Remember when I was like, life is difficult at the moment, but at least Josephine can play outside and enjoy the playground?
Cue dramatic music.
Stupid, Veronica. STUPID.
On Jeremy's first Saturday off in lo, so many years, we stopped at Josephine's new favorite playplace. We played. We frolicked in the long, wet grass, we had a loverly time. When it was time to leave, Josephine was walking and went to step down off the curb to take the path back to the car, and BAM, hit the deck. It was about the 50th time she had fallen that day, so I wasn't all that concerned. I went to help her up, and she was crying. This kid doesn't get that upset when she falls, even if scrapes are involved, so I thought that was weird. I picked her up, and she clung to me and cried the whole way back to the car. Usually, if it is possible for her to walk, she walks, so it was also strange that she let me carry her so far.
We strapped her in and decided to hit the library quickly before heading home to think about what to make for dinner. I put her down, she beamed with excitement at the sight of all the books, tried to take a step, and nearly fell over. She tried about ten times to take steps, and she simply could not put any weight on her right leg. She cried out in pain and looked totally bewildered with every step. She limped a few steps, then just put her arms up for me to get her. I knew something was terribly wrong, and I tried very hard not to panic.
Since she had wet shoes and pants from the playground, we went home to change her and pack up some things, and I called our on-call physician at the pediatrician's office for advice. After I changed her clothes, I tried to let her walk again, and it was the same thing, only worse. She was DETERMINED to walk on that leg, but just couldn't. I told Jeremy I didn't want to wait and we should just head to the hospital.
As we pulled out the driveway, we got the call back from the pediatrician, who said to definitely go to hospital, because at her age and in those types of falls, it is very common to have spiral fractures of the tibia, and just watching and waiting wouldn't do her any good, since it was unlikely that it would swell or show any other more obvious signs.
We headed to the ER. And waited.
Let me tell you though, she was SO FREAKING GOOD, considering the circumstances. She found ways to cope in that tiny room, such as noticing this funny face on the "safety tips playscape" and imitating it all night.
After a while (and a few tears), we gave up on the stroller and let her sit on the bed and just sat her back down every time she tried to stand up. (Sigh, SIGH, DOUBLE SIGH. I do not recommend.)
(getting a kiss from a My Little Pony)
Luckily, the doctor was able to review her x-rays quickly (and I had seen them all, since I had to be behind the wall to avoid exposure for Baby X, and I got to peek at them all and they all looked normal to me -- and you all know about my M.D. in Awesome, so you know you can trust my opinion). He said he didn't see any obvious fractures, BUT (and of course there had to be a BUT), at this age it is really difficult to see hairline fractures, so since she still couldn't walk on it, and especially because it was so out of character for her, we would have to do a splint and come back in a week for another x-ray. Apparently it is easier to see them once they have started to heal a while? GRRRR.
So, a splint. We waited about a half hour for them to come put it on. And they put on a splint from her butt to her foot, bent 90 degrees at the knee. I almost had a total breakdown. BENT AT THE KNEE? How will we manage this?
Then ... she broke it. Yes, she broke her plaster splint five minutes after it finished drying and the tech said, "That's not going anywhere!" Heh. The doctor took one look at it and said, "Well, that's very unusual for a child so young to be so strong. Let's get another one on her."
At this point, it was an hour and a half past her bedtime, and she had been snacking all day, but had missed dinner time by three-and-a-half hours. It had also been eight hours since Jeremy and I had had anything to eat or drink. I almost had a complete meltdown, and Josephine had her only real minor freak out. Thankfully, it was quickly resolved with an echo microphone from Granny (the last toy left in the bag!). So she spent the entire thirty minutes he was wrapping and holding the fiberglass in place talking into the microphone and making animal sounds. Priceless.
The second splint was fiberglass, and the tech actually said, "There is NO way she is getting out of this one, no matter HOW strong she is!" I freaked. I said, "Now, why would you say that?" This time, the tech sat and held her splint in place for the entire half-hour drying time, and decided it was stronger than her and we were all set ... when he let go, she simply smiled and straightened her leg out. You know, what she WASN'T SUPPOSED TO BE ABLE TO DO WITH THE SPLINT ON. I almost lost it again.
He went to get the doctor, and when they returned, the doctor said she was obviously bent on destruction, but he wasn't comfortable putting a full cast on her without an obvious fracture. He said we should try our hardest to keep it on her until Tuesday, then take it off and see if she can walk. If not, splint back on, return for x-rays in a week.
Then we played peek-a-boo until we were FINALLY discharged.
She's not supposed to walk on it (HA!) and she's supposed to sleep flat on her back with pillows piled under her leg (HA!), but we are doing our best. It is really hard to convince this kid that she shouldn't be walking, and on day two of this splint adventure, she is already getting frustrated. Yesterday when she would try to walk and fall, she would just say "let's go!" and try again. Today, she sits for a while and cries when she realizes she can't do what she wants to. Heartbreaking, to say the least. She also keeps asking for a shoe on her splint foot. Sorry, kiddo.
All in all, it was a horrible experience, even though I know, OBVIOUSLY, that so many worse things could be happening to our kid, but it also reminded me what a great kid she is. She was as well-behaved as humanly possible and was actually smiling at the end of the night, long after her father and I had thrown in the towel and were acting miserable. She is also so dang determined to do what she wants with this thing on. She's a little inspiration. Jeremy and I stared at her in the monitor last night after she went to bed, with her splint leg flung up in the air and resting on the bars of her crib, and all we could do is say, "Wow ... we love this kid."
AND, we got one of my new favorite pictures of Josephine while she was talking on Jeremy's phone in the waiting room:
Man, we sure do love this kid.