Summer has been unusually hot. As I write this we are in day three of three days of extreme heat. Catastrophic conditions have been predicted today and there is a total fire ban.
We have had 40 degree days and constant heat that never cools down at night. So, you can imagine after school the kids are desperate to cool down.
My choice this past Monday the 6th of February, (the start of the second week of school) was either the local pool or the sprinkler in our backyard. I chose the sprinkler option.
While I was taking clothes off the line and adding more to the line the kids organised and started playing under the sprinkler.
I watched them and every so often I popped my head up from the clothes line to make sure all my three little people were okay.
The girls were happy getting wet and the baby was having fun pouring a bucket of water on himself as well. They were dirty but cooler so dirt was not an issue. It’s easy to clean dirt and better to be cooler in this horrible heatwave we have been having.
At one point one of my girls decided to stand on a bench seat that we have in the yard. She was jumping up and down and did a jig like dance. Mind you this was wet and under the sprinkler. What could possibly go wrong right?
I of course told her that this is not going to end well and I would like her to get down. I was worried she might fall and hurt herself.
Cue the Benny Hill Theme…….Just picture the kid doing the jig on the bench seat. Water from the sprinkler and then…..
She fell and the bench seat fell on top of her. I saw part of the incident but not all of it due to hanging clothes on the line. This kid screamed the place down and kept on yelling, “My wrist, ouch my wrist”!!!
I knew the way she was screaming that she had broken something and my thought was that her wrist was well and truly broken.
I raced to see if she was okay, I got the bench seat off her and assessed her injury. Her wrist was swelling up and my little girl was screaming and yelling due to the pain.
Her sister whizzed into the house to get her a towel as I needed to clean everyone up for the trip to the hospital (the doctors at this stage were all closed and if it was a broken bone as I thought the hospital would be the place to be anyway) and arrange a bag for the baby and some snacks for the girls. Our last few times at emergency we waited hours and hours. Mind you this was due to emergencies that took priority over us. You never know if this would happen again and being in a hospital waiting room with three kids it is best to be prepared.
The towel for the injured girl arrived and it was put over her like it was a blanket (Looking at my girl lying on the grass underneath the towel it sort of looked a bit morbid. Like a chalk outline of a body but done with a towel) I told her to lay on the grass and just wait a bit. I needed to get things inside the house, look at her hand and decide that it was really broken and then get all three kids ready to leave the house.
I lightly touched Lillian’s arm and she screamed like I was killing her. Yep it was broken in my head, but I am not a doctor. I was making sure that she could move her fingers (in hindsight maybe not a good idea but thought was important due to understanding what was wrong with her arm and wrist).
Finally, I got Lillian inside the house, gave her some painkillers and got her dressed. Julia was trying to get the baby dressed and tidied up as well (You must picture each child wet and covered in dirt and mud due to playing under the sprinkler.) I went and helped Julia out while Lillian sat crying in the living room. Looking at my girl lying on the grass underneath the towel it sort of looked a bit morbid. Like a chalk outline of a body but done with a towel.
Julia then got ready while I made more bottles of formula, packed the nappy bag and organised shacks for all three kids.
We all piled into the car and tried to reach hubby to let him know what was happening. We got seen to quite quickly at the hospital. The triage nurse gave Lillian a once over and asked what had happened. I explained and so did she. A doctor came to have a quick once over of Lillian’s arm before we told to go to x-ray and wait to be seen there.
X-ray was quick and confirmed my suspicion that my little girl has indeed broken her wrist. We then went back to the emergency waiting room to see the doctor. The wait was not long and the doctor said that her wrist was on a 15-degree angle and this would most likely need to be put in the proper straight position so that the bones can align and mend correctly.
Yes, the doctor said that he has sought an opinion from an orthopaedic surgeon on whether Lillian would have to come to Nepean to have the wrist re-broken to have it in the correct placement before they could put a cast on her.
The specialist was going to call the doctor back where we were so that was a long wait. I think we waited an extra 3 hours for this answer. Nothing we could do and most likely this doctor was super busy with emergencies where he was. (I know girls can be doctors but I was told it was a man)
It was decided that the orthopaedic surgeon needed to see Lillian so that he could re align the bones for the wrist to mend correctly. YUCK I say… oh no! My poor little girl.
I was told that Lillian would be put under to have this happen. I thought although terrible if she is knocked out that might be okay. She will not have a memory of it and it would be easier for everyone involved.
Lillian had to be at Nepean at 8am on Tuesday morning! Oh, gosh how do we do that? I must take one kid to school and the baby to care and get another to the hospital. This would never happen. Hubby took the day so that he could be with Lillian at the hospital and I took Julia to school and the baby to care.
Then due to the stress of the day I was a mess. I could not stop thinking about my little girl and the horrible thing that they need to do to her arm or more like wrist.
We were told that Lillian had to be nil by mouth from 4am, and of course had to be at the hospital for 8am.
Lillian and hubby did not see the doctor until after 11am.
I bet she was hungry and scared.
Remember I told you that the doctor said that she would be put under to have this happen. Well that didn’t occur. She just had gas. Yes, she was awake for it all!
The nurse and practitioners made sure that she had plenty of gas and they tried to do things that would help take her mind of what was occurring. Picture nurses and others laughing and trying to create a different situation than the one that was happening.
