Sunday, January 06, 2008

Worst Mom Ever-Nursemaid's Elbow Edition

Friday started off splendidly; there was a morning haircut for Little A (Being such a brave little toaster, he only briefly shed tears.) and a visit to Crossroads to see one of Little A's girlfriends, Miss Olivia. We enjoyed hot chocolate (for Momma A), milk (for Little A) and split a tasty muffin. Upon arriving home, we puttered and played for a while until it was time for lunch. I came up behind Little A and took his hands to pull him to his feet from his seated position. At the last moment, he pulled in the opposite direction and immediately let out a bloodcurdling scream. When I asked him what was hurt, through his howls and tears, he could only respond with "Hand hurt."

Because I am a brilliant medical professional, I examined his arm and hand for signs of injury. No blood, no scrapes, no swelling. But there was much howling and keening and tears. And he refused to lift or move his left arm and hand and shrieked if I tried to touch that part of his body. The only thing I could was a dislocated shoulder. After calling Adrian and informing him that we were on the way to the hospital, I wrapped Little A in a blanket and whisked him out the car.

While trying to maneuver my sobbing toddler into his seat, our nutty neighbor Bill decided it was a good time to chat with me about how pretty the light-festooned evergreen tree in our front yard had been. Not a good time old man, I thought behind my smiles and niceties.

Once at the hospital, the ER staff did a great job of whisking us through check in and getting Little A into the x-ray room for a nice amped-up howling session of x-rays. Then we were taken to a cubicle of an exam room. Where we sat. And waited. And waited. And waited.

Let me add here that neither Little A nor Mommy A had eaten any lunch, and Little A was fast approaching his nap time.

And waited. And ate a pack of peanut butter nabs and a nasty energy bar. And waited. And sang every Sesame Song we knew. Several times over. And waited. And tried not to move Little A's wounded arm. And waited.

Forty minutes later, a nurse came in and said the x-rays had been examined. She also said she had an idea of what was wrong with Little A, but couldn't be sure and since she wasn't a doctor, she wasn't able to perform any kind of fix, no matter how simple, on him. But she thought that perhaps removing his shirt to put on a gown would correct his problem. So we undressed him to more howling and protestations. This didn't seem to make any difference as Little A continue to complain of pain and refused to move his arm or hand. The nurse told us that often small children will continue to remember the pain of an injury long after it resolves and be afraid to move or touch the healed body part. We could only wait and see if his injury resolved itself.

So we waited. And waited. And paced the hallways looking at the murals. And waited. And Momma A began to go bat-shit insane from being cooped up and from having a suffering, tired toddler who was apparently not important enough for treatment. And then more waiting.

Finally after watching his bug-eyed mother lose her grip on reality, Little A reached out to me and said, "Big hug." Lifted both arms, mind you. Adrian rushed him out to the nurses station to show them the latest development. When Little A didn't perform, the nurse gave him a double Popsicle which required the use of both hands to eat. Did he eat it? Using both hands? With no screaming or tears of pain? Yup. All better.

According to the LPN who came in a few minutes later, Little A had a radial head subluxation, a fairly common injury in small children. I'm lazy, so Google it if you want to find out what that entails, but basically it's a small dislocation of the radius. The injury is also known as "nursemaid's elbow" and needs only a slight twist of the child's forearm to correct.

Ten minutes later, we get our discharge papers, and Adrian takes a passed out Little A to his car for the trip home.

Total time spent in the ER to discover our child has an easily cured dislocation without ever seeing a doctor: 3 hours.

Yeah, I was thrilled.

For his bravery in the face of medical inefficiency, Little A was rewarded with a showing of his current cinematic treasure, Cars. For her bat-shit meltdown, Momma A got another night of joyful insomnia and a bad case of indigestion.

Fun times, y'all. Fun times.

1 comment:

TK said...


Momma deserves a drink, if you ask me.

Glad to see he's ok, though.

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