I wrote this out a few months ago and never published it for some reason. So here is a story from early September.
My sweet Rachel is a fragile girl.
Most toddlers and little kids tend to become toys for older kids and parents. I remember watching our friend up in Canada throwing his 1 yr old around like he was a doll, and the kid loved it. Laughed the whole time. I know Richard was watching wondering when Rachel would get big enough to horse around with like that. You see kids swinging babies by their arms and tossing them in the air, to the sheer delight of the little one.
My Rachel is not like that. Never has been, probably never will be. It took her a good two months after she learned how to crawl and go up the stairs before she dared to go down just because she's so careful and timid. To this day she hates being thrown in the air and has to re-learn how fun it is to go down a slide every summer.
All that aside, she was having a blast yesterday. Eli was playing with her before dinner, and they were doing some mini roughhousing. Eli grabbed her arms and started swinging her around in a circle, like he used to do with Riley when he was 2. Riley, as it turns out, has stronger joints than Rachel. She started screaming bloody murder and was fairly inconsolable. I picked her up and was trying to calm her down and she just kept screaming.
Now, for all her fragility Rachel is a pretty tough kid. Usually when she gets bumped she picks herself up and just says "ow" before moving on. I'll ask if she wants a hug or a kiss to feel better and she'll usually say "no". When she's crying for no reason I can usually get her to stop by just asking her to. Then she'll look at me and say "All done crying," take a deep breath, and smile at me. So to hear her continue to scream like she was led us to further investigate her boo boo. It took a while to work it out, because with all the noise we couldn't hear if Eli was saying "she hurt her HEAD" or "she hurt her HAND". But once he told us what he had been doing we both went "ah ha". See, this has happened before.
About a year ago, as we were getting Rachel ready for bed, Richard changed her diaper and then pulled her up to sitting by her hands. We've been doing that since she was 5 months old. But this time she started wailing. We figured she was just tired and had gotten scared or something, so we continued to put her in bed like normal. In the morning she stood up funny, only using one hand, and she left the other hanging limp at her side for the rest of the morning. So I took her to the doctor. He told me her elbow had become dislocated and popped it back in nice and easy. Then Rachel started playing like normal and seemed to be feeling 100% better. No big deal :D
It happened again a few months later, but not as bad. I watched her for an hour or so afterwards, and she just started playing with her hurt arm like normal after about 20 minutes. I talked to my dad last night and he was saying sometimes the joint can pop out and back in at once, and then you're just left with the ligament pain. I'm assuming that's what happened in this situation, because everything was fine without any medical attention.
So when Eli told us he was swinging her by her arms, we knew what had happened. Her poor little elbow. Richard sat with her on the couch for about an hour with a little ice pack, trying to get her to forget that it hurt and keep her distracted. She would do fine, until she tried to move her arm and would stretch that tendon just a little. Then the screaming would return. Since things didn't improve after 20 minutes like they did last time, we decided to take her in to the clinic.
The worst thing for her was changing positions or locations, so when I picked her up from Richard's lap she started crying again. I tried to put her in her carseat but she was not going for it, so I did a bad thing and just held her on my lap (in the backseat) all the way to the clinic. When we got there the TV was on, and that kept her pretty distracted, plus we gave her a cup of water that had an octopus on it and she thought that was pretty cool. Sweet little girl.
The doctor was great. A fantastic pediatrician. He got her very interested in some of his tools and a box of crayons and tried to get her to hold them in her left hand, which she wouldn't. He held his little light way over past her left hand, and she reached across her body with her right to grab it. Then he held out a box of crayons, and she tried to put down the light so she could pick up the crayons with her right hand again. He put away all the toys and started wiggling her right hand and fingers, which she was fine with. Then he started doing the same to her left, working his way up her arm, and she started squirming and whining a little bit. When he got to her elbow he carefully and quickly rotated her arm and bent it, then let it go. He sat back, handed her his iPhone, then handed her the crayons. She reached for the crayons with her left hand!! Success!
Seriously, the doctor was super nice and knew just what to do to keep her calm, happy, and distracted. Plus he showed Richard how to fix the dislocation so we don't have to go to a clinic the next time this happens, which he said is likely to be in the next six months or so.
So it all ends well. Rachel rode home in her carseat, had yummy corn on the cob for dinner (her favorite), took a bubble bath, and slept very well all night. I'm just glad she's feeling better and that it won't hurt as long the next time. I love my sweet girl :D
Launch Mission #12
9 months ago