Thursday, May 15, 2008


I spent a lot of today in the peds emergency room. Before you start to hyperventilate, everything is fine (thank you for being so empathetic).

My poor baby got nursemaid's elbow. This is a delightful, antiquated way of saying that he dislocated his elbow. OUCH. OUCH! Amazing Nanny called a minute after it happened, and luckily I was nearly around the corner from the playground where he had been swinging from the monkey bars.

There was no blood, he didn't hit his head, or lose consciousness, or anything "big." But by the time I got to him, minutes after it happened, he was mute with pain and whimpering in A.N.'s arms. We all hopped into a cab and went to the emergency room. Luckily I am familiar with this ER, having been 2x when my poor baby ripped a big hole in his forehead (1) and when the glue they used to patch it up came off and he needed real stitches (2).

To make a long story short, after about 3/4 an episode of Yo Gabba Gabba (ick) we were seen. The peds attending popped it right back in and we spent half an hour hanging out reading If You Give a Pig A Party, etc., waiting for him to regain full mobility. Done. We went out for pizza.

But I have been spooked. This was nothing, really. It is apparently a very common childhood injury and now that it has happened it will likely happen again. But I worry a lot about what is going to happen next time, what it will be that takes us to the ER the next time. I work really hard (even before this) to balance letting him grow up like a normal kid and being a helicopter mommy who won't allow him the space to breathe, let alone develop a sense of physical adventure and confidence. I really worry.

The worry (written about in this great piece where a parent really almost lost a child, an excellent reality check) is something that can eat me up and it is why I check up on him 3x at least after he's fallen asleep, and why I ask incessantly "are you OK" when he falls down. But apparently I was in control and quite calm, so much so that A.N. commented on it a hundred times, as did the Dr., my husband, etc. So at least on the outside, I won that battle. Helicopter fearful Ima has been put back into the closet for at least another few hours, or until my poor baby wakes up in the morning....


Commenter Abbi said...

I think it is natural for every parent to worry. The trick is to not let the worry interfere with natural childhood curiosity in all of its manifestations. We as parents do everything in our power to make sure our kids are in the right environments (childcare, play areas, home) with the right supervision and that's all we can do. There's nothing really that can stop random events beyond our control- sickness, car accidents, etc. You just have to push them out of your mind if you want to get through the day.

Debby said...

It happened twice to my daughter, once with my in-laws and once with me. If it had happened again, the hospital would have had to send the police to investigate child abuse. Luckily she out grew it first! I have been to emergency a few times, it is scary and tiring every time.