Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Restless

I woke up at 5:13 this morning worrying.

I realize worrying isn’t that helpful but I can’t stop.

The Mayor still won’t use his arm but it’s not really the arm that I’m worried about.

The elbow seems fine, a little stiff maybe… I haven’t seen him straighten it all the way, but it seems healed.

What worries me is that he won’t use his hand.

He won’t let anyone touch his hand nor will he let his hand touch anything.

The hand is covered in a thick layer of dead skin that makes it look like a reptile desperate to molt.

Though he usually holds it in odd and uncomfortable looking positions, when he sleeps it dances in the air above him as though responding to a snake charmer’s flute.

What is he working out in his slumber?

Does it hurt too much when he's conscious?

When The Mayor is awake he endlessly teeter totters back and forth over his own legs because of the sudden, jerky way that the hand and arm shoot out and throw him off balance.

He bites his shirt collar to still himself somewhat, but then the arm flies out once more and he loses his center again.

Something is wrong with his hand.

I just know it.

It’s making me CRAZY.

I can’t stop thinking and worrying about it.

It’s all I can do not to stare at it.

What is wrong with my son’s hand and how do I fix it?

I really, really, really want to fix it.

That platitude that says I won’t be able to fix everything that goes wrong in my child’s life?

I hate that one.

66 comments:

Kevin Charnas said...

OTJ, have you called the doctor back about this one? 'Cause now, I'm thinking something might be wrong instead of him just being overly-cautious.

When I KNEW that something was wrong with me, if I had listened to the doctors, I'd be dead.

Kevin Charnas said...

And sending you my best, warmest regards of love and healing...as always...just in case you forgot. :)

Karen Forest said...

I would definately take him back to the doctor. IF the doctor isn't receptive to what you, as a mother, know, then go to a different one.

Worry is endless. I hate THAT.

Mama DB said...

I say go with your instincts and check back with the doctor or get a second opinion. If anything, just for your piece of mind. I worry myself sick about stuff AND I procrastinate and worry about the procrastination. Not a good way to live.

I hope he's okay, Jess, and I hope you get answers about why he won't use the hand.

3carnations said...

Another vote for taking him back to the doctor. Sometimes a parent knows things that the doctors can't always see outwardly. Go with your gut.

Golightly said...

I agree, back to the doctor, let the beast out of the basement if you need to and get a second opinion if your doctor doesn't do anything except say he's fine.

Elizabeth said...

I agree with going back to the Dr and if he brushes you off get another opinion. It's not normal for him to still be so cautious of the hand/elbow.

Sayre said...

Get back to the doctor - and possibly see a neurologist as well (play that by ear with the doc). The skin, the unintended movement, the shirt biting, and his tempertantrums for no apparent reason are all sounding warning bells in my head. Taken all together, this sounds like more than a broken arm and fear of using it.

I'm sorry if it sounds scary, but your recent descriptions of the Mayor don't seem normal to me.

we_be_toys said...

What does the doctor say about it? Did they check for nerve damage?
If I was guessing (and I am) I would think that the fact he is moving it during sleep might indicate that all is well, and he is still over compensating for that hand. Maybe you could sneak up on him while he's asleep and test his reflexes and sensitivity on that hand? Just a thought...

Hang in there Frantic Mom - it WILL get better!

Sugarplum's Mom said...

I'm with the others... I don't like the sound of it jerking out on its own throwing off his balance... that doesn't sound like extra caution and fear to me.. that sounds like a nerve issue. Take the beast back to the Doc with you and insist they check for nerve damage at the very least. Biting his shirt may be the anxiety of being fearful AND not being able to completely control his arm.. there's something else wrong... no one knows that better than you. Good luck - you and he will be in my prayers.

Deb said...

None of this sounds normal to me. I am not a doctor nor am I some wise old woman...I think you need to take him back to the doctor and if he says nothing is wrong maybe find a new one who will listen.

This just sounds wrong.

Circus Kelli said...

I hate that platitude, too.

I'm in for you heading to the (another?) doctor, too.

Kyla said...

Oh, the worries.

Call the doctor, Jess. I think it is worth a second look. It could be psychological...but it sounds like a bit more than that to me. Trust your instincts.

Sugared Harpy said...

Brett had the dead skin thing and that we could exfoliate off after a while...but the extreme caution still and your nagging concern say head to the doctor post haste. You would rather know for sure.

Poor Mayor.

Catizhere said...

There is another platitude....
MOTHER KNOWS BEST.

If you don't feel right about it, then it's not right.

Poor Mayor. Poor Mama.

