We May Not Have It All Together But Together We Have It All

We May Not Have It All Together But Together We Have It All
June 2013

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Cast #4

On July 10, Ashley went in for her next check up on her broken arm.  She's getting pretty good at knowing her way around the doctor's office and knowing the routine.  First, we visit x-ray, then we go to the exam room and wait to see Dr. Murray.

According to the xray, everything is looking great.  New bone is forming and filling in to replace the broken bone.  On the small bone, you can barely see where the two bones have grown back together.  You can still see the crack on the larger bone but the bone spur I was worried about the time before is now gone and has been replaced with new bone.

Even though everything is healing great, Ashley still needs to be in a cast so off goes cast #3 and on comes cast #4.

As they take off the old casts, Ashley cracks me up that she doesn't want to see her arm.  I think she's still afraid that it's crooked.  I reassure her that her arm is now straight but she still doesn't want to look.  As you can see...

The nurses at the doctor's office have been so awesome in letting Ashley design her own casts.  I had no idea that you totally needed to be an artist to apply a cast.  This go round, Ashley has gone with orange and pink with glitter!!

At this appointment, the doctor indicated we will probably have one more cast after this one and then a splint.  Yep, there goes the entire summer but Ashley is being such a trooper.

Friday, June 27, 2014

What Do You Do in the Summertime with a Broken Arm?

You get your ears pierced!

We have the rule at our house that you need to be eight years old to get your ears pierced.  Hannah was and is not interested at all in getting hers done.  Ashley on the other hand has really been asking since her birthday.....a year ago...... when she turned eight.  There just seems to have always been something that's gotten in the way.  For instance....soccer.

Seems Ashley will not be playing in any soccer games for the next six weeks due to the broken arm, there will not be any need for her to remove earrings.  So, Wednesday, June 18, 2014, was the day!  We went to Claire's in the Mall and "got 'er done!"

As soon as we walked into Claire's, I thought we were good to go.  Ashley quickly walked over to the ear piercing station and began picking some out.  However, as the time grew closer, I really thought she was going to back out.  You could see the fear coming in her eyes.

After talking Ashley through it and the girl that was doing the piercing said, "If you can survive the broken arm, you can survive this. No problem."  I told her that it was a whole lot easier than having two IVs in her arm at the ER.  I also informed her that this was the perfect time to have it done seems there would be no soccer to worry about. 

The girl was really cute.  She said, "We'll just get you all ready but I won't open the earrings until the very end just in case you decide you don't want to do it."  She seems okay while the ink dots were being applied but still not too sure.

She decided to go ahead with it but as you can see by the look on her face....she's scared to death!

Ear #2 not quite as scary as the first

All done....still a little scared....but she did it!!

The experience is over and now she's happy to have them and to send a quick text to Dad.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Cast #3

Ashley's 1 1/2 week check up was today.  We once again did the routine of going straight back to the xray station then off to the exam room to wait for the doctor.

We once again today say the orthopedic doctor.  He showed me how on he xray things are healing nicely.  The small bone is doing amazing.  You can see where the bone is filling in nicely and from the straight on view you can barely see the break.

The larger bone is healing well too but it's taking a bit longer.  You can see on this one as well where the bone is starting to fill in.  However, I can still see where the bone has a shard pointing out.  I did ask the doctor if I/we should be concerned about it.  I'm sure it freaks me out a bit more than it does him.  He informed me that over time the bone will come in and fill in around the shard.  He indicated in 6-12 months you won't even be able to see where the bone has been broken.

However, once again, more swelling has gone down and we still can't have any give in the cast.  So, off to the cast room we go for cast #3.  Because we're close to the 4th of July and in asking, this won't be Ashley's last cast, she decided to be patriotic and go for the stars and stripes cast with silver glitter.

The medical assistant was super nice and after she took the cast off she took Ashley to the sink and washed her arm.  Ashley said it felt so good to have her arm washed.

