Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The Elbow

They were playing "Saved" which means they were laying on the stairs, hanging on to one another's limbs and the big brother was supposed to "save" them from some impending doom.  Somewhere in the being saved, Pod Three was injured.

She is a bit of an over-reactor (understatement) and was bellowing pretty good.  I have some children whom I ignore when they claim terminal injuries and others who, if they cry from pain, I call the ambulance because they just cut off a leg.  This one I tend to ignore or pacify.  She was wailing away and trying to tell me that her arm and her body were nearly torn asunder.  I was having her flex her hand, wiggle her fingers, move her wrist up and down and the other home-health diagnostics.  Everything was fine.  I sent her off to art class with a mouthed, "She's fine," to her teacher.

An hour later, when I picked her up from her class, she was still holding her wrist only she was now guarding her arm.  Again, I asked her where it hurt, could she move this way or that and I discovered that the problem was not her wrist, as I gleaned from her early blubbering, but her elbow that was hurt.

Nurse-maid's elbow.  I was sure.

When I was a newlywed, I worked in an emergency room.  I'm not trying to claim much medical knowledge, but we did see several kids with nurse-maid's elbow.  I watched the joint re-jointed several times.  Now that I have many children, I have reduced this problems many times.  I did the simple, but painful, procedure and thought I felt the pop when it all went back into place.

Still, she wailed.  She guarded.  She wouldn't let me touch her arm.  I finally decided to take her to the doctor.

I know the doctor would have been many people's first reaction, but I rarely take in my pods.  Usually, if they are sick, they need their bed and their mom more than they need to spread sickness all over a doctor and his staff.  And, as rough as my kids are, we've only had one set of stitches and one major burn.  So far.  Cavities?  Yes, we get those.  Broken parts and major illness?  Not yet.  (Yes, I'm knocking on wood.)

She sobs and holds her arm tenderly the whole drive to the office.  She sits in the lobby, cradling her arm while I fill out the papers and sign the releases.  When I finish, she tells me she needs to use the restroom.  While she is in there, she uses both arms to pull down her britches.  She uses both hands to get some impossible-to-get doctor's office toilet paper (why do they make that so hard to use?).  She pulls up her pants and washes her hands vigorously.  I just stare, silently, dumbfounded.

She is fine.

While she is drying her arms, she suddenly starts pumping them up and down and, looking from one arm to the other, exclaims, "Hey!  It's better!"

Who knew it was the office and not the doctor that heals?


  1. Ack! I am so sorry - glad she is okay though. My kids always magically heal in the waiting room. The longer we have to wait, the more likely they are to recover.

  2. First off, what a beautiful picture of pod 3.
    I know just what you mean. One of my children would have to be bleeding profusely, have exposed bone, and or be unconscious before I take said child to the Dr.
    At least pod 3 told you she was better BEFORE the Dr. bills!

  3. Found this via one of the "you might also like.." below a recent post. Had to laugh and comment, even though this is 4 years later. About 25 years ago, my mom took my sister to the doctor after she got nursemaid's elbow (by suddenly going limp in protest while my mom was holding on to her hand to drag her somewhere- classic). We get to the doctor, she gets an x-ray, and while waiting for someone to read it, she gets mad at one of us and throws her shoe with the bad arm, which immediately reduced her elbow. Too bad it wasn't before the x-ray; my mom was not pleased.