Wednesday, January 12, 2011

15-on and 15-off

As some of my Facebook friends (some of who are also real-life friends) know, Jen had a sleepover at her BFF’s house over the weekend. There was some drama that went down, but not something which could’ve caused Jen to have a physical problem she encountered on Monday morning: Her right arm hurt. A LOT. It hurt her so much, she couldn’t lift it, and she winced every time I even touched that part of her arm.

I took stock of the situation: Was this a typical “arm ache” that would go away? It didn’t look like it. At first, I’d thought maybe she’d slept wrong or had her arm twisted in her sleep. But the fact that she couldn’t even lift her arm was very troubling and pretty much deep-sixed those theories. This was something BAD. And no way was I going to send her to school. Not if it hurt too much to lift her arm! So, I kept her home on Monday.

Later, after the office was open, I called her doctor and scheduled an appointment. Fortunately, they would be able to see her that same day. We ended up at that doctor appointment for two hours, going back and forth for X-rays of her arm and shoulder.
(It is the humerus bone. I joked that there was nothing “humerus” about this situation.) When the doctor had removed Jen's shirt, my eyes almost popped out. The area of her arm that was sore was swollen! Swelling like that might earn a bodybuilder a pat on the back for nice biceps, but this was NOT from lifting weights! And it was not muscle bigness, either. It looked like she had a medium-sized balloon in that part of her arm! This must’ve occurred since the pain had started in the early hours of the morning.

Well, they did the X-rays. The doctor suspected a fracture, but, thankfully, there was no fracture. Turns out there was a bruise on her bone. This puzzled me, that a bruise on her bone would cause so much pain and swelling.

The doctor said to do the 15-on and 15-off ice pack method for her arm and give her Tylenol for the pain. And rest it. (My sister had told me about the 15-on and 15-off method for ice packs when I had bursitis in my hip. Believe me, it WORKS! It worked better than the pain medicine they prescribed.)

So that’s what we did. I spent that day constantly looking to the clock and reminding Jen about the ice pack. By the next day, unfortunately, she was still in pain. But at least the swelling had gone down. Still, because of the pain, we kept up with the ice pack and Tylenol, and I kept her home from school again.

By evening, she was finally pain-free. She could lift her arm again, bend it and do assorted tasks without any problems. Yay!

I was relieved that, after missing two days of school, she finally got to go back today. And, so far, we have not had any reprisals.

When we were at the doctor’s office, we tried to figure out how Jen had gotten her bone bruised. We all threw out a bunch of scenarios. Had she fallen on her arm? Did she bump against a wall? Had someone hit her? Etc. Then she finally remembered that, oh, yes, she and her friend had played in the ball pit at the pizza place they went to for dinner. I was puzzled over why my husband and the doctor accepted this as a source of the bruising, and hubby said she probably hit her arm in the pit and didn’t think about it. I started to wonder just what kinds of accidents and injuries happen to kids in those ball pits. (This was not an inflatable ball pit; it has a surface to jump off of and a hard ground underneath all those balls.)

Also at the doctor’s, while we were waiting for the doctor to check the X-rays, I reminded Jennifer of how it was interesting this happened, on the day after we saw the movie Rookie of the Year. Because she plays baseball, we thought it would be funny if what happened to the kid’s arm in the movie happened to her arm, too. Our interpreter had not seen the movie yet, so we didn’t talk too much about it in order to avoid giving too much away, but we both thought it was an interesting coincidence.

I’m just glad her arm is better now. Maybe the one thing she’ll take away from this is a reminder to be more careful in a ball pit.


Nancy said...

Thats really scary Dawn, I'm glad her arms not fractured. Sometimes my kids have injured themselves pretty bad and cant remember what happened, but never that bad. Mostly now and then I will see a huge bruise on one of them and we have to sit and pick their brains to see what happened. Sometimes it remains a mystery!

Dawn Colclasure said...

Thanks for the comment, Nancy. :) I am relieved, too. I know, kids REALLY have a way of just flying right through all the things that they do in life and they don't realize the cuts, scrapes, bruises and whatnot that resulted from certain activities until later. But sometimes, they do figure things out. One time Jennifer fell while playing at the park and, days later, there was a bruise on her knee. And I freaked out and asked "what happened??" and she said "don't you remember, Mom? I fell at the park." LOL What's interesting is that, ever since this happened, she's taken an interest in anatomy! She even wrote a short story of a girl who hurt her arm, and she even spelled "humerus" right!