*Sigh* Where to even begin with this post. So many "coulda shoulda wouldas" are running through my head right now, but they don't change one single fact. Anna broke her arm.....again. It was on a Thursday in August....again. It was right after a weekend with G & V.....again. And two days after the first arm breakage Rob fell down the stairs. He's not allowed off the couch tomorrow.
Anyway, the kids and I decided to head to the park yesterday instead of the pool as usual. Riverfest (a local carnival thingy) is going on this weekend, making it near-impossible to find parking near the pool. So I thought the park would make a much better outing for us. We picked up some gfree cookies at the gfree store and headed over. They ate some snack, drank some water, and headed to the playground. I watched them for a bit, them remembered I had a magazine with me. Three page flips in I heard a horrifying scream--several in fact--and looked up to see Anna flat on her back. She had been sitting on one of the raised stepping stones and was scooting over a bit for Ben when she fell. I raced over to her and she just would not stop screaming. That was my first clue that something was seriously wrong. My second clue was her elbow itself. It looked completely wrong with part of the bone pushing in the wrong direction. I tried having her sit on the bench for a bit, but she was inconsolable. She kept crying that she wanted to leave. We headed home so I could clean off the dirt and look at her elbow a little better. She just wouldn't stop crying and her elbow looked so odd that I knew we needed to head to the ER.
My poor baby didn't want to walk into the hospital, but she had too and we got her to a couch (still screaming and crying) while I waited for the receptionist to be free. I explained what happened....and she sent us over to Urgent Care. Yes, because I want to walk my screaming, pain-filled child to a different building. In protest, I left my van in the ER parking spot :) We walked over to where Urgent Care HAD been when Rob hurt his back only to find that it was now a private doctor's office. We had overshot. When we finally made it in the correct place, Anna was terribly distraught. The nurse took one look at her and got us right back into a room. They gave us a man's shoe splint thing for Anna's arm (which instantly became her security blanket) and let us check in from our room. God bless that wonderful nurse! Anna got settled onto the table and the doctor came to check her arm. We were sent to xray, another fun and wonderful adventure where Anna found new heights in her voice and decibels I didn't know existed. The boys had to wait outside of the room and Matt told me later than Ben said "If I hear her scream one more time, I'm going in there!!" It's nice to know her brothers have her back :) Anna was just in so much pain that it was a challenge to get the exact angles necessary for the proper xrays. Eventually another technician was called in to hold her on his lap and raise up her lower body while I held her arm in position. Those lab techs had the patience of Job!! Then the male tech took us back to Urgent Care and I thanked him profusely.
We had a bit of a wait while the orthopedic surgeon studied her xrays. Poor Anna was overheated and thirsty by this time, so I sent Ben out to see if there was a water cooler in the lobby. (The boys knew the lobby pretty well by now with their numerous visits to the bathroom). The nurse caught him in the hallway and came in to tell us that Anna could not have anything to drink because she was probably going into surgery. Surgery? Yep, she broke her humerus bone, right above her elbow, and needed to have it set and pins put in to help it heal properly. The doc scooted in quickly to confirm. Anna was again crying piteously over this news. They tried having her suck on a washrag, but it didn't do much good.
Before too long, we were taken into ER (finally!) and she got one of the snazzy prep rooms. The boys got to see the garage where the ambulances pull in and we even saw one arrive (to pick up a transfer patient, so nothing too exciting or gory). The ortho and the ER doc met us and got her story (it matched, imagine that!) then gave us the run down on what was going to happen. Everyone was so mice and friendly and we felt well-informed on every step.
I had been texting family and friends with the news and one friend offered to come take the boys and feed them supper. That was a HUGE blessing! They were being good, but it was hard to focus on Anna and keep the boys entertained at the same time. (We did have a rousing game of I Spy going on in Urgent Care). My friend also called our pastor, who came and visited with us for a bit. I wasn't able to get ahold of Rob until five, but I left a text on his phone that read, "Anna broke her arm. Totally not kidding." He called to get an update at 5pm and said he would be right there. He made it to the ER before she was taken up to the pediatric ward.
I am so thankful that they moved us up to pediatric! She was the only child on the entire floor and got such wonderful care and attention and had a new teddy bear waiting for her. By this time she already had her IV line in (and she was pretty brave for that one!) and we just had a waiting game. Because she had a snack at 2, they couldn't do the surgery until around 8pm. Rob decided around 7pm to go pick up the boys, take a shower, and grab us some dinner. (The cafeteria was closed for construction.) They packed an overnight bag for Anna as well.
The surgical team came in just before 8pm and talked to me (she had an AWESOME anethesiologist who was so gentle with her) then they gave her the sleepy meds and took her off. I could have gone with her down to the room, but the nurses said it is usually better to separate in the room. That was a hard one, but one of the nurses stayed and talked to me for a bit.
Before Anna left for surgery, she was very scared. I tried to distract her and find TV shows, but she was just nervous. So I asked her who would be with her during the entire surgery. She answered, "Jesus?" I said yes and that he would be holding her hand the entire time. I asked her which hand He should hold and she held up the one that wasn't broken. It was so hard to send my baby girl into surgery, but I knew that Jesus would be right by her side the entire time and it was all in His hands.
Okay, grab a tissue and keep reading. Rob and the boys arrived about 10 minutes after Anna went down and we showed them the toy room, books, games, and Legos. They decided to build some Lego decorations for Anna's room and watch some Shark Week. The nurse popped in to tell us Anna was in recovery, then the surgeon came up to say that her arm went back into place easily! Praise the Lord!
When she arrived, she was very groggy and barely registered that we were there but super happy that she got some apple juice. The boys and I kissed her and said our good-byes. Rob spent the night because there was no way I could have slept in the recliners in her room. He was up with her off and on, but they both did sleep for several hours.
The boys and I headed back to the hospital after breakfast to find her up and in the toy room. She had masterfully eaten breakfast left-handed and wanted to play. We spent the next couple of hours bouncing from one activity to the next and the surgeon arrived around 10am to tell us that Anna could go home! Hooray! She tried to get off the bed right away to leave, but we told her it wasn't that simple :) We dressed her and packed up her stuff, then waited for our discharge papers. She got to ride out to the van in a wagon and I took her on home. Ben and I did our best to get her comfortable. She's had a pretty miserable day at home. The surgeon told us she would be in more pain than last year's break. She's on some prescription pain meds which do take off the edge and she has to keep her arm iced and elevated. We go in on Thursday to see if the swelling has gone down enough to put on a cast.
And next August, she goes in bubble wrap.