Monday, September 26, 2011

How long until I really LEARN this one?

My biggest piece of advice I always give expectant and new moms is "trust your instincts", yet here I am almost 6 years into motherhood still unable to fully trust my own.

Yesterday I made a mistake (more than one to be sure, but one major one)- I let Chloe sit on a chair at the kitchen table. She is stubborn and wanted to color with Ava and Phin. They were seated on chairs and so she would have none of the high chair. She wanted to be like them. Instead of dealing with the tantrum, I gave in. Who knows why I do stupid things like that sometimes. Tiredness is an easy excuse, but it isn't a good one. A) I know better than to give in to temper tantrums. B) I know better than to let a one year old sit on a dining room chair.

As you would expect (since I'm blogging about it, anyway), Chloe fell off the chair. She landed on her arm/shoulder and side. I wasn't initially concerned. She's my third kid, we've had falls from higher heights or stairs, she falls frequently when trying to climb on things like her siblings and has never gotten hurt. I picked her up and she calmed down but after a lengthy cry. She seemed fine and then I grabbed her under her arm to switch her to my other hip- she screamed and her arm felt too light. I immediately sat down and began inspecting the arm. I could move it in all directions and it no longer felt light. I thought I had imagined it or something.

For the next few hours, we began to realize something was wrong. She's got a cold and is it a bit whiney. She'd be whining and one of us would go to pick her up and instead of calming as she'd normally do, she'd start screaming again. It became clear something was bothering her though we weren't sure what. Her ribs seemed fine. Arm seemed fine. The most pain was the picking up thing and I found her sensitive when I pushed on her collar bone. I began to suspect a broken clavicle or something else with the shoulder. After a call to the peds, we were on our way to the ER.

Thankfully, the ER was empty. We were seen immediately and I don't know exactly how to describe the doctor. He was sure she was fine. Raised her arm up and down (which I already told him she could do) and had me set her down to make her walk. I kept trying to talk and he was "nicely" kind of condescending. He told me how resilient kids are and how he knew I must be very frightened by a fall but kids really are much heftier than we think, etc. He didn't want to do an xray. I tried to push- he thought I was being paranoid. He send me home with a computer print out on fall precautions. A computer print out meant for older people who fall- use a walker if needed, don't get up quickly, if you are feeling dizzy sit until the dizziness clears, etc.

I left not knowing what to think. My gut was something wrong, but I immediately began questioning myself. We put Chloe to bed. I figured I'd see how she was this morning. I didn't have to wait until morning. She woke within an hour screaming. Both Marc and I felt completely overwhelmed and though it was a bit late, we called our friend Jeff who is a doctor. Because he love us, he came over to check her out. He validated my mother's instinct and said, "you need an xray even if they can't do much to help her, let's find out what's going on."

Because he works for a different health system than our insurance prefers. I went to my ped this morning. Though I felt completely insecure after talking to the nurse to get an appointment, I knew I needed to see a ped Chloe knew and who knew me, so I insisted on being fit into our regular ped's schedule. I felt like a total jerk insisting. I really did and I kept questioning myself. Am I wasting his time? Am I wasting money going again? Is she just grumpy from her cold? Then something would occur, like I went to take a drowsy Chloe from her car seat and where she'd normally just snuggle into me, she would commence the screaming and again I'd know in my gut something wasn't right.

Dr. Howard was not only kind, he was completely reassuring. He gave me a mama pep talk by saying things like, "Kim you know what your doing. Your instincts are good. I think you are right on this one." After assessment, he agreed something was definitely bothering her to a great extreme. We did an xray and it showed a separated shoulder. It is in place and probably got in place when I started moving it after feeling the "lightness" but there is a wider space in the joint then there should be and this, per the doctor, is VERY painful. It's good just to be validated and to know what's wrong. We are to give her motrin round the clock and call if it doesn't seem to help enough. Otherwise, it will be fine and the pain should subside within a few days.

In the end, yes I feel terrible for letting my kid sit on a chair but more than anything I wonder why I questioned myself. Why did I let some cocky doctor make me so unsure of myself? Why do I tell others to trust their gut and find myself questioning my own. You'd think I'd learn....I guess we're always a work in progress and some lessons take longer to sink in than others!


  1. sorry this had to happen, but I will try to remember to remind you of this next time you may question yourself! You know more about "mom" things than most and that is why I call you so much asking questions! I'm glad that Chloe was able to get the medicine she needed and that you found out that indeed you were right!

  2. oh, and that last comment was by me, in case you didn't figure it out :) Karla

  3. Poor Chloe. I had a sep shoulder. It HURTS bigtime. I could not lift my shoulder up at all for at least 10 days. And I was an adult. If you look at my clavical you can see a slight bump from where the shoulder healed (harrison ford has the same bump). Way to stick to be persisent.

  4. Correction. It only hurt when I tried to lift my arm. Otherwise it was fine.

  5. we all do this I think, but I always tell myself out of every woman on earth God chose ME to be Anni & Evy's Mama- and He will give me the ability to mother them. Way to stick to what you felt! Much love and prayers for quick healing!