Tuesday, May 18, 2010

No More Monkey Bars

Sunday night after dinner, my 7yr old wanted to show us some tricks on the monkey bars.  She spends half her life hanging from those bars.  This time it didn't turn out so good.  She fell as we all watched and none of us were close enough to stop it from happening.  It still makes my stomach hurt to think about it.

She immediately started screaming.
My husband ran to her and scooped her up.  Her first actual words to him were, "I think I broke my arm." He took one look at her arm and headed straight for the car.  
She was right.

We headed for the nearest hospital emergency room.  They got us right in.  With all the clenched teeth screaming going on, they could tell there was a problem.  The Xray machine was brought into the room and even my untrained eye could tell without a doubt that it was broken.

Once the orthopaedic surgeon at that hospital saw the xrays, he declared that he wanted nothing to do with the situation and we should go immediately to Primary Children's Medical Center in SLC.  So far she had already had a dose of morphine and it wasn't touching the pain.  So they re-dosed her and sent us on our way.  It was a rough drive, and  I was certainly glad we didn't live any further than we do.
The other hospital had called ahead and told them that we would be coming in.  So when we arrived, the ER staff checked her over and confirmed that she needed to have surgery. 
 They then proceeded to tell us that there had been no less than 5 injuries like hers just that night.  So this meant we were 3rd in line. (Later we would learn that in a 3 day period, our surgeon had repaired 15 elbows.)  There was currently one patient in surgery and another waiting in the wings. 
Enter, another dose of morphine.
They put us into a room in the RTU (Rapid Treatment Unit) where we could wait.
She was highly medicated, but still managed to eek out a smile for the camera.
At 2:50am we were finally called down to surgery.  We met the surgical team and they reassured us they were all practiced up and ready to fix her.  We watched as the anesthesiologist gave her something that put her out and then we watched them wheel her away.  This is an emotional moment for any parent, but honestly I was so relieved that finally someone could ease her suffering that I was ok with it.  Weird.
Over 2 hours later we were finally able to see her.  Normally this procedure can be done in as little as 45minutes and without an incision.  Her case was different.  Once the bones were set and pins put in, they check for a radial pulse to make sure the blood flow is sufficient.  She had no radial pulse.
Long story short:  they ended up making a large incision in the arm to free up the traumatized artery and give it plenty of room to do it's job.  Once it was free and there was still no blood flow, they used some medication and were able to get it to function.  The next option would have been a bypass using a vein from another area of her body.  We are so grateful that it didn't come to that.  She came out of anesthesia slowly and vomited 8-10 times over the next few hours. 
We were not sent back to the RTU. 
Instead they put us in the Neuroscience Trauma Unit or NTU.   
She slept through most of Monday afternoon from the Morphine with plenty of Zofran (& some other drug) to help with the vomiting.  
By the next morning, she was doing much better and was happy to see her Doctors who had, incidentally been up for at least 36 hours yet were still gracious enough to smile and pose for a picture.  They checked on her Monday evening, and decided it was best for us to stay a little longer to make sure the artery continued to do it's job. 
Wednesday morning is our goal for getting out of here
In the picture below: Josie was cheery because of the copious amounts of painkiller in her system. 
The other two were most likely delirious from lack of sleep!
The resident: Dr Phillips (on the left) and the awesome and amazing, attending: Dr Woiczik (on the right). 
Dr. Woiczik looks like she could easily be 23, but I found out later that she is actually 35.  (Sorry for outing you Marci!)
I am completely (and non-creepily) in love with Josie's doctor.  She is friendly, thorough, easy to talk to, funny and brilliant.  She spends part of her time at Primary Children's, but Shriner's is her home.  We are lucky to have her taking care of our daughter.

With the exception of the triage nurse in the ER, our stay here at Primary Children's has been pretty positive.  It's a great atmosphere and the nurses and tech's are attentive and kind.  They are great with kids and that puts the parents at ease.

More about our adventure tomorrow. . .


Kristina P. said...

Oh my goodness, Veronica! I am so sorry. I saw something on FB that Sherrie had written, but I had no idea.

I hope she heals up soon.

We live in a Zoo! said...

Ahhh! What a nightmare! Glad they were able to get her blood flowing properly. I hope she heals really really fast :(

Codi said...

Wow!! I hope she recovers easily and as quickly as possible!

I'm so grateful that we have all this wonderful technology.

Anytime I broke a bone I always said, "I think I just broke my ____." I think there's something to it...

Sommer said...

Wow! Sounds like an adventure!!! And your still there! What a trooper she is! I love all the pics! I would have done the same! Glad to hear your hangin in there... I'm sure it's been a long 3 days for the both of you! Glad little Josie is doing better, she is so cute! Can't wait to see you guys again! Maybe now that it's baseball season??? Kevin took Morgan to lunch on his birthday, that was nice! :) See you soon!

Vanessa said...

Holy crap!! I am so sorry that happened. But I'm glad the magic of modern medicine has helped put her back together. I hope you get to go home soon, I"m sure you haven't had any sleep!

Amber said...

That is a horrid break! I'm glad you got sent to Primary's- they are wonderful.

Your doctors look like high school students. ;)

Aimee said...

Ugh! I hate that moment when they take them down to surgery!!! When they did it to Kyle he was 15 months old and not asleep yet. He cried all the way down the hall, reaching for me, and I couldn't cross the "yellow line". I hope she (and you) gets through the rest of the recovery with less "pain" than the injury ;). See you tonight with dinner!

Chelle said...

Mom said it was sad seeing her laying there with her arm elevated and an IV in the other. She mentioned they took the IV out and she's able to keep her body hydrated on her own now. That's a good sign! Hopefully you guys get to come home today. The kids all want to come and visit when she's feeling up for visitors. Text me when you know when they'll release you! Tell Jos to hang in there. She'll be glad you got all those pictures and documented her first stay at Primary Children's. I dare say "first stay" cause I know your family all to well. Try and talk her into making it a goal not to return! :) Your boys on the other hand...I'm surprised one of them didn't beat her to it! Hope to see you guys soon! Love ya sis!

Dede said...

Thank heavens for Primary Children's hospital...they are so wonderful. That break is HUGE!! Unreal. I hope she feels better quickly!!

M-Cat said...

My jaw literally dropped when I saw the xray - Holy crapola!!

Poor little thing - glad to hear she is headed home soon!

Me (aka Danielle) said...

Man! Poor little nugget! What an exhausting adventure! I hope things continue to go well!

Shelle-BlokThoughts said...

I ditto what everyone else is saying, but that is just scary!!! Poor poor girl!

I am glad they didn't have to do a by-pass for her vein...

Hope she gets better quickly!

Sher said...

I would so much have rather had you singing with me, than having to watch your little girl go through that!

I'm so sorry, but I'm glad she's OK.
Let me know what I can do for you!

Steph said...

Oh my sadness! I just read that and my heart broke for your little girl. And she seems like an amazing trooper!

Omgirl said...

Agh! Poor baby! What a tramatic experience. Morphine is awful. I won't let them give it to me anymore; I get too pukey from it. I hope she recovers quickly.