Fractured

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Night before last, Zoey was dancing in our living room. No big deal. She’s done it millions of times before–and if she isn’t dancing, she’s usually spinning around and around until she gets so dizzy that she falls on her butt and giggles. Being a toddler, her sense of balance isn’t always the best and she falls. But she’s never gotten hurt, you know, until now.

So, the other night she was dancing away and all of a sudden her balance pitched and she fell forward. She threw her hands out in front of her, to stop her fall, and her arms took the brunt of the impact. She cried and Greg picked her up. We cuddled with her and soothed her until she calmed down. She said that her wrist hurt, so we prodded it a bit and even though she could move it, it was clearly sore. Her hand was shaking, but the wrist didn’t look swollen, so we sat with her on the couch and held her close. We figured she probably jarred it or sprained it and it would feel better with some rest.

But she didn’t want us to touch it too much or talk about it. She just laid next to me on the couch, with her little arm pulled close against her body. We talked about whether or not to take her to Convenient Care, but there wasn’t any swelling and she could move her wrist. Plus, she was incredibly tired (this all took place about ten minutes before her bedtime), so we decided to wait until the morning to see how she was doing. We figured her wrist would most likely feel better in the morning.

She and I slept on the couch that night because she didn’t want to get up and go upstairs–and Greg and I didn’t push it given that her wrist was aching. We tried to get her to take some medicine, but she refused.

The next morning, I got up and got ready for work. When Zoey woke up, she told me her wrist was okay. She was moving her arm around and everything, so Greg and I decided to take her to my mom’s house for the day like usual. If Mom had any concerns, she could always call Greg or I. That was the plan.

But then we tried to put Zoey’s coat on and she started crying when we touched the arm she fell on. She climbed into my lap and laid against me, with her arm pulled up against her belly. Every time we tried to move it, she cried.

I called work. I told them what was going on and my supervisor, who is quite possibly the nicest person in the whole world, said that she totally understood and everything was fine with me either coming in late or having to take the day off. Then I called Zoey’s doctor, explained the situation and was told to head to the office immediately.

Maybe it was incredibly naive of me, but I figured we’d get to the office, Dr. Jones (best pediatrician in the whole world, by the way) would say it was sprained or jarred and tell us to give her toddler Motrin and we’d be on our way. So, I rushed out of the house with basically my purse and Zoey (we bundled her up in a blanket since she couldn’t put her jacket on).

On the way to the doctor’s office, Zoey held her favorite stuffed animals. I kept looking at her in the mirror and she was moving her arm around without even thinking–to hug one of her stuffed friends or to reach up to scratch her nose. So, I figured it was no big deal.

But then at the doctor’s office, while we were in the waiting room, I noticed that Zoey would play with the toys for a few seconds and them look at me, pull her bad arm up against her belly and start using her other hand. Clearly, the arm was still hurting her.

We got called into a room for Zoey’s height and weight to be checked. The girl doing it said something to Zoey about coming to visit them today and Zoey look up at her with big eyes, pointed to her wrist and said, “Wrist hurt.” The girl said, “Oh no! Really?” And Zoey replied, “Yeah,” in that super-serious way that only little kids can do–their eyes wide and their eyebrows up into their hairline. It’s the most she’s ever said to anyone in that office.

The P.A. prodded Zoey’s arm in the exam room and when she got near that wrist, Zoey started crying. Turns out, it wasn’t the wrist that was the problem; it was the arm bone right above it (which explains why she could move her wrist). And there was swelling, but it was minimal and hard to see given that toddler arms are chubby anyway.

What it all meant was that there was suddenly a possibility that Zoey had broken her arm and we had to go two miles down the road to a place specializing in x-rays to see what was what. I got Zoey situated in the car and called Greg. He had just gotten to the painting job site, but when I told him what was going on, he turned around and headed for us in Syracuse.

Here’s how awesome Greg is: on the way to Syracuse, he stopped at home and grabbed Zoey’s diaper bag, filled her sippee cup with fresh juice–and even filled an empty water bottle with back-up juice if her sippee cup ran out. PLUS, he wasn’t sure what snack to bring in case Zoey got hungry, so he brought her a bag of mini muffins, a bag of carrots and a bag of strawberries. BEST dad in the entire world. No wonder I’m totally head-over-heels in love with him.

Anyway, we got up to Syracuse just as Zoey and I were coming out of the x-ray place. The pediatrician had told me to stay at the x-ray place until they got the results. Sure enough, the arm was fractured. I walked out of the x-ray place in a total daze, got Zoey in the car, called Greg and told him to meet us back at the pediatrician’s office and then tried to remember where I put the stupid validated parking pass.

Seriously. From the moment I found out Zoey’s arm was hurt really bad, I just wanted to gather her up in my arms and hold her tight. My baby was hurt. This poor little girl, who had just been innocently dancing when it happened, had a boo boo that a kiss from Mommy or Daddy couldn’t fix.

And I knew she wasn’t going to be too keen on the cast she was about to get.

So I met Greg back at the pediatrician’s office, where we found out that the ortho doctor couldn’t see Zoey until two in the afternoon–aaannnddd it was only quarter to eleven in the morning. Because there isn’t a whole lot you can do with a child who needs a cast on their fractured arm, we headed back home for a little over an hour. During that time, Zoey took a nap and Greg and I grabbed a quick lunch (Zoey had eaten in the car on the way home). Then we were off and running again to East Syracuse to the orthopedic office.

Watching Zoey follow the nurse down the hallway (Greg and I were right behind her), was heartbreaking because she looked so tiny. She was so brave and so wonderful and that made it ten times worse for me because I felt so bad that she had to go through all of this. She sat on my lap while they used the world’s smallest blood pressure cuff to get some of her vitals. She was a little unsure about it at first, but then the nurse started talking to her about her baby polar bear stuffed animal that she was carrying around and Zoey smiled and held really still.

Then we met with the doctor, who gave us the details: fracture; four weeks in a cast. Follow-up appointment to get the cast off at the beginning of December.

We headed down another hallway to get the cast. Zoey sat on my lap. Tears came to my eyes and Greg looked kind of pale while they were wrapping her arm, but Zoey took it all in stride. She watched the whole thing and acted like it was no big deal.

And when they were done? This is what she had:

We went home after that and spent the rest of the night just hanging out so that Zoey could get used to her new cast. Naturally, we spoiled her by letting her have a little bit of soda (about an inch in the bottom of her glass). She only had one hand able to grip the glass, and she spilled a little on her cast. Since the cast doctor lady had said she can’t get it wet, I, naturally, freaked out.

All panicked, I asked Greg, “What do we do?!?!”

Greg rolled his eyes at me and calmly said, “Wipe it up.” Well, okay, if you want to be reasonable about it.

So Zoey is getting pretty used to her cast. And the family has already started the process of spoiling her rotten while she recovers. My dad got a little stuffed bear with a little cast on its arm and some stickers for Zoey. And her Aunt Kim and cousin Lisa dropped off a whole big care package at my mom’s house while Zoey was there today. And that’s on top of all of the well wishes Zoey got on Facebook yesterday and today. She’s a very lucky little girl.

But the best part? Right before bedtime last night, Miss Zoey was watching The Fresh Beat Band. The characters started doing the robot and she hopped off the couch, stood in the front of the t.V. and did it right along with them. At least this whole thing didn’t stop her from dancing.

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