“I broke her”: ok Rett broke her, I’m trying to mend her

(*thank you my friend Beth for the title change suggestion)
I did a quick post on facebook about Brookie’s broken tibia and wanted to be able to explain more of what happened.
Thursday after school I was transitioning her from her wheelchair to her recliner and her leg and foot got bent under her and stuck there as I sat her in her chair. She flinched and I knew something happened. I held her and gave her ibuprofen and she calmed right down. I watched for swelling, bruising, any signs of serious damage but there was none. She tossed and turned through out the night but even in the morning no swelling or bruising. I kept her home from school so that I could keep and eye on her, ice her leg, watch for signs of pain – when I went to put socks on her – it was like it send a chill through her whole body. I wanted to “be sure” everything was ok so I called our local doctor and one of my FAVORITE nursed talked me through some options but ultimately we decided to pay it safe and get an x-ray (thanks Audra!)
This is where the following two pictures come in to play. Our local doctor felt best to send us down to Fort Wayne Orthopedics and allow them to determine cast, split, etc. (Again thank you Dr. Dean – you always take such good care of us!)
We went to the walk in orthopedic clinic and were blessed to see a GREAT doctor. I asked him if it was a break or a fracture and he simply said “yes” he gave me a super long term for it (it was seriously like 5 words) but DID say that is was the BEST break to have….that is IF there is such a thing as a “best break”
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Typically they would cast a child with a break like this and off we go to heal for a few weeks BUT since Brookie is non-verbal he had major concern that she would not be able to tell us if something did not feel right, also with the anatomy of her leg, ankle, and foot not being “typical” due to her (non-weight bearing) he had major concern of skin break down. (Yes, I was super impressed with him and all the concerns for Brookie due to Rett he took into consideration for her treatment) He wants us to take off the split every day and look over her foot and leg to make sure there is no skin breakdown (where the split is rubbing her skin raw from improper placement.)
We are scheduled to go back for x-rays in 2-3 weeks – he is even going to see her here in Angola! We will do another x- ray at that time to check on the healing. He was not really able to predict healing time – we will just have to wait and see. Kiddos who do not walk (weight bear) often have a different time frame that those who do.

Now, some of you are probably reading this saying “how the heck can her leg break so easily?” Simple. LOW BONE DENSITY. There are LOTS of factors that go into why Brooklyn has bone density issues. The main reason and easy answer is Rett Syndrome (I seem to blame that a lot don’t I???) However, it is things like the fact that she does not walk – walking helps aide in bone development, some meds that she is one affect bone density, the fact that her body does not absorb vitamins like typical kiddos (we can pump her full of vitamin D and calcium but her bones still have a hard time absorbing them) We had a DEXA scan a few months back to check her bone density and it is low, WAY lower than other kids her age. we are due to see a specialist down in Indianapolis but not until January. Until then it is increased vitamin D, calcium and vitamin K2 (which helps with the absorption) and of course this has been a HUGE wake up call. My girl is fragile. I knew that. But it took me breaking her leg to realize just how fragile she really is. We all need to be more careful with positioning her, transitioning her. When I mentioned this on facebook – so many moms chimed in with their own stories:
*my daughter broke her leg getting into bed
*I broke my daughters leg putting her in her car seat
*my daughter’s leg broke pushing too hard as we put her sock on
* my daughter broke both her arms during a seizure
along with stories of broken bones that the families simply did not know how it happened. I have to admit reading through these stories helped me not feel so alone. I have been beating myself up pretty good over this. Officially handing over my title of super mom and putting myself out of the running for mom of the year any time soon. I had one mom say she was sure I was more distressed over this than Brooklyn is and she is absolutely right. How can I not be? She is my baby and I broke her. That is tough for a mamma to handle.
Thank you to each of you who have reached out to me via facebook, texts, emails, and phone calls. Each and every message has meant so much to me. I will try t keep all of your encouraging words in mind in the coming weeks as we heal – Brookie as she heals physically and me as I heal emotionally.

Here is Brookie in her splint, she is bummed her friends cant sign it – oh…my silly girl. (I probably should not have told her about a cast and how cool it would be to have her friends sign – I was trying to prepare her)

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4 Responses

  1. Pam November 16, 2013 at 7:56 am | | Reply

    Hugs dear lady…I too know all about low bone density, Crystal has had 4 broken bones in her wee time here (26 yrs) She does have Osteo as the bone scan indicated. Our angels are more fragile than we realize! HUGS <3

  2. Myrna November 16, 2013 at 11:25 am | | Reply

    You’re a great mom. This has been my greatest fear with Nora though. Her legs and arms are so long that it’s easy to get them going the wrong way. It’s also frightening to realize they may have a break and you have no idea since they don’t express their pain like we do! Thinking of you guys!

  3. Tonya Hanna November 16, 2013 at 1:39 pm | | Reply

    Sara’s leg got broken in August 2012. We still don’t know how it happened. Possibly while putting her AFOs on? You have to push on them a bit. Something at school? Being in the stander? We just don’t know. As hard as it is emotionally right now, Brook will heal just fine. (Sara healed in about 2 months, only splinted as well) Now we have to be extra careful with everything about her. Our girls are like beautiful porcelain dolls with sweetness and spunk mixed in :) *hugs*

  4. Crystal Jankowski November 16, 2013 at 4:07 pm | | Reply

    I have already told you how scared I am of this with Gabby. But your sharing has just reminded once again why us moms are so important to each. I will now talk to her doctor about the bone density test that I never thought of before.

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