Yesterday seriously sucked. First we had our library trip of d00m, which is when our toddler injury occurred. Then we got Norton checked out during my doctor’s appointment and found out that we needed to take him to the hospital for x-rays to find out the extent of said toddler injury.
That was when it got fun. The toddler x-ray took under an hour, which is pretty darned amazing since we just walked in with a requisition and no appointment. Since I’m pregnant, I obviously couldn’t be the one to go in. I was never so grateful for my husband coming along for all doctor’s appointments as I was yesterday. While the husband was in with Norton, I waited in the hall and listened to my toddler screaming in pain. The guilt was unbelievable. It was my fault that Norton was hurt.
After Norton had his toddler x-ray done on his shoulder, we went home. Norton was still not using his arm, still crying, and still obviously miserable. He was also obviously tired, so we put him down for another nap. He didn’t fight this one too much, although it was difficult for him since his thumb sucking hand was the one that was attached to his sore arm.
Our doctor called us back around 4:30. Norton was just starting to wake up, and he woke up crying. She said that they didn’t find anything on the x-ray, so could I take a look at him? His fingers were still swollen, he was still hot (but not running a fever), and his left arm was still hanging limp beside him. Ultimately, she advised me to take him to the hospital for more thorough x-rays. We’d agreed that perhaps, since it wasn’t his shoulder that was damaged, it was nursemaid’s elbow.
I’d never heard of it until earlier that day when my friend Amanda suggested that’s what it could have been. Apparently, it’s a common toddler injury since they do things like trip and fall (or in Norton’s case, try to run away) while holding hands. It’s essentially a slightly dislocated elbow that really hurts, hurts even more when it’s set back in place, and then doesn’t hurt any longer as soon as it’s adjusted. In any event, we loaded Norton up and went to the hospital. We got there right around five o’clock.
It seemed like we waited forever, but fortunately, we had brought sufficient provisions to keep Norton happy. The diaper bag had a sippy cup full of milk, a thermos with more milk for refills, string cheese, and cereal bars. He was still fussy and prone to toddler screaming (and of course, if I had an arm that hurt so badly that I could stand to move it and it got jostled, I’d probably scream, too). Still, in between fits of toddler screaming, we did manage to keep him happy.
The resident (who, interestingly enough, was working in L&D as a med student when I was extremely pregnant with Norton) came in, checked him out, and also thought that a nursemaid’s elbow injury seemed like the likely culprit. She went to go check with the doctor to see if he wanted to try to set it or have a toddler x-ray done on Norton’s tiny little elbow. After another hour, he’d been given some Tylenol by the staff and the doctor and the resident returned to try to set his elbow.
It didn’t work. Norton screamed, but instead of instantly having use of his arm again, his arm remained limp. The doctor also said that he did not feel that characteristic popping back into place associated with fixing a nursemaid’s elbow. Still, they wanted us to wait longer in the room (an actual room, fortunately, rather than one of those little curtained of places… it’s where they put pregnant women with threatened miscarriages and injured children when available, which is preferable) to see if Norton would regain the use of his arm.
After another hour, no dice. This time, they decided that it was time for some Infant Advil and another x-ray to see what was going on in there.
I rode into the x-ray room with Norton. I snuggled up with him on the gurney while the tech wheeled us on. I climbed off when we were inside… and Norton sobbed. My heart broke for my baby as I listened to him scream once more.
It seemed like it took forever even though I knew that it was only a few minutes. The ultimate diagnosis? Norton had a sprained elbow. I was to give him Infant Advil three times per day and watch to see if using his arm improved. We bundled our baby up and went home. It was nearly 9pm, way after Norton’s bedtime. He went straight to bed. I sat up and berated myself some more for causing him to get hurt in the first place.
But at least he would be all right.