Saturday, November 17, 2007

The Rest of the Story...

Sorry to keep you all waiting so long for an update. I know I said I'd post pictures of Dolly's arm yesterday, but yesterday was post in itself. I was home all of two hours between 10am and 11pm! But that's beside the point - this post is about Dolly's arm.

Ok! Back to my story. Even though we'd been through triage, we stayed out in the triage waiting room because the ER was so busy Thursday evening. After about half and hour, a really tall and very tired looking doctor came over. He asked Dolly where her arm hurt, and she pointed to her empty shirt sleeve and said 'There'. Even if the doctor had looked under her sweater to see what she meant, he wouldn't have seen just 'where' she was indicating. So, he said something about getting pictures of her elbow and wandered back behind the triage desk. I wasn't sure if we were supposed to follow him or not, and I didn't think anything of his 'elbow' comment. Sir went and asked a nurse behind the registration desk if we were supposed to wait where we were or find our way to the x-ray department and she said we were to stay put until we were called.

After another 20 minutes or so, we were called in behind the triage doors and told to follow the red line to the imaging department where we'd wait for our turn for pictures. While Dolly and I waited to be called, Sir took the carseat out to our car so we wouldn't have to continue to lug it around the hospital. While he was gone, we were called in.

We had to unwrap Dolly's arm for the x-ray, and the lack of extra support, caused her to really hurt more. At first the technician wanted me to hold her on my lap so they could put her elbow on a raised table in front of us. I told him Dolly wouldn't be able to put her arm in the position he was asking for because of where it was broken. Then he told me they were suppose to take pictures of the elbow and when I told him that they should have been told to photograph the whole arm, he decided to go double check with the doctor. The instructions and the patient weren't makeing sense together. When he came back he said that the plans were changed and they'd be taking pictures of her arm - not just the elbow.

Poor Dolly was so brave. Repositioning her 'just so' for the x-rays was very painful, but she did it, and the technician gave her a sticker when we were all done. At least they only had to take two shots, and we got to leave with a wheelchair. Yay! (Dolly was getting a little heavy to carry everywhere). Below are some closer looks at the x-rays in the top photo. The first picture is looking at the arm from the front where the second is a look from the left side. Click on any of them to view full size.

Once the x-rays were done, we headed over to another waiting room, but only had to wait about 15 minutes before the doctor got to us. He had called a orthopedic surgeon to get a second opinion and the surgeon said he wanted to see Dolly in a week. So, the ER doctor put a temporary sort of cast on Dolly's arm. Basically it's a strip of fiberglass that starts at the shoulder, goes down the outside of her arm, and folds over the elbow as it ends just short of the armpit. Then the whole thing was wrapped with an ace bandage before a foam strip was fashioned into a collar-sling. Thankfully, wrapping the arm took less than five minutes since any kind of movement was very painful, and the doctor was very gentle. When he was done we waited another 20 minutes or so for a nurse to bring us the surgeon's contact information and a few doses of painkillers to go home with. Below are a couple pictures of while we were waiting to leave, and a shot of Dolly's bandage.

Dolly has to sleep in a semi-upright position to allow gravity to keep her arm properly aligned. The first night was the hardest for her as she was up every two hours due to the pain. Last night she slept solid from 11pm to 9:15 this morning - which was wonderful for me since I was past the point of exhaustion after yesterday! Speaking of sleep... I need to get some since it's getting late and I have no idea how my kids are going to sleep tonight. At least I got this posted today - I've only been working on it off and on over the last 12 hours!


  1. Hooray for a sensible Mom who took her daughter's word seriously. My oldest daughter (four years old) fell out of the top bunk in the middle of the night. Of course she was crying, but I helped her back up,covered her, patted her on the rear and told her to go back to sleep. Obediently she did just that. The next morning her arm was so swollen I finally realized we needed medical help. Yep, it was broken, so she had a cast. How do you think that made me feel? Duh!

  2. Poor Dolly! She's getting to know the emergency room too well! I hope you were able to get a good nights sleep, too.

  3. Well first let me say congrats on you baby girl, I just now read your blog about Emma. And poor Dolly she looks like she is trying to be sooo brave! I hope the arm will heal well and hope nothing more happens like that. You are one tough mommy! :)

  4. Oh poor little sweet girl! We'll be praying that her arm mends nicely without needing any extra procedures from the orthopedic surgeon! Is this the same arm as the wrist she fell on not too long ago?? And, I was wondering how did she actually break it...did she fall onto something, or off of something in the bedroom? Just curious 'cause Ellie asked :) Take care!