Finn Bodhi & the #spicacastlife
Oh my gosh!! What an absolute crazy, L O N G 6 weeks it has been here at the Vee’s! How can it feel like it’s gone so fast & yet feel like that thing was on for a year?! It’s finally off, we have finally started the part 2 of his healing journey and so far he’s doing great!
To be completely honest, when this whole thing happened, I didn’t even know the child’s leg was broken, let alone his femur!!! I have never broken a bone, never was around someone growing up with a broken bone….I literally was lost when it happened. I remember sitting in the hospital with Finn that night, Jay was at home with CPS (more details coming) and I just sat there starring at me helpless, hurting baby, wondering what in the actual HELL am I going to do for the next 10 weeks!?!!?! That was the original timeline for his spica cast.
It all started that morning, heading out the door for school like any ol’ day! I had just returned from my women’s retreat with church so I was tired & the kids were at an all HIGH energy level happy to have mama home! Finn was walking out the door with his Linus blankey, big brother walking right behind still trying to watch the tv that I was trying to turn off….stepped on blanket, Finn went flying, landed on the right spot on our metal door frame and that was it. I turned around to him on the ground screaming with no evidence of a fall so hard his femur was broken….and a dented door frame we later found that evening.
After rushing Emma to school, trying to stay as calm as possible, still not even knowing the worst of the worst we raced to the ER!!! This whole time I am thinking he shattered his knee? Or sprained his knee?….is that even possible?!?! Guys, I have no clue. After X-ray’s we find out his bone from hip to knee has shifted causing a large femur break! My heart broke. I felt a huge amount of #momguilt & stupidity for not knowing his biggest bone was broken. This was just the beginning of that horrible mom guilt thing, we later found out after hours of being prosecuted by CPS, social services, & HBPD that the doctor at the ER did not believe my story on how the fall happened. Which led to multiple questions, being separated from my hurt child, being questioned on my role as a mother, weather I was negligent or not? Having a huge case opened, my 2 other kids put in question & interviewed, my home being raided for drugs, the list went on and on…..all while trying to help my baby & feeling completely helpless. It was a very rough first day/night….which finally ended around 10:30 that evening when they told us they don’t have cause to believe our children are being hurt, but seem happy & healthy. At the time I was enraged for all of this, Jay said my mouth would have gotten me arrested if this incident didn’t….meaning I was not very nice or easy to cooperate with them…but when a mama bear who would never hurt her babies is being blamed for a fluke accident, you don’t see outside of the reasoning for all of it until later. I learned that night the femur is the MOST common broken bone of abused toddlers. I truly broke my heart when I read that that night. Thank Jesus they are this diligent when it comes to kid’s safety, but still makes me so sad knowing how often people get away with much worse. I wish I could save those innocent babes.
So, our case is closed, we finally got him on the good drugs so his muscle spams wouldn’t wake him up every 30 minutes anymore, and I just sat there stuffing my face with In-N-Out feeling again, so helpless, so lost, so defeated on something I hadn’t even started. So….I went to Google! I typed in “How to deal with a toddler Spicacast” and to my surprise had a few blogs pop up that gave me a ton of advice & tips! And slowly but surely this spica cast life became our new normal and I learned and made my own tips & tricks along the way!
I didn’t know weather to write a blog on this or not? Not something really everyone wants to read?!?!? But then I thought of that hopeless mama sitting in CHOC that night, feeling all alone, and wanted to share what I learned for the next mama!! Because apparently this dang bone is broken among toddlers more often then you think!!
So, here we go! First off, the first week or so will S U C K!! Like beyond suck. They are still in pain, a little traumatized, & wondering what the heck is on their body!?!?! The more you put this realization in your brain, the easier this whole process will be! Literally expect nothing but the worst! Also, be prepared for no sleep & a lot of coffee! Finn had really bad muscles spams when he would nap and sleep at night. Basically the muscle tries to relax around the broken bone & it can’t fully do that while healing which is what jerks them awake right when they fall into a deep sleep. I hope I am explaining this correct..don’t quote me, it’s been a long 6 weeks here.
Around 2.5 weeks we were able to stop using the valum (we tried only giving it when absolutely necessary) and he started sleeping all night long and not in pain anymore. Which oddly was so nice because before this the child still woke up 2-4 times a night!!! Need to sleep train? Get a fake Spica cast, just kidding! We did continue the Tylenol/ Motrin trade off when he seemed in pain.
First things first, do yourself a favor & invest in a BEAN BAG chair! When we got home he was very scared & would hardly let us move him, it took him 2 weeks to feel okay to be propped up to sit on the couch, so this was a saving grace during this time! Thank you LifeGroup for blessing us with this!