Once again, Ashley was completely freaked out to look at her arm.  I think in her mind it still looks deformed like it did right after she broke it.  She did all she could to keep herself looking elsewhere and occupied until they got the cotton sleeve on to protect her arm from the cast.  Poor little thing!  At this point we now have two assistants in the room with us and one is trying to talk her through looking at her arm.  I think she may have convinced her to take a quick glance but then she was back to not wanting anything to do with it.

Here she is getting cast #3 put on

All done and sporting the stars and stripes!

We go back for her next check up in two weeks (July 10).  I guess we'll be on pins and needles seeing what kind of cast comes next.  I believe she already has in her mind what color(s) she wants.

I guess if you're going to break your arm on the first day of summer vacation and will sport it for the entire break, you might as well have fun with it, right?

Cast #2

We returned to the doctor on Monday, June 16, for a check up on Ashley's arm.  I guess I didn't realize when you broke your arm this bad that they really watch closely to make sure everything is healing properly.

Xrays were taken of Ashley's arm through her cast.  This time we saw the actual orthopedic doctor, Dr Murray, so it was a little different and I didn't dare ask to take photos of the xrays.  He was a bit more professional than the physician's assistant.

After looking at the xrays and listening to the doctor's explanation, it was determined that the cast needed to be removed and a new one put on.  The bones were healing fine but there was too much play in the cast from the swelling going down and the angle of her wrist needed to be adjusted to make sure the arm continued to heal straight.  At this point, I believe I am finally realizing just how bad Ashley has broken her arm.

Off to the cast room we went and this time we had a new medical assistant taking of the old cast and putting on the new one.  Come to find out, I worked with her dad at BATC.  He retired a few years ago but I wondered why she looked so familiar.  It never hurts to be friendly and know people either.  I feel like Ashley got special treatment and ended up with another designer cast.  This time they let her do a pink cast and then the assistant folded purple in half and made stripes over the pink.  Of course, we had to add some clear glitter and bling bling!  We have cast #2.  Hannah and Ashley also enjoyed the "extra special" treat they got from the assistant of Oreos.  I'm sure it helped that we were chatting quite a bit about her dad.

When they took the cast off, I quickly snapped a picture of Ashley's arm.  Even though she would not have anything to do with looking at it.  I tried to explain that it looked much better than it did when she first broke it.  It's now straight but she still wanted nothing to do with taking a look.

Now presenting cast #2

Next appointment in 1 1/2 weeks!

Monday, June 9, 2014

Ashley Got Her Cast

I took Ashley back to the Orthopedic doctor today for more xrays to make sure the one bone hadn't moved any further and to see if she was on track to get her cast.

I was a little nervous when we first went to radiology because the tech there said her fingers still looked a little bit too swollen.  With that comment, I was thinking that we were going to be sent home again today still in the soft cast from the ER.

Back in the room, the doctor pulled up her xrays and showed me that everything seems to be healing fine.  Crazy me!!  I forgot to take pictures of these xrays and it was at this moment that I realized I had brought the "nice" camera an left it in the van.  Go figure!!  The cell phone camera would have to work once again.

All was a go for the cast!  We still have to keep her arm elevated as much as possible to keep the swelling down but it was time for the hard cast!!

As the doctor was leaving, I asked him how long?  He said, "How long until you need to see me again or how long until it's all over?"  Well, I didn't realize these were two separate questions.  I was thinking that the cast was put on today and then we would return in 6-8 weeks and they'd take it off.  Boy was I wrong!  He said we would be coming back next week to check the cast and to do more xrays to make sure everything was still healing straight and to make sure the cast doesn't get too loose.  After that, hopefully we don't have to go back for 2 weeks for the routine check again.  Wow!  I guess when you literally "snap" your bones it's a lot different healing process than when you "buckle" fracture your bone, which is what the other two girls have done.  He did say that hopefully she'll be done in approximately 6 weeks with the cast an then for the last two weeks they will put her in a splint.  Wow....is all I could say.

