We had one of those packed days on Wednesday where we were all out of the house from before breakfast until after dinner. It was a fun day, but by the end of it I was looking forward to sitting on the couch and watching my stories on the TV. But first it was Annie’s bedtime.
We went through her whole routine, and at the end of it she and I were sitting on the floor facing each other. She was being really cute and I was overcome with a feeling of “OMG YOU ARE ADORABLE I WANT TO HUG YOU AND KISS YOU AND POSSIBLY TICKLE YOU A LITTLE.” So I reached over and wrapped my arms around her and leaned her backwards onto the floor. Except I caught her off guard and (according to Mike, who was standing in the door watching us), Annie put her right arm behind her to brace herself. I didn’t realize that and kept leaning her backwards…until I heard a SNAP.
So of course, Annie started crying, and I started crying, because I’d hurt her. We scooped her up and brought her out to the couch to evaluate. Mike and I asked her to wiggle her fingers and touch her nose, which she could do, but with some difficulty. We asked her where it hurt and she said “the inside of my elbow.” We put ice on her elbow and let her play with the iPad, and her sniffles stopped. I started to think that maybe the snap I heard was just a joint popping. Other than the initial crying, she didn’t seem too worked up. But then Mike asked her to raise both arms over her head, and when she tried the scream she let out was epic. So off to the ER we went.
The ER wasn’t too crowded, but we still waited about an hour to be seen. For the first 50 minutes of waiting, Annie was content people watching from Mike’s lap. But for the last ten minutes, she started to whimper, and that made me cry because I felt so horribly guilty. Luckily, once she was put in a bed things got “exciting” for her. First, a nurse gave her a pain medication. “Mama, it tastes like strawberries!” Then she was wheeled through the ER to get an x-ray. “I’m on a ride! WHEE!” And then there was the x-ray itself. She was a little wary until I told her that the machine was just going to take a picture of her bones. She thought that was amazing (I also give lots of credit to Bubble Guppies and Doc McStuffins for making the whole thing seem awesome to her).
Annie thought the picture of her bones was really cool.
After her x-ray, the drugs kicked in. The nurse that gave them to her told me they’d make Annie sleepy. I should have known they would actually have the opposite effect, since Annie is one of those kids that gets hyper on Benedryl. She got loopy. She was singing songs, blowing raspberries, and cracking up everyone within earshot.
The x-rays showed no sign of a fracture, but the exam revealed lots of swelling. The ER doctors told us to follow up with Annie’s regular doctor since often fractures can take some time to appear in toddlers. To be on the safe side, the ER doctor decided to splint Annie’s arm. Annie thought this was the coolest thing EVER, and was very excited about having a splint and sling. We got to take her home after midnight, and not only was she out the second her head hit the pillow, but she slept until we woke her up at 10:30 the next morning.
We took her to see Dr. Looove on Thursday. She was very excited to show Dr. Looove her splint.
Dr. Looove did another x-ray, and that one didn’t show any fractures, either. She did an exam, and while she manipulated Annie’s arm she said she felt a pop, and thought it was a ligament sliding back into place. She gave us instructions to ice Annie’s elbow off and on, and to have her go for extended periods without her splint. She said that often little kids won’t use their injured arms out of fear when they are actually fine, but if we left her splint off we might catch her “forgetting” to be afraid. We’ve tested that theory and while she definitely has moments of favoring her right arm, she has been using it more and more without any sort of complaint.
We have an appointment with a pediatric orthopedist this week, but Mike and I are feeling like Dr. Looove’s diagnosis of an elbow sprain is accurate. Annie seems to be bouncing back with no problem. I, however, still feel like the worst mom ever.