Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Nightmare Day

Yesterday morning (Tuesday) the girls were out riding their bikes. We normally go out there after breakfast and ride unless we are going to the pool that day. My good friend Vivian called, so I was sitting on my front steps watching some kids ride and others sit on the driveway and draw with a new bucket of sidewalk chalk I had just bought.

Hailey, my 7 year old, rode over in front of our house and started making a 360 turn to her right to go back up the street the way she had just come. At that point events start blurring a little. I saw her fall onto her left side, landing on her left hip and leg with the bike landing on top of her. She immediately started screaming. I told Vivian, "Igottagobye," as I started running towards the street, throwing the phone into the grass.

Hailey was screaming in agony, holding her leg. She was screaming things like "It hurts, I think I broke my leg!" I was looking for road rash where she had landed, so I kept trying to look at her left leg, just sure that the skin was all off in a bloody mess. But she was holding her other leg, shaking and screaming. Then I got a look at the leg she was holding. It was obvious something was wrong because of the odd swelling that was already occurring (though thankfully no bones were protruding).

Trying to calm her down so I could get her into the Suburban, I had the other girls get the bike put up while I tried to carry her, scooping her up from the asphalt and somehow getting her into the car. Then I had to get a trash can since she felt like she was going to be sick (I felt a bit like it myself), threw on decent clothes, grabbed my purse and got out the door, being so thankful my oldest child is old enough to keep the kids for a while.

Once we got to the pediatric urgent care clinic and got checked in, they fortunately had a wheelchair. But any movement sent her into spasms of agony. She looked awful too. She was sweaty from the bike riding and the shock, her skin was an odd grey color and clammy, and she had the shakes really bad. She was also in old mismatched clothes she had thrown on to bike ride in, her hair was in a messy ponytail from the bike helmet, and she was in tennis shoes that needed to be thrown away, they were so worn out.

Though we were all fairly sure it was broken, they needed to do x-rays, but just moving her was so painful. They had no IV pain meds at the clinic, but she was so nauseated, they couldn't give her oral pain meds yet. So before we x-rayed her they gave her some anti-nausea medicine. We then managed somehow to get her onto the x-ray table but could not get her leg straightened out. So we had to take the pictures with her knee bent. After the first film, the doctor pulled me aside and showed me the x-ray. It was broken in two places and part of the bone was displaced. She wasn't sure if it would need surgery to put a pin in or not, but it was bad enough they couldn't cast it there. She told me she was probably going to send me to an ER, calling an ambulance to transport her. What she really needed was better films, but she needed to be drugged to do that, and they could do that in the ER and not the clinic.

Then we went back in for another x-ray. After getting her back into the wheelchair, I thought she was going to pass out. When she would look at me crying while this was happening, well, I can't describe the agony and heartbreak I felt. At that point they did give her some pain medicine as the anti-nausea meds had kicked in by that point. Also, the doctor got her an appointment with a pediatric orthopedic surgeon at 1:30 so we wouldn't have to go to the ER. But they did need to splint her first. After that I started making phone calls, including one to Kelly, whom I hadn't really had time to call yet. He immediately left work and came to meet me at the house.

On our way home, I stopped to get Hailey something to eat (mistake #1). Kelly carried her into the house while we made plans for the rest of the day. We then climbed back into the truck to head up to the specialist office. Thinking the worse was behind us, I didn't think about grabbing a trash can. Well, that was a BIG mistake (#2). She got sick on the way, and we had nothing with us. So we had to turn around and head back home and clean her up - without giving her a shower, and clean the truck up somewhat, though not thoroughly since we needed to go. Then we climbed into the Suburban and headed to the specialist.

They got her back and elevated the leg, iced it, and showed us the x-ray. The break was even worse than I had originally been told. Besides the two breaks, there is a long vertical crack from the bottom break all the way down the bone. And there was nothing they could do for a couple of days. They wanted her under general anesthesia to set the bone and cast it, and they couldn't do either until the swelling went down some.

So we are set to take her into an outpatient surgical suite in the morning (Thursday). At this point they don't think they will need a pin, but she will have a hip to foot plaster cast. The nurse ordered us a wheel chair with elevated legs, as she won't be able to get around on crutches in the first cast. They are doing a plaster cast instead of a fiberglass one because of the type of break and the way it needs to be molded - I don't quite understand all the details but the plaster gives him some options the fiberglass doesn't, though she might get a shorter, fiberglass cast in a month to 6 weeks.

The rest of the day was spent trying to get her settled in at home, going to three different pharmacies trying to find one the had her prescription in stock, and trying to clean up the truck. Needless to say, Hailey slept fairly well on drugs, Kelly and I did not.

So for now, even after the cast is on, our downstairs living room will be her bedroom. Our house is not wheelchair friendly, so it is going to be a challenge just getting her around in the next month. So between seeing one of my kids in severe pain, ruining the back seat of our new truck, and dealing with all the logistics for the next month or so, I am feeling quite overwhelmed. I am dreading tomorrow - not the procedure itself, but the amount of pain she will surely be in the rest of the day.

We still aren't exactly sure how she broke the leg. I saw her fall and know she landed on her left side - she has a few scrapes from that. But the top leg is what broke, so we speculate she must have gotten it tangled in the bike frame or slammed it into the frame somehow. And while she has been in more pain than any child should, she has been a trooper. Though I don't know if she'll ever get onto a bike again.

1 comment:

Alexander Family said...

Oh Tami, I am so sorry to hear of all of this. We will be praying for all you of you especially Hailey.