Tuesday, January 22, 2013

A Christmas Adventure

I feel I must give a warning for those of you who have a weak stomach that a couple of the following photos are a bit graphic.  Consider yourself warned.

So, Christmas day started out normal and ended with this new addition (The cast, not the baby.  That is our new niece, Aubrey.  She was added to Kris' sister's family in October, and she is beautiful!)
Eli was not even being that crazy, just jumped and grabbed a branch. The momentum swung him forward, made him lose his grip and tossed him to the ground.  When he landed he caught himself with his hand.  I knew the second I heard him screaming that we were in for a long night. After one look at his wrist that was shaped like an "S", my fears were confirmed, and we were off to the ER.  

We spent several hours at the ER getting x-rays, morphine and lots of local "culture". (I just have to interject here that people are crazy.) 
After about six hours, there was finally an ambulance available to transport us to the larger hospital in Orlando that had a pediatric orthopedic surgeon to do the surgery that we were positive he would need to properly set his arm. While I didn't see many smiles like this during the ordeal, since about three days post-surgery, he has been all smiles.  
This is the normal size of his arm.
This is what his arm looks like three weeks after the accident. Pitiful.
This kid is a trooper.  He's always making jokes, even while they're working on him.
This is where is gets a little gross.  Surgery we totally expected, pins were a surprise.  Not only did he break both bones in his wrist, he also broke his elbow.  The doctor drew us a picture after surgery, and the two pieces of bone in his elbow were nowhere near each other.  To keep everything in place they had to put one pin in his wrist...
...and three in his elbow.
This past Tuesday I had to take him to get the pins out and get a hard cast.  Unfortunately, the wrist wasn't quite ready, so we'll have to go back next week.  Also unfortunate was the fact that we had been led to believe by the doctor that it would be "no big deal" to get the pins out.  Somehow I forgot that doctors have absolutely no perspective about such things and I didn't medicate Eli beforehand.  It was probably one of the most heart-wrenching experiences of my life to see him laying there on the table screaming while they pulled the pins out.  I was wrecked the rest of the day.
Let me tell you about my Eli, though.  He never moved.  Never pulled away.  Never squirmed.  Never fought.  He laid there, screamed through the pain, and let them do what they needed to do.  Ugghhh...even writing the story makes me feel weepy.  He is amazing.  He has never once complained about his cast or about the fact that he can't do the things that his brother and his friends can do. He has been such a tough kid, and I am so proud of him.  The only time he gave me any trouble through the whole ordeal was when they made him take his pants off for the surgery and put on the nightgown.  I thought they were going to have to sedate him to get that done.  Such a boy.

I'm sure I've learned things through this, but I'm not far enough removed from it yet to not still feel a bit raw.  So far, all I can say I have learned is: 
1. Always take your purse with you wherever you go.
2. Always medicate your children, even if no one says you need to.
3. Always be nice to every nurse and every orderly you see in the hallways of the ER. You never know when you'll be at their mercy.
4. When the first three people you talk to at the insurance company make you want to lose your religion, call, call again.
5. Make sure you have good friends.  The kind that are willing to take your three year old for the day so you don't have to lock them in a closet to protect your five year old recovering from surgery.

I'll keep you posted if I learn anything else.

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