Friday, July 11, 2014

Anna's broken arm. First (child) emergency visit to hospital in France.

You may have wondered why I haven't made any entries for ages, well, life seems to be speeding up these days and the most recent excitement in our family was Anna's broken arm.

Each year Jakub's workplace hosts a very fun event for the family and we have not missed it once yet.  The event includes a very nice selection of (French) food, a chance to win prizes and activities for kids such as:  inflatable bouncy castles, acro bungee, foam pool, merry go round, etc. etc. Upon arrival, parents always just let their kids go and enjoy themselves.  We check up on them once in a while but generally there is no requirement for 100% supervision as the kids independently play and we've never had a problem with it.  UNTIL THIS YEAR.

The weekend itself was rather hectic as Anna had three dance performances (one each night).  The first night we went to see her perform but then we still had to drive her for the remaining two events.  On Sunday it was also the ESRF fun day, and on top of that, it was Tommy's final Capoeira exam (batizado). The day seemed to be unfolding quite well and in the afternoon, Tommy and Jakub left for Capoeira.  There was roughly one hour left before I had to take Anna to her final dance performance and just when I got up to check up on her in the bouncy castle, I saw a glimpse of her heading for the exit with a frown on her face.  As she walked out to my full view, something was obviously wrong; I saw her arm bent in the wrong direction and hanging limp as if it was made of rubber.  And that was when I realized her arm was broken.

It turns out that the larger bouncy castle that had a slide in it, also had a staircase structure inside, however, this was not made of soft inflatable material and it was just solid/rigid.  So it's probably not a surprise that once in a while someone will bounce off in a wrong way and fall on this....and now I don't like bouncy castles any longer.  I also found this article online:

Sharp Rise In Kids Injuries in Bouncy Castles

When I saw Anna though, I didn't have time to ponder about bouncy castles.  I took my little girl in my arms and asked people for a blanket to lay her down.  Then we called the fire fighters (apparently people here do that rather than calling ambulances which are private).... but there was confusion and a few minutes later we realized nobody actually called.  When they finally arrived, they filled out some information and then we headed off to the very famous Grenoble hospital where Schumacher spent some of his days...but the children's section.  The ride was unbelievably bumpy (like zero shock absorbers!?) and I wondered if they also use this to transport people with spine injuries, yikes!  We had the siren going a few times and my baby girl was so courageous.  She did not really cry once and said she did not experience any pain. 

After the x-ray we were informed that both ulna and radius were broken and Anna would be put under complete anesthesia in order to re-straighten the bones and get the cast on.  But we had to wait 6 hours in order for her to have an empty stomach for the OR.  Meanwhile, I drove home to pack up some things for the overnight stay in hospital.  Jakub and Tommy made their way over as well.  When Jakub finally had to leave for home, Anna got teary eyed and emotional (I admit I was also not doing so well).  I guess she wanted both mom and dad close by, but Tommy had to go to school the next day.  We were given a room and I had to wash Anna from head to toe with a disinfectant and then we waited yet again.  Anna spent the time sleeping, and listening to me read.  I also tried to really cheer her up even though we were told she'd have to have the cast for the whole summer vacation.  After reading about 50 episodes of a children's Czech comic book (čtyřlístek), we headed upstairs for the "repair" at midnight.

Everything went smoothly and all the staff and doctors were super nice.  After a bit of monitoring and warming up Anna with a fan, we were finally taken back to our room again.  But Anna was now alert and watched cartoons till 2 A.M.  I was so dead....  The next day we had another check-up X-ray if everything was in place.  And ideed it was OK.

Bones back in place and cast on.

We finally made it home in the afternoon, but that was not quite the end yet.  Anna's arm became very swollen and the cast was too small and too tight so she was experiencing excruciating pain for two nights and painkillers did not help.  We were basically both up for these two nights and I was slowly becoming a zombie.  I then decided this was probably not normal and we had to go back to the hospital.  There, a senior doctor who seemed he really knew what he was doing, cut the cast on the side and made more room for the thumb.  While he was going around Anna's thumb with the circular saw, she was super scared he would cut her finger off, so we had to keep calming her down.  (I'd be scared too! :)

Awww, my tough little girl.

After all that Anna's hand finally returned to normal size and she became very active again.  Almost too active at times.  We had her birthay party planned as well and when she started running around, I was wondering if she'll trip and also break the other arm.

Anna's birthday party.

We then had to go for another check-up but this one was really crazy.  It reminded me again of my favourite Asterix/Obelix clip "the place that sends you mad".

The place that sends you mad.

We already had a pre-set appointment to have the x-ray done and another appointment to see the specialist but we quickly realized that this was just some type of random thing and was irrelevant.  So this was actually the procedure:

we had to go get some type of ticket and wait in line for 20 minutes with other random people, then get registered into the hospital and receive bar code stickers, then go to the x-ray reception who said we were missing the doctor's recommendation, to be sent to the consultation reception, to be sent to the third pink door on the right, to ask the doctor to give us the recommendation, to be sent back to the x-ray reception, to wait for the x-ray, to get the x-ray done, to wait for the x-ray image, to be sent back to the consultation reception, to be told to wait for the doctor and then finally talk to him.  At 1PM rather than 11:15 as was previously scheduled!!!

Now we have to wait till roughly July 25th to get another x-ray done and possibly get a new cast or a splint but this will be done in Czech Republic as Anna is there for the summer vacation.

I also want to mention to anyone out there with little kids that break things that I bought Anna an impermeable glove for swimming that she can wear over the cast and it has saved us because we had a vacation already booked with swimming pools and by the ocean... and even though it's a bit pricey I do recommend it...!! 

Flipper. :)

Here is the link:


Obviously we did not make it for the last dance show, but I still managed to dress up Anna in her outfit to take some photos (even though she had the cast on).

On a final note, let's hope Anna recovers well and fast and that her bones get stronger.  This is actually the second time she has her broken arm.  Until now, I was under the impression it was the right one last time, but I was wrong, it's the left one again.  Last time it happened, she was 3 yrs old, diving off the stairs head and arms first and she managed to miss the pile of pillows, hitting the ground instead....  She's a wild one ;)

June 2010.


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