Sunday, May 06, 2007

Our first - and hopefully ONLY - trip to the ER

We are still not sure what happened,but Angelina was weilding a large weight, er splint, for a few days. On Tuesday evening I noticed she wasn't using her left hand to eat, which she usually does, but thought nothing of it. She had been cranky all day at daycare, we figured she was teething and just in a bad mood. Then Wednesday evening Fredo noticed she wasn't picking up toys with her left hand. We tried to lift her arm and she screamed. Otherwise she was happy as a clam, but if you opened her clenched fist or moved her arm she let out a piercing scream. The babysitter said she hadn't seen anything happen, and we didn't notice any particular event.

Worried it was broken, we were off to the ER. We know this hospital all too well, and would prefer not to see it again for awhile. I figured since we were out of flu and RSV season, it shouldn't be too crowded. WRONG. It was packed. 4 hours, multiple X-rays and one splint later (and telling the 'story' umpteen times), we still had no clue what was wrong.

The doctor thought it might be Nursemaid's Elbow, but she didn't hear the 'pop' when she tried to manipulate it, just lots of screaming. Of course by then it was nearly 10 pm, so of course she was tired. Still, she was happy as can be when you didn't touch her arm. So they settled on putting it in a splint (her hand was SOOOOO stinky from having been clenching it/sweating for so long) and suggested a follow-up with the pediatrician in 2 days, not after scaring me by suggesting a possible neurological issue (unlikely because she had pain, but the mere mention freaked me out).

Her pedi pooh-poohed the suggestion of anything neurological, and suggested the X-ray procedure, which accompanied a great deal of screaming, actually popped the nursemaid's elbow back into place. So he removed the splint and suggested just watching her. By Friday night she was using her left hand again. She still favours her right, and will leave the left hanging at her side for a bit, but she's back to grabbing toys with both hands.

And she's happy as can be.

(side note: in my work I have to tell hospitals to evaluate their surge capacity in the event of an outbreak of pandemic flu. They need to consider using non medical rooms for treatment, such as conference rooms, offices, and yes, closets. Apparently this hospital has already done that: the room they put us in was very clearly a closet, but it worked!)


Monica said...

Oh no! I'm glad everything is better now, but that must have been scary!

Jenna said...

I'm curious to know what hospital you were at...since I work for one. Hopefully you're bragging about "my" hospital.

Cherise said...

Well, there are only 2 children's ERs in this town and only one near our house downtown :)

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