Thursday, March 27, 2014

Because the Last Broken Arm Didn't Count

If you recall about this time last year Olivia hurt her left arm at an indoor play place. She didn't complain much though so we didn't go to a Dr until 2 or 3 weeks later when we noticed she still wasn't using it much. We found out she had a small fracture that the Dr. said was healing fine and didn't even need a cast or sling.

I admit having a daughter with an adventuresome spirit has often made me wonder when we'd really have to pay a visit to the ER with one of her stunts. I guess I'm glad it took us 4.5 years but I was hoping it would be never. Her second broken arm yesterday was NOTHING like that first one and was probably the hardest day of my life as a mommy.

We were playing at the Schatzels house in Seminole yesterday having a grand ole time since we hadn't seen them in over a month! After lunch the kids were playing in the bedrooms and four of us moms were chatting in the living room when the kids came in and Liv was crying pretty hard. We immediately could tell her arm was broken, my heart about leaped out of its chest, and we grabbed purses and shoes and Jenna drove us to the Seminole ER while I held Liv in the backseat trying to keep her arm still while she screamed. On the ride there we deduced she had fallen out of Genevieve's crib. Lauren also came to the ER in her vehicle. (Her friend Mandy stayed with her kids). Liv told me through screams that it was bleeding and when I saw the small amount of blood on her arm I had a feeling it was from her bones so I decided not to look at it anymore and I didn't. I tried to keep her from looking, but it didn't work well.

Luckily Seminole is a small town so we were to the ER in about 5 minutes and seen immediately. They splinted it and I held her in my lap on the bed in the room trying to distract her with singing and videos on my phone. She wailed through the examinations and xrays, but she was so tough and brave and did what the Dr. asked. After about an hour the codeine was finally kicking in and they held off on morphine because they wanted us to see a surgeon immediately. She has an oblique fracture to her left ulna and a small puncture wound from the bone. Lauren's child life specialist skills kept us both calm while we waited for papers, Ryan to get there, and for a firmer splint and sling. we watched LOTS of Frozen videos. Jenna drove Ryans car back to OKC while our family got in my car and headed to the orthopedic surgeon in the city (Liv thankfully slept the whole way and was much less agitated). The surgeon took us out individually to show us the x-rays (no I don't have a picture and I'm not sure you'd want to see it!) and explain the options then he gave us awhile to make a decision.

He basically gave us two options with the result being that she will heal the same and be fine no matter which we chose. Surgery was an option mainly because of the open wound. He wanted to clean it and close it because of the very small risk of infection. It's a small wound. BUT there's also a risk when you're under anesthesia so if we decided not to do surgery she would just be put on antibiotics and we would monitor it several times before putting the real cast on (for 8ish weeks). He didn't even open up the splint job from the ER, he didn't want to do anymore damage and said we can come back Monday to look at it. He told us over and over again how resilient kids bodies are and how it's almost a miracle how their bones can grow and heal without having to do much to them.
Codeine is our friend! 
Liv has been such a trooper. She is in pain, but we are staying on top of her meds. She woke up about every 2 or 3 hours in the night in pain and we would comfort her and she would eventually go back to sleep. She slept on the trundle because it was easier to get into and I ended up on her bed sometime in the night. Distractions are her best friend, we spent all day today cuddled up on the couch and in bed watching movies and shows on Netflix.
Breakfast in bed, watching cartoons, using that right hand
I gave her breakfast in bed while I took a shower and was surprised when I got out that she carried her dishes to the sink all the way downstairs by herself. Silly girl!
The Swan Princess over and over and over....
We did manage to get up and about by 2:00 and took a walk down to the little library in our hood to swap a book....still in pj's of course. I wasn't about to try and figure out what clothes could possibly fit over that splint!
Then our neighbors came over to play with her for awhile on the front porch. Noah came over after school and brought a sno-cone. She seems not to notice the pain as much when friends are around. But as soon as they left she was pretty tired and we watched another movie cuddled up on the couch.
Thanks for all your calls, messages, visits, and prayers! Sorry if I haven't responded to all of them but we have gotten them! Keep praying that she can sleep well, adjust to her right handedness (she's still a lefty), the arm will heal with no infection, and her appointment on Monday won't be too traumatic. I hope we never have to go through a day like that again but my little girl is so tough, she inspires me.

P.S. If anyone has good tips for bathing and dressing with a cast let me know!
P.P.S. Tennessee posts will resume soon's gonna seem like we were there a year by the time they are done!


Sommer said...

I broke my dominant arm when I was about her age too. Try a bread bag over her arm to protect the splint/cast for baths. Maybe tshirts that are a size too big for tops. That way the arm hole is bigger? So sorry you guys are having to go through this!

The Moores said...

Olivia- we'll be praying that God makes you better very soon. You're such a brave girl! We love you!

Anonymous said...

Laura should be able to give you tips on dressing a girl (Violet and herself) with a broken arm. Thankfully, when Ry broke his arm, he could just wear short sleeve button down shirts. That was so long ago but I remember the helpless feeling of having your child in pain and nothing you can do will fix it. Grandma will be praying for a quick healing sweet Olivia.

Oma Hagen said...

Try a drugstore or medical supply store to find a vinyl cast cover. Not sure if they have them small enough for a 4 year old, but they have a gasket around the top that keeps water from getting in. They have them for arms, legs, etc. It was very helpful after my TWO foot surgeries this winter!


That helpless feeling you feel as a mom when your baby hurts themself so bad is horrible! I ache for you mom. Fortunately kiddos are VERY resiliant and their bones are amazing and the way they grow is truly a blessing. With Violet we used a lot of plastic grocery bags for the shower. Put one on over the cast and tuck it down into the top, then put another on top, and put a hair band around the top. It worked well. Praying for you all during this time, it will get better! Love you guys!

Tarren and Erin said...

I broke my tibia in 5th grade so I had a cast up to my thigh for a couple of months. It is not fun but it will not bother her at all after a couple of weeks. An arm cast should be easier to keep dry. I like the double bag method mentioned above. Feel better soon, Olivia!

Heather Valee said...

So so sorry, what a crazy and difficult notch on your mommy belt but sounds like you were a trooper too! We will continue to pray for her healing and recovery and for comfort and peace for all of you! If there is anything we can do to help, please don't hestiate to let us know.

kmom said...

Olivia is blessed to have wonderful friends.

The McDowells said...

I hope she feels better quickly! That sounds like a really rough day. Seth had multiple broken bones and I repeatedly was cracking my head opening requiring a lot of stiches, so I figure we are going to have payback with our kids, so I am trying to mentally prepare myself for seeing bones or a lot blood.

Shawn and Becky said...

Poor girl . . . and momma . . . hope she feels better soon. So glad she's okay!

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