Arwen said...

I would bring him to a neurologist. Feeling helpless when our children are in pain sucks ass.

PunditMom said...

I give in and call the doctor, even though I worry they'll think I'm one of "those" mothers. Funny thing is, I've usually been right.

Do what your gut tells you -- you're the mom.

xoxo

witchypoo said...

If there is nothing that doctors can quantify, they tend to do nothing. Perhaps acupuncture or reiki is in order?

Maggie said...

Doctor. Yep I agree with everyone else. ALWAYS go with your gut. No one knows your kids like you do. If you feel something is out of whack, then 9 times out of 10, it is. I'd be worried too. But hang in there and be strong.

Worker Mommy said...

Agreeing with everyone else..take him back to the doctor. I let my doctors office convince me on two different occasions my son hadn't swalled anything when in fact he had swallowed two quarters. Its a long story...but doctors are human just like us and make mistakes. They don't know it all.

I hate that powerless feeling as a mother. There is nothing worse.

Stella said...

I wonder, have you considered getting a second opinion? I know that the bone is healed, etc. but you can have his medical records or copies sent to another office. Maybe they will see something differently from how your current doctor does?

I hate having that feeling that something is wrong and having people not believe you or not understand!

Jennifer said...

Oh, yes - be pushy, be tenacious. Get him looked at again, by the same doc or another one. You know your child better than anyone.
Sending healing thoughts his way.

Lisa said...

Hmm, I'm not as freaked out as the other commenters, though I think you should call the doctor and see what she/he thinks. Poor guy's arm feels weak and probably light from not having the cast on it.
Re the dead skin, when my daughter's leg cast came off, the skin all peeled up at once and she didn't want me to touch it. It looked furry with dead skin. So I got her in the bathtub that night and casually (but gently) scrubbed the leg while I washed everything else. Try a bath. But be gentle, the skin that was under the cast is really super sensitive.
Good luck!

Queen of Shake-Shake said...

Gosh knows I am one who thinks doctors are over-rated, but in this case, even I say check back in with the doctor.

Sarah, Goon Squad Sarah said...

Poor kid.

Go to another doctor, or two or three. Whatever it takes to make you all comfortable.

Jenifer said...

You got to get it checked again, that just doesn't seem right at all.

Nancy said...

I wish I knew back when my kids were small that "Moms Gut Instints" knows best.

I'd get his x-rays and another opinion or two!

Trust yourself.

Deep Fried Yankee Doctor Bugger said...

Go with your gut. I've never cared if doctors found me to be a PITA. It's their job to figure it out.

Paige said...

I say go with your gut. My gut says call the shit out of the pediatrician. My sense is that yours does too.

jen said...

oh honey. i am so sorry. warm, warm thoughts.

Lisa Milton said...

Poor kiddo - I think a call to a neurologist might be in order. Nerve damage can hurt, but it can also cause weird sensations that he may not be able to articulate.

They might be able to do a nerve conduction test, although that might be uncomfortable and scary to him.

(I have them about once a year and they irritate the neuropathy for a few days, making the symptoms seem worse.)

I pray he is well. You're in my thoughts.

meno said...

I prefer to do my useless worrying at 2:30 am.

What everyone else said, go with your gut, something is not right.

Hol&J said...

I agree, go with your instincts about getting your doctor (or a different one) to look at his arm again. I hope everything goes well. You're all in my prayers.

Rosie said...

I always think a mother's instinct is better than anyone else's, you know him best. I'd get him checked over with the doctor again, then you know for certain what you're dealing with. Then maybe you'll worry less. There will always be something else to worry about of course - that's parenting I guess! The worry seems to be endless I find.

Lotta said...

Get thee to a pediatric neurologist! Trust your gut.

And I'm so sorry this has been so hard on you all. I know it just breaks your heart.

Candygirlflies said...

Oh, yes indeed, get thee a second opinion. And a third, and a fourth and fifth, if necessary.

I, too have a child that presented with odd symptoms... and a GP who told me it was "nothing". My gut instinct ruled, and I had to do a little jumping around and "loud talking" to get him to refer us to a specialist...

We had a surgery date within three weeks... and a two-week wait for biopsy results.

The results were benign, thank the Almighty... but had that tumour continued to grow, it could have done some serious damage to my child.

The point I'm getting at here is that MOTHERS KNOW. We create these little people-- we have a "sixth sense". A good doctor recognizes this, and respects it. Our pediatrician (who took us into his busy practice after the surgery) is one of my favourite people. We trust each other, we respect one another. We work together to care for my children.

