Guess where I spent my afternoon today?
If you guessed a hospital emergency room in the Berkshires, ding ding ding! You're right! Seriously.
The kids, my mother in law and I went into Lenox to attend the library's toddler story hour and grab some lunch before I left for NYC this evening. Everything was proceeding beautifully, and both kids sat and listened to the story, Gabe made a lovely craft and sat longer than all the other children perfecting his "pizza" (which oh my goodness, is a post for another time because this is the child who I thought would never sit longer than 30 seconds for the rest of his life), and we walked toward the car to drop our books off and grab the stroller on our way to lunch.
I was pulling the stroller out of the car and my mother in law was standing on the curb with the kids when I heard Josie start screaming. I actually didn't pay a ton of attention because truthfully, Josie falls 72,846 times per day. This wasn't a noteworthy fall, but then she continued screaming, and toddled over to me with her left arm hanging limply at her side and huge crocodile tears flowing down her cheeks. I picked her up and tried to examine her arm, but her screams got worse when I even gently touched her. I gave her a couple of minutes of calmly holding her to see if she would calm down, but her crying didn't lessen and that was when I started to worry.
I grabbed a couple of super tantalizing items from my purse (cell phone, keys, cookies) and held them out to her left side, and nothing. She kept crying, and wouldn't even attempt to move her little arm. I tried to take off her sweater and the screaming became so loud I couldn't continue, so I told my mother in law we were heading to the hospital.
I called Josh to find out where the closest children's hospital was, because I wasn't going to face the same situation as last time. I do learn new tricks, after all. He had no idea, so I called my pediatrician and my college roommate who is also a pediatrician, while my mother in law called anyone who lived in the area and had kids to see what they suggested.
After much gnashing of teeth (mine) and tears (Josie's), we eventually settled on the closer community hospital, rather than the farther children's hospital because her arm didn't look like a terribly serious injury, even if it was broken. My reasoning was that if anyone suggested anything like surgery or another invasive procedure, I'd demand to be transferred to a children's hospital at that point.
A few hours, several x-rays, many consultations later, the official diagnosis is that no one is sure what is wrong with her. Her shoulder and elbow are not dislocated, her forearm looks okay, and the pain seems to be centered on her wrist and hand. The problem is (according to the doctors) that the bones in her hands are not totally calcified and don't show up clearly on x-rays, so they can't see whether the bones are broken or not. It could be a sprain or it could be a break, and we won't know until it starts to heal next week and we see some callouses on another x-ray.
Poor Josie was in serious pain throughout the emergency room visit, though, and it broke my heart to see her crying like that. She was a limp little sack of potatoes and wouldn't even lift her head from my shoulder when people would enter the room. The doctor opted for a fiberglass splint/removable cast, and as soon as they wrapped her arm, she completely perked up and became a different kid. As they were wrapping it, she looked concerned until I reminded her that now she was "just like Gabe" and you can imagine how thrilled she was about that. 5 minutes later, she was running the halls of the hospital like the crazy little boss she is.
We are seeing an orthopedic hand surgeon next week- coincidentally the same one Gabe is seeing, of course, and we're hoping for good news on a repeat x-ray.
Needless to say, poor Josh had to rush out here when I called him in a panic and our trip to NYC is cancelled, or at least seriously modified. We may decide to head to the city on Saturday night or maybe just for the wedding, we're playing it by ear. If Josie doesn't seem much improved by tomorrow, I may ditch altogether and stay with her. Sigh. So much for our second attempt on a vacation, huh?