Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Since I didn't have a blog last summer...

I didn't get to give you the play-by-play of the saga that was Tucker's Broken Arm. So here it is, in case you didn't get to enjoy it at the time, up close and personal.

One summer afternoon in early June (when Tyler was just one month old, I might add), Tucker was protesting his Sunday afternoon nap. He was crying and complaining, but when we heard a loud crash from his room, Robb and I both came running - literally. We found Tucker on his tummy on the floor, facing the crib.

We didn't see it happen, so we can't be sure, but judging from the way he landed, we presume that he was leaning over the top of the crib, became top heavy, and flipped over onto the floor. (Had it been a direct fall, his feet would have been toward the crib; since he was facing the crib, I suspect some acrobatic activity may have taken place.)

We rocked and soothed, as we do after any major (or minor) injury, and then he went down for his nap. As far as we thought, no harm, no foul. It wasn't until later that evening that we suspected some further damage, when he was crying over the inability to lift his spoon at dinner. (My mom was the one who made this discovery... thank the Lord for grandmothers, for so many reasons.)

We called the doctor and kept Tucker tightly wrapped in an ace bandage from his fingertips to his shoulder, and we waited until we could get him in to the doctor the next day. The next day's X-rays revealed a clean break across his right wrist. :o(

At 21 months old, he was officially the youngest patient to receive a cast at our pediatrician's office. Mark that one down in the scrapbook.

The whole casting process was very traumatic for him (and thereby his mother), but when we were finished, he had a new tough-guy cast to show all his friends.

If it's not hard enough to let a little boy who is not-yet-two get to know his newborn little brother in a safe manner, try adding a cast to the mix.

Less than a week later, he surprised us all by brilliantly wedging his cast between the bars of shopping cart at Home Depot, and sliding his arm right out of the cast. He looked at Robb with this expression of victory, as if he had been trying for days to get out of this thing, and he had finally DONE IT.

He was undoubtedly disappointed when we took him back to the doctor, only to return his best efforts with a new cast: an orange one this time.

One week later, he gave a repeat performance of his shopping cart trick, only this time at WalMart. Off to the doctor again.

This time, they secured a splint and a sling on his arm, to keep his arm stabilized until we could get to Children's Hospital to see a pediatric orthopedist the next day.

Doesn't he look defeated? He really worked and worked to get these casts off, but to no avail.
Unfortunately, the splint didn't last 24 hours. We found the sling and splint in various locations in the crib the next day.
The experts at Children's Hospital had seen his kind before, and they knew just the remedy: a cast up to his armpit. Yes, the broken bone was in his wrist, so there was no need to stabilize his elbow, except that our little Houdini needed a cast that would stay on.

The red cast stayed for the duration, and his arm healed quite nicely.

It was quite a month, since we also had our hands full with Tyler's jaundice, his extra finger (oh, didn't I tell you about that?), and adjusting to the needs and schedules of Two Boys Under Two.

In the end, the unexpected good news was that Tucker's final cast was waterproof, which allowed for baths and swimming, and we got to keep his first cast as a souvenir. He is all set for Show-and-Tell in first grade, where he'll take his teeny-tiny, 8-inch cast that nobody will believe his arm ever fit into.

And last but not least, I quickly began my post-graduate education on The Physical Traumas of Raising Two Boys.

Somehow, I think this is just the beginning.

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