The Medical Assistant got Ashley all prepped for the cast.  They did have to support her arm in the Chinese handcuffs again.  This freaked me out a bit when they mentioned this at the last appointment because I was afraid it would hurt her.  Once again, she was such a brave girl and took the whole thing in stride.

Removing the ace bandages (she does look a bit scared to begin with)....

Made it down to the splint from the ER.....and waiting for the assistant to come back with a weight for her arm.
Now presenting the new cast!!

While the nurse was collecting all of the materials needed to put on the cast (ie...Chinese hancuffs), Ashley was given a key ring of cast swatches to pick which color she wanted.  She thought about the soccer ball cast but the base color was white and together we decided that it probably would get quite a bit dirty.  She didn't want to pick the pink or purple color because Hannah and Nicole had had these.  All of the other colors were really dark and boyish.  She was bummed that there wasn't a bright yellow color.  Then she found her favorite.  The tie dye!!  The Medical Assistant said it really turns out cute.  Then she asked Ashley if she's like sparkle added to the cast.  Um....Yea!  Did she even have to ask if she should add sparkle?!?  Ashley was so excited!!  The cast was added and then before it dried silver sparkle was added to the entire cast.

She is very proud of this cast!!
I guess if you're gonna have one, you might as well love it!!
Hopefully when I take her back in next Monday all is continuing to healing well.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Ashley Breaks Her Arm

Friday, May 30, started summer vacation for Ashley and Nicole and it was Hannah's last day of school.  The girls spent the day with Grandma Peterson because we were in limbo for a day before our summer routine began.

In the morning, while at work, I called the Sports Academy to sign Ashley and Nicole up for swim lessons.  As life goes, it was the last day to sign up for the classes starting on Monday.  My first phone call resulted in me not signing them up because the session I needed for Ashley was full.  After thought and talking things through, I called back and signed both girls up for the session below where they should be to give them a refresher before moving on for the summer.  For this session, I was able to get them in the little bit later time slot, which I had convinced myself would actually work much better because it would be less stress on me getting off work, heading to Mendon to pick up the girls and getting to swim lessons on time.

After work and picking up the girls from Grandma's we headed to the grocery store to pick up the fixings for homemade salsa.  For the most part, this is our Friday dinner.  We call it "Salsa Friday" and we make fresh salsa, guacamole and quesadillas.  Yummy!

For Ashley's birthday in April, she got a pair of rollerblades.  She mostly "rolls" around the house trying to get use to them.  She's been outside a couple of times but not very many.  The girls asked if they could play outside while I made dinner and we waited for Dave to come home from work.  Hannah and Nicole played on the golf cart and Ashley decided to rollerblade outside.

While Nicole was playing outside, I had to keep going out and checking to make sure she was singing and not screaming/crying from being hurt.  I had the talk with her at least twice that by the way she was singing, I couldn't tell if she needed help.  Then came the ultimate scream!!

As it registers in my mind that this is a real scream, the door flies open and Hannah, in a very panicked voice says, "Mom!  Ashley broke her arm and you can tell!"  I drop the knife I was using to slice up my very last tomato for our salsa.  I run outside behind Hannah to see Ashley kneeling on the driveway.  Right as I reach Ashley, Dave pulls in the driveway from work.  What perfect timing!  I believe Heavenly Father knows that for traumatic situations like this, I need some backup to keep me grounded.  However, from what Dave sees as he's pulling in the driveway, he thinks I'm chasing Hannah and we're playing.

As I get to Ashley, I can see from the looks of her arm that it is definitely broken.  All I can remember seeing are her big blue eyes looking at me with sheer panic in them as she says, "Mom!  I broke my arm!"  I say to her, "Yes, you did.  It's going to be okay.  Just focus with me."  At this point, Hannah is trying to get in Dave's truck but because it is still in gear, his doors are locked.  I look at Dave through the windshield and motion for him to come over.  He must have caught the look in my eyes that something was wrong because he immediately pulled forward and jumped out of the truck.

