Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Follow up

So today was the day we've all been waiting for since Bryce broke his arm and had surgery 11 days ago. The hard cast is on. WHEW! After putting the pins in his arm, they put a splint on him to allow for swelling which was softer and had open areas. We kept it elevated as much as possible, but on day 5 after reading and movies, we were both Barney-ied out. He started feeling better around that time resulting in him wanting to climb, run and jump like our typically Brycie. I was glad he was feeling better but at the same time he was giving me a heart attack.

Today, we went to Annapolis for the follow up. After driving over an hour and Bryce saying "no doctor" a lot of the time, we finally go there. The splint was removed and I was surprised to see all the crusted fluid and pins sticking out farther than I anticipated. (The taped part is covering the line of stitches where his incision was made. They will dissolve in time)
We went and got it x-rayed and then casted. The doctor says it looks really good and perfectly aligned. We won't know about the growth plates for another 6 months or so through the x-rays and we'll know in 3-4 weeks when the cast comes off how it healed and will determine than if rehab is needed and if the bone was able to live and have blood flow through it again. Fingers crossed!

(Our tough little man showing off his new "boo" (blue) cast. It goes from the palm of his hand all the way up to his shoulder).

Bryce was so brave throughout the whole process. Following his x-rays while he was still on the table, I put the weighted belt over sheepie to pretend his arm needed to have it's "picture taken" too to keep Bryce occupied while the tech was reading the films and seeing if she got what the Dr. needed. He would hold up sheepies arm and say, "k shee-hee no move k?" Then I would make a click sound like the picture had been taken. He would then grab sheepies face, look him in the eyes and say, "yay! shee-hee, did it! Brabe (brave) shee-hee!" and then gave him a hug and kiss. So cute~! And then of couse go on to suck on one of his satin paws... That thing is well loved! So much so, it's time to sew the bottom portion of a paw back on!

Laying low

This past week was to be one of taking it easy, elevation and quiet play. I was surprised how well he actually did not jumping off the walls- and bed this week. When he would play too rough, he would say, "owie arm!" and run to me and want me to hold him. Here are some pics of him laying low until the hard cast is put on. (Bryce's turn to be the doctor. Letting sheepie have a go at the whole patient thing)
(Laying by my feet on the kitchen floor of course with his best friend sheepie while I make dinner. He's become like another one of my appendages since the hospital. Sweet boy).

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Two little monkey's jumping on the bed...

...One fell off and broke his arm. Friday night at 7:30pm getting ready for bed, the boys starting jumping on our bed. As I was telling them to stop and it was time to get on jammies, off comes Bryce. (I was in the other room at that moment getting Bryce's pajamas for him). I hear a cry/scream that I had never heard before. I ran in seeing Bryce roll from his left side to a sitting position. I quickly pick him up from under the arm pits to comfort him noting that as I did so one shoulder felt funny and out of socket. While holding him, trying to comfort him I called Brady who was helping someone move and told him to come home b/c Bryce broke his arm. I then called my mom who also came right over. I looked more closely at Bryce who was just whimpering at this point and noticed a bulge from his left elbow. I continued to try to comfort both Bryce who has his head on my chest and Carter who is near tears because he feels bad about what happened. I hug and kiss Carter telling him how much I love him and it was an accident but we need to go see a doctor to help Bryce feel better. Brady and my mom flew in about the same time, I wrapped a coat around Bryce, kissed and hugged Carter once more and had Brady drive us to the hospital and my mom stayed with Carter.

