Monday, March 31, 2008

Here's another tale of woe

Hanna is a slight toddler. She is 75th percentile for height and only 3rd percentile for weight, so her proportions are much like those of a spider monkey. Add to that her adventuresome spirit and she learned very quickly how to break out of seatbelts. Her stroller had to be replaced by one with shoulder straps, which gave her a bit more of a challenge but even still did not keep her confined. At least it gave me a chance to grab her before she was tossed head first onto the shopping mall floor. Her high chair only has a lap belt, which worked just fine for it's previous 4 users. Hanna grinned at me as I tightened the belt around her hips. But on occasion, by the time I sat down to eat my own food, she would try to climb out and would strain her hips against the belt until she was able to slip out. This was an ongoing struggle.

So here is the scene. It is lunchtime. Damon has a hockey game, and so he, Matt and Patrick eat quickly and start getting ready to go to the hockey game. Campbell, Kira, Hanna and myself are left in the dining room. Kira spilled her bowl of hot soup down the front of her shirt, leading to lots of dramatic tears and requests (aka demands) for me to get her a shirt immediately. Hanna and Campbell were still busy eating their soup and so I left them in the dining room while I dashed to Kira's room to get a dry shirt. As I returned to the dining room, Campbell was lifting Hanna up off of the floor as she held her breath (she's a breath holder, often turning blue before she lets out that first scream). I held her and tried to calm her. I offered to nurse her and she refused! Then I knew that there was something wrong. First I was worried about the way she was breathing. And as I watched her breathing, I also noticed that she was favouring her hand. There was no bruising or swelling anywhere though.

Clearly something was wrong and she needed to go to the E.R.. Matt and Damon had to leave for the game, so Patrick stayed behind to watch Campbell and Kira until Grandpa arrived.

In triage, it became obvious that it was her arm that was hurt and she was only holding her breath from pain. But then we were sent back to the waiting room to wait. The doctor saw her and sent us to radiology, where we waited some more. Then we went back to E.R. and waited for another hour to be told that we needed to go back to radiology to get another view. *sigh* Hanna was not impressed with any of this. I'm not sure who she hated more, the E.R. doctor or the x-ray tech. Finally the E.R. doctor called me into the hallway to tell me that she did have a break in her wrist and possibly her elbow too. He had called the orthopedic surgeon on call and he would see us as soon as he got there. He didn't take very long.

He confirmed that the wrist had a "greenstick" fracture, and he doubted that there was a break in the elbow, but said that in a baby he didn't want to take a chance and casted her for both. She got some "happy drugs" and after a bit of fussing she was giggling while I held her down as the doctor and the nurse built her a cast. Some of the other nurses came to peek in on her as they passed the doorway. I took her home with the tiniest hot pink cast where she very quickly went to sleep.

Hanna adjusted for her cast very quickly. The first morning, she decided that if she couldn't eat with her right hand, then she would just have to starve. Or eat only cookies. She's no fool. She regained her balance quickly and learned that if she needed to she could wield her cast as a weapon too. One of our hockey mom friends signed her cast. And we got some teasing everywhere we went. Everybody said, "Oh they must have questioned you about it." But the hospital didn't. Perhaps because she was a tiny thing who was already running around, or maybe because she didn't have any bruises on her body. I'm not sure which it is, but I was thankful because I was already beating myself up about it.

Two weeks later the x-rays showed that she was completely healed. Her cast was cut off and it was as if it never happened. Except for the cute little pink cast that I kept to remind me of how fragile she is/was.


kdionrn said...

I guess it's bad to say that she looks adorable in a cast . . . but really, she looks adorable in a cast.

Jenni said...

Oh dear! I'm so sorry the trauma happened, but I have to agree that she really knows how to work that hot pink cast...