Dave helped Ashley up and supported her arm.  I sent Hannah inside to get one of our other slings.  Yep, we've had enough broken arms (three) to have a sling or two lying around.  Ashley still has her roller blades on and Dave gently rolls her to the van parked in the garage and gets her loaded for us to head into Logan for help.

Somehow, I'm not sure how, Hannah and Nicole made it into the house as I was grabbing my wallet for my insurance card.  Hannah had already made it upstairs and was in a bit of shock herself.  She was crying because she thought it was her fault that Ashley fell.  Nicole was standing to the side of my starting to cry but for her I'm sure it was because it was a bit crazy as to what was happening and it was all happening so fast.  Both Dave and I were trying to calm Hannah down (yea...not sure when he made it in the house and changed out of his shirt and tie) and reassuring her that this was a complete accident.  It's no ones fault.  They were being kids and playing outside.  We told Hannah that right now we needed her to be a big 12 year old and needed her to stay home and take care of Nicole because both Dave and I had to go with Ashley.  I looked at Nicole and told her that I needed her to be a big 6 year old and to stay home with Hannah.  They were told to watch movies and make mac 'n cheese for dinner and to keep the phone close that we would be in touch and keep them posted on what was going on.  Out to the van we went and off to Logan we headed.

I believe started with the drive in for help, Ashley was in a bit of shock but I must say she never shed another tear.  I'm sure the shock and pain curbed that but she was the strongest little nine year old I've ever seen.  On our way in, Ashley definitely could feel every bump.  I was having her wiggle her toes while I was tapping her back trying anything I could to help take her mind off her arm.  Of course, there had to be slow cars driving on Old Mendon Road.  I believe there was a time that Dave passed multiple cars at once but I'm not 100% sure.  I was too busy in the back seat with Ashley.  We decided to take her to InstaCare because it's cheaper than the Emergency Room.

We pull into InstaCare and I jump out to make sure that they really are open until 8 p.m.  We didn't want to unload Ashley if they were closed.  I see they are open so out she comes and in we go.  I got her checked in and when they question was asked, I informed them that the arm was definitely broken.  we were quickly taken to the back for her to be seen.  The nurse at there was so sweet with Ashley.  She was taken to the first room to have her vitals taken.  We were then taken to an exam room.  As the nurse was looking her over, she could see through the sling how broken her arm really was.  She was so nice in saying that before they did anything (xrays, etc.) she was going to have the doctor look at the arm because there are some things they can do at InstaCare but there are also some things that they can't do and so they would have to refer us to the Emergency Room.  She was a bit concerned that this was going to be an Emergency Room fix.

The doctor came straight in and didn't even have to move the sling to see the break and she confirmed that this was beyond something they could fix.  So, Ashley received her first wheelchair ride of the night back out to the van to be loaded in and taken to the ER.  The nurse had told Ashley while in the exam room how brave she was being.  She said that if she had an award for bravery, she would have given it to Ashley.  They couldn't believe that she wasn't crying, screaming, whimpering or anything.  Back in the car, we apologized to Ashley that we had to drive further so once again we wiggled our toes and tapped the back.

She was so cute walking into the ER.  She had to walk through the parking lot in her socks because we had taken her roller blades off but never bothered to put more shoes on her.  She did have flip flops in the van but we didn't take the time to put them on.  We got her checked in at the front desk and once again we were taken straight back for her to get help.  We went to a first room again where her vitals were taken once again.  As the nurse left, Ashley looks at me and says, "Mom.  I need to pee."  Oh....well...I think that will be okay.  Off her and I go to the bathroom.  We had to make sure first that she wouldn't need to give a urine test or anything.  She was just the cutest little thing as she looks and says, "This is awkward but I think I'm gonna need a little help here."

