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Part 2 of the arm saga – Recovery and Karma

June 26, 2014

blog007So we got sent home from the hospital on March 6, surgery day! Sarah was in a lot of pain. We struggled to keep ahead of it, so there was lots of tears and sadness the first few days. They gave her Tylenol with Codeine for pain. The problem is whenever she took it, she became a hot, sweaty, cranky and uncomfortable mess with arm pain. It just made her miserable, so we opted to stick with plain old Motrin for pain and she was much happier.

She got to spend a week on the couch, literally. She would get up to go to the bathroom, but that was about it. She ate, slept, played, read, everything on the couch. She became fairly adept at using her left hand to eat, drink, pop the bubble thing on the game Trouble, and do her homework.

She was eight days post-op when we went to Dr. Sadeghi’s office for the first real cast and X-rays since surgery. Fortunately they took the X-rays with the soft cast still on, so the drama was minimized. They took X-rays. Doctor said everything looked good and was where it was supposed to be. Then we got introduced to the cast room. They cut off the soft cast, giving us the first sort of glimpse at the broken arm. It was still extremely swollen. The pins stuck out of her skin, but were covered with gauze so it wasn’t too gory. Sarah was in a lot of pain as they re-casted with a hard cast. One of the techs held her arm straight up, while the other wrapped. I was in her face trying to keep her calm while The Husband took it all in. It was the Friday before St. Patrick’s Day (which would be her first day back at school) so she opted for a green cast.

blog008We were told to make a follow-up appointment for two weeks later to check X-rays and change casts. So on March 28, we returned to Dr. Sadeghi’s office. This time the cast came off for X-rays. I will say that I was more than happy to get that green cast off of her arm. That thing was disgustingly ripe. It was filthy dirty and smelled like something crawled up in there and died. Sarah was a bit freaked out by how her skin looked. This was the first time it had seen daylight in three weeks.

Those of you who’ve had a cast removed know that it can be a bit intimidating when they come at you with a saw, so Sarah was already on edge. Then add in the fact that her arm had not moved for three weeks and she had FOUR pins sticking out of her skin – she was not happy. I got volunteered to go in the X-ray room with her while The Husband got to stay outside. The screaming that occurred while they tried to get clear pictures was almost as bad as the day she broke it originally. I know it hurt and I also know there was a lot of fear, so I did my best to calm her down and not cry myself. It was tough.blog009

Dr. Sadeghi, upon looking at the X-rays asked Sarah if she wanted the wrist pin to be removed. She enthusiastically said “YES!” through her tears. So the cast room tech grabbed a pair of what looked like pliers (I don’t know the technical term) and asked her if she was ready. Dude should have asked me if I was ready. I could NOT watch that grossness. Sarah and The Husband watched that thing get pulled out of her wrist. I saw it for a split second and was ready to barf. It was gross. He just twisted and pulled until that thing finally came out all the way. Sarah felt much better once it was out. I was dizzy and sweating! Once it was out, they re-casted her in a pink cast with red stripes. Since the wrist pin was out, the cast was much shorter and most of her fingers were free! She was thrilled that she could hold a pencil if she really wanted to.

We were getting closer and closer to cruise time. And Dr. Sadeghi knew it. The Husband kept reminding him. So we made the next appointment for April 7, about 10 days after the wrist pin came out. And FOUR days before we were leaving for the Disney cruise. It was also Sarah’s 7th birthday. I tried to prepare both Sarah and The Husband of the possibility of getting a whole new cast or maybe a removable cast or maybe no cast at all. Dr. Sadeghi wouldn’t commit to what would happen. We had to wait and see.

So the big day arrived. We went to the cast room first, got the pink cast removed and then headed to X-ray. Moment of truth. There was some fear and trepidation, but no tears this time. She struggled to get her elbow in the correct positon so it took several attempts, but finally they got the X-rays they needed.

Then we waited to see the verdict. Would the three elbow pins come out? Was there enough new bone growth to go cast-less? Would he opt for a removable cast? Dr. Sadeghi came over, greeted each of us and asked Sarah if she was ready for the pins to come out. She again said “YES!”

blog0019Now when the wrist pin came out she was sitting up in a regular chair, watching it all. This time they had her sitting on a bed. They asked her to lie back, which she was not too happy about. But she finally obliged. Dr. Sadeghi was taking these pins out. He gloved up, grabbed his plier thingies and went to work. I was again at Sarah’s face, while The Husband watched. The first pin came out easily, she didn’t even notice. Then came the next two. They were a bit trickier. I am glad that I couldn’t see what was actually happening. I could see the grip that the doctor had on her upper arm as he twisted, turned and yanked those things out. It was pretty intense the amount of force used to get them out. Sarah flinched a little but not too bad. Again, I think it bothered me the most! Sarah asked if she could keep the pins, but he wouldn’t let her. He said they were too sharp and he didn’t want her to hurt herself. So she was disappointed, but she got over it when he told her she was free to go! No more cast. No removable cast! No nothing, just a naked arm (well besides the gauze that was catching the residual blood from having three long pins pulled out of your bone!)

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Sarah and The Husband showing off their muscles. 🙂

It was indeed a happy birthday! She got the cast off. He did stipulate that on the cruise there was to be no swimming with the dolphins and no waterslide. He said that she could “swim” in the pool or ocean but explained that by swim he really meant wade in the water. The arm was still weak and she needed to be careful.

The cruise post will come later, let’s just finish this saga first!

So we went on the cruise, had a fabulous time, yada, yada, yada. Of course Sarah went on the waterslide. She also swam with the dolphin. She also went snorkeling and fed a stingray. This may or may not be the reason she got sick and threw up for the last several days of the cruise. But at least she had fun before karma bit us in the butt!

Dr. Sadeghi wanted to see us three weeks after the cast came off to X-ray and make sure all was good. We prepped Sarah before the appointment that we were not going to lie to the good doctor, but we were not going to offer any information on her cruise activities to him.

We had her appointment and everything was good. We were good to go. Sarah made him a Mickey Mouse doctor out of Perler beads. I made a little card with a couple pictures of her and we gave it to him as a thank you. One of the pictures I used was of Sarah holding a baby sea turtle, something she could not have done had she still had a cast on. We were so close. We were good. The appointment was done. We were given the all clear. We were almost out the door when it happened.  We were literally walking out the exam room door when this happened:

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Sarah with her surgeon, Dr. Cameron Sadeghi, this was before Sarah ratted us out (so he still liked us at this point!)

DR. SADEGHI: “You didn’t get to swim with a dolphin but you got to hold a turtle. That’s cool!”

SARAH: “NO! I swam with the dolphins! And I went on the AquaDuck! Lots of times!”

{ insert – Uncomfortable silence and giggles from The Husband and I.}

DR. SADEGHI: “I did not need to hear that.”

{ insert death stare from me to Sarah }

SARAH: “WHAT? It’s true I did do all of that.”

OY VEY! We were so close.

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