Thursday, 14 August 2014

breaking her little arm!

I don't know how it happened.

I mean, I do know how it happened, but I cannot believe that it did actually happen.

Yesterday I was happy that the in-laws were back from their holidays, the kids were going to go to them for the afternoon, and I was going to get my hair done.  I was excited about having some time to myself.

I'd got all the stuff together, and we were good to go.  I gave the little girl her bag of toys, and she went outside, put her bag down, and watched her brother running about.  I went to lock up the house, and then the screaming started.

I went to see what was wrong, and found the little girl on the floor, screaming.  Really screaming.  I picked her up and could just about see that her face didn't look right, I tried to clear the hair out of her face, and was trying to find out what had happened from the older children, while trying to get the little one to breathe and stop screaming.  

I got through to her face and it looked ok.  Except that she was very upset. I tried to look at her hands, to see if she'd grazed them, and she screamed...

And I noticed that her arm was not the right shape.

How can a roughtie toughtie little girl break her arm falling over?  Not even running or anything?

Anyway, the boy had his head screwed on and he ran to get a neighbour who's a nurse.  Meanwhile I called an ambulance, because even though part of me was thinking that I should just bundle her in the car and take her to A&E, I had no idea where the right place to take her was.  We're not close to anywhere, and HER ARM WAS NOT THE RIGHT SHAPE.

The ambulance and the nurse arrived quickly, and the paramedic and the nurse discussed the way forward and I was incredibly grateful that these men who knew what they were doing had taken over.  My son was despatched to fetch the scales from upstairs and we weighed the little girl.  The health professionals gave her paracetamol and ibuprofen which I had at home, but she was still screaming.  We agreed we'd take her in the ambulance so she could take gas and air on the way to the hospital.  

Turns out that she's a big fan of gas and air.  The screaming stopped.  Stuart the paramedic kept on talking to her, and she was so good and so brave.  The other kids were brilliant too.  They carried all the stuff, and helped me make phone calls to the in laws to fetch the kids from the hospital, and to K, at work, although we didn't manage to get through to him.

They took us to Crosshouse hospital, which is further than our local A&E, but Stuart told us that they could deal with paediatric orthopaedics there, and if we had gone to our local A&E we would have been transferred, so I'm glad I called the ambulance.

At Crosshouse we got taken straight to paediatric A&E which had a lovely, friendly, welcoming atmosphere.  We met a doctor who introduced himself as 'Lucas', and told the little girl he was a 'bone doctor'.  They X rayed her arm and saw that she'd broken both her radial and ulna bones, and one of them was displaced.  Lucas explained to her that they'd put her arm in a special plaster, but that she'd need to come back in the morning for an operation.

My baby!

She was so good the whole time we were at the hospital, and to prove it she came out bedecked in stickers.  I told her that I'd take her home, but she reminded me she was supposed to be sleeping over at her Grandparent's house.  

The little girl with her stookie, sleeping over at her
Grandparent's house.
She's a determined little sucker.

We came to an arrangement.  I would stay over too.  She was happy, and I was so glad to have my in law's help.

She slept all night.  I didn't.  My baby was going to have an operation under general anaesthetic, and people can tell me it will be fine all they like, it isn't fine.  At 4.30am I was online, trying to find out about other people's children breaking limbs, which is when I came across this great blog post from Peanut Blossom (I believe it's an American biscuit).  It made me feel like it was all going to be OK, eventually.

So I thought I'd share the little girl's story too, to hopefully provide someone else with inspiration when they unfortunately need it.

Waiting for theatre
This morning we were up at the hospital bright and early, in the lovely paediatric ward, where the nurses made the little girl feel braver, and everyone was lovely.  

The little girl got changed into a gown, and got her name tag, and a smiley face on her shoulder. 

We didn't have too long to wait until she went in to theatre to have her arm straightened.  They were not going to use pins, just pull it straight, which sounds utterly disgusting to me.  I got to go with her for her anaesthetic, which was such a horrible thing to witness, but the staff were supportive and firm, and so very professional, and I felt confident about them.

I sat and read my book while I waited for her to come back.  They told me she'd been fine in recovery, but seeing me sent her into floods of tears (she really doesn't like to cry in front of strangers).  She had had paracetamol and diclofenac, but was in a lot of pain and couldn't keep still with it.

They only look this angelic when they're not
OK.
I helped her to calm down, and the doctor decided to give her some special morphine for children.  Another family on the ward lent her some DVDs to watch, and she was soon zonked out, staring at that.

We were out of hospital by half four.  Her arm is a bit sore still, but she's cheered right up.

We'll have appointments at the hospital every couple of weeks to see how she's getting on.  She's hoping that she'll get to change casts and get a purple glittery one.  In the meantime she wants me to draw Twilight Sparkle on her stookie!

I'll keep you informed.