Two Saturdays ago I had a busy day planned. Chris was going to work in the morning, arriving home early enough for me to go to a drop in knitting class to get some help with Ellie's Christmas Stocking and the Snowdrop Shawl I'm knitting for my sister to wear in her wedding (date to be determined later), then I was going to a hair cut (cut and color, sadly overdue) and finally because I would already be in town I was going to do some shopping errands with no children in tow!
Instead I got to knitting, spent five minutes talking to the instructor and was called home by Chris, who in a very calm voice said that he thought we might need to go to the emergency room with Harry.
We spent the day at not one but two different hospitals. Harry fractured both bones in his right arm - ulna and radius. He's doing well with it but complains from time to time asking us to take the cast off or telling us that his arm is "not good."
Our experience is a long drawn out story but I came away from the experience with two important lessons. First, the song, "No more monkey jumping on the bed" is an excellent cautionary tale. Harry wasn't actually jumping on the bed, he was on the couch and he didn't fall off exactly, he just flopped down on it in such a way that it snapped his arm bones. But the point is we are employing the phrase, "Harry your bum belongs on the couch not your feet" far more than we ever did before.
The second lesson is that you should always trust your instincts. Chris trusted his that said, "take this child to the ER." When I got home Harry seemed pretty happy and unless we were paying ultra close attention we wouldn 't have really noticed anything was wrong. Chris had the foresite to offer Harry a cookie to take in his right hand and held his left hand down. When Harry wouldn't put the cookie to his mouth, Chris knew something wasn't right.
I trusted my instincts that said that the community hospital closest to where we live just didn't know what they were doing enough for my taste. We took him there initially - it's 20 minutes away and the next closest hospital is an hour, and the big city teaching hospitals are closer to 2 hours away. We were x-rayed and spent a total of 3 hours there and NEVER once saw an orthopedist. Even when the nurse practitioner told us it was fractured and that she was discussing with the ortho over the phone who should handle it. When she asked us if we'd ever been to Children's in the city and I asked her if she thought we should go there instead and she said no that was my first indication something wasn't right. Then she forgot to wet the splint, then she told us to just follow up in a few days the the ortho. As we were getting ready to leave I asked one more time if she thought we should go to Children's Hospital and she said no again.
It just didn't feel right, so I called the pediatrician who pulled the films onto her computer and said, "yes, go to Children's right now."
I'm glad we did. Turns out Harry's arm needed to be set and waiting a few days would have been bad. Very bad. Bad enough that the pediatric orthopedist said things like, "loss of motion" and "inability to use it properly."
We're all doing okay and the full arm cast actually comes off in another week to be replaced by a half arm cast.
But would it make me a bad mother if today, when I've replanned my knitting class and hair cut and errands, to turn off my cell phone?