Once at the hospital, they x-rayed his left arm, which as you can imagine was a painful experience. As Bryce was crying, I let my silent tears fall on the top of his blonde head, which was now damp with sweat in addition to my tears. How I wished I could have taken away his pain. If only it were me instead. I would do anything for my children, and I felt so helpless. All I could do was continue to sing to him and whisper calming words of encouragement. Brady of course was amazing. He was able to focus on Bryce but also on my needs/feelings at the same time. I was able to hold and comfort Bryce while he held and comforted me. Moving Bryce's arm in different positions to get different angles, listening to him cry, kissing away the tears, I couldn't help but think of Heavenly Fathers immense love for us all. To watch your son be in such pain and to allow it to happen... it baffles me as a mother. I don't know if I could ever watch a child in pain, knowing I could stop it at any time and not. The spirit testified to me how much the Lord loves each of us and how much Jesus loves us as well to have suffered that way for us so willingly and lovingly. I still have much to learn.
After x-rays, we were wheeled back on our stretcher to the pediatric ER. The doctor came in and told us it was definitely broken at the bottom of the humorous at the elbow joint. A portion of the bone had completely detached and was broken off. The brake was over 5mm detached from the bone, and typical brakes are between 1-2mm. She said they were not comfortable dealing with such a severe brake especially in a child so would transport us to Children’s Hospital in DC. She informed us that surgery would most likely be needed. While we waited for the ambulance to transport us, they needed to insert an IV. It was awful! Bryce was so brave and didn't even try to pull away, he just cried and screamed "owww! owie!" Over and over. It broke my heart. Once it was in, they decided it wasn't good enough so did it a second time on the other side of the elbow (on his good arm). This time it worked and they gave him morphine, which helped immensely. My mom came in just as his IV was being put in. When it was over I went over to her and she gave me a big hug and I just lost it. I was no longer the strong supportive mother, I became the child. I was crying as she just held me and did what I had been doing for Bryce. Comforting me with words of encouragement and soothing me with love. She kept repeating as I cried, "a mother can do anything for her child, you can do this." And I would. No matter how much pain his pain caused me. It wasn't about me. I would be the mom again and be strong for my son. I wiped my tears, took a deep breath and was ready again to be the mom. But how grateful I am for eternal families and that bond between mother and child that is always there, always strengthening, loving and comforting. Even now as a mother myself.

Just before he was taken over to Children's hospital, my dad came to Montgomery General where we were at and with Brady gave him a blessing. I know the Lord is mindful of all his children and knows their needs even before we do.
Transportation to Children’s was uneventful and I was grateful for that. Once at Children’s, we were put into triage with a screaming child next to us and a sick one next to them. Bryce was calm at this point even with the screaming going on until the IV needed to be put in for the THIRD time. This last time in the hand.
For some reason, the disc they transferred the x-rays on didn't transfer so off to the x-rays room AGAIN! After another round of crying, we were wheeled back to wait for the doctor. And wait, and wait. Finally at 1am, and Bryce had just fallen asleep on my lap, the doctor comes in to tell us he definitely needs surgery and will be admitted for the night. They wanted to do one MORE set of x-rays to get the joints just above and below the brake (which I had asked them to do the LAST time we got the x-rays!) Yeah, not the happiest mama bear at this point. So we wake him up to twist his arm and shoulder in some more painful ways and are wheeled back to wait again. Bryce falls asleep just before 2am when we are finally admitted to a room upstairs. Asking if we can keep the stretcher for a while b/c he just fell asleep and is finally comfortable was apparently too much to ask because the charge nurse came in requesting that he be transferred into his crib. So, he's awake and crying again. Good thing they have ANOTHER empty stretcher back in the ER. That could have been a disaster if they let my baby sleep and they didn't have 5 or so extras...
He gets another dose of morphine and I sing him to sleep around 3am. We answer questions and sign papers until 5:30am when we are finally able to sleep on the plastic couch and chair they have in the room. 6:30am Bryce is awake. I let Brady sleep and lay my body next to Bryce, my head on his pillow and sing to him. He sleeps again for another 20 or so minutes.

