Friday, December 31, 2010

Matthew's Latest and Greatest Adventure...

Matthew sure keeps us on our toes. On Christmas Eve, we managed to start yet another adventure with our little man. He managed to crawl, undetected, all the way over to the glass covered fireplace and place his right hand on the hot glass. It was so sad listening to him crying. It happened as we were preparing to leave, and he ended up extending our stay for an extra hour and a half while he screamed and cried over the pain of the burn. It was 9pm, on Friday night (not to mention Christmas Eve) so we knew there was no doctor's office still open. I called my pediatrician's office (our pediatrician happened to be the doctor on call), and asked him what we should do. We told him that his hand was blistered and that he had been crying for over an hour, and he told me (this is almost word for word), "If you can't get him to stop crying by the time you get home, I would get him in to the ER so they can give him something for the pain. You might also want to get him in to be looked at sometime early next week." I told him that we were leaving early (like 5am) Monday morning to take a family trip, and that we wouldn't be back until Thursday night. He said to keep an eye on his hand, make sure it stays clean and wrapped, especially if the blisters pop, and to play it by ear. Soooo... that's what we did!

He eventually stopped crying once we gave him Tylenol and put his coat on him. His coat is a size 18mos, so it was VERY large on him and kinda made it so he couldn't move his hand or arm... When we got home that night, rather than take his coat off, I just let him sleep in it. On Christmas morning, we wrapped his hand up with a little bacitracin on the already popped blisters, and continued with our celebratory events... I did manage to snap a picture before the bandages went on.

Each finger had a blister on it's tip as well. Poor little guy. He wasn't too fussy, and it didn't seem to bother him much, but I kept him doped up on Motrin and Tylenol. We had a great Christmas day, and once again, he fell asleep with his coat covering his hand, so we left him in it to sleep that night. The day after Christmas was Sunday, and once again- no doctors offices were open. I ended up having to take a trip to the store to buy more gauze and bacitracin for his hand. I figured, while I was out I ought to see about getting his hand looked at, so I checked the instacare on the way by. It was closed as well. I really wasn't interested in taking a second trip to the ER in two weeks, so we just kept doing the same thing. Cleaning it, and wrapping it up with bacitracin.

Monday morning we left for Disneyland, and once again, his hand was fine and didn't seem to be bothering him. At this point we weren't even giving him anything for the pain. He wasn't bothered much at all. We drove all day, and had a fantastic dinner at Medieval Times, and got to our hotel, checked in and went to bed. Matthew had a rough night and just kept waking up. I gave him some Motrin, and let him sleep in our bed with us for part of the night, but he just never settled in and slept well.

Tuesday we headed in to Disneyland and Matthew was just being fussy. By around 2pm Matthew was not doing well. His hand was really warm to the touch and had started to smell kinda funny, so Joe and I talked about it, and Joe decided to take him to a local instacare in Anaheim. He left the park and took him in. They instacare doc's took one look at his hand and said, "That needs to be treated at the ER." They sent him to a children's hospital nearby, and Joe spent the next three hours winding his way through three triage rooms, before finally having an ER doc look at his hand and refuse to treat it. He referred us to a burn specialist in the area, an then started RIPPING into Joe about how bad his burn was and how we should have taken him directly to the ER when it happened. He told us it was at the very least a severe 2nd degree burn, maybe 3rd degree, and that because it had been 4 days since it happened, Matthew might have permanent nerve and tissue damage to his hand. He went on about how we may need skin grafts and he will need physical therapy for weeks, etc. And that it was infected. Needless to say, Joe and I felt AWFUL! It takes a lot to get under Joe's skin, and this doc did a great job of it! Joe felt terrible for waiting so long (as did I). It doesn't help that hey were talking to him as though he was a negligent idiot. Talk about awful bedside manner! So- they rewrapped Matthew's hand and sent us with a phone number to a burn center, and strict instructions to call first thing the next morning. They also gave us a prescription for an antibiotic to fight off his infection.

Wednesday was SUPER rainy so we opted to extend our trip by a day and spent the day NOT in the park. Joe took the girls to see Tangled, while I took Matthew in to the burn specialist. I told them the whole story, including what the ER doc said to Joe, and I could see the alarm on the specialist's face. But, once he saw Matthew's hand, he was very nice, and very reassuring. They removed the blister on his palm, and took a good look at it. Yes- it is a second degree burn. Yes it's pretty severe, but no there was no nerve damage, and most likely no tissue damage. He told us that we did a good job keeping it clean and there was no sign of infection (so either the ER doc was wrong, or the infection was cleared up after a single dose of his antibiotic). He then took me through the steps to care for his hand. We had to leave his dressings on until Friday, but then could change them when we thought it necessary. He really wanted me to come back Friday morning to be seen at the burn center there, but when I told him that was when we were leaving for home, he said we could leave as long as we got Matthew in to the doctor (or if necessary, the ER) to have it looked at as soon as we got home. He also suggested that we find a local burn center to get him checked out at early the next week. They wrapped his hand up so much that I had a hard time getting his shirt off that night! Boy does he look bothered, huh? :)

I ended up cutting the sleeve of his pajamas so that I could get him dressed for bed!

We finished our trip to Disneyland without event (unless you count Matthew managing to swing that club clean off his arm- he swung his arm and the dressing came off and flew about 15 feet!).

The drive home on Friday was longer than we intended due to weather and traffic, and we didn't get home until about 9pm. When we got home I dropped Joe and the girls off and took Matthew in to the ER to have his hand checked out. Luckily, it was a slow night. The ER doctor unwrapped, checked it, and re-wrapped his hand, Gave me further instructions on caring for his hand- they told me to change the dressings every day, and I was finally given permission to BATHE my son! He had been bath free since the day of the accident (so it had been 7 days). Until it is fully healed, I can only give him showers since they don't want his hand resting in standing (bacteria filled) water, but I will take it! After giving me the local burn center's info they sent me on my way home. Matthew may still need some skin grafts, and they are going to check for tissue damage, but his hand is doing SO MUCH better! (I know- the picture looks awful, but trust me, that looks good!)

They "re-clubbed" his hand and Matthew has since learned the trick to getting his arm out of "the club" (running his arm along any rough surface will eventually pull the club off his arm), so we had to scale back his wrappings to only cover his hand so he couldn't get it off...

We now have an appointment to have Matthew's hand checked Wednesday morning. I will be sure to keep you posted!


Ben and Heidi said...

Oh my goodness that poor little guy that hand looked just awful! I am sure that was no fun going to the ER while on vacation and then being lit into by that Dr. Jeez no fun!

Party of Four said...

What a sad little picture of his hand! Keep us posted- I'm sure everything will be good soon. HUGS!