Tuesday, January 10, 2012

What Did We Learn?

Wednesday, January 4, 2012, 7:30 a.m. (driving home from work)

John: We have a problem.

Me: What do you mean?

John: Jordan hurt herself.

(cue panic mode)

Me:What?! How?! What did she do?!

John: I think she climbed the gate and fell. I was in bed and I heard a loud thump and then Jordan screeching. Now she won't let me touch her arm.

We keep the hallway gated off and lock it at night. The idea was to keep Jordan confined to her room with access to the bathroom while we are in bed. We didn't want her wandering around the house, getting in to God only knows what, and potentially hurting  herself. If we'd warned her once, we'd warned her a thousand times not to climb over the gate. We told her she was going to fall and get a boo boo. For a while she stopped, but then she picked up the bad habit again, only this time with unfortunate consequences.

I rushed home from work and found John trying to get Jordan to lift her left arm and bend it at the elbow. She was sobbing, completely unable to move her arm and repeating "I have a boo boo on my arm! I have a boo boo on my arm!" When I was finally able to calm her down, I got her to at least wiggle her fingers. She favored the arm, kind of dragging it around, and still wouldn't bend it at the elbow. I asked her where it hurt, and she pointed to her forearm. I didn't see any swelling or bruising, so I figured it couldn't possibly be broken. I was thinking maybe a sprained wrist or a dislocated elbow. I convinced her to sit with the arm on some ice while I called the school and the bus company to let them know she wouldn't be in, and my mother to ask her to watch Johnny. We were off to the doctor's.

Once we got Johnny settled at my mothers, I took Jordan to the sick clinic at her pediatrician's office. She was in good spirits, but very tired and still very much favoring her wounded arm. I reiterated the story from my husband to the on call doctor, who then examined Jordan's injury. He gingerly bent her arm, and she grimaced and whimpered.

"Unfortunately, I can't tell anything without a film."

We were going to need an X-Ray. Perfect. I started planning out in my head how I was going to tell her and how I was going to have to restrain her when the inevitable meltdown occurred. I took the orders from the nurse and Jordan and I proceeded to the radiology department at Jordan Hospital.  She cried a bit in the car because we weren't going home yet, but I soothed her by very calmly explaining that some other doctors needed to take special pictures of her arm, because her boo boo was on the inside. She sniffled and agreed, and bravely held my hand as we walked into the hospital.

We arrived in radiology around 10 a.m. and naturally it was packed to the gills. Knowing how little patience she had, I feared the worst as we checked in and sat down. But Jordan was an angel. She sat calmy by my side, as we read books, colored and skimmed magazines while we waited. I was so proud of her. 45 minutes later, give or take, they finally called her name and we followed the technician to the exam room. Jordan balked when she saw the size of the camera, but soft, soothing words from both the technician and myself help her to relax and she sat on my lap while the tech took the films.
Upon finishing, we were told to go wait in reception while a doctor reviewed the results. About a half hour later, the on call pediatrician called me in radiology.

Dr. Gaynor: She's fractured her ulna.

Me: Oh dear...

Dr. Gaynor: We usually don't see that in a fall like this. I'm going to call an orthopedist and see what they want to do. We'll give you a call back, hang tight.

Me: Okay, thank you.

I couldn't believe it. My baby had a broken arm. I felt horrible as I hung up the phone and looked over at her as she happily flipped through a book. I hoped it wasn't too bad as I returned to my seat next to her and waited for the next call. By noon time we were on our way home with an appointment in Duxbury to see an orthopedist at 2pm. After lunch and another round of ice on her arm, we were on our way to our third appointment of the day.

Jordan happily interacted with the staff at Plymouth Bay Orthopedics, telling them all about her boo boo and how she got special pictures taken of her arm. After a short wait, we went right into the exam room and carefully boosted Jordan up on the table. The doctor came in and explained to me that it was broken, and she'd need a cast up to almost her shoulder for four to six weeks. When she showed me the x-ray, my eyes immediately got warm and I had to choke back tears. I was figuring maybe a hairline fracture. Nope. This was a good, clean break. I felt terrible. I'm her Mommy, I'm supposed to protect her from things like this.  I mean, I know it wasn't my fault, it wasn't anyone's fault, really. She fell. Kids fall, kids break things. It happens.  Doesn't make me feel any better, nor does it make me blame myself any less.  She shyly picked out purple for her cast color, and sat very still while I held her arm and the nurse casted it. After another x-ray to make sure nothing moved, we were sent on our way with an appointment to return in two weeks for a follow up.

By 4:30 that afternoon, we had picked up Johnny and were on our way home after a whirlwind day. Daddy brought home Jordan's favorite dinner (chicken and french fries from McDonald's!) and by 7 that night she was yawning and ready for bed. As I was tucking her in, I repeated the question I'd been asking her all day:

 "What did we learn today, Jordan?"

  "I can't climb gates."

And she hasn't tried since.

My brave little soldier!


www.pmgpediatrics.com  PMG Pediatrics. If you're a parent seeking care for your child in Plymouth or the surrounding area, I will highly recommend this practice. All the time, every time.

www.pbortho.com   Plymouth Bay Orthopedic Associates. Good doctors, great staff.

www.jordanhospital.org  Jordan Hospital. They have never failed to impress me, every time I've been there.

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