(The crib AKA jail he has to sleep in. And looking at the picture, I'm not sure how I managed to get up on there myself and lay and sing to him until he was asleep).
We prep him for surgery around 8am and we say a family prayer before we say good-bye to our baby. I didn't realize they needed to put a tube down his throat to breathe for him or that he "may" have trouble breathing again on his own. I didn't realize that the bone detached might now be dead and blood won't be able to flow through it again resulting in a deformed arm that is not able to move as well as it should. Nor did I think about the nerves that might be affected to restrict the movement in his hand and arm. I also didn't consider the possibility of the growth platelets being affected and having his arm remain the size it is now while the other grows normally. Nope, not until they were about to take my baby away. I listen to the doctor doing his job explaining risks and possible outcomes with tears in my eyes but I will not cry. I am the mother and Bryce will not see me upset. I am the mother. I kiss Bryce on the head running my fingers through his hair telling him how brave he is and that the doctors are going to help his arm get better. I tell him how much I love him and that I'll see him soon. He just looks at me with those trusting big blue eyes and says, "k." It reminds me of the scriptures that tell us to become as a little child and to have their faith. He wasn't scared, he didn't question, he didn't whine, he just trusted me as his parent that I loved him and wanted what was best for him. If only I could heed that scripture as perfectly as Bryce exemplified it in that moment. The perfect humility and trust of a child with an innocence that is unparalleled. I know that Heavenly Father loves and wants what is best for me, but how often do I just have blind faith and put my trust in him completely as Bryce had in me at that moment?
Just before the wheel him away I look at the doctor and tell him to take care of my baby. As soon as the doors close behind us, the silent tears spill down my cheeks. Brady asks what I need and I tell him for us to go up to our hospital room where it was then safe to break down and sob. I am still the mother, but now I can also be the fragile wife and weeping mother.

Composed and in the waiting room, an hour and a half later, in comes the doctor. He shows us the x-ray of his arm now with 3 pins in it. They each stick about ½ inch out of the arm and the hope is that in 3-4 weeks, they can wiggle the pins out and have his arm fully functional again. I already mentioned the risks which they wont’ know until the cast is off and they re-x ray it. He said that the x-rays don’t do justice to the damage that was done. He said that it looked like “a bomb went off in his elbow” with all the cartilage damage. They were able to pin it within 1 mm of the bone, which is good.

(Reading to Bryce after surgery)
So, after staying one more night in the hospital for observation and IV meds we came home around 1pm on Sunday after a long weekend.
We are adjusting ok, and have had so much help from my parents, friends and our church. It’s amazing how much we are loved and cared for by those around us and I’m extremely grateful.

(After Surgery)

(Feeling well enough late that night to want to move around and explore the hospital)

(Ready to go home sitting by the big stuffed rabbit he loves which was Uncle Matt's when he had surgery at 2 years old).
Bryce is sleeping pretty well with his Tylenol with codeine and has even started sleeping in his crib again after needing to be lying by me for a few days singing to him to get him to sleep. Day times are better now, and he’s his happy, active self which is good and bad since the hard cast is not on yet, and I’m supposed to keep it still and elevated. He’s frustrated he can’t use both hands and I am right behind him or holding his hand on the stairs. He is either whiny or trying to move a chair one armed to climb up on to something like usual. We’re doing the best we can. Just keeping him medicated and as still as we can. He is so brave and such a happy spirited boy and I love him more than words could ever express. And our family rule is no more monkey’s jumping on the bed.

(Bryce at home recovering eating raisins with sheepie while watching Barney)

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Hurt feelings

Well, it's happened. My preschool aged child has said, "I don't like you mommy." And as much as I've heard other parents talking about their child saying this to them, I'd think, it's really not a big deal but I'd console them with "they don't really mean it" and such. Sometimes I'd even be thinking perhaps that they somehow deserved it b/c they maybe yelled at their child or demanded too much or something. Now I sit here eating humble pie and it doesn't taste good. My voice was never raised, I stayed entirely calm the entire time through the plugging of the ears, and stomping of the feet and the yelling. All I did was ask him to come eat the dinner I prepared. That doesn't seem like a horrible request (most of the time anyways...depends on what I attempt to cook. But tonight was mac and cheese for crying out loud!) I honestly didn't expect this to ever happen. At least not until kindergarten. I know he really means, "I am not happy right now" or "I wish I had more freedom to do whatever I want whenever I want." However, logic and emotion can be two completly different things. While my son is upstairs in his room taking deep breaths(in theory) and having some alone time until he can be respectful- I am here blogging, now part of the disliked mommy club and my feelings are hurt.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Pre-Halloween Halloweens

