In the fall of 2010 my calm and collected first child broke his arm jumping off of the Little Tyke playhouse in our backyard. He was fully cloaked in superman cape, pretending to save the world. This happened right before our eyes as we were enjoying a family evening together. He ended up having a very minor, barely visible, hairline fracture on the elbow end of his radius. Little brother is following in big brother's footsteps, although in typical Abe fashion. On Wednesday, November 20th, again right before my eyes (I was watching out my bedroom window) I witness my little man fall through the small opening left in the zipper of our enclosure net surrounding our trampoline. He loves to lean against the enclosure, pressing his feet against the trampoline, causing him to sway effortlessly back and forth. This time his little tush went right through the whole, followed by the rest of his body. I quickly ran outside to find him being helped up by his sibling. He was a bit dazed and stunned, crying only a bit. This is the child who can go from calm to breath-taking rage to blue and passing out in 0.9 seconds. When I saw he still had his wits about him, I had hope that all was fine. As I consoled him, I watched his behavior, noticing that he was not using his left arm AT ALL, not even a little, instead keeping it tucked very close to his side. We walked inside and I laid him on the couch and he tried to move his arm and WAILED in pain. "Oh no, this is not good!" was my first thought. I quickly called Marcus and said to meet me at the ER, we were on our way with Abe. I felt sure his arm was broken. I gave everyone the task of getting shoes and coats. I very carefully removed Abe's shirt without moving his arm, and replaced it with a zip up jacket, arm carefully tucked by his side. Once everyone was in the truck, we left for Jackson-Madison County General Hospital. Once there, we were met by Marcus who had already filled out paperwork. One excruciatingly difficult thing for this mother to do is to leave her sick or hurting child. But, I did have the great comfort of knowing he was in very good hands with his daddy. I took the rest of our crew home, where we bathed and left for church. The only other place I would have rather been, if I could not be at the hospital was in the presence of dear friends, many just like family. We enjoyed Thanksgiving dinner with our church family. I kept in constant contact with Marcus, who after seeing the x-rays, warned me that this was a terrible and complicated injury. My specific hopes for no narcotics and no general anesthesia were dwindling by the second.
Both the radius and ulna in the lower arm are significantly dislocated
and the bottom of the humerus is broken very close to the growth plate!
Here the radius and ulna has been relocated to their appropriate places and
two temporary pins have been placed in his humerus to assure proper healing.
Marcus sent the news and our dear friends knew I needed to be there with Abe and Marcus. They rallied together, took on the transportation responsibilities and childcare of our four other children, so that I could be with our baby boy and my husband. Another dear friend took me to the hospital. Are my friends the greatest or what? When I got there, Marcus had just seen Abe off to surgery, which was necessary due to the close proximity of an artery to the dislocated and broken bones. A nurse was kind enough to update us that all was going well during the procedures. The doctor called us personally to let us know "...all his bits were put back in place and were being held there with pins." He was sent to recovery and we went up to Pediatrics to wait on our little man. He finally was wheeled in about half an hour later.
He was still very drowsy from the medications, but did open his eyes several times and drink some juice. What a trooper! The doctor wanted to keep Abe over night to assure good circulation continued. Marcus elected to stay, while I went home to care for the other children. He was released early the next morning. He came home with a sling to wear for a couple of weeks.
This incident only slowed him down for a week, two at the most! He was very protective of his arm, and still is to a point. He allowed many more snuggles from all of us. But, he has regained his strength and vigor! Life has meant adding a few tweaking to activities of daily life such as drinking from straws and bathing in plastics bags. We do what we have to do to make it work!
We have even added some significant art work to his cast so that he feels special! Everyone signed their names and keeping with current tradition (although we hope this is not a tradition our boys will continue), we added a chosen super hero emblem to the center of the cast!
When asked will we allow the kids to continue to use the trampoline or do we feel they are a hazard, our reply is this: We will continue to allow the kids to jump inside the enclosure as we always have. We hope it has been a learning experience for ALL of us to always be diligent in making sure the entrance is completely zipped. We are aware that with most play equipment, there is some risk that will be assumed. Roller skates, bikes, skateboards, scooters, trampolines, ATVs etc. to name a few, all have risks associated with them. We will continue to assure no rough housing on the trampoline by anyone and that only a previously and specifically set number of people may jump at a time. We know from experience that it does not take much for the bravery of boys to lead to accidents. We will continue to encourage our children to live courageously, not under a veil of fear. Boys will be boys!!