Friday, June 17, 2016

Eli's First Cast (and Hopefully Last!)

One Friday early in February, Eli came home from school and started complaining about his left arm hurting. I asked him if anything had happened at school and he mentioned that when he was playing on the playground after school he had fallen on it off a piece of playground equipment. He still had some range of motion with it so I thought it probably just sore from him landing on it. As the night wore on his arm seemed to hurt even more. He wasn't moving it much at all and was keeping it close to his body. Josh was out of town on a camping/kayaking trip so I let Eli sleep in our bed and gave him some Tylenol for the pain. He was scheduled to have a basketball game in the morning, but I knew there was no way I was going to let him play if his arm was hurting when he woke up the next day. 

Sure enough, he woke up and his range of motion was about the same and his arm had started to swell a little bit. He could lift his arm straight up, but straightening the elbow out or any type of twisting or turning motion brought Eli obvious discomfort. I sent his basketball coach a text letting him know we weren't going to be there, called Josh to let him know what had happened, called my parents who were driving in for Eli's basketball game and told them to stay home, and called my friend, Angela, who works at our local hospital, to get her opinion. We walked down to Angela's house so she could look at his arm and she agreed that we definitely needed to go to the doctor because she thought something might be broken. I started making the calls and made the decision to go to a doctor near my parents' house so we could stay with them. Plus, our local hospital was going through some major changes and renovations and I didn't want to go there and wait for a long time. 

We made the short drive to an after hours orthopedic clinic and they saw us immediately. They took x-rays but no clear break showed up. They did see an area near his elbow where blood was starting to pool so they decided to put Eli's arm in a splint to be on the safe side. We made a follow-up appointment to see the orthopedic doctor the following week. They would do x-rays again at that appointment and we would go from there. 

We stayed with Grammy and Pop for the night and came back home Sunday afternoon. Eli wore the splint the entire next week and never really complained about any kind of pain. He wasn't excited about having to sit out during recess and P.E. at school but he knew he had to be careful with his arm.  Friday afternoon we left school early, met Josh at home, and we all drove back to the doctor's office. Josh and I were fully expecting them to remove the splint, take x-rays, and give Eli a clean bill of health, but that's not what happened...

When the orthopedic doctor looked at Eli's new x-rays, he spotted an area where there were signs of new bone growth (it was in the same area where the blood had started pooling last week). Since he saw indication of new bone growth, he knew that there had definitely been a break. Since Eli's arm was in a fragile state while new bone was forming, he recommended that Eli get a cast and wear it for 4 weeks. That was news we weren't expecting, but we didn't want Eli to injure his arm any further so off to the cast room we went! 

Eli chose a camouflage cast and I was secretly pleased because they gave him a black sock liner to wear under the camo wrapping. He wasn't going to be able to wash that arm for four weeks so I knew it was going to get NASTY. A white sock liner would show just how nasty that arm was but a black sock would hide the nasty better! Eli made quick friends with Mr. Michael, the man wrapping his arm, and had tons of questions for him during the entire application process. Mr. Michael was so nice and patient with Eli and answered every single question. Eli's favorite part were the finger traps Mr. Michael used to hold his arm still while was putting the cast on him.

All done!

After Eli got his cast, we stopped to eat something really quick and then got back on the road and headed home. We got back really late but since the next day was Saturday at least we could sleep in! The next four weeks were not bad at all. Since Eli had his cast on he could now play at recess and P.E. so he was a happy kid. His teacher said it didn't get in his way at all during class and he was able to do everything all the other kids could do. The only thing we had to do differently during those four weeks was help him get dressed in the mornings and help him at bath time. Other than that it was life as normal. We had to text his basketball coach the bad news that Eli was out for the season. I hate that he missed his entire first season of basketball, but there's always next year! 

After four weeks, it was back to the doctor for Eli's cast removal and more x-rays. They took the cast off and then x-rayed his arm again. The x-rays showed lots of new bone growth and it was a lot thicker this time so they felt that Eli's arm didn't need to be in another cast. They recommended a splint again for the next 2 weeks, but Eli would be able to take it off for bath time and he could take it off when he was home. He only had to wear it at school and when he was actively playing. 

Eli's favorite part was finally getting to write his name on a bone and put it on the Wall of Success. 

The next two weeks were not bad at all. Eli's range of motion with his arm improved every day until it was completely back to normal. We're still very careful with his left arm but everything appears to be just fine. The doctors and staff at the orthopedic clinic were fabulous and we can't thank them enough for taking care of Eli so well. We left each appointment feeling satisfied and with peace of mind that Eli had received top notch care. Hopefully, this will be the first and last time we'll ever need to see a doctor about a broken bone again, but you just never know with little boys...Fingers crossed!

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...