The day Isabel broke a leg. Literally

It was Voting Day and I was doing what you do on Voting Day: enjoying a well-deserved glass of bubbles with some girl-friends, our kids messing around in the garden.

A few of the kids were jumping on the trampoline and suddenly Isabel starts crying uncontrollably. Isabel NEVER cries, she is as tough as nails. This should have been clue number 1.

I saunter run over to the trampoline, more out of curiosity than worry, help her down and she refuses to put any weight on her leg. This should have been clue number 2.

I dispense hugs, take her inside and proceed to look at her leg, not seeing anything amiss. She, however, is still crying. We shall call this clue number 3. (refer to “tough as nails” comment above)

By this time the play-date has come an abrupt end and, in a bid to calm Isabel down, we put her in the bath, but she cannot bend her leg. Yep. Clue number 5. (it seems so simple when you see it from this perspective)

We dispense some anti-inflammatory, bandage the leg up to stabilise it and settle in for the night. When I took the bandage off the next morning to have a look and the entire area around her knee was warm. The 6th and final clue that it really, probably, was time to get her to the hospital.

You know how it goes at the Emergency Room. Wait for doctor. Get 3rd degree about what may or may not have happened. Have extended, awkward conversation about whether X-rays should be taken, seeing as how the child is acting really cool about the whole thing. Wait for X-rays. Wait for results. Wait for doctor. Wait for second opinion. Wait for third opinion. Wait for cast. (in this case a back-slab cast that extended from her bum to the tips of her toes). Wait for crutches. Wait 2 weeks for follow-up X-rays to determine the extent of the break.

Here’s the thing though: You should always ALWAYS get the opinion of an Orthopedic Surgeon when a child breaks anything, something I forgot. The cast came off and, when she was still limping a week later, I was very nervous, so off we went.

Official verdict: wait and see, but it should get better, even without the cast. Let the good doctor know if it get worse. No ballet, no gymnastics, no jumping (ja right) and no climbing on jungle gyms (scoff)

I’m petrified of messing up my children’s bones by not being pro-active enough, but I always wonder where you draw the line between Caring Mother and Munchhausen’s. Either way, I feel like Mad Mother. BUT I know that everything has been done to make sure that it isn’t anything that should be dealt with swiftly.

This parenting thing, it’s hard.

Let’s talk about yesterday

If you follow me on FB or twitter you know by now that yesterday was not a particularly lovely day.

In fact, yesterday was pretty shit.

On Tuesday Isabel had a bit of a runny tummy and Mignon had a bit of a runny nose.  By yesterday morning Isabel was puking and Mignon was breathing from her stomach.  I seriously thought we were going to end up in hospital, I had nee-naa-nee-naa sounds in my head.

So, we did The Big Schedule Juggle and kept the girls home and I managed to get an early appointment with our GP for Mignon so I could quickly take her and still get to work at a reasonable hour, we could leave them with our domestic lady for a couple of hours and Etienne would do the afternoon shift.

As I’m standing in the chemist waiting for the truckload of medicine my phone rings.  Our domestic lady at home, the power is out.  Whilst I’m watching Mignon take random things off the shelves, wanting to know what they are for and ask tell me to buy them (I really didn’t need any vaginal creams at that point) I try and figure out what could be wrong.  The conversation went something like this:

  • Me: Is the electricity completely off
  • Domestic Worker: Yes
  • Me: When did it go off?
  • DW: Just now
  • Me: What were you doing when it went off?
  • DW: When the toaster was on.
  • Me: Did it go off when you switched the toaster on or when it was already on?
  • DW: (thinks a while) Yes
  • Me:  (sigh) Don’t worry, I’m on my way.

I finally make it home, sort Mignon’s vast collection of drugs out, check on Isabel, sort out the electricity (Turns out the plug of the toaster made the plugs in the house trip, everything else was working), jump in the car and pull away with screaming tyres.

I made it halfway to work, only to realise that in my haste I had left my laptop at home.  I may or may not have said fuck several times whilst doubling back home.

Eventually I make it to work and play catch-up until I get a call from Etienne.  One of those “Now please don’t panic” calls.  Daniel had fallen off the jungle gym at school and they are “a little” worried, so he will have a look.

Eventually he calls back, he is rather taking him for x-rays.  By this stage I had of course already called the GP’s offices again to find out what the procedure would be for in case he does need a xray.  I had absolutely no idea whether he would need a referral letter.  As it turns out the Emergency room wasn’t too busy and they could help Etienne pretty quickly whilst I was mentally wringing my hands at work, doing the usual guilt schpiel in my head about not being there when my child needs me, even though his Dad is perfectly capable of dealing with it.  But still. My poor baby.

Our very unhappy boy.

He has broken both bones in his right arm, just before his wrist, but luckily they are greenstick fractures.  He is in a half-cast with bandages until Tuesday to check for swelling and then they will put the real cast on.  He was in a lot of pain last night, the poor thing.  We felt very helpless on his behalf.

Thank goodness the girls are on the mend and Daniel is having fun being dressed, bathed, his food cut, his bum wiped and his teeth brushed for him.

Pass the wine please.

ps: any suggestions of things I can put on his skin to avoid at least some of the itching when they put the cast on?  Do people still use baby powder for that?