To recap…

The Webmaster was trying to get Tad in pajamas on Thursday night. Tad was playing in a laundry basket. The Webmaster tried to pull the basket toward him to get Tad dressed, but as he did, Tad started getting out of the basket. The Webmaster swept Tad’s left leg out from underneath him with the laundry basket, and Tad fell.

I was on the phone when this all happened, and when the Webmaster asked me, “Does his thigh look swollen to you?”, and I heard Tad’s painful, choked whimpering sobs, my heart sank. I had only heard him cry like that once – when he broke his arm last August.

After a quick call to the pediatrician’s office (the on-call pediatrician was actually Tad’s doctor, convienently), we went immediately to Children’s Hospital ER. We got brought back to triage fairly quickly – having a crying child will get you somewhere in the ER – and into a room to wait for x-rays.

Ane tried to take Tad’s mind off everything by reading to him. He ignored her and watched Finding Nemo (which was playing on the ER movie channels) instead.

I accompanied Tad to radiology after he got a IV in and a dose of morphine. After the x-rays were taken, we went back to the ER to wait. It was pretty obvious to me that his femur was broken, even though the radiology techs weren’t allowed to say anything. When we saw the x-rays, it was devastating. His left femur was broken clean through.

The Webmaster eventually took Ane home (which took a lot of coaxing, because she didn’t want to leave us behind), and I waited in the ER with Tad until they could find a bed for us. We finally moved to a room at about 5:30 am – 8 hours after arriving in the ER.

Tad’s pain was being managed with morphine, but the on-call orthopedic surgeon decided not to splint Tad’s leg. “I just don’t want to have to move it any more than necessary,” he told me. As a result, Tad got into the operating room faster (I think), because he was in a lot of pain. He went to the OR around 11 am, and I finally left him in the hands of the anesthesiologists around 11:30.

Bunny was allowed to go with Tad yet again into the OR. Tad didn’t actually have surgery, but his break required him to be sedated while they fluoroscoped his leg, aligned the bone, and put Tad in a Spica cast. The femur was not pinned, because the break was so clean, which is a relief to me.

Tad came out of the OR around 12:15 pm, and out of recovery around 1:30 pm. It seemed to take forever, and he was quite groggy for a while. Anesthesia always kills his appetite, but in order to leave the hospital, he had to eat, drink, produce a wet diaper, and be able to take oral medication. After our last visit, I knew that Tad preferred apple juice and graham crackers after coming out of anesthesia. I don’t like that I had to use that knowledge again.

Thanks to the help of Friend and Doc, who stayed with Ane and put her to bed at our house (we had had the Brain and Head at our place in the evening after Sports Camp – this had been pre-planned, so Friend and Doc could attend a rehearsal dinner for a wedding), the Webmaster was able to bring Tad and me home at about 10 pm Friday night. We spent just shy of 24 hours at the hospital.

Tad is in pretty decent spirits and is being spoiled rotten. Friend and Doc gave him new books, I went out and bought several Cars toys that he doesn’t yet own (and hasn’t gotten yet – I plan on handing them out one at a time), and he’s drinking more juice than he’s ever been allowed in his whole life. The cast is not comfortable, it covers most of his lower body, and he can’t walk. And he’s going to be like this for six weeks.


His good leg is casted to just above the knee, to provide an anchor point for the crossbar (a wooden dowel secured to the cast in fiberglass wrap). His broken leg is casted to the ankle. The cast comes up to the bottom of his ribcage. It is incredibly awkward to carry him, and the cast weighs an extra 8 to 10 pounds. His back is straight, so sitting up on the edge of the couch or a chair will eventually be possible, but he has to keep his leg elevated until the swelling has really gone down. We have to shift him every couple of hours to avoid bedsores. He’s on Tylenol with codeine right now. Diapering him is complicated – the cast has a hole cut in it from the top of the tailbone to the top of the pubic bone, and we have to stuff one diaper flat in the hole, and then cover it completely with another, larger diaper.

He can’t wear pants. I bought him some shortalls (with snaps) at Gymboree yesterday that he can wear when we go out to cover him up.

He can barely sit in the highchair to eat, and there’s no way we can fasten the tray to it. I fed him dinner last night, and if he wants to feed himself, he’s got to be lying down to do it. Much to our relief, he fits in his carseat. I don’t think he fits in the stroller. We’re going to be taking our Radio Flyer Pathfinder wagon out with us to carry him around.

We’re coping. Really. He will heal. He will get better. Hopefully he’ll have his cast off in time to start school. But in the meantime, he has to spend six weeks – and his third birthday – in a Spica cast.

It sucks.

11 Responses to “To recap…”

  1. Ressis
    July 28th, 2008 07:45

    Oh, I wish I were there to give him a hug, more for my sake than his. We’ll soon be sending a care package for the kids, we’ve got some time.

  2. grandma
    July 28th, 2008 11:12

    Gichan, Auntie, and I will be over tonight to see the little guy. We felt so bad being out-of-town and unable to help during the first couple days. Our prayers have been with all of you. He and Auntie will now be able to sport matching shirts that say “Scars are like Tattoos…but the stories are better”. We saw the shirt at the softball tournament and thought its sentiment perfect for Auntie – then got “the call”. We knew then they needed twin shirts!

  3. Aunt Lynda
    July 28th, 2008 14:49

    I broke my arm at my grandparents’ house when I was 5. My aunts had had children with broken bones and they said they could tell my arm was broken by the sound of my cry when my coat was removed. I remembered when you noted his cry was the same as when he broke his arm.
    Aunt Lynda

  4. barbara
    July 28th, 2008 15:29

    I’m sorry to hear about your son. After our son broke his leg earlier this year, I started searching on other people with spica casts because I didn’t know a thing about what to do.

    I transferred the posts from my regular blog over to one specifically regarding his situation (which is the blog listed above). I hope he gets better soon – I know it is so hard on them.

  5. Linda
    July 28th, 2008 16:17

    So sorry to have all of you go through so much pain and angst…know you are in our hearts and prayers…give Tad big hugs from us…

  6. Matthew
    July 29th, 2008 07:51

    Poor little guy!

    TheMonk just saw the picture and got sad. He says he wants Tad to feel better soon!

    We’re sending happy thoughts your way!

  7. Juliet
    July 29th, 2008 18:40

    Wow, I’m sorry Tad broke another limb. Poor little guy. I hope he heals quickly and you and the Webmaster have lots of help in the meantime. Big hugs and healing smooches from the Flat Hat household!

  8. Deanna’s Corner » Blog Archive » One Year Since…
    July 24th, 2009 01:21

    […] Barring anything totally catastrophic happening today, we have made it a full year since Tad broke his femur. […]

  9. Deanna's Corner » Blog Archive » Three Years Later
    July 25th, 2011 01:09

    […] can hardly believe it, but it really has been three years since Tad broke his leg.¬† For those of you who are regular readers, you will remember that it was a very horrible period […]

  10. Deanna's Corner » Blog Archive » Flashback Friday
    July 20th, 2012 00:20

    […] Next Tuesday, if you can believe it, will make it 4 years since Tad broke his left femur. […]

  11. Deanna's Corner » Blog Archive » Flashback Friday
    January 25th, 2013 22:50

    […] made me remember what Tad did right before HIS third […]