Thursday, December 8, 2011

Our Second Emergency Trip to the Doctor.

We've been relatively lucky with regards to emergency visits so far (knock on wood). I know a ton of kids that get sick constantly, and Ava, thankfully, isn't one of them (thank you, extended breastfeeding!). Aside from one trip to the ER back in April for suspected heat sickness, we've been blessed - well, until yesterday, that is.

So many factors conspired together for this to have happened. I wasn't originally going to go to the library, but decided to so that the mom could sleep a bit since she wasn't feeling well. Also, Ava has been obsessed with "seat drops" lately in gymnastics, where she drops onto her bottom on the trampoline. Unfortunately, so much so, that she does the outside of class - sometimes, like yesterday, on the cement. Anyhow, here's what happened, and here's how to not repeat my mistakes.

We had just checked out some books and movies, and were leaving the library. R was at home napping with his sick mama, so I had Ava, the baby, and the oldest child. We were having a nice time, discussing trees and pollution and just going about our business. I had the baby carrier in one hand, and was holding Ava's hand with my other, while the oldest walked alongside of us, old enough to know he had to stick right by me when we cross the street. We were crossing the parking lot, and at the moment, in the middle of the street, Ava decided to seat drop. Just then, a car turned in the drive (it's a very busy city library), and so - stupidly, in retrospect - I attempted to pick up Ava with my one-hand, pulling on her right arm to try to get her out of the street as quickly as possibly. My other hand had the baby carrier, and I didn't want to set that down or lose sight of the oldest child, so many things were going on at once, and I just didn't think it through.

Seconds later, the crying started. Normally when something seems amiss with Ava, I don't rush her to the doctor. She's never had an ear infection, or anything like that, so frequently the doctor isn't the first thing I think of. In this case, though, I could just tell by her cry that something was horribly wrong, and my poor baby - who almost never cries and is insanely tough for a little one - was hysterical. When I tried to hand her her book to see if she'd take it with her right hand and she refused to move it, I knew we needed the doctor immediately. I called as we pulled out of the parking lot, and he got us in ASAP.

Once I dropped the kids off at home and navigated rush hour traffic to get there, the rest was a big, sad blur. Ava was hysterical, screaming and crying the ENTIRE drive, something completely unlike her, so I knew it was going to be bad. I was terrified her wrist was broken, and so I was really careful with it, especially when I had to get her undressed. Our pediatrician is amazing, and came right in to examine her. She just laid there under her blanket, crying but being so brave, while he checked it out, and thankfully it wasn't broken. Unfortunately, however, she had what he referred to as "nursemaid's elbow" - or, a dislocated elbow! She was completely unable to move her wrist or extend her arm, and he told me that he'd have to set it. Could I feel like a worse mother?

Thankfully, it was quick. While I'd be lying to say it wasn't the worst mommy moment in history (you know how on Grey's Anatomy when Callie sets a bone you flinch? It was THAT noise...ugh!), it was over before we had time to register, and - strangely but thankfully - the second he set it, she was fine. Crying stopped, she was able to use it and reach for things with it, and by the time we left, it was like it never had happened!

For me, though, it's another story. I felt SO insanely horrible. I didn't pull on her hard or anything, and the doctor explained that this is actually an injury he sees ALL THE TIME. It can happen while swinging your child between two parents or twirling them around in circles, and it happens in really young children because their joints and bones are still so pliable. While that helps defend them against broken bones, it does make a dislocation disproportionately easy. He said he sees this every couple of weeks or so (!!!), which made me feel like less of a terrible mother, but only slightly.

Today she's 100% fine. Between the doctor visit, the balloon, chocolate and McDonalds we plied her with after, and a good night's rest, it's like brand new. Mommy, however, is scarred for life!


  1. Oh no! Poor, brave Ava!

    Mommy - don't feel bad AT ALL. This could completely happen to anyone. We swing Asher around all the time - I'm definitely going to be more careful now. Thanks for sharing your experience.

    Sounds like maybe you need some chocolate and McDonalds to feel better this weekend too. :-)

  2. How scary for you guys. I'm glad she's doing okay though (and that you're recovering too).

    Chocolate, McDonalds (and some vino) are in order I think!

  3. Oh my gosh. What a horrible experience! While reading your post, I had flashbacks of times I've done EXACTLY the same thing and never even imagined that could be a result of it. Wow. I hate that ya'll went through this, but thank you for sharing. My heart goes out to you and Ava and I'm so glad she's already recovered.

  4. Oh wow, I know it's much easier said than done but try not to beat yourself up over this. You reacted upon gut instinct and I would probably have done the exact same thing. I will take this and tell my Husband and his Dad about this though because Grandpa Mike likes to "roughhouse" with Bennett. Swinging and all. I can't imagine what this was like for you. I am also so glad to hear that Ava is all better now. I cannot stand to listen to B cry..... so the drive to the Dr. was probably wretched. PROPS to both of you strong ladies. McDonalds all around. :)

  5. Sometimes when my hands are full, I pull Presley up the same way and I have witnessed first hand what can happen. Please don't beat yourself up over it, and thanks for the written reminder to all of us Mom's!

  6. I'm with everyone else. It can happen to anyone and you can't beat yourself up over it! A fellow mom in my group has had to take her son to the doctor for a dislocated arm (shoulder, maybe elbow, I'm not sure). It happened more than once and the doctor showed her how to set it herself (craziness!). I'm glad she was better right away though. I've started doing this thing with Jack where I lift him by his hands and flip him, and of course everyone swings their child around. I will definitely be more careful now!


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