Joshua fractured his elbow last night in wrestling practice. He is disappointed because this will end his wrestling season just a day before the state championships. He’s also sad about missing the start of the track season, he wonders how he’ll be able to play the piano, and he wants to do one-handed push ups so that he can still do 75 push ups every night. He’s in a temporary cast and will see an orthopedic specialist on Monday. Overall he seems okay and I think he thinks a broken arm is a little bit cool actually. I’m thankful for guidance from Heavenly Father and for good doctors.
I’ve decided to record a few extra details so that we can have a record of Joshua’s first (and hopefully last) broken bone.
It happened at the last practice before state, during the last 15 minutes or so of practice. Joshua was wrestling and got thrown. He put his arm out instinctively and landed on his palm with his arm out straight. This hyperextended his elbow and broke it, and it’s apparently a very common way for a kid to break an elbow. Several dads later commented that they thought he’d broken his something just because of the way he was crying after it happened. Poor guy.
We debated taking him to the doctor that evening, but we honestly weren’t sure anything was wrong. Rick was pretty sure it was just sore. Even though I was really worried about him because of his pain level and some Mommy intuition, I was doubting myself because Rick felt like it was okay. After some discussion, we decided to try Ibuprofen and ice and see how he was feeling the next day.
My Mommy Radar was still alarming like crazy. I didn’t necessarily think it was broken, but I knew there was no way I was letting him wrestle again until we knew for sure. I told Rick that Josh could only wrestle if a doctor okayed it first. Rick was still pretty sure that nothing was wrong, but agreed that he should be seen before the state tournament. Joshua was dead-set on wrestling at the tournament, but wanted to go to the doctor first “just in case.”
Late Friday afternoon (the earliest Rick could leave work) I took Josh to his pediatrician. The doctor was positive he’d broken it, I think mostly based on swelling and the limited range of motion. He put Joshua is a cool temporary cast and a sling and sent us for x-rays at the hospital. Before the appointment I was pretty sure that it wasn’t broken and that I was just being extra cautious. After seeing the doctor’s reaction, I started to wonder if it really was broken. I gave Rick an update and he said that just a few hours earlier he’d had a sudden feeling that it was broken. It reminded him of when he knew he’d torn his ACL in high school.
Joshua and I had time to talk on the way to the hospital and on the way home again. We talked about how sad it would be to miss state and how it was okay to feel sad and disappointed if that happened. We also talked about all the great blessings that we’d already been given (like a good wrestling season and good doctors). We talked how the timing was a blessing too; Joshua quickly decided that a broken bone at the end of the season (with all summer to recover) was much better than a broken bone at the beginning of the season.
We got the call about 8pm that night- he’d broken his elbow. There were so much fluid in the joint that it was hard to get really clear x-rays though. We were given the name of an orthopedic surgeon and told to make an appointment on Monday. In the meantime, we were told to continue with ice and ibuprofen, limit his activities, leave the temporary cast in place (no removing it, even for baths) and to go to the ER if his pain worsened.
When I called today (Monday), the ortho wanted to wait until Wednesday to see him, to give the fluid and swelling a chance to go down a little more.
Josh seems to be doing well. His pain spikes up to 6-8 on the pain scale if he misses a dose of medicine, but stays around 4-5 when he has pain meds on board. He is in good spirits and is figuring out ways to write and play the piano without the use of his right hand. He certainly does not miss helping with dishes! I do need to figure out a way to have him take a shower though.
This is Joshua’s first major sports-related injury and only the second broken bone we’ve had out of all the kids. I think that’s a great record, considering how active the kids are in very competitive, injury-prone sports and how crazy and adventurous and fearless the little boys are. The first broken bone was Braden’s collarbone when he was two years old.
Brenna says that when Joshua gets his real cast, she wants to be the first one to sign it.