After her vitals are taken and the nurse takes a look at her arm and Ashley politely asks her to cover it back up, we are off to an ER room.  Ashley is put on a gurney and quickly given the once over.  The staff can tell from the get go that she's going to need to have her arm set.  So, first things first, Ashley needs and IV.  Oh boy.  Now you must remember that Ashley does not like needles.  She is my child that escaped from the doctor's office exam room so she didn't have to get a flu shot.  I ended up chasing her through the doctor's office and bringing her back kicking and screaming.  Dave and I are just giving Ashley the support she needs to get through this.  Dave's rubbing her legs.  I'm watching her and having her wiggle her toes.  She's also scrunching her nose at me to get her thinking of other things and of course....the first one doesn't work.  They can't find a vein.  We have to wait a little bit and then try again.  Thank goodness they got it on the second time.

The next step is for Ashley to be wheeled to the radiology department for xrays.  Dave went with her for this one.  I had asked if we should stay behind or one parent go and the tech asked for only one to go seems the space is limited.  Dave was awesome to jump up and say he would go with her.  I stayed back in the room patiently waiting until she came back.  It was nice that before she left for xrays, they gave her some pain medication.  So by the time they wheeled her back in she was feeling much better and getting a tad bit sleepy.  Plus by now, her adrenaline is probably starting to wear off.

As the doctor's and nurses would come in to check Ashley's arm, they would move the sling to take a look and each time they were finished, Ashley would quickly ask them to cover it back up because she didn't want to look at it.  However, before we got too far in the repair process, Dave and I decided that we should probably take a few photos for prosperity sake.

Now it's time for the doctors to come in and let us know how badly Ashley's arm is broken and what needs to be done to get it put back together.  We got to take a look at the xrays:
and then came the instructions of how they were going to fix Ashley's arm.
In order to straighten her arm, Ashley needed to be put to sleep.  She would be given two types of medication.  The first one would put her to sleep.  The second one would put her in a trance and give her amnesia.  They would then put Ashley's arm in Chinese handcuffs, attach a weight to her arm and set the bones.  They would then put her in a splint.
Dave and I were informed how the medication was going to effect Ashley.  She would be asleep but her eyes would probably be open.  While they were open, her eyes would shake.  She possible could whimper or cry out while they were fixing her arm but because of the amnesia drug, she wouldn't remember anything.  The combo of meds they were going to give her were used together because they wear off quickly so within 15 minutes she would be starting to wake up and wouldn't remember a thing.  We were also told that some people can handle the setting of the arm and some can't.  At this point, I said, "Well, he'll be staying but I'm leaving."
Before you knew it the room was starting to fill with people.  The respiratory therapist arrived and got Ashley hooked up to some oxygen.  Nurses were in the starting to push the medications.  The original doctor, Dr. Stolworthy was in giving final instructions to my guess the doctor that was in training.  At this point I looked at Dave and said, "I'm going down the hall to find the restroom.  You come and get me when it's all over."  And out I went.
I slowly made my way back to the ER room and could hear that the arm had been set and they were starting to wrap it in the splint.  Dr. Stolworthy came out and said that it went back together rather well.  I finally made my way back in the room to see that her arm was still in the Chinese handcuffs and they were wrapping it in the ace bandages.  Ashley was just starting to come awake at this point.  Dave mentioned to me that the cries she made of ouch, ouch, ouch, she wouldn't remember.  It's probably a good thing that I didn't hear these cries because I might have started to cry and that moment as well.
After the arm was all wrapped, radiology came back in to do some portable xrays.  I stepped out of the room and called Hannah to check in and make sure all was going okay at home.  This was probably the second or third time I had checked on Hannah and Ashley.  They were doing great at home and Hannah had really stepped up to the plate and taken great care of Ashley.
When the xrays were done, I stepped back in the doorway to hear Ashley in a really groggy voice say, "Hi mommy!"  This is after I had heard her say, "Hi Daddy!"  Then she looked at the nurse sitting to the side of her bed who also happened to be Dave and waved to him.  He was really cute and said, "Hi Ashley. How are you feeling."
Here are the xrays after the arm has been set:

