Zachary fell from an armchair this past week and broke his right arm. :(
Initially, in the early evening of December 16th, both he and Benjamin were sitting in the chair together. Benjamin got down to do something else. Zachary leaned over the side of the chair to see where his brother went, and boom, down he went.
He wasn’t acting like he’d broken anything. He rarely cries as it is, so it was hard to really determine if there was something seriously wrong or if he had just scared himself. Until the next morning, anyway, when we started to notice he wasn’t putting weight on his arm… He was climbing up the stairs, but using his right elbow instead of his entire arm. He was grabbing at things and picking things up, trying to use his arm and his hand, but heavy things (like a full sippy cup or a book) were things he couldn’t hold, and he was dropping them. Uh-oh.
The fall was less than a foot and a half to the floor. Really. He apparently landed Just Right™. He’s certainly had bigger, more dramatic falls before…
So we called our pediatrician, who normally offers appointments same-day for the serious stuff. We couldn’t get in; our doc was apparently on a half-day, and there just weren’t any slots open. Very disappointing (thanks, nurse!). Ended up with an appointment with him the following morning, got some x-rays, and confirmed a clean break of his right radius. Plain as day to see on the x-ray. After some calling around, he finally tracked down a orthopedic specialist who could see him and cast the arm.
Anyway, the arm is casted. The break, it turns out, is both bones in his right forearm, and not just the radius. The ulna is also fractured; it wasn’t as obvious on the x-ray, but the ortho doctor noticed it right away. No setting of the bones was required; straightforward, clean breaks. The cast is waterproof, and the lining under it is Gore-Tex, so he can take baths and even go swimming. He’s already had a couple of baths, and the water runs right out and it’s not been a problem at all.
You’ll notice he was casted up past his elbow; casts on kids can (and do) fall or slip off, or get pried/pulled off, so they go ahead and cast past the elbow to help hold the thing in place and prevent accidental removal/separation. Zachary would definitely try to pull it off, or at least play with it until it came off.
We were told bones heal at the rate of approximately 1week per year of age. So Zachary’s arm should be OK in about a week and a half. That’s… amazing.
We have an appointment again in three weeks to remove the cast, take another batch of x-rays to confirm it’s healed, and hopefully be done. Let’s hope so! It’s been a couple of days now since he got the cast, and he’s definitely felt frustrated. The red-PJ pic here is a great example from his first day with his cast: when he can’t reach something, or can’t put his right hand to his mouth to eat or touch his face at all, he gets a little upset. Can’t blame him… For the most part, though, he’s adjusting just fine. We knew he would; it’s just What He Does™.
Neither Mom nor Dad have been casted before, so we really were not directly familiar with the process. Turns out it’s quite simple and pretty quick. We’re trying hard not to feel like bad parents, of course. These things happen, and there’s really nothing you can do to stop them. We live, we learn, we keep on going, and growing as a result. :)