Our Five Ring Circus: Expect the Unexpected: First Broken Bone

Monday, March 27, 2017

Expect the Unexpected: First Broken Bone

When I wrote this post last week, while feeling completely overwhelmed, I had no idea that life was going to get more difficult. I quickly learned to expect the unexpected while raising my kids, but I'm always stunned when the unexpected hits. 

In our 12 years of parenthood, we never had to deal with one of our kids breaking a bone. There have been plenty of ER visits thanks to our boys, Lily's knocked out tooth and Lexie's allergic reaction on Christmas, but no breaks. The complete irony is that I had just mentioned how thankful I was that none of our kids had ever broken a bone. I guess it was just time for us to add THAT to our already long list of parenthood experiences!

We just never expected Lexie to be the first of our kids to break a bone. Skateboarder/Basketball Player Dylan topped the list, with fearless and adventurous Liam coming in at a close second. But our careful, cautious, responsible daughter? No way!

On Thursday evening, we headed to Lexie's school for Open House. Lexie is one of those kids who loves school, and she was so excited about showing us around her school during Open House. She eagerly led us down the hall to her classroom, stopping several times along the way to show us some of her projects and artwork hanging in the hallway. She was beaming by the time we went into her classroom.

Open House

Lexie was so excited to show us her desk, her cubby and some projects that she finished. We said goodbye to her teacher and headed downstairs to see the art project she loved the most. We took a detour into the gym before we headed toward the art room.

I sat Liam down so he could run through the gym. When I looked up, Dylan bumped into Lexie and Lexie stumbled, fell to one knee and put one hand on the ground to stop from falling completely. When she stood up, she looked really embarrassed, but there was something more in her expression. She was awkwardly holding her wrist and fighting back tears.

I immediately called Grant over to check it out. We thought she maybe just sprained it, but we weren't certain. We decided to head upstairs to see if the nurse was in her office. Lexie's art project was on our way, so we stopped to look at it, but we could tell her excitement about the night was ruined, and we felt absolutely awful. Lexie NEVER gets injured, and it hurt to see something she was so excited about get ruined.

We decided to take her to the ER. Grant and the boys went to get the car while we went to the nurse's office to get ice. Unfortunately, nobody was there. Lexie started to get dizzy and look very pale, so I made her sit down for a few minutes. She said her ears were ringing, so I knew shock was kicking in and she was close to fainting. We went to wait in the lobby, and ran into Dylan's basketball coach. She took one look and agreed we should take her to the ER.

Thankfully, we have a great ER just minutes away. Lexie started to cry in the car and tell us how much it hurt, so I gave her an Aleve. Although the drive was quick, she just kept saying she wanted a doctor to help her, so it felt like it took forever. Grant dropped us off and left to drop our other kids off with my dad. 

We didn't have to wait long before she was taken to an exam room. They gave her some ice, and Lexie cheered up quickly, and was back to her usual happy self. The doctor came in to check her and they took her for x-rays immediately after.

Broken Wrist

As the x-ray tech walked us back to the exam room, she asked if they had given her something for the pain. I said I had given her an Aleve and she said she was going to need something stronger. I asked her if she saw something on the x-ray, and she replied, "I really can't say, but yes." She told me that she was so impressed with how calm and happy Lexie was, because most adults can't handle an injury like hers. At that point, I knew it was going to be a long night.

Grant was waiting in the room when we got back and the doctor came in a few minutes later. He handed us Lexie's x-ray and pointed out the severity of her injury.

Broken Wrist

Not only had she broken her wrist, but the bone was completely off to the side. As if that wasn't already enough, she also had a buckle fracture. This all happened from her simply putting her hand down to brace herself from falling. It was unbelievable.

The ER doctor said that she was going to need to have her wrist set under sedation, but mentioned that she might need surgery based on the severity of her injury. He put on a temporary cast, then we were transferred to Children's Hospital in Pittsburgh. We stopped by our house to grab a few necessities, like Blankie and BunBun, then made the short drive into the city.

We got to the second ER, which was overflowing with people, and we waited. And waited. And waited. (Side note? WHY do people use the ER as a doctor's office?)  It was a hectic night in the ER and the hospital didn't have any rooms available, so the kids who had just been admitted were spending the night in the ER exam rooms. We finally got called back 2 1/2 hours after we arrived. It was nearly midnight. Surprisingly, Lexie stayed happy and calm the entire time, despite us not being allowed to give her anything else for pain.

Once we were in the exam room, things got moving very quickly. The doctor came in almost immediately to examine Lexie. She left to take a look at the x-ray, then returned to tell us what was going to happen. The orthopedic doctor would be coming down ASAP and trying to set her wrist under complete sedation. If that failed, they would have to take her to the OR.

While we waited, the nurse put on a movie, then gave her some pain medication. Another nurse came in to place the IV, which took two tries, and put monitors on Lexie to prepare for the procedure. Shortly after 1 AM, the orthopedic doctor came in to tell us that Lexie's injury was very unusual and would be very difficult to manipulate back into place. She said she was going to do her best, but if she was unable to, Lexie would need surgery as soon as possible.

