Thursday, March 15, 2012

14 Month Milestone - Broken Leg!

Okay, I truly need to just jump back into this thing. I will try to do some "make up" posts in between (first birthday, first haircut etc.), but if I keep waiting until I have time to make up all the posts I SHOULD have written, I'll never get anything written! Thanks Lauren and Laura for the encouraging comments on my last post! :)

My poor pickle broke his leg on March 3rd :( I still can't believe it! He is in a cast until the 27th...hopefully no longer.

We had just gotten home from a nice lunch at Applebee's and Ryan was exhausted, so I grabbed a diaper and told him it was time to go upstairs for nap. Todd had gone back to the car to grab the dry cleaning we had picked up because we had a party to go to that night. As we were walking toward to upstairs, Ryan heard Todd coming in the door downstairs. Whenever he hears him he always goes over to the top of the stairs to see him, so he veered off that way and I was just a few feet behind him. One of his rubber toy balls was in his path, a ball a little bit bigger than a softball. He was walking and waving a big wooden spoon around. I don't know if he stepped on the ball (kind of hard considering the size of it) or saw it and tried to kick it or what, but I did see the fall. His right leg went left with the ball as it spun out from under him and he fell to the right, first onto his side and then onto his back. He also hit his head on the floor but it was carpet and he's hit his head worse than that.

He started screaming, but I thought the fall the just scared him. It was a very "fast" fall because of the momentum of the ball spinning out from under him. I picked him up and went and sat down with the usual "you're ok, you're fine..." but we realized pretty quickly that he wasn't. The screaming was not subsiding at all and he wasn't calming down; it was definitely a pain cry. We immediately started looking at his legs and his right leg just didn't look right and looked like it was starting to swell - maybe in the ankle, maybe in the knee, it was hard to tell. He would not bear weight on it at all.

This is where we started to panic a little. We knew his leg could very well be broken. It's not a life-threatening injury, so we shouldn't call an ambulance, right? But if his leg is broken, is it a good idea to try and strap him into his carseat and drive the 20-25 minutes to the hospital? I was afraid of doing more damage. Todd wanted me to just hold him in the car and I understand why but I said no way; if he's going in the car, he's going in his carseat. We also grabbed the phone to call the pedi and ask what we should do, but they were closed. Within a few minutes we just ended up in the car driving to the hospital. He was screaming bloody murder, but he was also still exhausted, so he actually alternated between screaming and dozing off in the car.

To make a long story short (because what ER visit isn't a long story?), they took X-rays of his leg and did not see a fracture. They were about to send us home (after 4+ hours) which made me a little nervous because he couldn't walk. Before they discharged us they sent a pediatric orthopedist in. I don't think they knew he was available earlier. He said that kids bounce back quickly and that he doesn't like to cast if it's not necessary and a cast would probably be overkill, but before he made a decision he wanted to see if Ryan would walk from me to Todd. When I set him down, he again wasn't putting weight on it but would set it down a little. I felt the only way to really see how bad it was was to let him go and see if he would even try to walk. I felt terrible, though, because he took a couple steps while falling forward at the same time, it was so painful for him. He didn't want to take the steps but it was like he didn't know what else to do when I set him down. He basically collapsed screaming. Right away the orthopedist said "you just bought yourself a cast." He said even if there was no fracture, whatever he had done could get worse if not casted. He said it would probably be on for no more than 2 weeks and that we needed to go to the orthopedic office in a few days and they might even take it off then.

"Daddy, it hurts!"

Handsome Blue Cast

He was very good while getting his cast on and didn't start fussing until the end. The Dr. let him play with the supplies while he did it, so he was happy. My mom and Brenda got to the hospital to see him shortly before we left and brought him a teddy bear and toy truck and that made him happy also.

I was most worried about the fact that he didn't understand why he couldn't walk - I just couldn't imagine being a 1 year old and your favorite thing to do is run around and all of a sudden you have a big heavy thing on your leg and can't get up. I was worried about that, and how he would be able to sleep (he has always been a tummy sleeper). When we got home it was bedtime. He actually went to sleep very well and slept good for the first 3 hours. After that he was awake and upset and the rest of the night was spent in our bed just trying to keep him comfortable all night. A lot of waking and crying. After that night though - he has been great! Many nights he is sleeping from bedtime to morning with no wakings. The next day it was time to see how he would really manage with the cast. He was extremely frustrated and there were a lot of tears. I sat on the floor to play with him most of the day and he was content if he was engaged. If I got up to do anything, he was upset and wanted to be picked up. He could crawl, but not very well.

We went to the orthopedist a couple days after it happened. We waited 2 hours to see him (in the waiting room was another little boy, almost the same exact age, whose name was also Ryan L, and had the same injury!). When we finally got called in we waited another 10 or 15 minutes for the Dr. to just come to the doorway, tell us that with good magnification, they found the fracture (they were looking at the same x-rays they had taken in the hospital) and it was near his knee. I am curious where, but he wasn't specific and didn't show us the x-ray. We have copies of them but of course we can't see anything except some really cute bones. He said to come back in 3 weeks and it sounded like they were pretty certain they could take the cast off then. Cross your fingers!

It's amazing how quickly he has adjusted now. He can crawl very quickly, pull himself up with it, and over the last couple days has even taken a few steps with it! That's the most pathetic but cute thing you've ever seen. His leg is bent in the cast, so his right foot doesn't reach the floor if he stands up straight. He hunches over and ever-so-carefully takes these tiny steps. When he wants to dance, he just stands very carefully and flaps his arms! My poor boy who loves to shake his hips to a good beat, or really any beat at all. I look at him and think "do you even remember you once knew how to walk?" He can still sit on the toilet fine - and, by the way, here he is in his big boy training underwear!!

I know that in the grand scheme of things, this is actually a pretty minor injury, but I still feel terrible for him. I really hope he gets right back to walking when it comes off. I know it was probably what would be considered a freak accident, he has fallen so many times, plenty of them over balls, but his leg went just the right way this time. While I wouldn't say I feel "guilty" because it's not as if I wasn't watching him and he fell down the stairs, a part of me still feels a little sick over it. I mean, you've failed in SOME way if your 14 month old breaks his leg, right? No, I know that's not true, but it just doesn't seem right. :(