Sunday, September 7, 2008

The Emergency Room, Nursemaid's Elbow, and a Tired Sunday

Good morning. Well, I guess it's no longer morning, is it? I slept in pretty late today, because I was up really late/early last night, because we were in the ER. My husband and 14 year old were out of town on a weekend hunting trip, and I was putting our 22 month old to bed last night a little before 9:00. We normally have this ritual every night, where I swing him by his arms, up onto my bed. And then I pick him up and let him fall down onto the bed again and again and again. We all swing our kids, right?

Well, after doing this for months, last night it ended a little differently...with him crying. He didn't scream right away, but instead gradually built up to a full-blown cry. I bent his wrist and elbow to make sure everything was ok, because this wasn't like him. Normally he would be giggling. I bent his fingers to make sure they were ok too. I tried to sing a little song with him to calm him down, and even tried the clapping part, and the part where we raise our hands, but all he wanted to do was cry. He wouldn't lift his arm at all!

So I started crying and praying at that point. There was no swelling, no discoloration, no popping sound when it happened, yet he still cried. I felt AWFUL!!! My hubby wasn't home, and I was feeling a little panicky. I gave him a dose of Children's Tylenol, thinking maybe we sprained something. Then I put ice on his arm, and put in a soothing music DVD that we have. I rocked him and held him, singing to him, but he still cried.

I called the advice nurse and felt horrible that I had hurt my little boy. I cried on the phone with the advice nurse. She said that he needed to be seen at a certain hospital that is like 3 little cities away...not the one that is in our little city. Now mind you, we live in the Bay Area of California, so three towns isn't very far away, but I wasn't sure if I remembered how to get to this hospital, and my level-headed hubby wasn't home!

So, I called my best friend, and she headed right over and took us to said hospital. We ended up on the back side of the hospital at a completely different entrance from the ER, because where we thought parking was, there weren't spaces. We realized later, that there was an overflow lot for ER, but it was AFTER we walked through the entire building, passing ER North (where we eventually ended up!!!), and finally getting to the main ER.

The nurses and doctor were really good there, reassuring me that this is something that happens all the time, and that I'm not a bad parent. In fact, they had just had another case of this, just 10 minutes before we got there. Still, with the little guy SCREAMING at the top of his very good and healthy set of lungs by this time, because the whole hospital scene was scaring him, it was hard for me to feel ok about all of this.

Well, apparently our little guy got a case of "nursemaid's elbow", which is a very frequent occurrence in small children, because they have a joint that isn't fully developed yet, and so it is easy to pop out of place when swung or twisted in play. WHEW! I'm so glad my best friend was there with me. She filled out every bit of paperwork, and even had the presence of mind (and a camera) to take pictures of the little guy's first visit to the ER!!! I know, we're crazy. But my hubby took my little purse size camera on the hunting trip, so he could tuck it in his vest easily. I'm kinda glad she had the camera, because there are some moments we don't want to miss, right? Don't worry, she took the pictures after the doctor had come in and popped our little guy's elbow joint back into place.

It was just amazing to see how quickly he started using his arm and hand again after that little pop! He reached for his little book that I tucked in my purse (the one I got from Janine King's big enough for EVERYTHING but the kitchen sink!), and he was turning pages, and lifting the peek-a-boo flaps and just acting completely normal.

YAY!!!! We didn't get home until about midnight, but we're rested, and he is 100% ok! Thank you God!

3 comments: said...

I absolutely adore Debbie's creations. If my girls didn't wear uniforms to school, they'd be in Bridgetandco every day. They already are on weekends!

Meredith said...

Oh,that is just so terrifying! I remember swinging my kids all the time and getting swung was always one of my favorite things as a child. I'm glad things came out well. I've heard you're never supposed to swing children bym their arms but we all do it don't we? Don't feel bad! I feel bad for your son because I know he wont be getting anymore swinging!

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