Rob and I spent half of Labor Day on the phone to various hospitals while helicoptering around splint-sporting Graham, who seemed determined to fall and completely sever his already broken arm. Turns out the clinic doctor was right; no one would cast an arm on a holiday, and most likely the doctors would’ve told us to wait until the swelling had gone down anyway. Sigh. So the rest of the day we carried Graham like a baby and watched a lot of TV.
Rob stayed home from work the next day: the day of Waiting in Doctors’ Offices.
Orthopedic doctor #1: “Oh, you wouldn’t believe how much strength I’ll have to use to straighten that arm out. He’ll definitely have to go under for this.”
Orthopedic doctor #2: “You’ll want us to put him under to straighten his bones because then you won’t have to explain to people why his arm is bent.”
Orthopedic doctor #3: “Oh, we’ll just throw a cast on him right now. No problem.”
Yes, we went with doctor #3.
Graham cheerfully chose a purple cast. He sat extremely still while they put it on… until he realized there was no way to bend his arm or get the heavy thing off. He wailed so hysterically that I thought they must have pinched his skin somewhere. The nurse assured me, somewhat exasperatedly, that he was fine. And he was.
I have to say that the month that followed was surprisingly easy. Graham went about his business as if he was not handicapped at all and seemed to love the attention he got because of his purple cast. Only once did he clunk himself in the head hard enough to make a mark. (The rest of us, however, were not so lucky).
On Cast Removal Day, Graham actually laughed when the nurse came at him with the Saw.
He eyed the Spreader suspiciously…
…and was concerned about the scissors.
But as soon as the cast came off, the pain started. The poor little guy wailed for the doctor to put it back on. He was so sore.
His freshly exposed, pale, skinny little arm was extremely stinky, and we discovered two pebbles that had been lodged in there near his thumb.
Graham spent the rest of the day on the couch, cradling his arm like a baby. It took him two days before he could fully extend it. A week later, he still tucks it into his side when he runs. And we think this whole incident has nudged him over to the Southpaw side. He’ll still have a slightly bent arm for about six months. But that’s normal for toddlers; their bones seem to be mostly made of rubber.
Now that it’s over, here are some things I’m thankful he can do:
- take a regular bath
- walk outside in the rain
- use a regular cup
- play in the sandbox
- eat soup & cereal
- splash in puddles
- go to school with Violet
- potty train
- snuggle without giving me a concussion