Sunday, April 5, 2015

Mommas, trust your gut! #RatBiteFever Part One.

What an odd couple of weeks we have had. It all started two weeks and three days ago, a Friday morning....

Orrin, our nearly two year old, wasn't feeling well that morning. My husband (the amazing stay-at-home Dad) called me to say that Orrin was really whiny and not acting himself, he put him down for nap and hoped he would be better after. When I got home from work, he wasn't any better. He wouldn't be put down. If he wasn't in our arms, he was screaming. I noticed when he was put down and made to walk to one of us he was walking rather oddly, he wasn't using his left arm at all. So, we took him to the hospital.

At the hospital we were told that he likely had "nursemaid's elbow", a type of dislocation that is very common in toddlers- usually resulting in a caregiver pulling on a child's arm. The tendon near the elbow isn't very strong, so it gives and allows the two bones in the child's forearm to twist. Since we didn't know of any trauma to Orrin's arm, I trusted the doctor and allowed him to "set" the arm. Orrin actually started to use his arm a little, although it was still shaky, and after about a half hour of observation we were allowed to go home.

While at home it actually seemed like he was a bit better. He played for a few minutes and then we sat down to watch a movie. At one point, a bit later, Orrin decided to try to get out of his little chair. He started screaming and holding his arm. I knew something was still wrong. Back to the hospital we went.

This time there was a different doctor on. He did some x-rays of the arm this time. He said there was nothing that he could see in the way of a fracture on the x-ray, but it is hard to read at this age since so much of their bones are still cartilage. He said nursemaid's elbow relapses easily, especially immediately following it being set back into place. He tried to set it again, said he felt a "pop"- so that was good, it was likely back in place- and then put Orrin in a hard splint and told us to follow up with the orthopedic team on the next Monday.

The next morning we were called and told that the radiologist did see a fracture on the x-ray. Our son's arm was broken, so be sure to follow up with the orthopedic team on Monday. 

The doctor prescribed some tylenol with codeine to help with the pain, but after the second dose, Orrin broke out in hives. He was allergic to the pain medication, and there wasn't anything stronger than tylenol and motrin we could give him now.

On Monday, my husband took Orrin to the orthopedic doctor. They took more films of his arm and put a cast on his arm. At that point, we assumed that Orrin had gotten his hand caught in his crib, or his almost three-year-old brother had tried to help him out of his crib and pulled on his arm too hard. There was no trauma that we knew of, so we were trying to find answers as to how this could have happened.

Two days later, while my husband was at the hospital with our son, Liam, who had gotten a concussion at school, Orrin stopped walking suddenly.

I was sitting in the living room, Orrin and all the other kids were playing and running around, and quite suddenly, Orrin stopped where he stood. He was whiny and upset. At first I thought he just wanted the chair he was holding to be moved... so I asked his brother to move it... but then he got more upset. I called for him to come to me and when he did, his right leg just kind of dragged behind him. He couldn't walk.

My husband came home just minutes after this started happening. I gave Orrin some motrin in hopes that it was just the pain from his arm overwhelming him. But, it didn't seem to help.

After a bit of contemplating we decided to head off to the hospital yet again.

Part 2: SOMETHING is wrong.

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