Wednesday, November 07, 2007

"Fracture" is not a good word

Monday night began like any other night. I was happily cooking a non-gourmet meal in the kitchen when I heard a terrible thud in the office followed by strained cries from Whit. I went to check on her and found that she had been standing on one of swivelly office chairs and took a tumble. She was holding her left arm and my mother's intuition told me it was more than just a bump. Andrew was on his way home and when he got here, we both decided she needed to go to the Emergency Room.

Greg and Nicolle agreed to watch B-train and we headed to the hospital. My fears were confirmed. They did x-rays and found that she FRACTURED her humerus, right by the elbow. That's NOT a word that you want to hear in connection with your little girl. Apparently she tried to catch herself when she fell and her elbow hyper-extended. It ended up breaking off a little chip of bone near the elbow.

She was SUCH a brave little girl.
Here she was getting her x-rays.

The news kept getting worse because the type of fracture she has can't be set. Instead they have to do SURGERY--another word I could've done without. Since she had eaten dinner right before we came in, they had to wait until the morning to do the procedure.

The worst part of the whole experience:
The phlebotomist turned to me before she started and said, "Are you going to be ok, Mom?" I calmly told her yes, but almost didn't make it. It was torture to watch them digging around with that needle in Whit's arm as she screamed and looked as us like, "Why aren't you stopping them?" Terrible. Terrible.

They don't admit pediatric patients to the hospital where we checked in. (Good lesson for other local parents: If you ever need to take your kids to the ER, go to Moses Cone. They have a separate ER for kids and can admit your child if that becomes necessary. We'll know for next time.) So, we had to transfer to Moses Cone and Whitney and Andrew spent the night there. I came home to get a few hours rest and some extra clothes for W and Drew. Then got back to the hospital by 6:30 the next morning when they started prepping her for surgery.

Her surgeon(Dr. Norris) was such a nice guy. He was a dad of young kids and you could just tell he was very caring and patient. It was comforting. With Whitney's eye surgeries, they let at least one of us stay with her up until the moment she is under anesthesia, but not at this hospital. They wheeled her away from us when she was still awake. I was so worried she was going to freak out. I would have if I was her. Dr. Norris told us that they give her something to make her forget that whole part of the experience.

The surgery went well. She is in a soft splint for the next week and will get a cast put on after that. When Dr. Norris came out to tell us how it went, he said that she wasn't even crying when she left us and she talked to him all the way up until the moment she went under. He told us about their conversation--that she can get dressed all by herself. Dr. Norris has a two-year-old son who doesn't know how to dress himself yet, so he asked Whit if he would come to her house and help teach her son how to do that. She agreed. He said he was impressed with how personable she was and just loved to meet people.

Well, the medicine they gave her to "forget everything" didn't work. As soon as she came out of anesthesia, she told Andrew and I that her doctor wanted her to come to his house and teach his two-year-old son, John, how to get dressed. He has three little boys and no girls. It cracked us up!

She was a happy girl when she got out of surgery.
"My arm's all fixed up!"
I think she was most happy that she got to lie
in bed and watch cable TV cartoons all morning.

They had us hang around the hospital until lunch time to make sure Whit could keep her food down. I understood their reasoning, but was getting anxious to get out of there. At Duke for her previous surgeries, they really get you out of there quickly. They just give her some sprite and graham crackers, make sure she doesn't throw up and then send you on your way. It was hard to just hang out in that room for FOUR hours while we waited for lunch to be delivered. Ok, I'll admit that part of the problem was that I was STARVING. I had packed some snacks for Andrew and me, but they didn't cut it for the amount of time that we stayed.

Here she is ready to go home,
holding her new bear, Snugglish.

She did pretty well last night and ate a good breakfast this morning. Getting dressed is going to be a challenge for the next few weeks. I have a feeling we'll be borrowing a lot of baggy T-shirts from Brandon.

HUGE thank to Greg and Nicolle and Ben and April for taking care of B-train during this whole ordeal. And thanks to many of you for your phone calls and prayers.


Marianne said...

What a trooper little W is as well as you and Andrew! Glad everything worked out in the end and that the surgery was successful. Do they do casts still? If so, can it/has it been signed?

andrea said...

She'll wear this "soft splint" for a week to allow the swelling to go down and then she'll get a regular cast on that I'm sure all her little preschool friends will be excited to sign. :)

Ang said...

Oh! Surgery!! That's no fun at all. Poor Whit. And poor you guys. I'm sure she charmed the surgeon, though. This will be one of those things she's old enough now to remember. I hope she's feeling better. Give her a kiss for us!

Natalie said...

I am glad Whit survived this whole surgery thing. That can be so scary at such a young age. That second picture of Whit is hilarious! She looks so mad at you for taking a picture of her during this tramatic experience. But I am glad that you documented it for us to see.

Destiny said...

Poor Girl. Being in a hospital is scary enough, let alone surgery. I'm glad she is bouncing back. Aren't kids amazing.

Amy said...

Poor little girl. She's had way too many surgeries for her young life. I think I was 3 (maybe 4?) when I broke my arm and my mom still has the cast.

Denny & Joe said...

Oh poor honey! So sorry to hear about the mishap and hope Whitney's arm mends quickly. She looks so cute in the pix, though. She's brave!

Sandy said...

Oh my gosh!! What a brave kid (and brave mom and dad!!) Hopefully the hospital drama will leave you all alone for a long, long time! I'm so impressed that Whitney is smiling in all those pictures! What a gal!

g & g hiatt said...

Give Whitney a big hug for us and tell her we love her. We also think she has had her share and then some of hospitals and doctors.
We agree with all your other fans: you're great!

Laurie said...

This sounds like such a bummer experience. Whitney sounds like a surgery champ though.

How are you feeling these days?

Carrie said...

I am so happy that her arm will be okay. Hopefully she is not in too much pain. Whitney is such a brave little girl!!!

Grandma Sweat said...

Every expression on Whitney's face could be a poster for a certain emotion! (Andrew looks really cute in that first picture too)! So glad Whitney is handling everything with grace and dignity - and even thinking of others the minute she comes out of anesthesia! What a girl. We sure love all of you!
Grandma Sweat