The drama has ended with a best case scenario stamped all over it. After a visit to a pediatric orthopedist this afternoon, he came to the conclusion that Marianna's elbow isn't fractured at all! What appeared to be a fracture to the radiologist was a jagged edge in her growth plate. That means we have a healthy girl on her hands with no need for pins, surgery, or even a cast! Smiles all around as we celebrate what was indeed nothing more than a case of nursemaid's elbow to begin with. Yay!!!
4 -- the number of times we have been to the ER with one of our girls.
3 -- the number of times we have been to the ER with Marianna.
2 -- the number of times we have been to the ER with Marianna in a 24 hour span this past weekend.
1 -- the number of doctors I'm hoping it's going to take to finally tell us what needs to be done.
This weekend, which began as a relaxing beginning to Nathan's vacation, turned into total craziness starting at about 9:30 Saturday night. We had friends over and the kids had been playing together all night upstairs. Some of our friends had just gone upstairs to get their kids ready to go, when I heard a thud and crying. It took just a few seconds to tell this was serious crying, and it was Marianna. I ran up the stairs, scooped her up, and brought her back down to hold her while she settled down. But she didn't settle down. She kept complaining about her arm, crying whenever we tried to look at it, and down right screaming when Nathan tried to straighten it. I don't have any experience with breaks, but to me her symptoms seemed tell tale of a fracture, so we decided we better head in and have it checked out.
Of course it happened on a weekend late at night. That's how it always happens =). So the ER it was. We checked in at 10:30, had had her x-rays by 11:00 and were hopeful about being home quickly after all.
That was not to be.
Three and a half hours later, we were finally called back to see a doctor. Marianna had been amazingly chipper up to that point, but by 2:30 am, her perk had fizzled and she wasn't interested in seeing the doctor. Especially when he took her arm, twisted it up and around and pushed, popping her dislocated elbow back into place. The good news, he told us, was that her arm was not fractured. He said she would be just fine, only a little sore while the torn ligaments healed. We were good to go.
We got back home and in bed just before 4:00 am. Marianna woke up happy and excited about her arm mobility, and our only indication of the soreness the doctor had warned of came when I tried to help her put a new shirt on. She couldn't move her elbow in a way that allowed her to get her left sleeve over her arm. I wasn't at all concerned, especially since she was feeling, what appeared to be, 100% better.
Fast forward a few hours when we were all settling in to take a nap in front of the hockey game, to a phone call we received from the ER. The nurse explained that upon second review by a radiologist, they discovered that her elbow did indeed have a fracture, one that might require surgery or pins. They told us we needed to return to the ER immediately to have a splint put on until we were able to see a pediatric orthopedist.
We were not going to be caught unprepared again for our second trip to the ER, so we loaded up an overnight bag with a pillow, Marianna's Leapster, DVDs, books, and food. This time we were there just over two hours, but the experience was surprisingly 100% more traumatic for Marianna. The splint freaked her out. Big time. She wasn't just upset about it; she was angry. Nothing, and I mean nothing, could make her calm down except time. After an hour, I was ready to call back up to the ER and ask them how to cut the thing off of her. It was awful. But an additional hour seemed to do the trick, and by evening, she was at peace with the splint and its effect on her mobility.
She woke up as bright and happy as sunshine this morning, and she is ready for her third appointment, this time in a doctor's office setting. We are hoping that the orthopedist will be able to tell us exactly what needs to be done, and I'm praying for no surgery. But whatever the case, I'm grateful for the second check that was done that caught the fracture. I hate to think that it might have gone unnoticed and caused her problems down the road.
I have never broken anything, Nathan has never broken anything, so this is new territory for us. It stinks having to see your baby go through something like that, but we are trying to make it fun any chance we get, and I'm awfully proud of her for how she's handled the unpleasantness. I'll let you know how it turns out today.