-Double Diaper Duty
This part was rough! Took about 10-15 minutes every diaper change, I mean sweating after…but the less pain they’re in the easier it gets! Eventually they just learn the drill. I found it easier to have him laying flat during diaper changes. The best diapers for this, at least for us, was LUVS. They’re thing, but hold a lot of leak, and so cheap! Which help when you’re changing every hour and having to use 2 diapers at once. I wish I would have gotten a video of this because by the end Finn and I, and Jay, had this thing down! We started off by tucking the diaper under the top part of the cast, use your fingers to grab it at the top and pull it through, so the diaper is under the cast against the tummy….then start using your fingers and push it up the bottom of the cast by the bum. This is the tricky but was so helpful when we started getting heat rashes and bed sores. Roll their top half to one side and do that same trick with your fingers to grab the diaper and slowly pull UP! Roll to other side & REPEAT! Then another diaper goes on normal over the cast. The double diapering helps to prevent any potty getting on the cast and having to start the whole process over! It sounds so confusing but I promise it’s not once you get it nailed down.
Once the heat started, my very sweaty child got a lot of heat rashes inside the cast, which led to some bed sores. Freaked out at first, till I reached out to my nurse gals & got the good tips. Keep NEOSPORIN & BABY AQUAFOR on hand at all times! Neosporin will help with the sores and itching. Aquafor will help with the skin & rashes to create a barrier between the sweaty cast and the skin.This is where the double diaper comes in handy because the diaper goes up their back in the back and protects from rashes forming. If you can’t get this down we also used ULTRASORBS.
They will be a little constipated due to being down, and if they have anesthesia at all. Be careful with giving miralax, the doctor did recommend this, but we decided to stay clear of it so it wasn’t a river of poo in the cast!!! So they might need a little help getting those poops out, enter DAD. We did the more natural route with a lot of water, little bit of prune juice, and any fruit that have a pit will help pass it easier.
Obviously with a body cast there’s no baths allowed! We had to refrain from anyone using this word because Finn would lose it if he knew a bath was on and he wasn’t invited!!! We did a lot of sponge baths with the soap the hospital gave us, but who has time with 3 kids & keeping life as normal as possible to do that whole process every night! So these BATHING WIPES were super helpful! To at least help with the smell! We used RAW SUGAR SCRUB as well when his layers of skin started adding up on his poor feet! And CERAVE lotion to keep his body hydrated and less itchy! His long hair matted, and tangled A LOT! Straight dreads..so we used NO RINSE shampoo for those times and combed out with a wide tooth comb & my fave UNITE 7 SECONDS.
Now, the hardest part guys….how the heck do we entertain a 2 year old for 6-10 weeks?!?!?! Be prepared, if you aren’t an iPad/tablet person..become one, because it will save your life! My sweet sister bought Finn his own FIRE TABLET while it was on sale and it was 100% worth it! He loved it and felt special that it was “His own” tablet!
CARS movie became his fave & all the characters we could find by Hot Wheels. This PARKING LOT was also a big hit! Thank goodness I never tossed it during one of my many purge hauls! Also, Monster trucks of all kinds!
We also invested in a WAGON…we just grabbed one off of craigslist! So nice to have once he let us get him outside & go on walks! He was so much happier once we started this! He eventually started feeling more comfortable to where he felt good in the STROLLER we already had. Had to prop him up with pillows, and blankets under his legs but he was so happy just to be up!
My number 1 tip I will leave you with….if you can, build them a table!!! I have no clue how Jay did this! Pretty sure it’s just a slab of wood & he used his saw to cut a semi circle, sanded it, & voila! This will keep you SANE!!! And that baby entertained aaaallll day long!
Either I have ran out of good tips, or I have forgotten the rest….but I feel like that’s about it! The days were super long, and the first nights home from hospital, but TRUST ME YOU WILL GET THROUGH THIS!!! Make time for yourself, you WILL need it!!! Don’t hold onto any mama guilt! I did the first few weeks and it made it so much harder! Do NOT, I repeat do not hermit crab yourself! Going to play dates, bible study, your besties house, will not be easy to just go anymore…and if you do will be so hard because you will need all the things- so make sure you reach out, have your people come to you, do plenty of mama nights to unwind & just remove yourself from nurse duty! For you & hubby both!!! I also made sure I gave the Bigs plenty of attention and appreciation for all their help, so I did lots of dates with them together & solo so they still got the mama love!
You can do this, it’ll be over before you know it!!! And if you need a friend, email me!!! You can’t do it alone it’s true, you need a village, so whatever that looks like let them come in & be there to lift your family up in this time!