Thursday, October 29, 2009

One year ago today...

Jane broke her leg.

She fell off our bed, all two and a half feet, if that. I had my back turned when it happened, so all I actually knew was the thump and the scream. It was not uncommon for Jane to fall, but she was never really bothered by it. She might whine for a second, but she generally recovered quickly and moved on with very little comforting. This time was different. She just kept crying and crying. She eventually calmed down after tylenol and extensive cuddling with Mom.

She wouldn't crawl. As soon as she put any weight on her left leg, she would immediately collapse on the floor and cry again. I thought she had twisted her ankle or something and figured it would probably work itself out after a few hours. I may sound like a bad parent, but I still took her to day care and headed off to school.

Luckily, I only had two and a half hours of school that day due to parent teacher conferences the next day. That was lucky because the day care lady called me after about an hour and said she really thought something was wrong and I should probably take Jane to the doctor. Because I had less than an hour of school left at that point, the principal came to watch my class while I left so I didn't have to find a substitute with such awkward timing.

I told the doctor my theory that Jane had hurt her ankle. She was drinking a bottle while he was checking her, and she only slightly winced when he moved her foot and felt her ankle. He was explaining that it would be better to wait until it swelled up and then back down before doing x-rays, since that made it easier for any possible fractures to appear. It wasn't swollen at all.

Well, he changed his mind when he touched her shin...the bottle immediately popped out of her mouth and she SCREAMED louder than she had all morning. His comment was, "Never mind. We'll x-ray her now."

Her tibia was snapped almost completely in half.

She had the orange cast, from foot to hip, for three weeks. It was then replaced with a smaller green cast that ended just below her knee.

That was taken off on December 8, but only after my entire class had signed it, of course, and all the kids at day care.

An unfortunate side story: Jane received a second degree burn on her leg when they removed the cast. The girl who removed the cast had never done it before--can I just say that you shouldn't practice on small children!!--and went really slow in hopes of somehow making it a better experience. Two problems: 1--Jane had grown in the time that the cast was on, meaning the cast was very tight and very close to her skin. 2--By going slower, there was more time for friction to build up heat. Because the blade was going for so long and the skin was so close to the cast, Jane ended up with a four-inch blister down the side of her leg. The blade itself didn't hurt her, just the friction of cutting the cast. That was sad.

I tell this story mostly for Jane's sake, so she can go back and read it later and know what happened when she was too little to understand what was going on. But now all you know, too.


Megan said...

My cousin broke his leg at that same age when he fell down the stairs. My aunt was helping his older sisters clean up their room and all of a sudden heard this "thunk, thunk, thunk" and the screaming. He had the same type of thing, except no burn.

Ben and Michelle said...

Wow what an interesting story. Poor jane....I remember she was really cute with her little cast though!!!

Jared and Delia said...

Oh NO! Poor girl. I am so sorry about the burn too!