This weekend our Sunday morning got off to a rough start when Pierce fell backwards off a stool and broke his arm. We knew immediately it was either broken or dislocated - it was bulging above the elbow and hanging limply. We rushed him to the car. Putting a child with a freshly broken arm in a carseat is a nightmare that no parent wants to go through. I felt so terrible trying to get the buckles on. Since Pierce was three years old I have always taught him how to use deep breathing techniques to calm himself, and we practiced a lot of deep breathing on the drive to the hospital. I told him stories to distract him (and also told him step by step what would happen when we got to the hospital - as best I knew) and he was a deep breathing champ. Even though it was a further drive, I took him to a hospital on the other side of town - it wasn't the closest hospital but I knew it would have less of a wait than the larger one. My instincts were right. We didn't wait in the ER at all - they took a look at his arm and that combined with his age got him right into a room. Pierce practiced more deep breathing while they put in an IV, but then he started feeling better with some pain medication, and they were able to take the x-rays.
The news from the x-rays was not good. He had a very rough break, and would need surgery. They debated whether to try to wait 8 hours for his breakfast to digest - but the orthopedic surgeon felt like he should get in there before the swelling started. So 2 1/2 hours after the break happened, Pierce was prepped for surgery. His anesthesiologist explained every step to him, and then asked if he had any questions. Pierce said, "Does your hospital have a robot?". This made everyone smile, and Pierce got to make a special visit to the hospital surgery robot, which was located in a OR that was not in use. Time was taken to tell Pierce all about how the robot worked. This is the control station:
And this is Pierce next to the actual robot. He's very proud of this picture, and can't wait to share it at Robotics camp later this summer.
After a while, Pierce started having a weird allergic type reaction. He got welts all over, but they flared up and moved around. The nurses were baffled. The anesthesiologist was called. While he had received some antibiotics during surgery that could have caused a reaction, they felt like the reaction would've been more immediate if it had been related. They ordered some Benadryl, and we had to stay longer than usual for observation. We were very hopeful we could go home that evening.
Finally, after some orange juice and a popsicle, we got the discharge papers around 5 pm. We hit a small snag at the pharmacy drop off, but a call to the doctor amended the Rx and we finally headed home. Pierce is doing really well - the pain killers make him groggy so he's mostly resting this week. He's a little sad to have to miss swim lessons, which started on Tuesday, but hopefully we can schedule a class in the fall. You never want to see your child in the hospital, but I can say that the staff at Lewis Gale were fantastic - they went out of their way to make Pierce comfortable and reassure him. We are very thankful that we had such a good experience, during a very scary time. And I couldn't have been prouder of Pierce - he is the bravest little 7 year old I know!