I have spent the past 16 months being the "sick one" in our household. I think I (temporarily) passed the torch to another family member today.
Yesterday afternoon, the 3 of us were enjoying a low key holiday party hosted by one of my friends. About an hour after our arrival, Lilly took a tumble down a few stairs and although I did not see what happened, it looked, well- not so good. We picked her up, and tried to "rub it off", but she was wincing in pain and started asking for "home". So we left.
Now let me say this- Lilly is one tough kid. She's always playing rough, running, tripping, and picking herself up with no tears. Heck- when she got her ears pierced a few weeks ago, the earring piercer gun got stuck in her ear. It took 2 Claire's associates to free her earlobe and Lilly just sat there. Not a single tear or complaint. She then got both ears done simultaneously (one ear was technically done twice since the first one didn't go through all the way).
So last night , we got home and made dinner. Lilly's arm was a little swollen and tender. She didn't complain much. Mike went out to CVS and got Tylenol and a stuffie "magic bear" to help her feel better. We wrapped her arm in an ace bandage and she pretty much sat on the sofa and ate mac n' cheese and watched tv until bedtime. She'd wince in pain if we tried to move her arm too much, but she was not screaming, or even crying. Mike and I debated what we should do. A) take her to the ER for what might just be a bruise, or B) wait until the morning and see how the night went. We opted for B. Lilly slept all night, well- she did wake up and ask for us to trim her fingernails, but I think that was some weird night- talking.
Today. Oh - today, how much you sucked. Lilly's arm was still swollen and she wouldn't let us touch her bandage to check underneath and see how things looked. Heck- we weren't even sure where she was hurting! So I immediately called our Pediatricians office to get an emergency appointment. They were able to see us within 2 hours, so Lilly and I lounged in bed all morning waiting.
We got in the car (note to self- 5 point carseat seatbelt does not work well with a injured arm). We got to the Dr. and saw the "on call" Doctor (NOT our regular Doc who I LOOOVE). Anyway, we got the bandage off and Lilly's arm was bruised and swollen. The Dr. poked around and asked Lilly where it hurt. Ok- asking a 3 year old where it hurts- seriously. She said yes to everywhere. You could have touched her toe and she would have said it hurt. So she ordered an X-ray. LUCKILY our Dr. office is all-encompassing and has a Radiology lab within it. So we went downstairs, I called Mike to high-tail it over for some much needed support and waited for Imaging to be ready for us.
So here we are, trying to explain what is going on, and what will be happening to a smart and inquisitive kid. Only 1 parent can go into the X-ray room, so Lilly picks me and we head on back. Back to the same place I had my CAT Scan 16 months ago. Lilly is such a trooper, she lies still for a whole round of x-rays, and then we wait for the results. Hmmm... this is oddly familiar. So we wait, and the tech comes back and says they need more. Ok- I know this now - MORE IS NEVER GOOD. So Lilly and I go back for another round of x-rays of alternate angles. And then we wait again. And then....they tell us to go back upstairs to talk to the Doctor.
Back upstairs we go, and the Dr. calls me into the hallway and says the x-rays are indeterminable and the Radiologist feels there is a "suspicion of fracture" on her elbow. Wow- way to be decisive. They want us to go to an Orthopedic Specialist. Ok- we can do that, there's a specialist in the all-encompassing one stop doc shop THAT THE PEDIATRICIAN TELLS US TO GO TO. Ummm...turns out when we go there that there's a problem- they DON'T take pediatric patients. They give us a phone number for CHOP and basically say good luck. Mike runs back to the Radiology lab to get a copy of Lilly's films. And we just stand there amazed that we are on our own to find someone to fix our daughter. It's now been over 2 1/2 hours at this office so we decide to go home, have lunch and find a Orthopedic Dr. from home. I will say this- my friend who works the front desk at our super fabulous all encompassing one stop doc shop was the only person there who genuinely tried to help us. But that didn't work too great because none of the Ortho. offices she gave me saw kids.
