Some vacation. I find that the days end up so packed with big events, I get behind on the blogging. Like how I didn't get to write about Monday's flat tire at the Spiral Jetty until Tuesday night. And how I'm only getting to K2's Tuesday morning trip to the emergency room now, in the wee hours of Thursday.
It was like 7:30 or 8:00, she'd finished her wake-up bottle and was rolling around on the floor next to me as I did email. [Now that she's figured out how to roll back onto her back, she's started rolling as a form of locomotion.] As she rolled onto her stomach, she got her right arm stuck underneath her at an apparently odd angle, because she was screaming bloody murder in no time.
At first, I thought she pinched herself or something, but she just screamed, inconsolable and oblivious to my picking her up. That's when I saw her arm kind of hanging, immobile; A few long, loud minutes as I tried to see if her arm was broken--though she could still move it, and her hand, she wouldn't, and her screams were pretty even, no matter where I touched--and then I went to wake up the kid so we could go to the hospital. Just then, my mom came in from her morning walk, so K2 and I headed off to Primary Children's Hospital at the University of Utah on our own. Wait, a city with a rabbit-like birth rate has only one pediatric ER? "You'll be there all day," my mom warned.
Short story short, it was the fastest ER visit I've ever had or heard of. AND the valet parking guy refused my tip. We were the only people there at 9AM; triaged immediately, and got X-rays ordered before we checked in. I'm sure the first doctor's exam was to check the kid for signs of abuse. Then she came back with K2's chart to examine her arm more closely and adjust the X-ray order [I'd said I thought it was her shoulder that took the brunt of her weight, so they added a clavicle shot.]
Then the X-ray tech came, led us back, and as she positioned K2's arm on the table, she said she heard a pop. From that moment on, K2 began moving her arm again, though she was still crying. The X-ray showed up clean, and between that, the pop, and the movement, they figured it was Nursemaid's Elbow.
A partial dislocation of the radius, a bone in the forearm that's very common in kids under 5yo. The name Nursemaid's Elbow sounds so innocuous, and so very out of sync with the excruciating pain involved. But I guess it could be worse; because it can be triggered by an adult yanking or tugging on a kid's arm, or by swinging a kid by his arms, it could have been called Dad's Antics Elbow or something.
Anyway, now that we've joined the Nursemaid's Elbow club--once it happens, the likelihood of recurring is significantly increased--my MD brother and his RN wife tell me they've been popping their oldest kids' elbows back into place for years now. It's a simple maneuver that one doctor described for me--flexion and supination--without demonstrating.
Looking it up now, it seems that supination is turning the palm upward, and flexion is bending the elbow. If you feel your own arm, turning the palm rotates the radius, which is the bone that dislocates. A 1998 study published by the AAP has a diagram, but it also found that hyperpronation [rotating the palm inward] has a higher, quicker success rate than the flexion/supination move. [Note to self.]
Though she's been fine and the experience had no detectable impact on her, 36 hours later, I find I'm still picking her up and setting her down like she's made out of tissue paper.