I think most of you (my steady readers) know that the Kiddo broke his leg on Tuesday, but most of you haven’t heard the whole story yet so I thought I’d spend a few minutes writing down the whole story (with pictures). I will start by saying that the Kiddo is fine, he’s far more cheerful then he has a right to be and is adjusting well (so far) to his new restrictions.
Lately the weather has been a little confusing, some days are freezing cold and others are relatively warm, but with my tendons still messed up I’ve been driving the Kiddo to and from school every day regardless of temperature. It’s a seven minute drive, quick from here to there. When we get home I try to park in the closest parking spot to our apartment. Usually that means dealing with parking lot ice, but there’s only been a couple times where the Kiddo has slipped and landed on his butt or knees. I’ve seen a few other kids slip in the same area and I try to make sure I hold his hand until we get to the side walk.
Tuesday I wasn’t fast enough. The kiddo hopped out of the car and started his walk (yes he was WALKING) before I could grab his hand. As he neared the back end of the car I told him to please be careful of the ice, he pointed at the ground and said “what ice? that ice?”, I told him yes, that ice and the stuff all around there because it can be very slippery. As I reached out to take his hand he fell… He landed in a slightly side split position and after a pause started to cry. They weren’t screaming cries, just “holy crap that hurts” cries so I thought he had pulled a muscle. I crouched next to him and cuddled him into a ball rocking him while he hiccupped into my shoulder. After a minute he stopped crying and started to take deep breaths, so I picked him up. Immediately he started crying again, he had his hand locked onto his right thigh. When I finished standing he stopped, breathed some more, and told me that his leg really really hurt. I asked if he could wait till we got inside for me to look at it and he said yes, he buried his face in my neck and breathed shaky breaths all the way across the common area and up the three flights of stairs to the apartment.
The pictures above show how far we walked and where he fell. We were parked where the green oval is, he fell at the red star. You can see how bad the ice is, but the spot we parked in was uncovered so the ice behind it isn’t as bad, plus it was 3:20 in the afternoon… I keep telling myself that I had no way of knowing he would slip and fall, let alone break anything.
By the time we reached the apartment his breath was very shaky and he’d cry for a few seconds off and on. I sat him on the couch, took off his shoes, and very quickly yanked off his pants. His right thigh was huge and my stomach flipped over, that’s when I did the unthinkable stupid thing. I put my left hand on his thigh and pulled his leg strait towards me with my right. I felt the bone shift and line up. He cried out and with tears in his eyes demanded I not ever do that again. I let him curl onto the couch, covered him in a blanket, and called the Man. It was not a very coherent conversation. I think I said something to the effect of “Chance broke his leg! Come home NOW, I don’t care how you get here but be here NOW”.
He told me to calm down, breath, and wait till he got home. See the Man works very close by, it’s a seven minute drive for him. The hospital is also five minutes from our apartment. So it makes a lot more sense for him to come home and drive us in then it would be to call an ambulance. Anyway after I hung up with the Man I went and quadruple dosed the Kiddo with his HC (his normal dose is 5mg so we loaded him up 20mg and then kept his emergency shot handy just in case that wasn’t enough). While I waited for the Man I quizzed the Kiddo on everything I could think of, what he wanted for his birthday, how to spell his spelling words, what flavor ice-cream he wanted (he said sugar *chuckle*) etc. He kept trying to close his eyes and I was scared he’d go into shock so every time he did I’d tell him to look at me and keep answering my questions.
The Man finally got here, and, after checking the Kiddo's leg for signs of, as he put it "Femoral Bleeding" (There weren't any) and confirming that it was likely broken, he picked the Kiddo up as carefully as he could and we rushed him back down to the car. Then I drove strait to the ER with the Man holding the Kiddo in his lap (checking for signs of Femoral Bleeding and Adrenal Crisis). When we got there the Man had me go inside to get some help getting them out of the car (the position they were in had made the Man's arms go to sleep). I went in and had them bring out a stretcher for him. Then the Man, with a Male Nurses help (mostly just hovering to catch a dropped Kiddo), very carefully lifted him onto the stretcher, and then they rolled him inside. The whole time he was quiet and breathing through the pain. He was so calm that they had to ask me if I was sure it was broken. Every new person got the story, “he slipped and fell, did the splits sideways, broke his right thigh bone, he has AI so please make sure you watch him carefully”.. I told EVERY person, nurse, tech, doctor.. I kept out of the way but at the same time I watched him for signs they might miss, and I talked to him. They all listened to what I had to say and were extra careful with him, ER doc ordered another dose of HC (50mg) just to be safe. They dosed him up on morphine and x-rayed his leg. Yep it was broke (duh), he had a “long oblique right femur shaft fracture” and we were told that they wouldn’t be able to cast him at that hospital and that he’d have to be transferred to the children's hospital about 30 minutes away.
They wrapped his leg in a temp cast so it wouldn’t move and when he was told he’d get to have an ambulance ride, his face really lit up. He struggled to stay awake while we waited for them to arrive. Finally they rolled in, and shifted him (bedding and all) onto their gurney.
