Genevieve Broke Her Finger

Tuesday, November 28th started out like any other day – hectic and overwhelming.  Just a normal day.  After I got off work, I drove to Genevieve’s preschool, the Arkadelphia Early Childhood Center.  When I arrived one of her teachers met me in the lobby (a coincidence in timing) and when she saw me she told me that I needed to sign an incident report.  She told me that in just moments before I arrived Genevieve had scratched her finger when a parent opened the classroom door on Genevieve’s hand.  She told me she had put some ice and a band-aid on it, but that it was just a scratch.

I went to the classroom to get Genevieve and she was noticeably upset.  This was not a surprise to me because I had been warned of the incident and Genevieve is a very sensitive child. It did strike me as odd though that she cried uncontrollably for the entire 30 minute drive home.

When we got home I told MG what happened and we looked more closely at Genevieve’s hand.  Her pinky finger was scraped and her index finger was slightly swollen.  A few minutes later, Genevieve had calmed down and was watching a cartoon.  …

A few hours later MG walked by where Genevieve was sitting and her hand caught his eye.  He looked at it more closely and got my attention.  Her index finger was crooked, swollen at least twice its normal size and the knuckle on that finger was starting to show a bruise.  We both were shocked at the change in her finger.  We had noticed that she was cranky, but we just took it for granted that she was fine because the school said she was fine.

I took her into the ER at CHI Saint Vincent’s Hospital in Hot Springs, since it is part of the same system as her pediatrician, Zac Henley.  The ER doctor saw her fairly quickly and agreed that he thought it was broken.  He sent in an X-ray technician to take some images of her hand.  The X-Ray technician was amazing!  He was wonderful with her and he even gave her a little doll to distract her.  I really need to see if I can find out his name because he really is the picture of how medical professionals should be! The nurse on the other hand, was definitely not good with children.  She didnt even do a great job.  The doctor looked at the x-rays and determined that Genevieve’s finger was fractured.  He ordered a brace put on her arm and fingers.  I don’t remember what the brace was called, but it was comprised of a pad that was soaked in water which was placed on the underside of her arm/hand/finger with a hole for her thumb.  After a minute the material hardened in place. The whole thing was then wrapped in an Ace bandage.  The doctor had asked for it to be placed with support under her fingers and I noticed that the nurse was not placing it high enough, but when I commented on it she told me I was wrong and kept doing what she was doing.  When this was done we were told we could leave and to follow up with our pediatrician in one week.

The deposit I was asked to pay before we could leave was ridiculous!

The next day I started to question the timeline for Genevieve’s follow up and her brace was not staying on her hand.  Her preschool also told me that in order to keep her inside from the playground ( I was sure that her brace would not survive the playground and it would get filthy!).  I called Dr. Henley’s office and I was told that patients are normally seen the day after their ER visit – not one week out.  I scheduled the appointment for Friday,  December 1st.

Dr. Henley look at Genevieve’s hand and told me that she definitely needed to see an orthopedic specialist and that he wasnt trained to do any other type of bracing than she already had.  He referred us to Dr. Justin Waldon, who is said was also with the CHI group and a young pediatric specialist.

Over the weekend, MG had to make a replacement brace for Genevieve because we had to cut off the one the ER had put on her.  The hospital’s brace was cutting off the circulation to her thumb and it was swelling and turning purple.   It was so much better than the one the hospital put on.

We were able to get in to see Dr. Waldon on December 5th.  MG was able to go to this appointment with us and I was glad he did, because I didn’t like Dr. Waldon and he had the same reaction. He wasnt very child friendly at all. He was brisk and didnt talk to Genevieve at all.  He cut off her brace and told us that the brace was “overkill” and that all she needed was a small piece of tape securing her index finger to her middle finger.  He said she didnt need the extra protection of the brace because she would naturally protect her injury.  He taped her fingers together and told us to come back in 3 weeks for another x-ray.

The tape doesnt seem to actually do much and as of today, Decmeber 9th, her index finger is still bruised and swollen.  She also has several blisters on her hand from the hospital’s brace.  Genevieve remains cranky and whiny.  She says her finger doesnt hurt, but she doesnt really understand how to explain things like pain and/or not feeling good.  I may see if MG can make her a smaller brace that just secures the finger a little bit better.  She really doesnt have the spacial awareness to protect her hand – she knocks into anything and everything, runs and jumps everywhere, and is pretty oblivious to where he body is in relationship to anything and everything else.

Update about our interaction with the preschool about this incident in a later post.

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