I'm sure that that the "right" doctor is out there, and will be able to help you and your son!! Don't hesitate to go out there and search for him or her.

Thinking of you-- sending lots of love!

xo CGF

Leendaluu said...

I am so going with the crowd on this one...call the doctor....or if that one doesn't make you happy, call another one. And perhaps consider some adjunct medicine...some physical or occupational therapy. Doctors are trained to be reductionist (I know because I was schooled in the reductionist philosophy) so they think because the bone is healed, the boy is healed. But the bone is but a small portion of the whole...and if you want me to come down and put the smackdown, I will.

Fairly Odd Mother said...

I'm with everyone else on the advice, so let me just say that I truly hope that you get some peace of mind soon!

Olivia said...

I'm going to echo the advice to talk to the doctor again. And if he doesn't help you, go to someone else, and someone else, until you get some answers. Whether it's physical or psychological or some combination of both, he shouldn't be that anxious and wary. Nor should you.

The poor Mayor. And poor you. This worry crap really sucks. I hope you get the answers you need and soon.

BOSSY said...

This worried Bossy, so she jumped offline and spoke to a doctor, who says it is natural for the muscles to atrophy and for him to feel extremely tentative about using it by day. By night he may just be responding to all the nerves and muscles coming rigorously back to life.

Hold on, dearest one.

BOSSY said...

And by "hold on" Bossy does NOT mean to resist the urge to return to the doctor. It's always best to hear things from their experience.

Corgimom said...

Always worth checking with the doc. Maybe the doc will tell you that the arm and hand are exercising themselves while Mayor is sleeping since he can't bring himself to do it while awake.

I hope for all of you that it is something easy to address with a quick remedy.

motherbumper said...

Instincts screaming - maybe there is a pinched nerve or something that is so hard, even for an adult to describe. Put your mind at rest and ask for nerve damage assessment. I feel like I'm overstepping by leaving this comment but it's what my gut told me when I read this.

Two Kids and a Husband said...

Oh gosh take him back to the doctor...follow your instinct if something seems wrong then it probley is... either he is terrified to use it because it hurt so much before or it isnt healed properly...is it still hurting him? If this doctor says it is nothing then get a second opinion...early intervention is ALWAYS better then waiting. Can you clean off his hand when he is sleeping? Get some of the dead skin off...does the circulation look okay?

Julie

Emily said...

I'm with some of the other commenters on this one. Listen to your intuition. We mothers are usually right. I think you should keep cycling through docs, until you find the one that honors your intuition, as well. If nothing else, we can start a petition for "More tests on Mayor's arm" on this here blog. We, your readers, will throw our weight around until somebody listens.

Lisa said...

Just...breathe...
I can't imagine what you are going through.

KC said...

Oh babe, he'll mend, it just might take awhile. Remember he's resilient. RESILIENT. (I wish mamas were too - I know)

Ruth Dynamite said...

Hand specialist.

Seek out another opinion. It could be nothing - just the normal process of healing, but if not, it's good to have another opinion.

I'll be thinking of you and the Mayor.

Ann M. said...

Oh yes, there is something going on here. This is not an overly cautious child or an overly concerned mom. It does sound like nerve damage. I agree that he needs to be taken to the doctor, and probably a neurologist. It sounds like his arm is acting on its own, without any signal from him. He needs tests. Don't give up on what you feel your child needs.

ephelba said...

Once you get back from the doctor's, would he agree to go swimming with you? Might soak some of the skin off, and maybe he'd use his arm to move around in the water...is the pool you go to warm? Sometimes the lap pools are too cold to be fun to play in... Around here the warm therapy pools at the rehab center have open swim times.
Hang in there. Now you get to be the strong mom, and later things won't be so worrisome.

Stacy said...

I agree with the poster who offered another platitude: Mother Knows Best.

I would get another opinion, either from the same doc or a new one (or both).

I hope that you get what you need, and that The Mayor does too!

(delurking... I found you on NaBloPoMo and have been recently reading you again).

Blessings,
Stacy

Mamma said...

I'm thinking a trip to the doc would be good for both of you. If you know he's going through a stage, you'll be able to process that better. Don't you think?

The nighttime movement makes me think it doesn't hurt him. If it did, it would probably wake him up, no?

winomom said...

