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Monday, October 31, 2011

John Decided to be an Invalid for Halloween

Without consulting with me, John made a last minute costume change from lion:



to invalid:
Maybe he thought he'd get more sympathy and thus more candy. Which ended up being true. Though we had no plans to go trick-or-treating and I did not intend to give him any candy, he did get a lollipop at the pediatric orthopedist's office. So, if this was a clever ploy for sympathy and sweets, I suppose it worked!

Last night we were at a Fall Festival and I put John in the moon bounce which he luuuuuuuvs. However this time, the results were less than fun. He fell. He wasn't bounced upon by other kids, he just fell and started crying. I pulled him out but he wouldn't readily calm down. Not even when offered a banana which usually mollifies all of his problems. It took a good 40 minutes to soothe him. Meanwhile he was grasping at his right shin and was unable to bear weight on it.

At this point we were contemplating an ER visit. Thankfully we called our pediatricians' office and spoke to the doctor on call. He advised us that if we could get John comfortable enough to sleep, we should do that and make an office visit in the morning. Best advice ever. I'm so glad we didn't spend the night in the ER. Of course, if John hadn't calmed down we would have gone. But he was able to sleep most of the night. He did wake up a few times and I went in once around 3 am to give him more Ibuprofen. During which time he asked to eat and read a book. So, even though the pain probably woke him up, he wasn't suffering badly enough to dampen his interest in making farm animal sounds.

This morning he still couldn't bear weight on his right leg although he was feeling much better. He couldn't walk but he wasn't fussy. He was able to move his right leg without pain which he couldn't do the night before. Even though he couldn't bear weight, he seemed so happy that I considered waiting longer to go in to the pediatrician's office. I reasoned that maybe it would just continue to improve. But Peter thought we should go so we got an appointment for 9:10 am. I'm so glad we got an early one because we spent most of the day visiting doctors. It turns out that he has a spiral fracture in his right tibia and will be in a cast for the next four weeks. Poor baby! He was so good today through it all. He is the happiest patient you will ever see. He waves at everyone and smiles and asks people for snacks. He only ever fussed when someone was examining his leg.

I don't really know what to expect over the next four weeks. I don't know how mobile he will be. He can't walk now which is frustrating for him. I think he'll adapt but I don't really know how much we'll be able to do. This will be a huge change for such an active boy and for me- the mother of a very active toddler.

Here is what I've learned about Toddler's Fractures for anyone who might one day find themselves in a similar situation:

John's specific type of fracture is a common occurrence referred to as a Toddler's Fracture. As the name suggests, John's age group is prone to them. They can occur after seemingly benign falls, which John's was. I am a little surprised to be dealing with fractures before he's even two years old. But apparently it's not unusual and not an indication of anything more serious.

A fracture is not necessarily an emergency. Of course, when we made the choice not to go to the ER, we didn't necessarily know that there was a fracture. We knew there was the possibility of one. But if you can calm the child down and make him reasonably comfortable there's no reason to rush to the ER. I only say this because Peter and I were ready to go thinking that a fracture needs to be taken care of immediately. Some fractures are urgent but if the child can rest and be comfortable then you can probably wait until morning to be evaluated. If you can avoid an ER visit, that seems like the better choice! Spending the night in the ER is nearly dead last on the list of things I'd like to do.

That said, if a child cannot bear weight after a few hours, he will need to be seen and X-rays will need to be done. I was contemplating waiting longer before going to the pediatrician after he seemed to be doing better this morning. But according to our doctor if they can't bear weight within a few hours of an injury, you should make an appointment.

I'll keep you updated! Hopefully this will not be the first of many trips to the pediatric orthopedist. But with a rambunctious boy, is that wishful thinking?

1 comment:

Erin said...

oh Leslie! Poor John! Hope he heals quickly and doesn't get too frustrated...