My Summer Has Not Gone As Planned…

On May 25th, I posted an update to inform my readers of updates and plans for life & blog… Less than 3 days later, Sunday night before Memorial Day, my summer plans went out the window with a blood-curling scream from my daughter’s bedroom. I ran to see what happened and found Audrey (3) on the floor, obviously in extreme pain, holding her arm. Apparently, Kendal (5) pushed her off the bed as they were playing…when they were supposed to waiting quietly for me to come in and pray for them and tuck them in. I scolded Kendal and told her to stay in bed as I carried Audrey out to the kitchen. I sat her down and iced her arm with “Dora kisses” (our boo-boo freezer pouch). After 20 minutes of crying/screaming with no signs of stopping, I pulled out my children’s medical symptoms book and started a range of motion assessment. This only made her scream more. After the 30 minute mark, I decided to take her to the ER.

I called our babysitter who said Kendal could stay with her (thank God!) as I got the girls in the car. I dropped Kendal off then drove the 20 minutes to town. By the time we got there, Audrey had fallen asleep but immediately woke up and started crying again when I pulled her out of the car seat. Fortunately, we did not have to wait to go to triage and we were taken to a room right after the nurse’s assessment. We did, however, have to wait awhile before someone came in to take x-rays. The on-call orthopedic doctor was in surgery (so we didn’t actually see him during this time) but gave the word that there was a serious break in the humerus bone directly above the elbow and that he needed a repeat x-ray from a different angle to determine if Audrey needed urgent surgery (scary!). After the second x-ray, the ortho doctor sent word that the arm needed a hard splint. Audrey still describes her favorite ER person, “the man with the blue pants and the white shirt and black hair” (actually an EMT), who put the splint on. The ortho doctor finally came to the room, along with the x-ray team, to get a 3rd picture while the splint was on. This was to confirm that she did NOT need surgery and to ensure the arm was positioned correctly. After lots of stickers, meds, and a total of 4 hours of being in the hospital, we could finally go home…

…but not without restrictions. Audrey had to keep her arm elevated as much as possible. I had to alternate tylenol and motrin around the clock as needed for pain. She could do nothing that could put her at risk for another fall or re-injury (jungle gyms, running, etc.). And nothing that could cause her arm/splint to get wet (swimming, bathing, etc.). Did I mention that I had just bought a season pass to the base pool?

So, after we woke up in the morning, I realized that I was completely out of children’s tylenol AND children’s motrin. I am really not sure how that happened since I usually keep both on hand. Our babysitter, walked Kendal back to the house and was willing to stay with the girls while I went to the store. Of course, the base shoppett didn’t have children’s liquid tylenol or motrin, the commissary is always closed on Mondays, and the BX was closed at the time too (not sure if it was because it was Memorial Day or if it was because it was too early in the morning). So I had to make the 30 minute drive to go to Walmart. While I was there, I picked up a couple of activities and snacks (she specifically asked for popsicles). When I got home, I propped her up on the couch with pillows under her arm and everything she needed within reach.

The next day, she was up and moving around a little more so I put her sling on so that she could start to get used to it. She didn’t really like it but understood that she had to wear it. The following photo was a smile for daddy. Shane, by the way, was (and still is as of the writing of this post) in Arkansas during this whole ordeal. I kept him posted by phone the whole time we were at the ER. He hated not being there to help her.

And a couple of days later, we still had her propped up on the couch as much as possible. She fell asleep watching a movie and instead of moving her to her room, I just let her sleep until I went to bed.

After the first few days, she started to feel better. I still gave her meds around the clock but I didn’t make her stay on the couch or bed all day long. Having a broken arm really did not slow her down at all. And we did cheat a couple of times when I triple bagged up her arm so that she could play in the kiddie pool or sprinkler.

Six weeks later, the doctor (who had been seeing her almost weekly) said that it was healed enough that the hard splint could come off. It is not completely healed but it was enough that it didn’t need to be in the same position anymore. He said that kids her age usually regain full mobility on their own so he didn’t refer her to Physical Therapy. But we go back later this week to find out if it is needed (after two weeks of being out of the splint). We were overjoyed to hear that we could officially go swimming and we went immediately after leaving the doctor’s office!

Needless to say, I have not accomplished much during the last 2 months. I really did intend to homeschool Kendal starting the end of May but I was not consistent during June. I did manage to get her to Vacation Bible School for a whole week during June! So we officially began homeschooling in July. It has been going ok but both Kendal and I have needed motivation. I now have several sticker charts (for several different things to track), a reward/prize box of goodies for her to choose from when she fills her sticker charts, and mainly a personal incentive (which she is excited about too) to go to Tutti Frutti’s when she gets so many stickers.

Along with everything else not mentioned in this blog post, we have had a busy summer. I am ready for vacation! During the month of August we will be visiting Shane for our 10 year Anniversary and visiting his family and part of my family (who will be driving out to meet us for a few days!). We are super excited and soooooo ready for a break from everything! Through it all, God is so good!

***UPDATE*** When we returned to the doctor for her follow-up, we were told that she no longer needs to go back to the doctor. No physical therapy will be needed! I will still be cautious with certain activities for the next few weeks (for my own peace of mind) but otherwise she is healed!

5 replies

  1. What a great mom, Alysa. I’m so proud of you! You’re doing such a good job with the girls. I love ya!
    You know, our Aliya, broke her arm at her 6th birthday party. She was playing on the swingset which also had a pool at the bottom of the slide. She had gone down the slide into the pool over and over all day long. Then, she went down one final time and decided she didn’t want to go into the water so she jumped out and when she landed her arm hit the side of the hard plastic kiddy pool and snapped.

    Oh, the blood curdling scream. Fortunately, we had 3 firefighter paramedics at our party that scooped her up and got her in the van for me. It was so obvious that her arm was pointing in the wrong direction – she needed emergency surgery. We had to wait 24 hours to have surgery. She was on a morphine pump and was an absolute wreck. Screaming, hitting me …. it was awful.

    She had to have physical therapy. She was afraid to use her arm after her hard cast came off 6 weeks later. They were actually afraid she had developed compartment syndrome. That is VERY scary.

    She never really got full range of motion back for months. She couldn’t fully extend her arm at her elbow. We had her hanging from the bar on our swingset. I think that really helped. She also had lots of trouble holding her pencil and writing.

    Boy, do I miss her!!

    Hope to see you all soon.
    Love you!
    Aunt Debi

    • I don’t remember that but we were probably in Japan. I miss her too! I am so happy that she didn’t need surgery but she may have needed it since now that its healed it isn’t 100% aligned correctly. Too late to do anything about it though. Miss you too!

    • When we returned to the doctor for her follow-up, we were told that she no longer needs to go back to the doctor. No physical therapy will be needed! I will still be cautious with certain activities for the next few weeks (for my own peace of mind) but otherwise she is healed!

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