Wednesday June 29, 2011see more by jen
Last summer we had an incident that left my oldest daughter, Emma, then four, with a broken elbow and subsequently a full arm hot pink cast right in time for the start of preschool.
And now, as luck would have it, the hot pink cast has returned, the same left full arm cast, this time on my 23-month-old Morgan. How is this possible??
What are the chances that both of them have now broken a bone? It’s crazy.
The good thing about my blog is that when crappy things happen, at least I feel like I can vent and share with you in hopes that you keep it in the back of your mind and maybe I can keep it from happening to someone else.
It happened a few weeks ago on the night of Emma’s birthday. It was ironic, because it was one of those beautiful, perfect days. Her morning birthday party was a blast, we spent the afternoon swimming, and then went to my parent’s house in the afternoon and had a great celebration dinner with my entire family. I remember sitting at dinner thinking how great the day had been.
It was almost time to go home when Morgan toddled into the kitchen. My husband and I were both still sitting outside and in a split second, she pushed the door out to the garage open with a whole hand (it wasn’t fully shut) near the hinge, and the door closed back and her pinky got shut in the hinge of the door.
It happened so fast.
It started bleeding like crazy and she was screaming and it was AWFUL AWFUL AWFUL. I grabbed a paper towel to hold her finger and try to stop the blood. I was hoping it was just a cut, but by the way she was screaming and the way it felt, my gut said her finger was badly hurt. It felt weird. Worst feeling ever. I was scared to death the tip of her finger was crushed or broken off. It was AWFUL!!! When I removed the paper towel, I could see a bad cut, but thank God the finger was still there.
But then I had that moment (not thinking clearly) where I was thinking, do we take her to the ER or is it just a bad cut and not that bad? Don’t you hate that moment of self doubt when you wonder what warrants and trip to the doctor vs. overreacting??
But in my gut I knew she needed to be seen. Quick. All it took was one look by my sister, who is calm in these sorts of situations, and she said, “get in the car and take her to the ER right now.”
So we rushed her to the ER. My poor baby was hysterical, blood everywhere, and I just wanted to take the pain away. I would have done anything to take her pain and make it mine. Nothing worse than seeing your child hurt.
Long story short, she broke the tip of her pinky finger and had a very bad laceration by her fingernail. They wrapped it up and told us to follow up with our pediatrician on Monday. After seeing our regular pediatrician and watching it for the week, she then ended up referring us to an orthopedic doctor because it still looked pretty bad.
Luckily it did not turn into an infection. The orthopedic doctor tried to do a type of splint to immobilize it, but it didn’t work because of how small and active she is. Finally this past week, the orthopedic doctor said we just have to cast the full arm until it heals. It was the only way.
Therefore, the return of the hot pink cast. UGH!
BUT, we are lucky.
I was told she could have amputated her finger (OMG the horror) or permanently lost her fingernail. Which being her left hand (think future wedding ring hand), although cosmetic, would have broken my heart. She could have had more fingers affected as well, so we are lucky it was just one. The doctor thinks that her fingernail is OK and that other than a slight permanent bend she will likely have in that finger, she should heal just fine.
Things I have learned:
Watch your kids and their little fingers around doors!!! How many times have you yelled, “watch your fingers!” or “be careful of your fingers!” at your kids when opening or closing doors?
Make sure doors that can be pushed open are all the way closed. This happened because the door was ajar and she could push it open by the hinge. If she would have had to open it with the handle, her fingers wouldn’t have been near the hinge.
Listen to your gut. With an injury, if your gut tells you they need to be seen, just go.
Teach your kids that doors can be dangerous and don’t allow them to ever slam doors.
I hope this never happens to your kids!! It has been a royal pain in the boo-tay. Emma’s broken arm at her age was not that big of a deal, but at 23-months, having a cast has been much harder. She is a trooper, but we are banned from sand and parks and water for now which has been HARD this time of year! But we will survive, and as I always say, things could always be worse.
BUT, watch those little fingers mamas!!!!