I went with him in the ambulance and the Man followed in the car. While he drove the Man called the Kiddos Endocrinologist to let him know what was happening and to find out if there was anything we needed to do that hadn’t been done (there wasn’t, we’d done perfectly).. the Endo said he’d call the children’s hospital and make sure that the ER doc on duty knew what to do for the Kiddos AI, plus he asked them to make sure that the Kiddo got a stress dose of HC every six hours just to be safe.
The Kiddo managed to stay awake the entire ride, he chatted with the medic and told him how he wanted to grow up to be a fireman and ambulance driver etc. The guy that rode in back with us was the older one and he was amazing, he listened and talked with the Kiddo, did the paperwork, and kept a very close eye on him. I know that’s his job but I still really liked him, he kept me calm and the Kiddo very happy during the entire ride.
Once we hit the children’s hospital they gave him another dose of pain meds and he passed out (see he’s got his leap frog with him, and his blue snowflake blanket… that’s the same blanket he had as a baby in the nicu). It was 50/50 whether they would have to operate and put pins into his leg, or whether they could get away with just doing a cast. The big bone breaks on kids his age are just awkward to fix. After much consulting and waiting (and about a dozen different nurses and techs) it was finally decided they’d cast him.
He fell at around 3:20, we were in the first hospital by 3:50 , and he finally made it to the OR at around 10pm. Everything went smoothly and he was finally back downstairs in a room by 12:30am.
We sent the Man home (to take care of cupcake) and I stayed to spend the night with the Kiddo at the hospital. They gave him some juice and a bunch of crackers to snack on.
He fell asleep around 1. I don’t think I slept more then an hour that night (broken up in chunks). The Kiddo was out (pain meds!) but I couldn’t stop peeking at him to make sure he was breathing and okay.
That was my view all night. He slept like an angel, stirring every time they came to take his vitals but never fully waking up until around 6:30am Wednesday morning. When I asked him how he felt he smiled and told me he felt okay, that the pain level was about a 4 and he wanted to watch cartoons. We watched Disney channel the rest of the morning, breakfast came at 7:45 (I ordered him a banana, pancakes, and fruit loops) and the Man showed up at 8:30.
We didn’t get out of the hospital until late afternoon though. First we had to wait for the car seat consult, see the way the cast is on the Kiddo’s leg he wouldn’t fit in a normal car seat. They have special seats to fit but they’re usually used for smaller kids. The alternative is a vest type thing that he wears, laying down, and it seatbelts in. Fortunately for us the booster seat we’ve been using fits well enough that the woman said we could use it instead. He has to sit a little sideways but he says he’s comfortable.
We were also waiting for a wheel chair but they sent the tiny one to the hospital (with his cast anything smaller then an adult size wouldn’t fit) so we had to send it back, but the wheel chair guy was nice enough to meet us at the apartment with the bigger size.
It’s still not a very good fit, he’s sitting on the front half of the seat and I can’t shake the feeling he’ll slip off… but he says he’s secure so as long as we’re careful he should be fine and it DOES make it a lot easier to move him around.
Once we got him home we found several different ways to sit him so that he’s comfortable. He needs to be able to be in different positions to make sure the cast doesn’t press on any one part of his body for to long. So we set up a chair, figured out how to sit him down on the couch, how to lay him in bed (for sleep and hanging out) and how to lay him on his side on the couch too (to elevate his leg for when it swells).
Last night, first night home, was a bit rough. He woke up every hour or so crying, but when I went into his room he swore his leg didn’t hurt. This morning I realized that he was probably having muscle spasms (duh me) so tonight I’ll be sure to give him some of the medication we brought home to help with that. And when he was waking up this morning, still half asleep, he stretched to reach his curtain and pulled the leg, which caused really sharp pain and a lot of confusion .. he cried for 10 minutes shaking and scared, telling me he fell out of bed and hurt himself again. I had to explain over and over that he’d just pulled the muscle a little before it was ready, that he hadn’t moved and that he was going to be okay.
He’s in pretty good spirits today. There’s a bit of crankiness (who wouldn’t be upset with losing all their independence that quick, he has to call me for everything from needing a drink to going potty and he can’t play with his toys like he’s used too) but he’s okay.
I also really want to find an affordable adjustable tray for him, one that will slide under his bed or chair or couch and put the table right in front of him. So he can eat, or draw, or what not. Something like the laptop table picture I’ve got here. It adjusts up and down, the table part adjusts in pretty much every way you can think of, it rotates, tilts, and can be put on either side of the center bar. I found one on Ebay for 40 bucks. The question is whether I have forty bucks to spend on it :)
Now we have to go to the apartment office and write out an incident report on it. I want to yell and scream at them for being so lazy with the ice in that spot … but I know that’s not fair and that it wont accomplish anything… still it’s a problem spot and they’ve got salt machines … I guess it’s a good thing I have a few days to calm down before I write anything.