Tuesday, November 24, 2015

First day home from Arkansas.

We had our orders.  And Gabbi was in a good place, mentally, to help me with this journey.  Todd, on the other hand, not so much!  haha.  He is NOT a good nurse. But there were days he had no choice, when I was out of town. 
Gabbi learned quite a bit along the way, and actually could pretty much handle the entire dressing and debridement on her own with little supervision toward the end.
There were times, like here, that I began to question the salvage of her fingers.  She had so much discoloration, and I was concerned for her blood flow.  But, God reigns!  He took care of my baby girl!  And we were faithful to do what we were supposed to .  And since most of you are either Mojoy followers or follow me on Facebook, you'll note that we didn't "dwell" on it.  In fact, most folks were noticing the brace and asking what had even happened to her hand.
I have DEFINITELY learned in life to not give too much attention and focus to those areas that I don't want to see expand.
This hand injury was just that.  A hand injury.  Not all-consuming.  Not life-threatening.  Not spirit-ending!
I wanted Gabbi to focus on being a kid, having as good of a summer as she could, considering my little fish could no longer swim, and just being thankful and aware that God is good, and she would be FINE!
And since you all know the END of the story...
She is!  Just fine!

But I'm still going to finish my story!  So... see ya with more info in a few hours!


Gabs's first trip to Arkansas Children's Hospital.

The day after our pediatrician visit, we were high tailin' it to Little Rock, AR to see one of the most well-known pediatric hand surgeons in the world. 
The nurses aide asked us to remove the dressing prior to seeing the doc.  Well... I don't think she really knew what she was requesting!  We did as we were told and went back to the waiting area with this gaping funk exposed for the world to see.  And boy did they try to see.  They were GAWKING!  There were kids all over the place, and all with some sort of orthopedic injury, but I think Gabbi's took the cake!
She had her visit, and after hours with a certified hand therapist, who created for her a more intimate splint, with better positioning, as she couldn't yet be casted.
And afterwards, we hit up the Gift Shop!  Gift shops in pediatric hospitals are a whole 'nutha breed!!  Toys for days!
Ellie was obviously concerned for her sister, as she took tender loving care of her throughout the whole day.
Gabbi chose marbles.  She has a way of picking the most awkward things.  She is a one-handed marble playing bandit, I suppose!
So...at exactly a week since injury, Gabbi Girl is being seen in Little Rock.
Poor little fractured bones are just at the mercy of the wound.  Normally, she'd be in a cast, but because of the tissue injury, she couldn't wear anything that would not permit us to have access to the wound, for daily dressings.
And I started her RIGHT off the bat, taking care of her own hand.  I had noticed her totally avoiding it.  Look back at other pics.  She is usually looking off to her right.  Being a therapist, I know that this behavior can take a really bad turn if not addressed.  So, Gabbi had to play an active role in getting this wound better!
As of yet, noone can really tell us if this looks like a burn or "fracture blisters" or internal tissue damage just rising to the surface or exactly what!  Even the expert!
We knew we had some work cut out for us, but at this point, I am not sure we knew how much!  Weeks of debridement lay ahead!!
I gotta say, GG's spirit remained intact!!  She was just as happy as could be throughout the whole deal.  Oh.. we had our moments.  But overall, she was a trooper!

I used the scrap splinting material to create a matching splint for her monkey.
And we have to find fun in our anguish, so it became a game for us to find as many names on cokes as we could and send them to our friends while on these weekly excursions to Arkansas!
Wayne is the nurse practitioner back home who takes care of most of my medical needs.  (Also my high school boyfriend, but that' another story for another day!)
Aimee, spelled just like this, goes to the beach with Emma Lou every year, so we were excited to see this one!
And Jan was the nurse who had initially helped us in the pediatrician's office.  We took this one for her!
OH wait!  A few more!  HAHA.  At my office, there is a Brandon, a Jason, and a John Wesley.  Check, check, and check!
Well would ya look at this?!  I even got to drink my own name!

The Groves Girls try to make an adventure out of all situations handed to us.  We were not going to be fully grubbers!  We were going to be adventurous overcomers!!  And with that, we took all three of our splinted patients home!  Until next episode...

