #2 has been trying to learn to hang from her knees on the acrobar on our swing set at home just like #1 can. After several attempts and at least two incidents of falling on her head I put the Ki-bosh on this skill building activity at home. Much as I wish I could, I can not control what she does on the playground at school, and unfortunately my predictions of dire and doom from continuing that activity came true. I like being right, but not about this stuff.

So we wait for Beloved/Daddy to get there and off we go to the emergency room.

Apparently when you come in with a small child who is crying and is wearing a sling you get speedy treatment. I have never been processed through an emergency department so quickly.

They gently examined her arm, gave her some Tylenol with codeine and an ice bag and we were off for x-rays. Fortunately Aunt J was working and came down to do the x-rays, which helped certain little people (and big) feel a lot better.

Shortly after that the doctor comes back with the bad news. We do indeed have a broken arm. Fractured right below the elbow.

One splint, prescription for Tylenol with Codiene, and an appointment with an orthopedic doctor for Monday...we're on our way home.

About an hour and a half later the fussing, crying begins. Unfortunately we are an hour away from another dose of pain medication.

Time for more pain medication and bed. We are fairly confident that soon our injured little angel will be out like a light.

Little more than an hour later we are stil waiting for that pain medication to kick in. We have more crying and complaints of pain. So Beloved poses the question to #2. Do you want to continue to try and go to sleep, or do you want to go back to the Hospital? #2's answer without hesitation take me back to the hospital.

I get the hospital people on the phone, explain what is going on and they tell me to bring her back in. So off we go. Of course once we get in the car she is down right chipper and chatty and I am thinking that this is about to be a wasted trip. It turned out it was probably a good thing we went ahead and went back.

Another examination shows a wrist that is swollen. We did not x-ray the wrist first time around, so more x-rays. No broken wrist. The first splint was kinda funky and had her hand at a strange angle and her fingers all squished. We decide to do a different kind of splint. We put this splint on and #2 seems more comfortable than she has since it all began. The doctor showed us in detail the x-rays from earlier and #2 did a pretty good number on her arm. Looks to be fractured in about three different spots right below the elbow. We are sent back home. More pain medication is given we are tucked in to bed and go right to sleep.

The rest of the night wasn't too bad, we did have one wake up when the pain meds wore off. The next dose seemed to last much longer, and she is still uncomfortable today which is to be expected, but NOTHING like last evening.

Today we are having a movie marathon so that we can keep the arm elevated and iced. I expect a repeat of these activities tomorrow. Keeping the arm propped is a bit of a trikc

#2 wants to go to school Monday morning, but I am more inclined to keep her home. Our appointment isn't until the afternoon and I will feel much better turning her loose among the kindergarten masses once we have a full report from the specialist and a full cast on the arm.

Ok, I gotta go. Keeping this kid's arm propped up is not as easy as I thought. She is slippery I guess. I have to help her sit up and readjust about every half hour or so it seems.

Hope all of you have a better weekend!

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