10 July 2009


It was bound to happen sometime. It turns out that sometime was yesterday morning.

Maddie, Riley, and I were fully immersed in the morning rush. I was showered and dressed, Maddie was half-dressed and still with crazy bedhead, and Riley was bumbling around in his usual Riley fashion, clad in usual Riley garb of a frilly pink Curious George nightgown. I coaxed Riley over for a diaper change. As I was leaning in to fasten the new diaper's tabs, Riley rolled over to grab a book that was just out of his reach. In doing so, he rolled over an array of Lego-type building toys, hitting one at just the wrong angle with his elbow.


He became hysterical. "MY ARM!" he wailed. "MY ELBOW!" he sobbed. I hugged and consoled. I kissed. He and I agreed that elbows require lots of kisses, so I kissed some more. He did not calm down at all. As many of you know, Riley is somewhat prone to dramatics, and it's always hard for me to tell when he's playing things up or when they are legitimate. When he was still quite worked up ten minutes in, I started to get annoyed. Yeah, sure, it's not at all funny to mangle the funny bone, but how much damage can a Lego do? (Please note the famous last words.)

Another ten minutes later, Riley was still seriously worked up and I was starting to get annoyed that he couldn't just move on, angry at myself for not being able to console him, frustrated that our morning plans were totally derailed, and worried that something might actually really be wrong. After throwing a bit of a fit myself, I finally offered Riley two choices: let me change him into his shorts and T-shirt, or go to Urgent Care to find out what was wrong with his arm.

My doctor-fearing drama queen chose Urgent Care. You could have knocked me over with a feather.

By this time, the nanny had arrived, so Maddie stayed home to play with Iryna while I lugged nightgown-clad Riley to Urgent Care. As luck would have it, we live only about a mile from one of our health-care provider's main facilities, the office from which I'd planned to choose Maddie and Riley's pediatrician. The triage nurse at Urgent Care booked us an appoitnment with one of the pedis who had an opening, and we walked right into that. It was all very efficient, the model of how HMO medicine should work. Lucky us.

Diagnosis? Dislocated radius. The doc adjusted it, gave Riley some ibuprofen, and sent us on our way with his pager number noted on a card should Riley still be favoring the arm later in the day (more foreshadowing).

When I got home, Iryna told me that Riley had been OK but leery of using the arm or having it touched. So I called the doc. Back to the office we went, this time for x-rays. Once again, it was all very efficient; we got the x-rays right away, no wait (the kids thought the x-ray experience was really cool), and we hand-carried them up to the doc for him to examine. Diagnosis this time? Nada. X-rays were clear. But, just to be safe, the doc called down to the cast room and had us stop by there for a splint and sling, which Riley will wear until Sunday.

All in all, it was about the best Urgent Care experience one could imagine. And it was great to have a trial run on a pediatrician; choosing a primary care doc from a long list of candidates with no real information is always dautning, and we had such a good experience with this doctor that I designated him as the twins' primary physician on the spot. Not only was he kind and gentle and thorough with Riley, but (a) he as twins of his own and (b) his wife died when his older kids were fairly young, under 10. So he's been there, done that on this widowed-single-parent thing. Of all the pediatricians in the Portland area, it's a nice coincidence that he's the one was saw yestearday.

Riley: Walking Wounded Edition


liz said...

You did a good job. It's hard to know when to be "that mommy" that asks the kid to shake it off and when to be "that mommy" that runs their kid straight to the ER. I think you walked that line exactly right.

And also, Hooray! on finding a ped you like!

Kate said...

That sounds like an awful day but I am so happy that the doctor you picked is such a good match.

Hope this weekend is restful one!

SmileyGirl said...

What a cutie in his pink nightgown! And what a sweetheart too. Sorry you had to go through this but at the same time happy it ended up being such a great experience and a great find in the pediatrician world. Sounds like the perfect fit. congrat!

Jen said...

I love his pretty nightgown, and your perfect pediatrician match.

Two of my kids have dislocated their shoulders and/or elbows but they were doing more dramatic things that rolling over on a Lego! Wow! I would have been ordering him to suck it up, only to beat myself up with guilt later. You did a good job.

kim said...

Wow, we just went through the same thing over here... just change "rolled on a Lego" to "tripped while running" and arm x-rays for leg ones. *sigh* Em is turning into such a drama queen but when she wouldn't bear any weight on her leg hours after falling, I called the peds just to be safe. One ped visit and one outpatient radiology visit later, we were issued a clean bill of health. Em finally stopped limping about 36 hours later. If this is 3.5, what's 13 going to be like?

Pollyanna said...

Is the ped still single? Is he hot? ;-)

Pop and Ice said...

How sweet Riley looks! And who ever heard of this radial issue? I'd be skeptical as well, except now that my daughter has been diagnosed with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, I understand how her joints can just fall out and dislocate at practically nothing.

I'm glad you decided to go the conservative route and have Riley checked out at the Emergency clinic. Better taking care of it early in the morning then being called home in the middle of the day.

Mama Mama Quite Contrary said...

I'm having a strong sense of deja vu. :-) Glad your urgent care experience was positive and it sounds like the doctor you got was the result of a little bit of karma at work. Hope Riley has a speedy recovery. Oh, and I love the nightgown.

What A Card said...

Aw, poor lil' Riley! But my gosh, he is CUTE!

And I agree, it's so hard to decide when they are being dramatic and when they are legitimately in pain. I try a cookie test...if they cheer up for a cookie, they aren't that hurt ;) One day they're going to catch on a spend a day faking injuries and gorging on cookies!

Mel said...

