It's not unusual around here to hear the beginnings of a scuffle, soon followed by yelling and/or tears. So on Sunday afternoon, when Mike brought a crying Eli into the house, I didn't think too much of it. It didn't take long for us to realize that these tears were no ordinary tears from a sibling squabble gone wrong. My little man was hurting. And then we noticed his left arm, hanging limply at his side.
We've seen this before – both of our kids have had their elbows pulled out of socket (also known as nursemaid's elbow) on previous occasions. After a call to the pediatrician's after hours nurse line, we were headed to the ER, presumably to get Eli's elbow popped back into place and be on our merry way.
We were seen quickly. The doctor did her nifty little manipulation and we prepared ourselves to wait a bit for Eli to feel better. He didn't. Thirty minutes later he was still in pain and refusing to use his arm. She tried again, we waited some more. Still not better. We get x-rays. The x-rays don't show any kind of fracture, so a different doctor tries for a third time. We wait some more, and still no improvement. By this time it's after 8 p.m. and my little man is nearly delirious with exhaustion and hunger – I was in the middle of cooking dinner when the sibling showdown started. We were sent home with a sling and instructions to contact a hand and arm specialist in the morning if he stilll wasn't using the arm.
I had high hopes that after a good night's rest, Eli would forget about the injury and be back to himself. Instead Mike and I spent the night tag-teaming a very miserable toddler. He was up every 1-2 hours, crying out in pain when he shifted in his sleep.
We saw the specialist this afternoon and he recommended an MRI. There's still the possibility of a fracture, since young bones don't show up in all their entirety on an x-ray. There's also the possibility of muscle or ligament damage. We couldn't get the MRI scheduled until tomorrow morning, so the decision was made to go ahead and cast Eli's arm to provide him some stability and comfort. So for the first time in our parenting career, we have a kid in a cast. It's so tiny and pitiful, and so very green. I'm still kicking myself for not at least thinking it through and picking a nice Colts blue.
Having the cast on has made a world of difference in Eli's demeanor. He's no where near back to his rambunctious self, but you could tell he wasn't in pain with every movement anymore. He managed the one-arm ice cream cone hold very nicely this evening.
I won't lie, I'm nervous about tomorrow. He'll need to be completely sedated for the procedure tomorrow, which I'm not crazy about. Still, I just want my little man back to his sweet, silly self.
It looks like he's forgiven Elena for the bodily harm. And yet, I won't be surprised if sometime in the near future I hear the sound of scuffling followed by tears. I have $5 on the tears being Elena's, with a cast-shaped impression on her head to go with them.