Gabbi's saga... continued.

So.... onward ho.  I was very concerned over the weekend, but we were advised to not open the dressing, and so I didn't.  We were to go back in on Tuesday.  (Can't recall the holiday, but they were closed on Monday).  I think it was fourth of July.    
Judging by Ellie's shirt and the fact that we are at Paula's house in these ics tells me that the Fourth was likely the case.
Monday comes, and she is back at the doc.  Check out the deformity of the palmar side of her hand.  Are you ready?  Hold onto your horses!!
This was the other side!  The doc was completely ready to cast her when we got there and unwrapped her hand.  And then... he saw this. I don't really think HE even knew what to make of it.  He called them "fracture blisters".  I got home and dove into researching fracture blisters, and a. they are rare on the hand and b. they do NOT look like THIS!
He was going out of town and asked us to return in a week.  I said, ummm. no.

The next day, we were at our pediatrician's office and were looking for a transfer to Arkansas Children's Hospital so my baby could see a burn specialist, a renowned hand surgeon, and whoever else had time to look at her!
We undressed her hand at her pediatrician's, and the blisters had popped.  This is now what we had.  Look at the MASSIVE size of the destruction of tissue.  And through all of this, the baby hardly ever complained!
I think even the folks at the pediatrician's office were a little taken aback by this presentation.  I started my career in PT as a wound care specialist, so thankfully, I have been around this block, and wasn't freaking out.  But I knew we had something serious to deal with.
And remember, by now we also know she has three broken bones, per X-ray, for sure, and nothing has been done about those yet either.
Look at that little mangled hand.   She could only wear little sleeveless dresses which were easy to get over her head and arm/ hand.
But she was still smiling!

We got out referral, and were in Little Rock the next day, at Ark Children's Hospital, about 4 hours away.
In fact, here's my baby chillin in the room the next day.
and chowing on the chocolate chip pancakes we had delivered to our room.
Ok. You're doing great, folks.  But it gets worse... so, hang onto your horses.  And just bow right on out if you need to.  I'll have the story told by Tuesday, so you can log back on then, if you need to.

Bless my baby girl's heart.  She is a trooper if I've ever met one!  (And no, she STILL can't exactly tell us what happened on that dang four wheeler.  NOR if she was burned.  She says she wasn't.  But the presentation of that wound certainly begs to differ!!)


Monday, November 23, 2015

Gabbi's injured hand.

I never told the story of Gabbi Girl's injured hand.  Sooooo... hang onto your hat!  Cause this one might be a doozy!
It is a shame to admit, but to this day, we really still don't know exactly what happened.  Gabs has a little 50 four wheeler.  She got it for Christmas last year.  She actually hasn't ridden it much, but we have noticed that she tends to have a no fear attitude when on that sucker.
This past summer, she was in the back yard, simply riding it in circles.  Todd said he was watching her.  She had on her helmet, and all seemed fine to him.  He said he walked inside for what had to have been less than a few minutes, and when he came back outside, she was walking up the hill, holding her hand across her chest.  She didn't want to show him what she was trying to hide.
He said the four wheeler was upright, and he couldn't really tell that it had been wrecked.  She had somehow removed her helmet on her own.
When he asked for a closer look, this is what he saw.  And so.... the Groves family goes BACK to the emergency room for the second time in a year... this time with the other kid.
Obviously, it was very swollen.  Not only on the top (dorm) but also on the palmar side!
They splinted it, did an X-ray, and my girl was just trying to keep her composure.
We were "patiently" awaiting our discharge papers.
We were told to go to the orthopedic clinic the next day.  We would see an orthopedist, who specializes in hands, and probably get a cast.
Here is the X-ray.
And here is the next day!!
Needless to say, it looked radically different.  Because of the open wounds and blistering forming, they couldn't cast.  (see the three fractures below)
We went home in our little splint and knew we had to wait until after the weekend for an appointment at the clinic again to see how things had progressed.
When life gives you lemons, make lemonade!!
Stay home and paint with your "good hand".
LOTS more to come.  But for now, know that this girl is a T.R.O.O.P.E.R.!!!  In all senses of the word!

More on this soon.