Monday, February 8, 2016

Ellie's Mystery Injury

Mike had to recently highlight/introduce Ellie somewhere, and one of the comments he made was when he thinks of Ellie, he pictures her feet more than her face. Ellie is constantly back flipping or cartwheeling through the house, yard, etc. that it is far more common to see her feet and legs than her face.

Ellie has always loved gymnastics, and almost a year ago, she really wanted to try out for a competition cheer team. Mike and I really weren't excited about her pursuing this, but seeing Ellie's enthusiasm and desire, and wanting Ellie to explore something she loved, Mike and I acquiesced. Before we knew it Ellie was spending a fair amount of time (and our $$) at a local gym.

December began the official "cheer competition season" and after months of practicing, they began to perform. Ellie participated in a competition in December, and one in January. The schedule included three in February (including one in Oregon), and one in March to finish up the season.


Two weeks ago, Ellie spent Monday and Tuesday laying on the couch sick with the stomach flu. On the  Tuesday night Ellie complained that her middle finger was swollen and bruised. Knowing she had done nothing but spend the last couple days doing nothing, we didn't think too much of it. The next morning the bruising had spread to her two fingers either side. Mike and I assumed if it was a burst blood vessel or something similar. That evening, Ellie as at her friend's house next-door and our neighbor (an x-ray tech) said Ellie really should get it looked at. Mike echoed the suggestion to me later that night, and despite the fact I was hoping for a day to myself after finally getting everyone well and back to school, I decided to make an appointment to get the unexplained swelling and bruising looked at.

To make a long story short, we were told it wasn't broken and sent home on our way. After first the doctor bringing in 3 other doctors to look at the weird bruising with no trauma story or broken bone. We were told to return if the bruising got worse.

An hour later, while lunching with Mike, I received a phone call that it was indeed broken (resident versus doctor reading the x-ray), and that she needed to see a specialist the next day as it was on/near the growth plate at the base of her middle finger.

A visit to the specialist told us Ellie's finger is broken across the base of her middle finger, and broken in a second place to the lower right. He also told us she has a high threshold for pain, as she hardly even winced as the doctor squeezed, moved and wiggled her finger. (This is the child that the only way I knew she had repeated ear infections as a baby was because of a fever-no crying-yet CRIES with all the energy she can muster if she gets a paper cut or an (un)intentional blow from a sibling.)

Ellie's tears may not have fallen because of any pain, but my heart broke when Ellie burst into tears upon the doctor's announcement she would need a cast. 

I wanted to get a photo of her new cast the day it was put on, but I didn't have the heart to capture Ellie's tear-stained face. It isn't really a "badge of honor" around here, it's a reminder of a painful time for Ellie. And the pain, has nothing to do with any broken bones. She has put soooo much time into this cheer team gearing up for this competition season, so not being able to participate in the fruit of her labors hasn't been very easy for her.

Saturday was a sad day around here...it was a competition day, and Ellie was replaced on her team for it. We have one more competition to skip, and hopefully, though she can't cross her fingers, we are hoping to go to Portland, OR on the 26th. The cast will come off the day before, but the doctor unfortunately has no faith that Ellie will dictate her own healing/return to activity based on what may or may not be painful--because she didn't feel any pain to begin with.

One week down, three to go.

On the bright side, she is perfecting her one handed cartwheels.

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