12 July 2009

When Children Get Hurt

Thursday evening, Ben went off to fly and so I took Harley and Delilah for a walk. I decided to stop in and pick up Sean, Ben's nephew so that he could go with us to the dog park and then the playground. He was nattering away, like usual, as we walked along on the sidewalk, when suddenly, BAM! The stroller stopped! I looked down, and Delilah's left foot was caught on the tire, and her leg was twisted up and around. She was in the rear-facing position, and there is no footrest or fender on the back wheel.

She looked at me with this awful face and started screaming. I had to actually lift her foot and put it back where it should be. As she continued crying, I gently felt the ankle joint and foot and shin for movement where there should be none, and tried to see if I could get a flinch or anything. I looked for immediate swelling and bruising, but didn't see any. She kept pulling her foot away so it was hard, and I didn't want to hurt her more than necessary.

She stopped crying within 3 or 4 minutes, and I didn't see any OBVIOUS signs of a fracture, so I decided to continue on to the park and keep assessing. She fell asleep within 5 minutes and slept the entire time we were at the dog park. She woke up when we got to the playground but was content to stay in the stroller. Sean played for about 10 minutes, then we left for home.

Once Delilah and Harley and I got home (shortly after 8 PM), I took her out of the stroller and attempted to set her on the floor on her feet. She immediately fell onto the floor. That's when I was sure she needed to get checked out. I had to send a friend to the airfield to find Ben to send him home and waited for him.

We got to Victoria Hospital and man, was it packed. Even the kid's emergency room waiting area was full. After about 2 hours we finally saw a doctor who felt her leg and ankle and foot. He couldn't feel any fractures, but once he saw that D wouldn't walk, he ordered x-rays. He felt that, since her bones are so young (and therefore soft), there was a greenstick fracture instead of a complete break through the bone. Which would explain why he couldn't feel a fracture.

The x-rays didn't show any breaks, but the doc still thought there might be, since some won't show on x-rays until 48 hours later for some reason. So he sent us home and told us that if there was no improvement within 48 hours, to come back. We finally got out of the hospital around 1:00 AM. The doctor had told us to give her tylenol or ibuprofin, but of course, D was fast asleep within 5 minutes of leaving the hospital. We managed to get her inside and upstairs without waking her.

The next morning, she still wouldn't walk on it, but didn't seem to be in any pain when she was sitting. Both Ben and I felt that it would be foolhardy to give her pain medication since we didn't want her walking on it-and if Tylenol made her feel better she might try and overdo it. We showed her how to crawl again, and about midmorning, she finally figured it out that she could get around, saving herself a lot of frustration.

The next day, Saturday, D was walking around a little bit in the evening so we felt there was enough improvement that she didn't need to go back for x-rays. Since then, she has used it more and more, but is still crawling on occasion. She'll forget that it's sore and try to do something that is a little too much for it and will whimper a bit and look sad.

It's such a relief that she's healing, and without a cast. It was a terrible feeling, knowing she was injured and in pain and there wasn't much I could do about it.

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