Neither Kyle nor I was in the room when it happened, but we think that Eva climbed on either her stepstool or her toybox to get a book off her shelf and fell (was pushed?) down. Funny that she would get so injured on a short fall that has happened a hundred times before. Kyle came downstairs to find her crying and unable to stand up. I was on my way to Moberly to attend graduation for the community college where I work, and had to make my carpool turn around when Kyle called me.
The thing about having a barely-2-year-old with an injury is that they're not very specific about where exactly it hurts. "Leg hurts" was all we could get out of her, and the doctors couldn't find anywhere that was bruised or swollen, so we had to have 8 X-rays done of her pelvis, hips, legs, and ankles in order to find the problem. As I helped the tech get Eva arranged on the X-ray table, all I could think of was Curious George Goes to the Hospital:
In the next room stood a big table, and a doctor was just putting on a heavy apron. Then he gave the man one just like it. George was curious: Would he get one too? No, he did not.
"You get on that table, George," the doctor said. "I am going to take some X-ray pictures of your insides." He pushed a button and there was a funny noise.
It didn't take long after the X-ray for the doctors to find the problem (lower left leg), measure and apply a splint, and give us our discharge papers. Which was good, because from the second they applied the wet, plaster-y splint, Eva started screaming, "Off! Off! OFF!" As Kyle carried her out, I heard nearly everyone we passed do the "Aww... Poor baby!" face and corresponding noise. If you've not seen a tiny child with a cast on, it IS a fairly pathetic sight:
Since last night, I've had a number of thoughts regarding our little situation, and the first is this:
Yesterday, on the way home from a program at Daniel's preschool, Eva took her shoes off in the car. Daniel pointed out that she had a hole in her sock and suggested we throw it away and put new socks on her. I pointed out that she also had pink punch spilled down the front of her dress, and said that we were just going to ride out the rest of the day with the dirty shirt and holey sock and start again tomorrow. If I'd known that we'd be taking her to the Emergency Room later in the day, and that half the staff of Northeast Regional Medical Center would get a good look at that punch dress and holey sock, I'd have just gone ahead and changed her. I'm sure nobody was judging us, but I'd have felt more confident filling out the DFS form recounting EXACTLY how it was my child broke her leg if she looked like we took better care of her. I guess it's kind of like that motherly admonition to always wear clean underwear in case you're in an accident.
Secondly, this event has reinforced for me what horrible eyewitnesses children are. The first time Kyle asked Daniel what happened, he insisted that he and Eva had been innocently standing on the floor in the middle of the room when she just fell over (hard enough to break her leg). As we pressed him more, and the doctors asked him about it, he wavered back and forth between Eva being on her stool and on her toybox when it happened. Sometimes the fall involved both he and Eva on top of each other, and sometimes it was just her that fell. Either way, let's hope that my children are never the only witnesses to some heinous crime.
Thirdly, I am not sure what a visit to the ER, 8 X-rays, a temporary cast, a couple visits to the orthopedic surgeon, a permanent cast, and whatever other accessories come with that costs, but I'm pretty sure it will be at least as much as our insurance deductible. This will end the debate over what we will spend Kyle's summer school earnings on, but will also free the rest of us up to go to the doctor whenever we need to the rest of the year. It's kind of nice to know I might actually be able to consider seeing someone about my migraines or some funny-looking mole instead of putting it off.
Finally, I have concluded that the author of the helpful ER brochure on fractures does not have children, as it suggests things like "not tampering with the splint or dressings" and "keeping the fracture elevated" while "avoiding unnecessary movement." I am wondering how VERY many times Eva will try to get up and walk, then cry "Leg hurts!" until she's picked up and rearranged, only to get back up immediately to try again.
Let's all pray for a speedy recovery, shall we?