So, this is definitely one "first" that I wish I was not writing about. Our sweet little angel has a fractured tibia :(.
I took her to the playground yesterday afternoon and we were on the steps climbing up to the big slide, which we'd done several times in a row already, and Ella fell backwards off a step, just several inches high, and on to the metal platform below. It was a small distance, but she twisted and fell pretty hard, and really hit the step below. The way she was crying I knew she was really hurt - she screamed and screamed. And in a way-to-make-me-feel-even-worse, she wailed "I - WANT - DADDY"...I did get her to settle down after about 5 minutes and asked her if she wanted to keep playing or go home. She said 'home', which was my first sign that something was really wrong. She seemed really down in the car ride home, and when I brought her in the house she would not put any weight at all on her leg and just wanted to be held. She sat with me on the couch for a while which she never does, I was thinking she was really shaken up and scared still. I fed her dinner and gave her a bath, and every time she was sitting in one place she was so happy and content, but still just refused to put any weight on it. My final diagnosis occurred in the playroom because she always has a million things to do in there and I was sure she'd start moving around. But she didn't, she just stayed in one place and scooted around a little, but still wouldn't stand. At that point I called our pediatrician after-hours service and the nurse said we should bring her to the ER.
There are several hospitals in the area, one of them is only about 15 minutes away, but there is a Children's ER at one about 45 minutes away, and that is the one she told us to go to. We got there around 9pm and were there until after midnight. I could write a twenty-page essay on the ER experience, which I will spare you, but the final result was that the first reading of the Xray showed a fracture, but they could not conclusively decide, and told us to go home and if she was still unable to bear weight after a night of sleep, to get her in to see an orthopedist today. Ella was such an amazing sport the entire night - she was up from 3:00 pm until 12:30 pm and didn't have a meltdown once - she was sweet and snuggly and just wanted to be held the whole time.
This morning she woke up and was the same, so I made an appointment for this afternoon with an orthopedist that was referred by our pediatrician. After making the appointment, a nurse from the ER called and said that there had been a mistake when they read her Xray and we should not have been discharged without having set her leg, and that we needed to come back in to the ER today to be seen again - like I was going to repeat that experience on a weekday when there are doctor's offices open!! I said thank you but we'd already made our own arrangements and would be taking care of it ourselves. Hmph.
I finally felt that things were well handled this afternoon, and the orthopedist office was great. The doctor was wonderful and was able to point out the fracture on the Xray so that we were even able to see it. It is a buckle fracture, on the tibia which is the larger of the bones in the lower leg, right above her ankle. She explained that the way she must have landed on it very hard caused the bone to actually buckle into a little horseshoe shape. Ella was so brave during the appointment and when the doctor pressed on the spot where the fracture was she just buried her head in my chest and whimpered but didn't even cry. She is a little champ.
The doctor said she was going to need a plaster cast (I chose purple which I thought Ella would like) but then came back in with this lady who fits children for walking casts and said that they did have one small enough for Ella. That was a small miracle and we were so happy with the change in plans. It is like a boot cast that we can take off to give her a bath, and will be much more comfortable for her than a plaster cast. She will need to wear it for 3 weeks and then we'll take her back for another Xray and assuming it's healed, she'll be able to stop wearing it. The doctor said that little kids' bones are so much more resilient than adults and that the same injury on an adult would take 8-12 weeks to heal (but I guess this also explains why theirs break easier as well).
We got home around 5pm, almost exactly 24 hours after she fell - 24 hours I am very glad are past us. Ella is such a trooper and has once again made me feel incredibly proud to be her mom. It is so hard not be thinking that I somehow failed her, and the 'what-if' I could have done differently and maybe she wouldn't have fallen. But I know that's not productive and we just need to make the best of it now that it's happened and focus on taking good care of her. She won't be able to go to Little Gym for the next 4 weeks and is really going to be limited in her activity - she's watched more TV in the past day then she has in the last 6 months, and I'm thinking at least the next week or so will be the same. She loves books so we've read a lot and she does play in one place and hopefully she'll be feeling better each day and will want to play more and more. It's hard to think of things to do in just one place because she's alwasy so busy and plays outside a lot, but we'll do our best to come up with things to keep her busy and happy.
I am sure I'll be writing more about this the next few weeks so I'll wrap up here for now because this is already very long, definitely not the abridged version! Here are a few pictures of my sweet little angel in her "Wee Walker".
Taking Motrin, which she really likes the taste of!
How is she still so darn cute, even after the day she has had??
Cheerful on the couch before bedtime
My poor little girl!!!