Monday, November 9, 2015

Annika's Big Owie

Last Tuesday, as I was driving from the park and ride to the kids' school to pick them up, I got a call from the Extended Care teacher saying Annika fell from the playground equipment and hurt her wrist and it looked pretty serious. Fortunately, I was only about 3/4 of a mile from the school when my phone rang, so I was there in a flash. Even with a degree in English and only basic First Aid/CPR training under my belt, I could tell it was broken. There was an odd angle to her wrist and I knew it wasn't because of some funky swelling. 

Before I got to the school and saw her wrist, I called Eric and told him that based on how she was, I'd either meet him at school (so he could take Conor home) or I'd have him meet us at the ER. No doubt about it ... he was meeting us at the ER. I have to say, our local ER is wonderful. Their staff and care providers are always compassionate and efficient. Plus, it isn't a major hospital, so the wait times are often shorter than if we went to UW or Harvorview, for example. The ER doctor examined Annika's wrist and very kindly ordered pain meds for her before they bothered with x-rays (which did eventually confirm that she completely broke her left radius and ulna. The bones were at about a 25-degree angle, and the doctor (who has a friend/former colleague named Annika, by the way!) said setting the bones would require Annika to be sedated. NW Hospital's ER wasn't set up to do a pediatric sedation and after consulting with the orthopedic doctor at Children's Hospital, it was decided that we should switch hospitals. So, they splinted Annika's arm and sent us on our way. 

Side story: About an hour before we left NW Hospital, Eric and Conor headed home so they could let Buca outside and to get dinner into Conor. I didn't need my coat in the ER, so sent it home with Eric. Guess what! My car keys were in the coat pocket. WHOOPS! Fortunately, we live fairly close to the hospital and Eric/Conor were able to pop back with my coat and keys.

Waiting for Daddy to bring Mama's keys

We barely got settled in the waiting room at Children's when they called us back to get Annika ready to have her arm set. The silver lining? Eric's cousin happened to be on shift that night and was one of Annika's nurses!) Jensine walked in to the room Annika was happily watching cartoons in (God bless oxycodone and good hospital planning!) and said, "I wondered if this is the Annika Olson I know!" She gave Annika two little stuffed animals, as well as some marvelously kind/supportive words. 

Watching cartoons while waiting for her turn to get fixed up

Soon, Annika was wheeled into another room that was big enough for the medical staff to treat her arm. The nurse put in an IV and soon realized it didn't go in right, so he had to do it a second time, much to Annika's chagrin. I have to give our little girl credit, she was in pain and scared, yet really did a fabulous job putting on a brave face and breathing through the owie parts. Fortunately, she was sedated for the REALLY owie part... the setting of her bones. I swear, it looked like the doctor was trying to pull her arm off completely at some points during the procedure!! That said, when he was done and the cast was on, he took new x-rays, which showed how nicely the bones were aligned. 

Sleeping it off
It took awhile for Annika to get out of the sedation fog. The doctor in charge of the sedation warned me that Annika would probably see double as she came out of the sedation, and she was right! Annika, it turns out, is a really funny "drunk". She kept saying, "Mama!! Why I see two Mamas? You have four eyes and two noses!" She also tried to "catch" the leaf decorations on the walls in her recovery room. 

Once she was somewhat lucid, she was wheeled to an x-ray room, for one last set of images before we were  given the green light to go home. We rolled up to the house a few minutes before 1 AM ... and found a very tired/worried Eric standing at the door waiting for us. Poor guy couldn't sleep knowing his baby girl was hurt. Eric, Annika, and I stayed home on Wednesday to (a) get some sleep and (b) care for Annika's arm. There were a few tears when the reality of her injury started to sink in ... namely, no diving/swimming classes until she's better. Talk about a broken heart to go with her broken arm!

Feeling a bit perkier ... still enjoying the good meds
By Friday, she was ready to head back to school for a half day. She loved the celebrity associated with being back at school and had many people asking to sign her cast. 
Excited to go back to school

She'll return to Children's tomorrow for a follow-up appointment and to have the current cast removed and then a longer-term cast put in its place. She's hoping the new one will be pink and purple stripes ... much flashier than the plain white one she has now. I'm guessing a whole new round of friend signatures is on her horizon!

She's doing quite well now and is getting feistier each day. She's still sore, but that's to be expected. That said, I told her this morning that she was already almost a week into her healing and she exclaimed, "WOW! That was fast!" (Now, let's see if she still thinks that a month or so from now!) :)

A special thank you to everyone who expressed concern for Annika during this ordeal. We are so grateful for your kindness and compassion!

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