It was a lovely Saturday afternoon. I had the chili simmering on the stove, the cornbread cooling, and the kitchen semi-clean. So what if I was still in my jammies, its Saturday. The Steelers game was all set to record (because we have 5 kids and can't watch anything without being interrupted, well that and we hate watching the commercials). There are those days that you just have everything all lined up and things go according to the plans you made. This was not one of those days.
Let me back up to the previous evening before our unscheduled chaos occurred. Haley and Ethan were playing in his bedroom. Ethan was climbing on his bed and jumping onto the mattress over and over again (as he does). He must have gotten bored because I heard Haley telling him that was too high and he needs to get down. So up the stairs I go, and sure enough Ethan had found a new item to climb on. He was standing on top of his 5 drawer dresser. I explained as you do to a 2 year old that this was too high and he would get hurt. So naturally I made 4 more climbs up the stairs before I finally shoved his dresser into his closet (which is empty so there is plenty of room for it in there). Problem solved. The thought crosses my mind 'how that kid hasn't seriously hurt himself is amazing'. Of course this thought has crossed my mind and I have even said it out loud to him many, many, many times. It just hadn't happened until now.
My adorable son likes to climb, he enjoys a challenge, and is very stubborn. His usual mode of operation to get to what he wants is a laundry basket or a toy bucket (which is damn near the same thing and leaves just as big of a mess for someone to clean up, and by someone I mean me).
So back to Saturday, my husband lay napping on his couch storing the energy he would soon need for the playoff football game, Haley and Ethan were watching one of the movies they watch over and over again while they were running around playing and chasing each other. As soon as I sat down Ethan decided he wanted something off of the kitchen counter. So he did what he does, he grabbed a laundry basket and climbed on up. So I did what I do, I got up to help him and to make sure it wasn't something like scissors or a knife that he had decided to climb for. This time it was just a cookie, so he got his cookie and he is on his way. So I sat down again, my mistake. Ethan took his laundry basket back over to the counter and as I noticed he was climbing again, the basket slipped back and Ethan fell to the floor.
Now this fall was not a scary or spectacular fall of any kind. Ethan has fallen much farther and much harder daily. But what was different about this fall was the landing. He hit that right arm just, well I guess I should say he hit it just wrong. As he fell I was already on my way over to get him, I scooped him up and he gripped my neck with his left hand and arm, leaving his right arm loose. That was my first clue that this was not the normal fall. His little cry was different too. His right hand and arm got very warm and just a little swollen.
I sat down on the couch with him to calm and cuddle him. It was about this time that my husband woke up (if he woke up every time someone in our house cried the poor guy wouldn't get any sleep). I had been looking at Ethan's arm and noticed that it had a little bump on the outside edge along with being swollen and hot. My husband asked if everything was ok, and I said, "nope, I think he broke his arm". My husband immediately scoffed at this and said, "no he didn't". He wasn't being an ass or anything, I think that logically it just didn't make sense for a little fall to have broken our boy of steel.
Ethan calmed down some and even let me ice his arm. Which is another sign something was very wrong. In my mind I am planning out what we need to do and while holding this adorable crying boy I realize shit, I am still in my jammies and haven't showered yet! (Oh, shut up! It's Saturday. But I am not going into public messy in jammies.) So, I had to take Ethan upstairs, lay him on my bed, and somehow convince him to let me go take a shower and get dressed.
I even considered taking Ethan into the shower, he was a bit of a mess (he was eating cookies remember)and if they put a cast or splint on him it would be almost impossible to bath him later. However, I managed with a baby wipe quick wash and changed his pants (no way in hell I was going to change his shirt risking hurting his poor little arm). Before we left, every other child in the house begged to come with us. They have all been to the ER at one point or another as a patient or with their sibling, why they thought they wanted to go is beyond me. Yeah, they were worried about their little brother but worry only takes you so far when it comes to endless waiting in a boring ass room. Before we left I even remembered to turn the stove off! And while I was in the shower my wonderful husband packed the diaper bag with every imaginable item we may have needed while we were gone.
So anyway, we are off to the ER. Ethan is in his car seat with his ice pack (cleverly wrapped in a Cars pillowcase) and to keep him calm I decide to ride in the backseat with him. How the hell do the kids do that?! Ride in the backseat I mean? I was carsick almost instantly! My husband wasn't driving crazy (which was a nice change, thank you dear) and we have a Honda Pilot so I could see out just fine. Its a 15-20 minute drive to the hospital and it took me about 15-20 minutes after getting there for the carsickness to go away! Back to Ethan, he fell asleep watching Despicable Me with his little arm propped on the ice pack. Back to me, he's asleep and I am in the back trying not to watch the movie because that makes me more nauseous thinking I so could have sat up front.