The next hour was spent watching Ashley come out of the medications and making sure all was right with her.  As she was coming awake, her eyes started leaking some tears.  I told her at this point that it was alright to go ahead and let the emotions come out.  She had held strong for so long.  It was quite precious to see her Dad standing by her bed wiping her tears as they fell from her eyes.
 Waiting to be discharged did seem to take quite a bit of time.  If I remember correctly, as we were getting ready to go, there was another emergency that came in that seemed to be slowing our process down.  While we were waiting and the medications started wearing off more, Ashley became nauseous so they pushed a few more meds in her IV to stop that, which meant we needed to stay a few minutes longer to make sure that took hold.
The time finally arrived that she was cleared to be sent home.  They took out the IV from her arm, which she said felt really weird.  They brought her in a high fashioned sling of her very own to take home and a few doses of Lortab to get us through the night until we could get to a pharmacy the next day to fill her prescription.  And the cool thing....she got ride #2 in a wheelchair!
We left the hospital at 10:30 and were headed home when we realized that none of the three of us had had anything to eat.  We turned around and went to Charlie's Ice Cream for a treat because Ashley said ice cream sounded good.  After ordering, we started to leave the parking lot where Ashley took one bite and then became nauseous again.  So, I hoped into the back seat and sat with her the whole ride home holding the puke bag just in case.  Come to find out, if she got hot, she got sock to her stomach.  If she had cold air on her she was fine and fell to sleep in the car.
All said and done, the incident happened about 6:30 p.m.  We checked into the ER at 7:15 p.m. and arrived home at 11:00 p.m. to find Hannah and Nicole all snug as bugs in a rug.  Hannah was asleep in her bed and she made Nicole a bed on the floor next to her.
Everyone was tucked in to bed and we started the night process with Ashley.  She did rather well though.  She woke up at 12:30 a.m. needing pain meds.  She wanted to sleep on the floor next to our bed so we moved her on in.  She was once again hot and so sleeping in our room actually made it so the ceiling fan could blow on her.  She slept clear until 8 o'clock the next morning.
What a trooper!  Even though it was a painful few days, Ashley did amazing and really didn't complain a whole lot.
Monday morning brought me calling the Orthopedic's office for an appointment to get her cast on.  I took her on Thursday but we weren't given a cast.  Because her arm was set in the ER, the medical assistant wouldn't unwrap her arm.  The doctor came in and after we talked he didn't want to unwrap the arm either until he saw some xrays.  Off she went for more pictures!

The one xray shows that the bone has moved a bit.  The doctor explained that the bones try to move back into the fractured position.  The doctor we are dealing with is the PA of the office.  He had to leave for a bit to go and get a consult from the overseeing doctor to make sure the bone hasn't moved too far and that it's still going to heal straight.  He came back and said that we're still OK for the healing but they aren't going to think about casting it until Monday.  they still want more swelling to go down and they want to make sure the bone isn't going to move any further.
The doctor did explain that when she comes back in, they will once again hook her up to the Chinese handcuffs and they will cast her arm in that position.  I'm currently not sure how I'm feeling about this.  I'm already a bit nervous and a bit nauseous.  I might have to have Dave step in and take her to this appointment.  So for now.....we're on hold.  She's so active though.  She is a hard girl to keep down.  I guess that's why it's good to break bones when you're young because you just keep on going.
Until Monday......when we find out how the bones look from more xrays and we find out what color of cast Ashley will pick. 
As for the swim lessons, they are now on hold until later in the summer.


Sunday, March 2, 2014

January & February 2013

As I'm going through my photos, I can see that not a whole lot happened in January and February 2013.  I guess these are pretty low key months for us her at the Mendon Welkers.

Not sure why but it look as though Ashley and I posed for a cute picture.

Here's cute Hannah just loungin' around .
On February 4, 2013 Hannah got braces!  Here are some before shots taken on February 3.  Can't wait to see what the beauties will look like in 18 months when the braces come off!

Might as well take pictures of every one's teeth, right?