This weekend, Grady and I got to experience a first together. It’s a much-dreaded first for most parents. We took our first trip to the Emergency Room.
Friday afternoon, Grady and I had gone down to our town square to spend some time at the park. We played for a good while, enjoying the slides, the swings, balancing on the railroad ties around the perimeter of the park. It was a lot of fun, as usual! On the way back to the car, we stopped by a pizza wagon that was participating in the farmer’s market that afternoon for some oven-fired deliciousness. We got our, pizza, loaded up in the car and made our way home.
While walking into the house from the garage there is a two stair transition from the garage into the house. In one hand, I was holding our pizza and Grady’s sippy cup. With my free hand, I was holding onto Grady’s hand to help him up the stairs as he still sometimes has trouble climbing them. On the way up, Grady tripped on the step so I pulled up on his hand to keep him from falling down the steps.
Immediately, Grady began crying a heart-wrenching sob. It wasn’t a cry I had heard before. I quickly abandon the pizza and the sippy cup of milk to comfort my poor little buddy. After a few minutes, I was able to calm him down and ask him to tell me what hurt. He wasn’t saying much but I noticed that he wasn’t moving his left arm or hand. Uh oh. I asked him to perform a couple basic tasks such as giving me a high-five, pointing out mommy’s nose or cheek or touching mommy’s hair. He refused.
I decided to call the on-call doctor from our family practice and she instructed us to head to the ER as it sounded like a case of nursemaid’s elbow, which is a dislocation of the elbow joint. We made our way to the ER as quickly as we could, Grady’s arm propped up on a folded-up quilt. As pitiful as he looked, it was also terribly cute to see him all snuggled with the quilt in his lap.
We were quickly called back into a room. Grady got lots of attention from the hospital staff. I swear, the child could charm even the most surly being! We were put on the “fast track” since he is such a little guy. The NP checked him over, we got a quick x-ray, Grady got stickers, crayons and a coloring book to occupy us while we waited for the results.
The results of the x-ray showed that the elbow was back where it should be, there were no fractures and we were good to go! I was instructed to give Grady ibuprofen on a strict schedule to keep him from getting too uncomfortable and we were sent on our way.
While no parent wants to take their child to the ER, for us it really wasn’t a terrible experience or really anything to dread. I would have preferred we not spend our Friday evening in a hospital room with my little guy in pain but, you know, it could have been worse. The hospital staff was incredibly friendly, efficient, helpful and sympathetic. They were all so very sweet with Grady and I wasn’t made to feel like a terrible mom for injuring Grady’s arm. As far as ER experiences go, I’d say our first wasn’t bad at all.
Grady is now feeling much better though his arm is still pretty tender if we go too far between doses of ibuprofen. The NP explained that since Grady’s elbow has dislocated once, it is more likely to happen again. Fortunately if it does happen again we will know the signs and know what to do. I’ll just keep my fingers crossed that we don’t have to worry about it again. I know that, from now on, I will be much more careful in assisting Grady up the stairs! I can tell you, though, Grady was much more concerned over his missing pizza than anything that was going on at the hospital. He asked for it about two dozen times while we were waiting. He is such a resilient little guy.