Carter's school Halloween Parade. Cute little 4 year old children marched around the front part of their school to show off their cute costumes. Of course Carter was the cutest by far and I'm not just saying that b/c I'm his mom. His grandma even agreed with me. :)
Entire Orioles Class

March monkey march! Carter is holding his tail b/c Spider man kept stepping on it. So much for spidey senses...

I love my crazy little monkey boy!

A few days before we had the ward Halloween Party which was fun. We invited our neighbor and her 5 kids and I think they all had a great time. It was sleeting outside so instead of trunk or treat, we did a hallway or treat thing. Still got candy so it's A-OK!

Carter and Bryce with "fangs"- a prize from one of the games

Can anyone guess what I am??
They even had face painting. Of course Carter got rockets!

Neighbors that came with us to the ward party- awesome family.

Hmmmm....got any peanut M&M's??? (Bryce's favorite candy right now. I know, I know...he's not supposed to have any peanut products until age 3....whatever!)

YUM! I'll take anything!

Happy pre-halloween! Brady met us there for the last half b/c he was working late that night at his Spanish tutoring job.

Speaking of Brady, last but not least for our pre-halloween activities, Brady went to Carter's preschool, the Creative Learning Center for father/son pumpkin carving night and brought us home an awesome jack-o-lantern. Good work boys!
Brady, Carter and Dimitri - (a friend from church AND his class- what are the odds?? :)


So I totally got clotheslined at the park today. Like, totally. Really biffed it. I was running full speed after Carter growling (we were playing monster) and decided to be tricky and cut him off at the place he was heading (the slide) and force him back the other way. So, while running, full speed I ran smack into one of those bars that kids do flips over and pull-ups on. Being the tall freak I am, it hit me right in the chin/lip area and my legs went from under me and I landed on my back stunned. Totally and seriously clotheslined. I did an all over body check determining first if I was still alive. Sweet little Bryce grabbed my hand and pulled me up. Carter rushes by my said, and says "Awwww...are you okay mommy?" I don't know if I answered him. I might have, whimpered like the little pathetic monster I became. Carter says to Bryce, "come on Brycie let's wipe off mommy, she's hurt and all covered in wood chips." Indeed I was. So four gentle, small helping hands wiped at my back and head. I felt so much love for those two little boys who were now caring for me. (I also felt throbbing in my head, pain in my jaw, lip and chin). I felt my chin and lip with my hand which felt as if it had doubled in size to make sure I wasn't bleeding. (Wouldn't it be just my luck to get a third set of stitches on the same side of my chin as the other two). No blood. Whew! Carter says, "Don't worry mommy, in my prayers tonight I'll ask Heavenly Father to make your lip better."
I asked Carter if my lip looked a little big. He said, "No, it looks a lot big." Gotta love honesty. I finally stood up trying to wipe off the remainder of wood chips from my bum and legs. Carter said, "mommy, I think you need a little break from monster, let's just play duck, duck, goose instead." Bryce the entire time is just staring at me dumbstruck. He didn't want to play anything after that. He just kept saying, "home." He seemed so confused as to why in the world his supermom would fall, be covered with wood chips and now look like jay Leno with a protruding chin with a bonus fat lip. (I was a little confused myself). We did end up playing monster again but just for "five more minutes" which actually for some reason always seems to be more like 10 or 15.... Why then do I always say "five?" My kids are going to have a warped sense of time....anyways, another topic for another time. Time to ice my face.
UPDATE: Carter actually did remember to bless my chin while saying the prayer before dinner tonight. What a sweetheart. Immediately after we said, "amen" he said, "now is your lip feeling better?"