It has been a week, hasn’t it y’all?!
Yesterday was supposed to be an easy day: Lira’s last day of pre-K (a half day), Zana spending the morning at daycare, and Dave and I working until noon. The car was already packed for our drive to Chicago; what could go wrong? I’ll tell you what: a trip to the ER.
When I got Zana out of her crib this morning, she winced in pain. I tried to get her dressed, more crying– and not just the cranky, sleepy kind. This was a painful cry. “It’s hurting, Mommy. It’s hurting.” Aren’t those your least favorite words? Well besides “uh-oh,” of course.
I figured out the pain had something to do with her arm when she couldn’t hold her own milk cup. Even putting on her favorite dress brought her to tears. I gave her some Tylenol and considered my options. The pediatrician? Urgent Care? The ER? I decided on ER because they have X-Ray equipment and I was pretty sure we’d need it.
The only time Zana stopped crying was when she held her arm completely still, and propped it up on something. I called Dave to let him know the deal, and I’m pretty sure he thought I was overreacting. Was I? At the next stop light I turned around and tried to hold her hand: more screaming. “You’re doing the right thing,” I reminded myself.
When we got to the ER, I walked her inside with her with her tiny, limp arm propped up on my shoulder. You know something’s wrong when she doesn’t even want to push the buttons on the elevator.
This was our second time at Children’s Hospital. Our first visit happened after Zana fell on the playground and had a golf ball-sized lump on her forehead. Both hospital trips have left me less-than-impressed. Nobody was very friendly or concerned, and they probably should be– it is an ER, after all. Plus, there’s a ridiculous amount of security (oh DC, how I love thee). Why do I have to wait in line to get a badge letting people know I’m there for the ER? Isn’t the crying baby with the gimpy arm enough?
As I asked myself why on earth I decided to come back here again, I got the reminder I needed… the doctors. The doctors at Children’s Hospital are a game changer. Today, a doctor looked at Zana in the waiting room within 20 minutes of us arriving. He immediately knew what was wrong: Nursemaids Elbow, also known as radial head subluxation (but that sounds terrible so we’ll stick with other one).
Wikipedia describes nursemaids elbow as “a dislocation of the elbow joint caused by a sudden pull on the extended pronated arm, such as by an adult tugging on an uncooperative child, or swinging the child by the arms during play.” Uncooperative child? Check. Swinging child by the arms during play? Check. So what I’m understanding is that it’s somehow my fault that my baby girl is in the hospital. Awesome.
Fortunately for my mommy-guilt complex, the doctor told me that this injury can also happen when a child is sleeping– like, if they roll over on their arm the wrong way. The treatment is a quick “pop” back into place and they’re good as new. Unless the “pop” doesn’t work… in which case we’ll need x-rays and the whole 9 yards.
Luckily, it worked! One minute, Zana was refusing a sticker because she couldn’t move her hand to grab it – the next she was high five-ing every Children’s employee, patient and security guard who walked by! A nurse gave her some Motrin and we were on our way. I couldn’t believe how fast all of it happened. There was still time left for me to make an appearance at work– which is a good thing, because Zana had an important meeting to lead.
We could only stay at work for an hour, then left to pick up my new Kindergartner, pack the car and start our journey west. All of this, before lunch…