Wednesday, October 29, 2014

On broken fingers and delinquent parenting

Thank you, thank you, I hereby accept the Mother of the Year Award for 2014. 

Three weeks ago, Leah was at an activity through a respite organization in our area. She goes to activities a few times a month and loves the activities and the cool, college girl respite providers. About 15 minutes after she left, I got a phone call from the organization saying Leah's finger had been accidentally slammed in a car door (her fingers are QUICK, I tell ya!). She was quite upset initially, but had calmed down and was watching a movie with the rest of the kids when they called. We decided to keep her at the activity so long as she seemed happy. 

When she got home, her finger was swollen and beginning to bruise. We put a splint on her finger and then said about 1,000 prayers that it would stay on despite her constant hand and finger stereotypies

We watched her finger for a few days. The swelling went down and the bruising ran its course; nothing looked unusual and Leah didn't seem to have any pain. 

So, we moved on. 

Until yesterday when the nurse at school noticed swelling again. Sure enough, her finger looked like a sausage about to burst from its casing. The nurse suspected some sort of infection since it had been a few weeks since the other swelling. So I took her to her pediatrician. He was unsure, so he sent us to the hospital for an xray. 

So we went to the hospital for an x ray. They told us to wait for the doctor to call back. 

So we waited. When the doctor called back he said he thought it wasn't an infection but that the finger was, in fact, broken, and that we needed to get her to an orthopedist. Only they don't have day-of appointments, so we'd need to go to the walk-in clinic that night. 

So, when Ryan got home, we piled in the car and waited again. When we saw the doctor, he said it looked pretty bad and thought it may need surgery, but he wanted a second opinion first and the other doctor would be in first thing in the morning. We were told to come back and we could be his first appointment. 

So, we put our tiny Leah to bed with a splinted, broken finger, three weeks after it had actually been broken. And I cried myself to sleep. 

In the morning, we went to the 2nd orthopedist. She told us that yes, it was broken. And yes, it was a pretty bad break. But, because children's bones heal so quickly, after the last three weeks it was almost completely the wrong position. To fix it, we'd have to re-break her finger and then surgically place it in the correct poision. And then let it heal all over again. The doctor thought that the risk of surgery would be greater than the reward in this case. 

So, sweet Leah was sent home with a still-broken-but-nearly-healed-in-the-wrong-position-splinted finger, simply reaffirming the fact that she is the bravest, most courageous and most easy-going child in the history of children. She is made of some tough stuff. 

But she still has opinions on the matter. 

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