Monday, November 24, 2008

Baby Sam and the Broken Wrist

We are all surviving the beginning of the end of 2008 reasonably well. Sam had a little accident and has a fractured wrist, and is now wearing a temporary splint which he is trying to eat, and in a day or two he will get a little cast he can use to bash his sister with. I say "fractured wrist" as if his hand were dangling at a funny angle or something, but really it is a tiny fracture hardly visible on the x-ray. It was hurting him, though. He took some kind of a spectacular spill off the bed and landed on a ukulele. It took us a while to figure out where he was hurting, since he is not quite verbal enough to just point and say "it hurts here!" and we could not find any bruises. We finally noticed that he was favoring his right hand where he is usually left-handed, and then if you squeezed the wrist in a certain spot it felt just a bit swollen, and he would complain. Anyway, he will heal quickly; apparently 2-year-olds heal broken bones in 3 weeks or less.

Veronica loves her new sibling. She was well-prepped. Sam -- it is hard to say. He had kind of a strange weaning. I think he was jealous of the baby before it even arrived and so started biting all the time when he nursed, and so he got negative feedback, and basically stopped nursing. Now he won't nurse even though he really is young enough to still nurse, and Grace has a milk surplus, so she is bottling it up to sell at Whole Foods. Just kidding. Sam is getting a little of the overflow from a cup. Joshua is quite overwhelmed, though. He is doing his best but sometimes just gets hosed down with milk and then he looks like a victim of some kind of dairy explosion.

Joshua is settling in although he is the fussiest baby we've had. For example, if he wets his diaper he insists that it be changed immediately, where Sam would go happily around for hours with his diaper sopping wet. Joshua wants to nurse every two hours pretty much to the minute, which makes it hard for Grace to get much sleep.

Are you an amateur radiologist? Did you spot the fracture? Click on the image to zoom in. The ER doctor showed me where it is. I've marked the approximate spot on this view, which was taken at a different angle, but I probably have the precise contour of the crack wrong; it is hard for me to tell since I haven't held real human bones in my hands like he has. The fracture is in the head of the bone where they often absorb impact and split slightly, which you could say might even be a design feature. It is interesting to note how few bones are visible in Sam's wrist. Most of the bones of the wrist have not calcified out of their cartilagenous precursors yet, which illustrates how flexible and shock-absorbing babies are!

One last shot: the bones on the right are in Sam's forearm. I was holding Sam on my lap, and holding his arm in position while they shot the x-rays, with my own lead apron on. I think the extra bones are some of my fingers at an odd angle since my hand was wrapped around his arm, and the stitching on my sleeve seems to be visible as well.

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