Hubby said that she looked distressed at times and upset but afterwards she has no memory of it all. Her memory is that she laughed all the way through it. (Thank goodness for that)
I know that it is a horrible thing to have done and the doctor was quick and according to hubby it was horrible and medieval. I told hubby, “How else would they do it?” I think hubby needed the gas as well. He is still quite upset about the whole thing and watching it all happen for him was very distressing. I know I would have been a huge mess if I was there but I would have liked to have been to comfort her during and after.
I was told that the doctor was very quick but forceful. He pulled and pushed and just snapped things back into place. Hubby heard bones re-break and move. He is very traumatised about the whole experience. During all this I was getting constant updates and was feeling sick about the whole thing as well.
After Lillian had the doctor do his thing with her arm they had to check it with another x-ray. This x-ray will make sure that the bones were all in the correct position. If not, they would have to do it all again.
The x-ray showed all was in the right spot and off hubby and Lillian went to get plaster put on. Yes, more waiting but at least she did not have to go through the trauma of bone re-positioning again.
2pm hit and hubby and Lillian finally could leave the hospital. Hubby took her to McDonald’s for much deserved treat and it was no surprise she ate all her food. Poor little thing must have been so hungry.
Wednesday Lillian stayed home due to recommendation that the cast needs an extra 48 hours to set. The harder the cast is the better things will be.
Next Tuesday the 14th is when I have to take Lillian for her check up. They have to do another x-ray to make sure that the bone has not moved and all is well. If all good she gets more plaster and hopefully we can come back in another six weeks to finally get the cast removed.
While we are at the hospital next week Lillian has been told she can either get a colour or a pattern on her cast. She is keen to find out what she can have.
Thursday, she went back to school and was rather popular with all the kids. She was even getting presents of cheesy scrolls due to her sore arm and more. One mate has nick named her the ‘wounded warrior.’ Geez I wonder what is next?
Lillian however is rather annoyed with her cast and it has only been a few days. Since she is a little kid they like to put the cast nearly up to the arm pit. This is to limit movement (the doctors like to make sure movement from the elbow to down the hand is limited) and to keep the bones in the correct spot. If she was older the cast would be smaller.
So now I have to keep her spirits up in the heat. She is not able to do sports, or swimming and more. She is not happy and is sick of me checking how her arm is feeling. I have stopped asking now and I hope she will tell me if it does start hurting. I have to told her to do so if she notices any changes.
Maybe now the kids will listen when we say you will hurt yourself if you climb that or this. I told her that she needed to be more careful and get off the seat. Hubby told both girls the day before that someone would break an arm or wrist and now it has finally happened.
I don’t like being right about this, I wish it never happened. I hate the fact that my little girl is missing out on fun things in the hottest summer we have had for ages.
Also the other issue is that Julia seems to feel that she is missing out on things. Hubby bought Lillian a toy rabbit from the hospital due to her bravery in getting her bones put back in place. He did not get a present for Julia. The fallout has been horrible. She is just being upset that she is not getting things like Lilly.
I have explained that Lillian is not getting things just because, she is getting things due to the fact that she has hurt herself and in a lot of pain. Terrible pain. Horrible actually!
I told Julia that if she helps out and does things I will give her things as a thank you gift. She just wants to have the same things like Lillian. I again told her that if it happened to daddy we would be helping him, if it was her we would be helping her, and if it was me the family would help me also. She was just very annoyed and thinking she was still missing out.
I am not sure why they chose to give Lilly gas rather than putting her under anesthetic. There must be a reason the doctor did it this way. My thoughts on why are the following: The doctor wants to see a response in his patient and understand if he/she has the positioning right, or it could be that the patient heals better knowing what has occurred although slightly out of it due to the gas or other drugs but understanding that the doctor has fixed their broken limb. If you know why they use gas rather than knocking them out please let me know.
While looking up info on broken bones I came across these great links. They help you understand what will happen and break things down so that kids and adults can understand the jargon and process:
- The facts about broken bones – Kids Health from Nemours
- Bone Fractures – Better Health Victoria
- How Bones Heal – Ask a Biologist
I am amazed that we got to eight years and nearly nine years old without more broken bones. This is the first broken anything that the kids have done. I hope it is the last but I don’t think that will happen. I think we have done well to not have any until now.
Did you break your leg, arm or wrist when you were a kid? Or has it happened later in life?
I fractured my left arm as a kid. It was a greenstick fracture and it was very painful. I must say that I am lucky to be here from my accident. I was riding my bicycle and smashed into an on coming car. My bike went under the car, my hip hit the number plate and I had metal fragments that needed a second visit to the hospital as they were not discovered until I came home. I had a broken arm, a fat lip, skin missing from my face and legs. Not great at all. If I was on a different angle or got bumped me and the bike might have ended up under the car rather than just the bike.
I think I hurt myself at a similar age to what Lillian is now. I will have to confirm this with my mum.
If are going to hurt yourself it is best to not be in a car accident and just be in your garden at home. Much less traumatic. I must say I’m still stressed about the whole experience. I wonder what would have happened if we went to the pool rather than use the sprinkler in the yard? Who knows maybe it still would have happened regardless of where we were.
This has freaked hubby and me out more than it has Lillian. I have to take Lillian back on the 14th for a final check up. They will do an x-ray to make sure that the bones are still in the right spot and if all good more plaster.