Question: Between a 6-year old boy and an almost 2-year old girl, who do you think would have the first broken bone? The boy, right?? Ha! Not so much. Friday evening of Easter weekend we were enjoying the beautiful Carolina weather out in our back yard, the kids playing on the swing set while I started to stuff some plastic eggs for our neighborhood Easter Egg Hunt the following morning. Ryanne slipped as she was climbing up the ladder to go down the slide for about the 20th time that evening and must’ve fallen funny on her right leg. She was only about a foot or so up but we could definitely tell she did something to her leg/ankle. There was no swelling or bruising and after a conversation with the pediatrician, it was determined to “wait and see” how she felt in the morning. After a long, sleepless night we took her to the pediatrician first thing Saturday morning only to then go to the hospital for x-rays.
Let me just tell you right now the sick feeling I had in the pit of my stomach with the thought of my sweet baby girl with a broken leg. All kinds of crazy thoughts went through my head … is she in a lot of pain? How is she going to react to having a cast on her leg? How am I going to react to her having a cast on her leg? How are we going to keep her from trying to walk on it for the next how many months?? Oh, goodness, how many months is she going to have to wear a cast? What about baths? Is she going to have permanent damage? Is this going to stunt her growth in that leg? … I told you – CRAZY thoughts!
So, I’m writing this post for all you mommy’s out there who have never experienced a broken bone. Hopefully, you never will. But in case you do – it is not NEARLY as big a deal as I thought it would be.
First of all, being that it was Easter Weekend and a Saturday, doctors were a little more scarce than usual. But Charlotte Pediatrics was great and became the “command center” for coordinating everything. We had to take her to the hospital for the x-rays because there was not anyone on site at the pediatrician that day that could read them. However, they sent her down to CMC Pineville to avoid the craziness of CMC main – they were great and Ryanne was in and out in no time. Before we even got back home, they had read the films, contacted our doctor and we got the phone call that it was indeed broken. Our doctor then called around to find an orthopedist that was working that day and could do the cast. We ended up at OrthoCarolina on Randolph Rd and they, too, were great! The orthopedic dr. came in, pulled up the x-rays on the computer, showed me the break and walked me through everything. They then put a tiny little cast on her leg – hot pink of course – and off we went. The process took less than an hour.
So – to answer all my crazy questions:
Was she in a lot of pain? The first few days were a little rough, but I think mostly because she wasn’t used to the cast and became easily (and very understandably frustrated). A little Motrin worked wonders!
How did she react to having a cast on her leg? Pretty much unphased! She liked pointing at it and saying “cast”.
How did we keep an almost 2-year old down? We didn’t. Once she was used to it, she was able to walk on it, climb with it, dance with it, and by the end, she was even trying to jump rope with it!! It only took about 2 days and she was cruising around like a champ. Smarty Tip: the bottom of the cast was a bit slippery and made learning to walk on it much harder. So I bought some little footie socks and an cheap bathroom rug from Wal-Mart. I cut out a shoe-sized “sole” from the rug, trimmed off the excess “fluff” and hot glue gunned it to the bottom of the footie socks. This then became more like a shoe for her and she no longer slid everywhere. Worked like a charm! By the way … anyone know how I can patent something like this? 😉
How long did she have to wear it? Only 2 short weeks! Not so bad.
Baths? This is the best trick ever, ladies – Glad Press and Seal! Yup, wrap that baby up nice and tight, slip a rubber band around the top to prevent water from seeping in and she could get right in the bath. No problem.
Permanent damage … stunted growth? Not a chance. That was crazy mom fear talking. When we went for the follow up appointment earlier this week to get her cast taken off, we looked at the before and after x-rays. The fracture had totally healed and you could even see the new bone that was growing around her leg where the break had been. I know we were lucky, in that it was not a major break, but apparently the kind of break she had is very common in little ones.
Kids are amazing … and so totally resilient! I thought she was going to have to “learn” to walk all over again once she got the cast off – you know, stiff leg, possible pain – but she was walking on it within an hour of getting it off! Kinda looked like I did late night in my college years, but walking nonetheless! The orthopedist said she would most likely have a limp for a few weeks, and she does a little, but it certainly isn’t slowing her down. And its very reassuring to know that it is completely normal and before we know it she will be totally back to normal.
So, all in all, a broken leg turned out not to be the end of the world. Perhaps you’ve had a similar experience? Or maybe not?? Do share.