Saturday, April 20, 2013

3721 "Fun" day

Saturday, April 20, 2013

No two equals are the same.
-- Malaclypse the Younger --


Daughter is away at her 15-year college reunion, leaving Hercules and Nugget home alone for three days.  Yesterday evening, Friday evening, Hercules took the Nugget to a playground, and went down a side with her on his lap.  She was wearing rubber-soled shoes, and her right shoe caught the side of the slide, and her leg got jerked back.  With the full weight of Hercules behind her.

I had agreed to babysit this morning while Hercules went on a trail-cleaning junket with his geocaching group, so when I saw his car in the driveway last night I went over to find out what time I should be there, and he mentioned that Nugget had a boo-boo, that she said her knee hurt, but he didn't see any swelling or bruising.  When he told me what had happened, I was very concerned, but she was already asleep for the night.

I went over there at 8 this morning, and it was pretty bad. Nugget was ok when sitting, and she could move the leg, but she kept saying boo-boo, pointing at her knee, and she couldn't put weight on it.  She'd stand on her left leg with the right foot held off the ground.  It was hard for Hercules to accept that she needed to go to the doctor or the ER, because a.) he REALLY didn't want to miss the trail cleaning, and b.) he's a tightwad and didn't want to pay the copay for what would probably be nothing.

I pushed, and he called the pediatrician.  Appointment at 11.  She sent us to the big hospital 40 minutes down the coast (they have a pediatric whatsis).  In the ER they xRayed her leg, and ... surprise!
Her Daddy went into the xRay room with her.  I waited in the hall, and it was heart-wrenching.  She'd been fine until then, but she didn't want to lie down, didn't want her leg in that position, didn't like that machine, her screams were terrible.  When she came out of the room she was fine again, and loved riding the bed back to the ER.

It's a spiral break in the tibia, so common they call it "the toddler break".  And playground slides are the usual cause.

The doctor who was to do the cast was in Princeton, which is an hour away.  We waited for him.

Nugget had so far been cheerful, but we were already past lunch and running into nap time.  We got her some food from the cafeteria, and some apple juice, and then she fell asleep on Daddy's lap.  The cast doctor arrived around 3:30, and wrapped her leg up right on Daddy's lap while she was still sound asleep.  She didn't even twitch.  With her new cast, in the hospital:

It's a hard cast, toes to just above the knee, with the knee slightly bent.  Four to six weeks.  It looks blue in the photo, but it's actually brilliant purple.

She slept in the car all the way home, and then for almost a hour longer after getting home.

She keeps asking us to take the cast off, and tries to push it off.  She knows what "broken" means, and every time I explain to her that her leg is broken, and the doctor fixed it, but we have to keep the "cast" (can you say "cast"?) on until it's all done fixing, she accepts that for about 15 minutes, then she wants it off again.

She can't stand or walk.  She's unbalanced with one knee bent, and putting weight on it even with the cast seems to hurt, but by this evening she'd learned how to use her little plastic chair as a crutch.  Figured that out all by herself.

The next few weeks are going to be rough on Daughter.  The Nugget weighs almost 30 pounds, and I haven't been able to pick her up for a few months.  The cast is surprisingly heavy, adds more weight.  Daughter probably weighs about 102.  We're going to have to figure some stuff out.  Anyone have any experience with a toddler in a leg cast?


I got a laugh from the doctors and nurses when I said that she'd been born in this hospital, and wouldn't be 2 until next week, so, uh, any chance she's still under warranty?


Anonymous said...

I used to take care of a child who had osteogenesis imperfecta. She was in leg casts a couple of times a year. Her casts went all the way up and encircled her hips. I took care of her aged 2-4 years. It was never easy and she always regressed in toileting. The cast begins to stink after a bit to add to your joy. I weigh close to 2&1/2 times what your daughter did so lifting was not an issue. Maybe you ought to look into renting a hoyer lift for a few weeks. (Google to check it out)-Z

Becs said...

Hercules disappoints me.

Poor Nugget. Poor little one. Give her a kiss for me.

~~Silk said...

Z - I'm very familiar with the Hoyer lift - used it when Jay was bedridden. Truth, it's the only way I would be able to get her into and out of the crib! Daughter is very strong, but I will worry about her back.

Becs, don't be annoyed with Hercules. Some people initially react to bad situations by denial. Once he accepted this was real, he was great. He was wonderful with her in the hospital. But, once he realized it was real, he felt so incredibly guilty. Nugget's geocache tag is "Monster Truck", and he kept saying "I broke the truck!" So while he was taking care of the Nugget, I was trying to convince him it wasn't his fault. The nurses and the doctor were also a bit concerned, telling him it's common and not his fault. Later, I was telling him how to go down a slide with a toddler when he cut me off with, "Not an issue. She's never going down a slide again."

He does tend to overreact. I mean excessively. It's a problem.