Lexie Loo, Lily, Liam & Dylan Too

At 1:30 AM, they gave her the medication to put her under. That was the worst part for me. Lexie was handling the entire ordeal like a champ, but to watch her get put under was completely unnerving. It was so tough to see her like that, but the alternative for her would be incredibly painful. 

Grant and I had to leave the room for the procedure, but Blankie and BunBun were allowed to stay with her. The wait felt like it took forever. I tried to read, then browse through my Facebook feed, but it didn't help. I just kept praying that everything would be okay.

Just after 2 AM, we were called back into the room. Lexie was waking up, but very groggy. The orthopedic doctor was able to set her wrist, but Lexie needed a cast much bigger than expected to stabilize her wrist. We were told that it was definitely a great sign, but surgery wasn't completely out of the question. It wouldn't be imminent, though.

We had to stay in the ER until Lexie woke up completely and was monitored for an hour, ate a popsicle and kept it down, and got another set of x-rays. By the time we were allowed to take her home, it was almost 4 AM. All three of us were starving since we hadn't eaten since noon, and completely exhausted.

It was a long night in two different emergency rooms, but Lexie blew us away with her maturity, calmness, and poise while dealing with such a painful injury. Even the entire ER staff kept saying it was unbelievable just how well she was handling it. That kid is amazing, and so much stronger than her wimpy mama! She was even smiling and waving goodbye to everyone as she left the hospital in her big cast and a hospital gown.

We ended up stopping at a convenience store to pick up some prepared food, so we could go home and eat. As soon as we pulled into the garage, Lexie got out of the car and threw up all over the floor. No food was in her future, but Grant and I sure enjoyed that convenience store food!

By the time we finished our food, it was already nearly 6 AM. Dylan, Lily and Liam were at my parent's house, so we decided that Grant was going to stay home from work and we were going to let all of the kids stay home from school. Lexie crawled into bed with us and we fell asleep quickly. The next thing I knew, it was noon!

Lexie slept until after 2 PM that day. When she woke up, she was still groggy and nauseous, and complaining of some pain, but she was in a good mood.


Lexie adapted well to having her cast over the weekend, but she is bummed about how much she can't do right now. No riding her bike, no jumping on the trampoline, no riding her scooter and no swinging. Going outside isn't the least bit fun. It's such a bummer that it happened at the beginning of Spring, but her cast will be coming off just before Summer break. She's mostly upset over the fact that she can't participate in hip hop until the cast comes off. I feel so bad for her!

Right now, we don't have too many answers just yet. Lexie has an orthopedic appointment on Tuesday afternoon, and we should know more then. Specifically, if they think she will need surgery and how long she will need to have the cast. We're praying that her wrist is healing well and that no surgery will be needed. And obviously, 6 weeks in a cast will be much better than 12!

To those of you who sent so many thoughts and prayers on Instagram and Facebook, THANK YOU. We read each and every one, and we were so thankful for all the love for Lexie. She's doing great right now and I will update when we know more!

Lexie was so excited about Open House this year. Although it didn't turn out anything like how we expected, I have no doubt she will always remember her 4th Grade Open House!


  1. Wow! What a night. I'm so sorry this happened, but I'm thankful Lexie took it like a champ and that the surgeon could set her wrist better than she'd thought. Thinking of you guys.

  2. I saw your Facebook post and my heart just sank for sweet Lexie. What a brave, strong girl. We will certainly be praying that she heals beautifully and adjusts well.

  3. Poor thing, I hated to hear this. I hope she heals fast.

  4. Wow, that's crazy! I will be thinking of you all. Did the doctors say anything about why this might have happened just from putting her hand down on the ground? It seems a little much for that! Hope she feels better asap!

  5. Poor girl, poor Momma. What a week you all had. Hugs friend! And I am so impressed with how strong and brave she was.

  6. OH goodness, poor girl and what a long night! Praying she doesn't have to have surgery, and you get the 6 weeks instead of 12.

  7. We have been praying that God will heal her wrist quickly and no surgery will be needed!! I've heard this is common in younger kids when they put their hands down to brace a fall. Just a bummer it happened to her.
    Tell her to practice on her left handed skills as it will probably come in handy later in life. LOL It did for me. :)

  8. Oh no!!! Poor girl! I'm waaay behind on all things IG the last couple weeks, so I'm soooo happy I stopped by today! Oh my goodness. You, your family and your sweet girl are in my thoughts and prayers. I can't believe it happened from such an innocent maneuver! Fingers crossed for only 6 weeks. Sending you hugs!

  9. Isn't it crazy how something so simple can cause such a big injury! I will keep her in my prayers.

  10. Oh my gosh poor thing! The ER's are the worst! And people use them like doctors offices that don't have insurance, so then we all pay the bills. This summer my niece was just doing a cartwheel and landed funny and ended up having to get several pins in her arm, it was crazy. Praying that it is a quick recovery for her.

  11. Oh the poor thing! What a trooper. Glad she is doing okay and fingers crossed for no surgery!

  12. Poor Lexie, it's so hard to watch our babies go through that. Prayers she heals quickly and no surgery is needed


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