Hi, OTJ...I don't have time to read through all the comments, so someone surely said this more eloquently than I, BUT. Our daughter broke her arm, right through the upper bone, the big one connecting the shoulder to the elbow? When she was 5. In cast 2 months, and when out...that arm was as frozen as the day they put the cast on. And her skin, was all flaky, and itchy, and weird looking. The doc said that in time, if she could not begin to loosen it up on her own, he'd suggest physical therapy. Well, she was one of three children, under the age of 7, so I went to work, and it wasn't easy. I helped her stretch it out, a little each day, and told her, that if she could do that, I'd work towards touching my nose to my knees...you know, yoga style. Now your son probably doesn't care one whit about such a challenge, but maybe something else? Point being, they are afraid of the pain, and maybe there truly is something else going on that your mother instinct needs to check out, but just on the surface, the reticence to use that arm is not entirely unusual. All our daughter had know was pain from that arm for more than 2 months, and then, it was weak, thinner, sore and very very stiff.

Just a thought, and I'm sorry if it's assvice.

Biddy said...

as a kid, i would often stick my leg straight into the air while i slept...but it wasn't after any sort of injury. i would call the doc. if he blows it off, call another one.

have you tried gently rubbing lotion on his hand while he sleeps? it would be a good way to see how he reacts because obviously you're going to get a stressed reaction if you do it while he's awake...just a thought...

flutter said...

Oh honey

TRS said...

I am not a doctor. I am not a mommy.

My gut says, this ain't right.
Take him back to the doctor... or to another doc... but give your beast a juice box on the way over... for energy!

soccermom of 4 said...

When my son was really sick a couple years ago, I finally ended up calling the clinic and asking for the PATIENT ADVOCATE. At our clinic, this is a nurse who kind of goes between the patient's family and the doctor/doctor's staff, but really works with you.

I had good results going this way. I was frustrated with always having to ask the nurse questions and then waiting days for her to call back (never the doctor calling back), especially since said nurse was copping major attitude with me after this went on and on and on.

I would talk to the patient advocate about what I thought was reasonable and what I thought should be done. She listened, gave advice and added her thoughts. She would then call the nurse/doctor, and I didn't have to deal with the nurse anymore.

We finally ended up having a referral for a consult at a much bigger facility in a town about 1.5 hours away (pediatric stomach doc). Of course, by then the mystery illness was just starting to let up.

When I got a copy of my son's records to take with us, I read through and saw that the nurse had documented that I was "insistent."

Plus, the patient advocate ALWAYS called back right away.

Good luck with whichever course you choose.

JCK said...

I'd get a second opinion. You may hear the same thing, but you'll feel that you did everything you could.

This sounds really difficult. I'm sorry.

WILLIAM said...

I would give him a bage of M&M's and tell him he can only use his bad hand to eat them.


And I am sure around the age of 13 he will get plenty of use out of the hand.

Jessica @ A Bushel and a Peck said...

Sometimes a mother just knows. Don't take no for an answer, just keep bugging the Docs till they figure something out. Good luck and hugs to the Mayor, poor kid.

Cara said...

Sound like he was immobilized for 3 weeks and now out of the cast for a little over a week. If he was able to move his finger while in the cast then I would think he does not have nerve damage. That one of the fist things that they check when a child has a fracture at the elbow. Some children can have a nerve palsy that can resolve over time but that should have been pick up early on. Young kids can develop stiffness in both the elbow and wrist from immobilization and it does take time for that to resolve. Some kids get moving faster than other and some need a little help.
1. I would call the docotor and ask about doing some PT/OT for range of motion and desensatization.
2. Swimming is also a great activity post-casting to help kids get the arm moving again.
3. If you don't get a good response from your current physician you should always seek a second opinion.

urban-urchin said...

not that you need a 62nd person to agree with kevin but yep- doctor. It's so scary when you worry about your kids and it's a valid concern- you are all in my thoughts

Stimey said...

No opinions from me, just sympathy. It must be so hard to see him like that. I hope you and he get some answers soon.

By the way, it's taken me 4 tries at word verification to post this comment. I'm totally awesome. :(

Cathy said...

Mama always knows. Take him back. Make them listen.

And I know what you mean about the worrying.

blue milk said...

What an awful worry to have. My heart goes out to you, I would be freaking out too. This is absolutely the hardest part of motherhood, the incredible depth of worrying.

jeanie said...

Get a second opinion if it helps you to sleep in the wee hours of the morning.

However - there will be weird sensations going on, because some weird crap happened to his arm and it is near nerve central of the arm.

Most times, it will get slowly better with use.

This advice comes from the mother who screamed at her child that she hoped child protection would come in answer to her screams as she would not let me wash the crap off her arm a week and a half after the sling was off, so, you know, everyone deals in their own way.

Good luck - and get him squeezing a squash or rubber band ball a little.