By now it's close to 1pm, offices are opening up from after lunch and I get ahold of the CHOP office in King of Prussia. Hey- they can see Lilly- ON THURSDAY! Wow- you are going to make a 3 year old with a possible elbow fracture WAIT 3 more days to be seen? We might be better off going to the ER!!! I ask if we can get in at the main CHOP or any other office location and she says- hey we can get you in the Bucks County office at 2:30 today. Fine- I don't care where we have to drive- my baby is getting fixed- TODAY! So we immediately get back in the car, put Lilly's lunch in a baggie and hit the road for our hour+ drive to CHOP. It's really not that far, but the 8" of snow from the weekend, holiday traffic, and the lack of a direct route there makes it a long trek.
FINALLY- we get to the CHOP office. And wow- everyone there is so helpful. Unfortunately our Doc has 2 concussion patients he has to see before Lilly so we wait around. Lilly is mesmerized by the toys in the waiting area. He right arm is just dangling down. That does not stop her. Amazingly enough- she has become quite dexterous with her left had. She is playing, drawing and even coloring "south paw". We brought the x-ray films with us and the nurse had the doctor take a look really quick to see what's going on. She came in and said Lilly has a fractured elbow and we'll be putting on a full arm cast. Mike is so relieved- he was terrified that Lilly would need surgery. Apparently elbow fractures can be pretty bad, but lucky for us, Lilly's was non-displaced and a Level 1 fracture. I was pretty annoyed because not like I am a doctor or anything - but it looked pretty evident to me that there was a fracture from the x-ray. We found out (on the DL) that when you deal with kids and bones most docs will pass the buck and send you to a specialist.
***NOTE TO PARENTS- if your child is getting an arm/leg x-rayed. Insist that they also take an image of the non-injured appendage for comparison. I did not know about this but it makes total sense.
Allright- we are ready for our cast-y "craft time". I tried my best to explain to Lilly was is happening and how the cast is going to go on and will make her feel better. Lilly picks a HOT PINK cast- yeah- big surprise there. And we get her all prepped. I even get to partake in the cast making and am handed gloves to wear so I can help support her arm and fingers while the Dr. mummifies her entire right arm. Wow. So if my kids elbow heals wrong and then needs surgery to have pins put it, it's like- kinda maybe a tiny bit my fault??? Oh- I am NOT liking this. Well- Lilly was a total trooper, not one cry or complaint. And- we get to go back in 1 week for more x-rays! Yay! The fun never ends! So from the appointment at CHOP, Lilly got to visit the "treasure chest" and got to take home 1 coloring book, a big pink "diamond" ring, a mini camera and a blue starfish. Plus a sling (which sucks) It's like mesh- and the cast is meshy- so it's constantly sticking to one another. Hmmm- seems like the Diaper Bag Wrangler needs to step in and create some funky cast sling!!!
It's now nearly 5pm. And the day is not done yet. We need to swing by Mike's office to get his laptop since he bailed from work to come and assist with the x-rays. So we go from Colmar, PA to King of Prussia, PA. We also promise Lilly that she can pick anywhere she wants to go for dinner tonight because she was such a super brave girl. And- she picks McDonalds. Another big surprise. Geez- what is with this kid and McDonalds!!!! So we get to hang out at Mike's office for a few minutes. Of course cast or no cast- Lilly still wants to play golf (Mike is a sporting goods buyer and has a mini putt down the aisle of his cubicle). Hey- she's pretty good left handed. She also likes to use the fax stamps that say "reply", "faxed" and "urgent".
FINALLY- home - 6:00pm.
So there's some lessons to be learned today:
1. babylegs make GREAT cast cozies/covers.
2. the super fabulous all encompassing one stop doctor shop sucked the big one today.
3. CHOP is great, especially when you get to go home, and your child goes home with you.
4. Ponchos will be coming back into style in our household for the next 4 weeks.
5. Chicken nuggets and fries cure all.
6. My daughter is the toughest kid on the face of this earth.