Thursday, February 2, 2012

Lesson learned. (Or - How we called our pediatrician three times in five days and yet managed to miss calling the most important time.)

Let's start this story from the beginning. As I believe I already mentioned, Ava tripped at the play place in the mall Friday night. She fell rather oddly onto her arm and was significantly favoring her right hand. After determining that there was little or no swelling and her fingers seemed to move fine, we decided that a pediatrician call for that incident was unnecessary.

The next day Ava woke up from nap with a croupy cough. That was followed by labored breathing and we made an after-hours call to the pediatrician. A late night dose of steroids obtained from a 24 hour pharmacy saved us a trip to the emergency room. Our sincere thanks went out to the on-call pediatrician.

Monday, I was walking into a room when Michael was walking out and I managed to slam him in the forehead with the doorknob. I hit him hard enough that he fell back onto his butt gasping for breath before the screaming began. I comforted and hugged and felt around the forehead for lumps but found none. I mentally moved on once the crying stopped.

It wasn't until some extremely bizarre behavior began at bedtime that I remembered the bump on the head and became concerned. He was scared and asking to sleep with us (never in his entire life has he been afraid at bedtime - never). He was desperately thirsty and drank so much water that we had to change his clothes twice in a row. Again, very odd. I was worried about some kind of brain injury. Another late night call. We got the same on-call pediatrician. Who knows what she was thinking of us at that point, but she decided at home observation would be adequate. Turns out, he was fine thank goodness.

Yesterday Ava had a fever. She was complaining that her right ear hurt. At least it was during regular office hours this time. We went to the pediatrician and sure enough, she has an ear infection in her right ear. Ten days of antibiotics here we come.

As we were about to leave, I remembered Ava's hand and quickly told our pediatrician the play place story and showed her the bruising on Ava's hand. At this point, all four knuckles have dark bruises and the bruise shows up on the palm of her hand as well.

Our pediatrician took one look and sent us down for an x-ray. Our pediatrician's office is adjacent to the hospital, so at least this trip only involved an elevator ride and walk down a long hallway. She told me to just go home after the x-ray. She would call me and let me know. Well, I told the x-ray technician that we were just going to take off per our pediatrician's advice. He gave me a significant look and asked me to stay just 10 minutes while he made a quick phone call. I knew right then that the x-rays showed something and that he didn't want me to leave until he got a doctor to take a look.

As it turns out, there is at least one and probably two fractures in the bones of her hand. Just give me a parent of the year award. Yes, I let my two year old daughter walk around with a broken hand for five days. I only found out because I mentioned it in passing during the pediatrician visit in which her ear infection was diagnosed.

Here's her x-ray. It's pretty subtle. At least, it is subtle to my completely uneducated eye. But, I'm told there is a fracture. I have learned that it is possible to have a broken bone with no swelling and no restriction in movement. Our pediatrician told me that as soon as I noticed the significant bruising I should have called. Ahh, hindsight.

Later today I'll be setting up an appointment with a pediatric orthopedist. Let the fun and games continue.

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