We had finished our evening meal and I was looking forward to a quiet evening at home with my feet up and to watch a few programs on television, but that wasn’t to be. It was getting close to the kids bedtime and I supposed that Amanda and Andrew were playing quietly in their bedroom. They were playing or so I thought.
I heard a thump and a cry of pain. I jumped from my chair and hurried back the hallway. My wife Cindy was following after me as we sped into their bedroom. Andrew was holding his left arm and crying.
“What happened?” I asked, as I bent over to look at his arm.
Reluctantly the story came out. “We were playing Superman, Dad.” They had been jumping from the tall four drawer dresser across a wide gap to land on Andrew’s bed. Amanda’s flying was soon copied by Andrew. They were polite anyway, taking turns. After several leaps, Andrew either slipped or miscalculated his jump and hit the floor and the side of his bed.
When I pulled his other arm away from the injured arm, I knew he was going to need more than first aid and a Band-Aid. He was going to need care at the hospital. His elbow was dislocated and there was a lump halfway down his forearm. His pulse and circulation was good. I used a folded magazine as a splint and wrapped it in an elastic bandage. I used a folded and tied pillow case as a sling. Cindy was getting Amanda ready to go to my mom’s house to stay while we were at the hospital, it was on the way.
We had a station wagon at the time and I made a nest of pillows and blankets in the back. Andrew would ride there comfortably to the hospital.
At the emergency room, after the x-rays, we found that Andrew had dislocated his elbow and broken the ulna in his forearm. He would have to go to the operating room to have it repaired. Putting the elbow back into place and the pressure of pushing the greenstick fracture would require anesthesia to keep Andrew from feeling the pain. The anesthesia would also relax his muscles to make it easier to put everything back into place.
We were exhausted by the time Andrew came out of surgery. We followed him on the cart being taken upstairs to his room. The white cast almost glowed under the hallway lights. After he was settled and asleep, Cindy and I hurried home to get a quick shower and a few hours of sleep for ourselves. We thought that he would sleep for a few hours too.
I was glad that we both had the day off, so little sleep, we felt groggy. We called my mom and told her what happened and she said she would keep Amanda until we knew what was happening with Andrew. After a hurried breakfast, we drove to the hospital.
The crib they had placed my son had a cage over the top. They do this to prevent children from climbing over the top and falling. Andrew was almost three at the time and he was a climber. He was all over the crib when we came into his room. We opened his cage and left him out. He was certainly glad to see us.
I found out later that Andrew woke shortly after we left and was fussing. The pediatric nurses caring for him wanted to call us and have us come back in, but thankfully the nursing supervisor told them to medicate him for pain and see if he would settle. He did and we were able to sleep.
Once the orthopedic doctor made rounds, Andrew was discharged and life went back to normal if living with children could be normal.