Wednesday, April 24, 2013

alas, a cast

If only someone would invent a mental blogging machine, I'd have some stellar posts almost daily.

But alas, I don't even know if that is in the works.

{sidenote, I like the word "alas." It seems very sophisticated.}

So tomorrow afternoon, we hope to say goodbye to this.

Although this bright white is LONG GONE. It's signed and dirty and a lot of the cotton along the edges is tearing and ratty.

My kindergardener has had a cast for over 4 weeks now, and this is the first time I've sat down to blog about it. Not that I need to do it for the few readers I have, but I enjoy this space as a journal of our family life and stories.

So, four weeks ago this past Sunday I was home studying for an exam and Bean took the kids to the park. We've been going to this park since Miss Rose was 1 and now Bean's brother and his family happen to live across the street from it! So all the cousins were playing there too. The kids love this zip line apparatus.

Gracie got a push from her cousin on it. She says she was going too fast and we aren't sure how, but she fell forward and caught herself with her arms (what we think). There were a lot of tears and she wasn't really calming down, so Bean brought her home to me.

 As soon as I got a look at her wrist, I had a pretty strong suspicion that it was broken. We aren't alarmists with our children and try to not take them in for everything, but judging by the fact that 20-30 minutes later she hadn't calmed down (unusual) and what her wrist looked like, I decided to take her to the Emergency Room. I knew Urgent Care would send us there if it was broken, so might as well go there first.

In Triage, the nurse said "well, I don't have x-ray vision, but judging by what I see, I'd say it's broken."

I took these pictures right before they put the cast on. Her wrist was broken just down from her thumb (her radius) and you can somewhat see the extra bump on her wrist.

We had to wait almost three hours to make sure her stomach was empty in case she needed to be sedated to set the bone. At that point, we'd taken x-rays, but it wasn't confirmed it was broken yet. I wish they would have looked at the x-ray faster because she DIDN'T need sedation, so we could have been out of there faster. I was so relieved and grateful sedation wasn't necessary since she had JUST been under anesthesia 10 days prior for her eye surgery.

 Gracie was so incredibly brave. The orthopedist told me they would give her arm "a little push" during casting to make sure the bone was in place. No pain medication was offered, so I assumed it wouldn't be too bad. However, when the tech was casting her the "little push" was more like 30 seconds of pushing a few different times. My sweet girl was crying so hard and even screamed out a few times in pain. She hated that she screamed, but it hurt her badly. It was very, very hard for mama to watch. We were both very happy when that was over.

I was worried that Gracie wouldn't sleep well that night. She was anxious going to bed and not knowing what to do with her cast. But since she sleeps with 7,458 stuffed animals and pillow pets, we found the right one to support her arm and make her comfortable--and she slept the entire night!

Through this process, I found so many things to be grateful for. I was grateful I was home when this happened, and able to take her to the ER--I wasn't at school. I was grateful she didn't have to be sedated. And SO grateful that I didn't have to be at school until 10am (instead of 8am) the next day, so I was able to take Gracie to school.

She was extremely anxious about going to school, because of course she is right-handed and broke her right wrist. Since the neighbors drive our kids to school on Tuesday and Wednesdays, I felt like it was really important that one of us take Gracie her first day with the class. All morning Gracie resisted and kept asking to stay home. I told her we were at least going to try and talk to her teacher and if she truly didn't want to stay, I would bring her home.

About 10 minutes before it was time to leave, Gracie turned a corner and said "let's make sure and bring my backpack just in case I want to stay." When we got to school, I started talking to Gracie's teacher at the door. She walked in the classroom, started putting her stuff away and sat on her square. I was SO proud of her. A few weeks ago one of the moms who volunteers in the classroom told me that she asked her son if he was helping Gracie and he said "no, she doesn't need help. She just figures out how to do things on her own."

And that sums it up! She adjusted incredibly well. Gracie has learned to write with her cast--even though it's not as neat as it would normally be. We were told to try to keep her from running, riding stuff, climbing etc and that's been almost impossible!

Just a few days later she was dancing in a leotard, cast and all.

Gracie celebrated her 6th birthday with a cast.

She had a Build-A-Bear birthday party.

And has been an all-around incredible trooper!

But...we are REALLY excited to get her arm checked tomorrow and hopefully get the cast off. Only on a few occasions has she complained of pain when her arm is pushed or turned a certain way. Not being able to fully wash her right hand and arm just grosses me out! I'm sure it smells lovely in there too.
Gracie was my first child with a cast, and hopefully we won't be repeating the experience anytime soon. 

Then next month, we go back in to the optometrist to check up on her eye. It seems to be healing very well and I think the small wound that's left currently, is less noticeable then the "bump" (chalazion) was. And that will keep healing as well.

We could use the rest of the year medical-drama free.