A Christmas Break

A Christmas Break

The last place we hoped to be on Christmas Day was in the A&E department with our 4-year old.

While packing the car for various family visits over the festive season, we prepared for every eventuality we could think of.   This did not include how to dress, travel, and entertain a child with a broken right arm.

It happened before we had even sat down for lunch.

One moment, he was bouncing merrily on a bed with his cousins; as they played a game with Auntie BB that they had played many times before.

The next, he landed awkwardly on his elbow and started to cry.

We all thought he would be fine.  Assumed at most, there would be a bruise.  He cuddled up next to me, until eventually gave into tiredness and fell asleep.

As he had been up and in extreme excitement mode since 4.30am, when he first realised that ‘FATHER CHRISTMAS HAS BEEN, MUMMY! HE’S REALLY BEEN!’, I covered him with a blanket and let him rest on the sofa, while the rest of us clinked glasses and tucked into Yiayia’s turkey… #badmother

When he woke up about an hour later, his arm was still sore to touch.  He tentatively let me take a closer look and I could see that it was also now quite swollen and a small egg shape had formed.

So, we called a taxi and off to A&E we went.

An x-ray confirmed that his bone was fractured and a half-cast was applied to his little arm.  Although, we do have to go back to the hospital once the swelling has settled, to have a full cast put on.

He is coping so well.  He is slowly working it all out – from eating, drawing, colouring-in and playing on the iPad using only his left hand, to going to the toilet by himself.

I on the other hand, am not coping quite so well.

Aside from the gut wrenching guilt that my baby had a broken arm while I was busy pulling crackers and taking selfies, there is the overwhelming sadness for a little boy who will not be able to swim, ride his bike, go to the playground, or jump on the bed again for quite some time.

I feel absolutely broken too.


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  1. December 30, 2013 / 1:43 PM

    Oh I’m so sorry. Please don’t feel guilty. My parents made me sit through a Sunday lunch at friends with a broken arm, as I’d only fallen on a carpeted floor. It’s a easy thing to do when bones break so easy and my now 4yo broke his arm when he was 2.5, just before Christmas. It really didn’t slow him down much. He was very brave and soon learnt to get along with the plaster. They heal so quickly. He’ll be fine.

    • Grenglish
      January 2, 2014 / 3:00 PM

      Thanks so much, hope your boy is on the mend now too.

  2. December 30, 2013 / 1:46 PM

    Ouch, poor guy 😉 But please don’t feel bad. He fell asleep, so must have been reasonably comfortable and some sleep was probably one of the best things at that moment. No harm came from you enjoying your Christmas lunch. And these things happen.

    I walked around with a broken arm for three days when I was about 12. And my mum was severely sleep deprived already on the night I developed appendicitis. She told me to go back to bed, I wasn’t going to be sick I just had a bit of indigestion from a apple I’d eaten. Hindsight gives us different options, but we do what seems like the right thing at the time.

    I hope he heals soon. Kids have a habit of bouncing back just fine x

    • Grenglish
      January 2, 2014 / 3:03 PM

      Thank you for being so kind. Your mum must have beside herself when she realised what was really wrong. He has definitely perked up a bit, just needs to get used to using just his left hand now 🙂

  3. December 30, 2013 / 5:50 PM

    My heart totally goes out to you – L was 4.5 years old when we were between childcare and she was being looked after by a mix of friends’ nannies and mummy friends while I worked full-time, when I got a call at work to say she’d fallen at the playground and was holding her arm strangely. Imagine how guilty I felt?! Even more so when I found out it was a really bad break and they had had to give her a shot of morphine in the ambulance on the way to the hospital. In fact there was a problem with the playground where she was playing and before falling on the soft floor she hit a metal bar! She was in surgery under general anaesthetic for 3 hours, they had to cut her open to take pressure off her artery and nerves and she was kept in hospital for 5 days. She wasn’t herself for 4 of those days and I was beside myself with guilt and worry. 2.5 years later she’s got a big scar on her arm but it doesn’t bother her, she loved the notoriety with her friends, and it didn’t stop her fear of climbing – she was still climbing and playing as usual with the cast on. The playground was also torn down and completely redone. You will get over the guilt and be surprised at how resilient kids are! Sorry for taking over your comments! Sending hugs and kisses whilst you deal with the guilt. Sophie x

    • Grenglish
      January 2, 2014 / 3:05 PM

      Thank you so much! The guilt is the worst bit. Is reassuring to know that L made such a speedy recovery from her break, which sounds much worse than Z’s. New cast on Monday, hopefully that will free him up a bit more. Thanks for the lovely long comment, is really appreciated.

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