Lately in Our Life: Broken Elbows

I've been a mom for 9 years now, and I've been an Aunt for much longer.  Before those titles I was much older cousin and older sister.  I always enjoyed playing games and running around with the kids.  Never on any of my watches did anyone ever get seriously injured.  Scraped knees here and there.  Wounded egos.

In our years as older cousins, Aunt/Uncle, and then parents we've always swung kids between us.  "1, 2, 3, weeee!" as the child squeals with delight. 

I vaguely remember my Grandma once saying I shouldn't do that.  That the kid could get "nursemaid elbow".  I may have said something back how that sounded so outdated.  Who has nursemaids nowadays anyways?  She may or may not have said I was being ignorant.  lol. 

Fast forward to the present me, with 9 years of solid trauma free parenting under my belt.

We were at a church event and I was playing with my youngest.  He wanted to leave and kept tugging on my hands and then hanging from my hands.  I playfully (and gently!!) lifted him up, to my face and plopped a kissy on his forehead.  He laughed so I of course repeated.  Grandmas saying came to my mind and I decided I should stop, before she proved to be right.  (Folks ... Grandma's are always right).

Right the very second I had that thought, Sammy started to scream.  I knew I must have hurt his little wrist and scooped him up assuring him he was okay, thinking I just (non-seriously) hurt his wrist.  Like equivalent to a bruise hurt.  He was gripping his wrist and I hurried him upstairs and thinking any minute he'd be okay again. 

He didn't stop crying.

So we packed up and decided to go home and get dinner.  By then he'd for sure be okay.  Getting in the car seat, I was super careful of his wrist, guiding him in by his elbow.

We got home and he wanted nothing to do with dinner.  He cried and I thought I'd ice his little wrist and then he'd be better.  He fell asleep.


He reached for his wrist in his sleep and cried out, then woke.  At this point I knew we needed to take him to the ER.  Of course, I cried hysterically as I was the source of his pain.  Worst mommy of the year feelings.  His daddy had to take him since mommy couldn't get a grip. 

Guys? 

Remember when I said Grandma's are always right?

It wasn't Sammy's wrist.  It was his elbow.  Nursemaid's elbow.  Essentially, that means it was partially dislocated.  It didn't even matter that we weren't playing rough.  I wasn't even swinging him.  I was just lifting him, playfully.  No one (besides Grandma) had ever ever ever mentioned to us that kids should never be swung.  (obviously I mean in play here, like 1, 2, 3 weeee.  We aren't madmen.  We don't throw our kids around)

We were assured the worst was over.  Just a quick reset by the ER dr and he'd be right as rain again.

He came home so happy and proudly showed me his "all better" arm.

Only.  The next day he wasn't okay.

I asked him to show me where it hurt, with his boo-boo buddy.


As he shouldn't have been still crying in pain, we took him to the family doctor for xrays.  She said she'd call back in a few days with the results and in the meantime, keep him iced often.

She called back.  The elbow was bleeding internally.  I lost it on the phone.  My little buddy guy had to see an orthopedic dr as bleeding suggested a fracture.  (suspected during the set)


As much as Sam LOVED his new arm (he hummed a trumpet fanfare all the way into the house, showing off his new transformer paw patrol arm) ... I can assure you without a doubt that the cast is not worth the pain, physical for child and emotional for mommy, to ever ever EVER swing the kids.  No 1, 2, 3 weee's.  No spinning in circles.

It is not worth the short lived giggles for the possibility of dislocating your baby's joint.  Why don't we hear about this more often!? 

So.  I'm here to broadcast my Grandma's words of wisdom, near to a decade after I dismissed those very words of wisdom.  Do not swing that baby!

Currently Sam is all better.  He adored his cast, and was so angry to get it off.  But within hours of the removal he was using his arm like nothing had ever happened.

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