Our Five Ring Circus: March Came In Like a Lion and Ended Like a More Ferocious Lion

Thursday, April 1, 2021

March Came In Like a Lion and Ended Like a More Ferocious Lion

Broken Elbow in Kids

You know that saying, "March Comes In Like a Lion and Goes Out Like a Lamb?" It wasn't quite accurate here. March was a whirlwind, and on the last day of the month, we were in the emergency room with Lily and her broken arm. To top it off, the month ended with the coldest night we have had in weeks, complete with freezing temps and sleet. Yeah...I'm not falling for that saying!

I have so many posts to publish...SO MANY...but I'll just start with the most recent news. Lily fell victim to the dangers of jumping on a trampoline, and ended up with a fractured elbow. Needless to say, my husband is ready to burn that trampoline! My thought? Kids will be kids and stuff happens!

It definitely wasn't the best way to kick off Spring Break, but thanks to our l o n g night at the hospital, all of our kids started their Spring Break one day early. We didn't get home until early morning, and none of the kids slept long enough.  So here we are, shivering from the sudden return of Winter, physically and mentally exhausted, and REALLY hoping that April is going to be kind! Here's the scoop on the second broken bone in our crew...

Pittsburgh Blog

When you have kids, anything can happen at any time. And when you have a lot of kids, it seems like those anythings can happen a lot of times. We have spent so much time at the ER or in hospitals that we often joke that we should have a punch card! Funny enough, one of our nurses told us that it's common in big families, and she once had a mom show up three times in one week with her big family! We're just grateful that it has never been anything too serious.

Yesterday, Lily was the second of our children to break a bone, and it happened while doing one of her favorite things - jumping on the trampoline. Yes, we have that controversial trampoline. Actually, we have three: an exercise trampoline, a small trampoline, and a large trampoline. I know people have a love/hate relationship with them, and a lot of doctors are against them, but we have them, and love them. All of our kids have been safely jumping on them for years.

This time, it just so happened that Lily jumped, lost her balance, and landed wrong. I was just stepping into the backyard after dinner, and as soon as I heard her cry, I KNEW it was broken. Lily has a really high pain tolerance, and the poor girl was wailing. We took her inside, gave her an ice pack, and watched her for a few minutes, and sure enough, we knew we had to go to the ER.

Parenting blog

We quickly grabbed a few things, slipped on our shoes, and carefully buckled Lily into my SUV.  We decided to take her to our local ER, which is less than 10 minutes away, instead of making the drive into the city. In retrospect, we should have just taken her to the Children's Hospital in Pittsburgh. We'll file that away for future use (I'm sure)!

Our local ER is fantastic, but they are more geared toward adults. Lily was taken to a room within minutes, and a doctor quickly came in, took a look, and ordered X-rays and pain medication. By the time Lily was settled into a hospital bed, she was fully in shock. She was pale, shaking, falling alseep, and her elbow was beginning to swell. 

After the pain medication was administered, they took her down to get X-rays. Grant went with her, and said they could only get two x-rays, because her elbow was so swollen and painful, and they couldn't get her arm to straighten. I knew before the doctor even came in with the results that we would be transferring to Children's.

Mom Blog

Sure enough, there was a visible fracture in her elbow. They consulted with orthopedics at the Children's Hospital in Pittsburgh, and determined that it would be best to put on a temporary cast and transfer her to that hospital, in case surgery was needed. We had the same experience with Lexie when she was Lily's age, so we knew what to do, and knew we were in for a LONG night!

After the doctor wrapped her arm and put on a temporary cast, he put her arm in a sling, and discharged us for the transfer. By that point, it was already 10 PM. My sister met us in the parking lot so she could take Dylan home, and we made the 15 minute drive into the city.

The pain medication had kicked in by that point, and Lily was just excited to see the city so late on a weeknight. It's definitely quiet compared to the times we visit! We made it to the hospital without hitting any traffic, and quickly got checked into the ER. And that's when our even longer night began...

Real Life with kids

We had the SAME experience with Lexie. That time, the waiting room was overflowing. This time, it was empty, and so strange due to the pandemic. But wait we did. I think because their arms were temporarily set, they were lower on the priority list.

Lily was eventually taken to a room around midnight, and the initial exam with the nurse, NP, and doctor all happened quickly. We were hopeful that it would be a good sign, but no such luck. Hours and hours and hours went by without anyone coming into that room. Lily was impatient, Grant and I were exhausted, and Grant was quickly reaching the end of his rope after a stressful work day.

We watched shows and movies. We tried to nap in the horribly uncomfortable ER exam room chairs. I crawled into bed with Lily. We were starving and thirsty, but didn't want to eat or drink around Lily, because she wasn't allowed food or liquids in case she needed surgery or needed to be put under to be casted.

Fractured elbow

The early hours of the morning arrived, and we were still waiting to hear what orthopedics decided. Would she need surgery? Would she need a permanent cast? Would they need to put her under while putting on the cast? And WHEN would they come in to see her?!?

Finally, a doctor rushed into the room, and explained that because it was a beautiful day in Pittsburgh, there were a lot of bones that needed to be set. They reviewed her x-rays again, and the doctor did a quick exam before determining that she would need a full arm cast for at least 6 weeks. Thankfully, there was no more waiting after that. He pulled out all the supplies, and had Grant assist while he wrapped up her arm.

It was painful, and I felt terrible for her, but she is a tough girl. The worst part was when the orthopedic doctor had to forcefully mold the cast around her break. There were still tears in her eyes when he was done, but she did great!

Parenting Blogger

After that, everything happened quickly. The nurse came in and brought us all drinks. The ER doctor then came in for one last check, and handed us her discharge papers. We were so excited to leave that room, and get out of that hospital!

Grant and I had driven separately to our local ER, so we had to stop there on the way home so I could get my SUV. Lily had fallen asleep by that point, so she stayed in Grant's SUV, and I led the caravan home. I was so exhausted, and kept checking my rearview mirror to make sure Grant was doing okay driving.

When we got home, it was nearing dawn. When we went to the first ER, Lexie was here alone with the little boys, and she managed to clean up dinner, wash the dishes, clean up the toys, bake cookies, and do her homework while watching them. She's awesome! We did call in my dad for reinforcement overnight, so he was here when we got home. We chatted with him for a few minutes, and Grant, Lexie, my dad, and I signed Lily's cast. My dad headed home, Lily immediately fell asleep, and Grant and I ate a few sugar cookies and chugged water before falling into bed. Needless to say, we all only slept a few hours which made work obligations tough today!

(Lily's outfit was ON POINT.)

Pittsburgh Kids

So this begins the next 6 weeks of Lily's life. We still can't believe that both of our calm girls broke bones in their arms, while their rambunctious brothers have never had a broken bone! Lily was SHOCKED and mad when she found out that she couldn't participate in tumbling, gym, or anything but walking for the next month and a half, but thems the breaks. Literally! Just like the first 3 months of 2021 have flown by, I'm sure her time in a cast will, too!

Life with Kids

Have you or your children ever broken a bone? (Toes don't count!)

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