Seryn’s First Injury

Tuesday, February 15th, 2005 at 1:35 am | 372 views | trackback url

Well, it had to happen… Seryn got hurt. Not just any hurt though, she dislocated her left elbow in a fall.

She’s just at the age where she’s learning to crawl and pull herself up to a kneeling position. She likes to use the bars on her crib to practice this. She also uses the couch when she’s crawling on the floor. She’ll pull herself up to a kneeling position at the front of the couch, so she can see what’s on the seat cushions of the couch.. most of the time the cats napping.

The cats are starting to learn how to tease her too, which gets her going even more. She has a great time with them.

But she doesn’t know how to recognize when balance is required, or is faltering.

She was pulling herself up to a kneeling position at the front of the couch, reached for the cat on the seat cushion, and slid over to one side, falling mostly on her arm and chest. It wasn’t a big fall, probably 10″ or so, but I looked at her and her arm was kind of bent to the side in a very weird, uncomfortable-looking position.

x-ray of a dislocated elbow

You know that gut feeling when you think to yourself.. “Self, that doesn’t look right…”. I got that feeling, and a sort of cold washed over me.

I picked her up fast and sat her on her butt, and she started screaming a scream I hadn’t heard in months. Ear-piercing, glass-shattering screaming. Her arm was just kind of hanging there. I thought she pulled a muscle or something like that, so I put her in her high-chair, and she started screaming more and more. I felt absolutely awful.

What do you do? She’s too young to say “It hurts over here, daddy!”, or to tell me what kind of pain she’s feeling. I couldn’t see anything obvious (and I’ve had a LOT of injuries in my life, including many broken bones), but I’m not a doctor, and I’ve never dislocated an elbow. I can’t even imagine what that must feel like, especially at that age.

After calming her down a bit, I took her clothes off and compared her arms. I was looking for a dislocated shoulder or bruising or something obvious like that. I didn’t see anything.

After she had a nap and some food, she was still not using that arm. Being the paranoid parent I am, I started thinking maybe she hit her head and had a mini stroke or something, and lost the arm function, neurologically. She wasn’t even trying to use the arm, even subconsciously.

So when Erika came home, we went off to the doctor, who immediately diagnosed it as “Nurse Maid Elbow”, and proceeded to set it for her.

Setting a 7-month-old’s dislocated elbow involves a complicated process of holding her hand palm up, and pushing her arm into her sholder, until it pops. Let me tell you, Seryn did not like that.. and the glass panes in the doctors office felt that pain when she let out that scream.

She seems to be a lot better now, and she’s using the arm to crawl with and grab things, so we think its healing.

Whew.

Last Modified: Tuesday, February 15th, 2005 @ 01:35

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