Sunday, February 7, 2016

Jon's Broken Arm

Thanks to a recent post by one of my favorite friends in the real world and the blogosphere, I have been inspired to do some catch up blogging. I just looked and it has been over three months since I have blogged. I'm hoping to post a few in the next week or so, but let's just take this one step and at a time. We'll start with my oldest boy and that time when he broke his arm...

        Like most horror stories, it all began on Friday the 13th. Will had been sick all week with a fever and just laying around, very unlike him. Meanwhile, Jon and Sam had been doing some chores and took a break. Sam was sitting in the old glider that used to be in the nursery when the kids were smaller, and Jon was standing on the glider's ottoman. Jon was "surfing" and Sam was gently rocking the ottoman with his feet when they agreed that the rocking should get a little less gentle. I was sitting on the couch with Will and texting Pete about whether or not I should take him to the doctor when I hurt a wail and a thud--or maybe it was a thud and then a wail?--regardless, chaos followed. Sam ran in saying, "Mom! Jon hurt his arm really, really bad!" And then I saw it...his arm hanging in an unnatural way, leaving no question about what we would be doing next.

        After trying to call Pete and getting no answer, I sent a text saying simply, "911-Jon broke his arm." Then I called my neighbor to see if she could stay with my kids while I take Jon to the hospital. Although she was out of the state, she sent her son over immediately. In the meantime, Pete called me and headed straight home, and I took the injured and headed to campus of Children's that is closest to our house. If you ever wondered how to avoid having to wait in the waiting room at a children's hospital, just bring a child with a badly broken limb. They quickly got him a wheelchair and escorted us straight back. One of the nurses even made mention to another of "the deformed child" as we went by. In my frazzled state, that somehow struck me as humorous.

        It was quickly decided that he needed morphine and x-rays. Jon was a champ when they put in the IV. They had a whole team of "life specialist" or some such craziness ready to read him a book and walk him through why they needed to put a needle in his arm. Little did they know that my logical first born, who was in much pain, did not need much convincing. In fact, just the quick run down of the way IV's work while the nurse assembled her team of life specialist was good enough for him. They stood down and he got his drugs and the x-rays, which revealed just what was expected. Both his radius and his ulna in his right arm were broken. The next question was to operate or not. The doctor who had been helping us decided that regardless of the answer to that question, we would need to see an orthopedic specialist at the main campus.


          And so we took our show on the road. The orthopedic specialist at the main campus of Cincinnati Children's decided that contrary to the prior doctor's opinion, Jon would not need to be sedated at all to have his arm set. They simply gave him another dose of morphine, then the doctor gave a quick twist with a horrific crunching sound and a quick x-ray in the room to confirm that his bones were aligned properly, and then they splinted his arm and rewrapped it. At this point the doctor said we would need to keep his arm wrapped in the splint and in a sling 24/7 for a week and then return to get yet more x-rays and then he could get an actual cast. In case you missed it that means his arm, which was close to needing surgery, would be protected by a foam pad and an ace bandage. I kindly requested an actual cast since we have three kids younger than Jon who are quite active, but the doctor said this was for the best. They sent us on our way around 7pm, over 7 hours from when the break took place.

       For Jon's sake, I am going to include a few things that he likes to be sure people find out about his experience. Jon would want it noted that the only food he ate that day was his Cheerios and a mint since the break took place right before lunch. We stopped at Wendy's on the way home, however he couldn't stomach it after all the morphine on an empty stomach. At the hospital they wouldn't let him have food or water in case they ended up needing surgery. The poor kid was super hungry and thirsty for most of the day. Also, the ortho doctor did not tell him when he was going to set his arm. He was feeling around on Jon's arm asking him if certain areas hurt and then just gave his specialized twist and bam! Jon wailed and cried. It was pretty awful.

       Congratulations for making it this far! If you're still reading, I'm going to wrap up with a brief summary of his progress since the day of the incident. His follow up appointments since then have been fairly standard and thankfully all very successful. One of his bones, I believe his radius has healed completely, but the ulna has a fracture that is still healing. He wore casts that went most of the way up his arm for 7+ weeks, and is currently wearing a brace for 6 weeks. Apparently the area of his arm that he injured is an area with low blood circulation, making it heal slowly and prone to being injured again easily in the following year. As of Wednesday he will get to take the brace off unless he is doing anything active through May 13th. They said this includes running and playing outside, riding bikes, wrestling, etc. In case you forgot, he's a ten year old boy with 3 younger siblings...I might be making him wear that brace more than he realizes. The doctor said if the arm gets broken again in the next year, there is a very high chance that he would have to have surgery. But for now he is counting down the days until Wednesday and I am letting him enjoy the idea of wearing it less.


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