Poor poppet. My new philosophy after almost losing both my parents this year (Mom-cancer, Dad-heart attack & stroke) is to err on the side of paranoia and just go and check it out.
Glad u have a good pead. (I am in love with mine even tho he is old and fairly unattractive)

Melissia said...

I want to second that you also did a good job. It is very hard to decide when to take a child in for something, especially one who tends to be a little dramatic.
My 20 year old son went in for the flu the other day and walked out with an order for a MRA of the head with contrast because of some headaches. He has a preexisting condition, but still, it was the over worry that got the expensive test ordered.
You hit it just right.

Nancy said...

You know...it's really good to know that Burke isn't the only little boy out there going to bed in frilly frock :)

How awesome is it that you found a pedi who seems like he'd be really in tune with stuff that you're going through!! Kismet.

Watercolor said...

The pic is precious. Glad you found a great doc so quick!!

Maggie said...

Glad all's well that end's well AND you found a good doc who totally gets your situation.

ann ominous said...


I have to say that I'm so very happy that it appears that Oregon is going well. Even w/bumps and bruises, you sound so happy. :-)


kristin said...

Coincidence? I don't think so! :)

So glad first urgent-care experience wasn't worse!

Julia said...

Poor R-man. Here's hoping there's nothing funny about that bone when the sling comes off Sunday.

Good deal on the pediatrician, though. I hate having to look for/choose new doctors. It's not great that it was R's arm that helped with the choice, but the choice seems to be really really great.

Also-- I love that pic. The whole thing, really, but for some reason I am finding the bare feet particularly adorable under the circumstances.

Anonymous said...

What a tough experience, but how great that it led you to such a perfect doc for the kids! That's a biggie, and one of many moving details that take time to sort out.


Crash Course Widow said...

Huh. Maybe Kaiser's not so bad then...the pedi got any openings? ;o) J/k (on my end, since I don't have Kaiser).

So glad the experience wasn't too terribly dire and that you all survived it okay...and so glad for you that the universe plopped you squarely in the lap on a doctor who, as you said, has walked the walk and talked the talk. That's why I adore my OB so much: she was widowed at 30...a fact I didn't learn until a week after Charley died, when I called to ask her something. So no matter how much I cried at GYN appts or talked her ear off, she GOT it, 100%. Makes me sad I don't need my twat checked more often. ;o)

Still waiting to find a primary doc for me who gets it so easily. Anna's pedi is okay--I like him fine and he's been her doc from Day 1 of her life (aka, also before widowhood) but I seriously dislike the waits and disorganization of the office--but I'm too lazy too change at this point; he's only 5 minutes away.

Love the pic of Riley too, btw. Excellent blackmail for when he's older. ;o) And just darn cute to boot, for the here and now.

Hope you're all surviving the post-move okay! Hugs!

barbara said...

My son had the same injury when he was Riley's age. His occurred when his hand slipped on a cardboard puzzle piece, just as he was pushing himself off the floor where he was sitting. It seemed such a minor mishap, but he wouldn't stop crying either. He wasn't the dramatic type (sunny natured, easygoing, second child)so although I was baffled as to what was going on, I knew something really was wrong. The ER doc it was a dislocation at the elbow and ordered an x-ray. When the x-ray tech rotated his arm and extended the elbow to position it for the x-ray, she said she felt the bone click back into place beneath her fingers. Luckily, the bone remained in place, so nothing else was required.

The new pediatrician sound perfect for you and your children. Something good to come out of a bad happening, I guess.

Sadia said...

I'm sorry about the injury, but glad you found the right pediatrician. A good doctor makes SUCH a difference in this first few years!

Anonymous said...

What does Maddie think of Riley's new accessorie??
Hope he's doing better.
Is that the new Mazda in the background??

CV said...

I've been braced for N's annual trip to the Emergency Room all week. But then, last night, Baby K from next door split her head open while playing over at our house. (She's fine, 8 staples later. And, thankfully, Ben was right there with us when it happened - which assuaged my guilt somewhat.)

Do I dare believe N has been spared now that two of her friends had recent emergencies, or is her shoe about to drop? oy.

We missed you at our birthday party in the park. Kath and L and N came - L asked Kath, "How will M&R get to N's party all the way from Oregon?" Boo.

Much love for a speedy recovery from our coast to yours.

sheilah said...

Good call. Stupid me let my son sit with a broken wrist for TWO DAYS before going to the doctor (hey! no swelling...not much complaint of pain...only fell about a foot or two...who knew??). Yeah. Serious mom-guilt.

BTW...seriously cute pic of Riley...

susan said...

Good for you and good for Riley, knowing he needed medical help even if he's usually scared, and good for the medical system in your new town. That has got to be one of the most adorable recovering-patient pix ever, too.

buddha_girl said...

Poor Ri Man.

Good Mommy!

I hate looking for new doctors - especially if it involves Buddha.

I'm so glad that the experience wasn't as scary and hellish as it could have been.

winecat said...

Attacked by Legos, who knew they could be so vicious.
Congrats on finding a doc for the kids who knows what you're going through another good reason you moved to Portland.
Hope Riley is on the mend.

ps he looks adorable in his nightgown,

Christine said...

Stupid Legos!

My son thumped his head on the corner of his dresser. He falls 10 times a day, but head stuff freaks me out. He was acting wobbly and funny afterward, and while he could hace just been tired, I wasn't messing around. They did a CT scan (sooooo fun with an 18-month-old) and he turned out to be fine, but I'm not sorry I brought him in.

Cute pic! Oregon sounds great.

Becky said...

Aw, poor Riley! That photo is adorable, though.

Also, what polyanna said...

Gabriel said...

Tough day, but sounds like you dealt with it heroically, can't wait till mine is old enough to injure himself :Oo