The ER at our hospital is pretty nice and by nice I mean in the 2 times (this time included) we have been there they got us back to a room to see a DR in less than 5 minutes. That's pretty impressive compared to the Hospital we are used to back in California where you could have an open gushing chest wound and they would say "take a seat, we will call you back as soon as we can (when what they mean is "when we have finished chit chatting, having our break, and finished doing all the crap that is completely unnecessary we can find to do we will then help you)".
Ethan did great. He sat in my lap, kept his arm on the ice, let the DR look at it (although he would bury his head on my shoulder each time someone looked at him), he only moderately fought me when I gave him the liquid Motrin they brought him for the pain, and they only had to take 2 x-rays because he held still and did exactly what he needed to. What wasn't so wonderful was waiting, but when is waiting ever fun? We did everything we could to entertain Ethan and ourselves. We turned on the Tv and of course Disney had tween shows on, so we flipped over to the Cartoon Network (all the while being very careful not to see anything football related, remember the game was recording at home) and there it was...the worst possible cartoon imaginable...SpongeBob. The only slightly entertaining part of this cartoon is the opening song. Every other part is disgusting, useless, and completely stupid. If you are a SpongeBob fan, I am sorry but you should look into counseling, seriously. Even Ethan wasn't entertained, he had the presence of mind to grab my Iphone and ask for Cars. So we ended up watching Cars and Toy Story clips on UTube .
While we waited my husband asked for copies of the x-rays (because he is smart like that). A few minutes later an older woman brought us the copies for our DR. Apparently she felt the need to have some kind of chit chat session. She could have just said here you go and left. But oh no, she had to be an asshat. We had made it all this time avoiding texts messages, phone calls, and the TV for game updates (because we planned on watching the game later at home). My husband was wearing a Steelers shirt and rather than walk away after giving us the x-rays she pokes my husband (actually pokes him) and says "your team is losing". Oh shit! I watch my husband make that face, take a deep breath and simply turn his back to her. So me being me, I politely say, "we are recording the game and plan on watching it later. Please don't tell us anymore about it." Now you would think that me being so polite and giving such simple instructions she would have just said oh, sorry and left. But noooo, she continues! "Well, its half time and Baltimore is ahead..." So then I pulled out the "No, no, no...don't say another word. We don't want to know!" in a much stronger tone of voice. All I could think of was my husband may speak any second and it wouldn't be polite at all. And just when I thought she would leave and the damage could be contained she said, "sorry, I am a Ravens fan". Well laaa deee dah to you, get the hell out of here before my husband tells you all about the kind of asshat you are! (Well, that part wasn't necessary because she finally left so it was just in my head. Oh and her team LOST! So Ha Ha!)
Back to why we were there and enough about football. Question, whatever happened to the days where you broke a bone, went to the ER, had it x-rayed, and they put the damn cast on right then and there? Then in 4-6 weeks you went to your own DR and he used that saw that looked like it was made to just cut your limb off at the joint to take the stinky cast off and you were done? Now they do a splint and have you go to an Orthopedic DR in the next day or two (in our case 3 because of the holiday weekend). Its no wonder our health care costs are so high, they keep adding all these steps that really don't do anything other than cost money.
Ethan got a custom molded hard splint and an arm sling. The splint had to be cut down because the toddler size one was too small and the sling was too big because again the toddler one was too small. They wrapped the molded hard part with ace bandages and 3 pieces of tape. Are you f'ing kidding me? You think a two year old is going to leave that alone? I asked the tech or nurse or whatever she was to wrap more tape on it, but oh no they can't do that. What she could do was give me extra tape though. WTF? So you can't make it so the toddler won't pull it off but I can? She gave me one roll of tape and I took one more (yeah I stole a roll of tape, whatever). It only took Ethan 3 minutes to start pulling apart the ace bandages so I taped that damn thing all the way around, twice. That worked (so well in fact that the Ortho doc 3 days later had to cut the bandages off instead of just unwrapping them).
One more Popsicle and a bunch of paperwork later we were finally being checked out. The last DR who saw us before we left handed me more papers which included a prescription for Tylenol with Codeine. Yay, no Jack for you buddy! (Which is what my husbands solution to everything is). I thanked him and we left. Ethan walked out of the ER. He was so cute and so happy to be able to leave (as were we). So even though the day started and ended (with the football game and chili) as planned, the middle sure did suck.