My daughter Joan broke her arm a few weeks ago and it has been a bit of a rollercoaster ride since.
She fell and landed on her dominant hand, a lefty, and for the first 24 hours it seems just a little swollen.
We sent her into school the following day but by that evening it definitely didn’t look right.
So we whisked her off the Swift Care clinic where they quickly confirmed that it was indeed broken and she had something a lot of kids get called a buckle fracture.
At first, Joan was really scared that it was broken and didn’t fully know what that meant.
But once she got a bright red cast on she was pretty okay and proud of it. We were given a letter to attend an acute injury clinic a week later.
At the time I didn’t think much of it but after comparing notes with parents whose kids had broken arms before it seemed straight forward that the cast went on and a few weeks later it came off with no immediate follow-up appointment.
She hadn’t been in pain and she definitely didn’t complain and neither my husband or I had broken any bones when we were kids so we really didn’t know what we were looking at.
I had horrific guilt that we didn’t bring her the day it happened but was reassured by the doctor there that they wouldn’t be able to fully examine the damage in the first 24 hours usually.
A week passed and she seemed content. We went on to another appointment and the cast was removed.
Immediately the paediatric doctor said it didn’t look like it was healing and would likely need an operation under general anaesthetic. I could see poor Joan trying to be brave but shaking a little at the thought of all this.
Another X-ray confirmed that it wasn’t healing on its own and within an hour we had a date for the operation at Crumlin Hospital. I couldn’t get over how quickly and efficiently things moved.
I have horrible health anxiety. On top of that, no parent likes to see their child in need of medical care. It was the thought of her going under the general anaesthetic that upset me most.
So a day later we turned up at Crumlin Hospital and from the first person we met until the moment we left, everyone was truly remarkable.
Joan’s surgeon was so kind, gentle and extremely reassuring. The play therapist in the waiting room was so engaging and helped Joan and the other kids get their minds occupied and hopefully more relaxed.
Joan herself was incredible. She was so calm and so in control, I couldn’t believe it. My husband took her into theatre and he said she was chatting away until they told her to count back from 10.
The operation took just under an hour, which felt like 100. We were told to go to the cafe and try to relax and mind ourselves. I lasted about 10 minutes there and had to return to the waiting room near the theatre and near Joan.
When we were called to get her I shot out of my seat and left everything behind, my much more level headed husband grabbed it all and followed me.
Two minutes later they wheeled her around to us and she was already awake. She was so nonchalant it was unbelievable.
She gave us a little smile and I tried so hard to hold back the tears.
The nurses made sure Joan ate some toast and help down some liquids, they had tips on how to cope with the above the elbow cast and were just so incredibly kind.
Kids really all are tough little cookies.