Broken bone while traveling

Any time a kid gets hurt, it is no fun. A broken bone while traveling is one of the worst-case scenarios. When it happens on the road there is an added element of worry since you are not familiar with the area, doctors, hospitals, etc.

We were at the Shell Factory in Fort Meyers (a must see if you are visiting the area!). We were outside and the kids were playing on this old fire truck. I thought it was so cool how they let the kids climb all over the firetruck! A lot of other places wouldn’t due to the fact that someone could get hurt . . . (I still think it is awesome that they have it and it was just unfortunate that Cannon got hurt).


The bar on the steps is what knocked Cannon off the truck and down to the cement.
The bar on the steps is what knocked Cannon off the truck and down to the cement.

I was sitting on the top of the firetruck when I heard Cannon scream. Right away I knew it was something different. It wasn’t his normal cry it was more high pitched and had a different tone to it. I came down around the corner and I saw him sitting on the cement holding his arm. His elbow was all out of whack. My first thought was come on buddy get up and keep playing you are fine . . . please be fine . . . he isn’t ok. When he saw me he said in a very calm voice “Mommy I broke my arm”.

Another family had just walked over and I asked them if they could watch my kids while I found out what to do. This was our first full day in the Fort Myers area so I knew nothing about it. I quickly called Craig and told him what had happened. He was back at the RV working – without a car. There was a really nice older man with the family that came over and he said you need to call an ambulance. I said No since there was no way Cannon would go by himself and I knew the other kids couldn’t come with in the ambulance. And Cannon really seemed fine – he wasn’t even really crying – we was just sitting there holding his arm – with his elbow all dislocated and sticking out. I grabbed Knox and found one of the workers. They told me about an urgent care facility close by.

I went and got the car and put Cannon in. I felt ok doing this since he seemed fine except for his arm. I made the decision to go and get Craig – there was no way I was doing this by myself with all the kids. One of the downsides of only having one car with you. After picking Craig up we decided to go to a hospital – since we assumed they would need x-rays.

We got to Lee Memorial Hospital and headed to the Emergency room. When we walked in the clientele looked really sketchy and I was even more nervous. We registered and then sat down to wait. We waited for 90 minutes! Luckily he was not in pain. Once we finally went back they started moving quickly. They put us on the Fast Track and sent a Dr. right done – versus the Physician Assistant or nurse who normally saw patients.

The nurses were super nice and helpful and the Dr. was amazing! Right away he recommended that we do anesthesia that would keep him in an awake state with his eye open but he wouldn’t feel anything. I agreed. It would be way to painful for him to be aware of what was going on.

Next came the IV. It took 3 times to get the IV in since his veins were so short. He actually did really well with it and didn’t even cry by the 3rd time. Once the IV was in they gave him some pain medicine and then we waited for the Dr. to come back.

When the Doctor came back he had a huge team of people with him (that made me nervous). There were 2 anesthesiologist there, a respiratory Dr, 3 nurses, and the ER Dr. They inserted the anesthesia into his arm and in a mater of 15 seconds he was out of it and the Dr. grabbed his arm and started working. He popped it back into place, got a split on it, wrapped it up, and he was done. I was able to stay right by Cannon and sing to him the whole time which was great – since he kept fussing and seemed scared and confused. They then brought the xray team in and got a few xrays. The Dr. made sure I was able to stay by Cannon the whole time – so I put on the xray jacket and stayed right there. They took the X-rays and then everyone cleared out. I was glad we made it through that without issue.


When the Dr. came back he said it was better then he thought and he was glad he had so much movement in his arm. He then showed me the X-ray (on this phone – crazy!). And showed me where it had broken. Originally he had said we might have to be transferred to the Childrens hospital that night. After seeing the x-ray and talking with the pediatric orthopedic Dr it was decided we could go home for the night. The next day we had to go the pediatric orthopedic Dr to find out the next steps – would he need surgery or no.

Craig came and picked us up and Carson and Melia had made really sweet cards for Cannon. Luckily when we got home he fell asleep and slept all night. The next day we headed to the Dr. and I was so nervous and just kept telling myself he won’t need surgery . . . No such luck. We got in to see the Dr. and basically he had the worst case scenario with what happened. He actually said he was surprised he dislocated it and broke it at his age. Basically he broke the bone off and also ripped some of the cartilage. Even though things were back in place, due to the cartilage being ripped, they wanted to do surgery to put pins in the bone to hold them in place so they can heal properly. If we didn’t do surgery there was a really high chance that it wouldn’t heal right.

At this point I was pretty upset and so was Cannon – since he understood he had to go back to the hospital. He just wanted to go get the new toy that he was promised at the ER the night before. I held it together until we got in the car and I called Craig. I was so nervous and scared for Cannon.

We headed across the street to the hospital and got registered and then had to wait about 3 hours before we could go back (since it wasn’t a scheduled surgery).

One of the only positives of this experience is all the time I got to spend with just Cannon. I never get to spend that much time with just one kid. Once we were through everything at the ER Cannon sat on my lap and just talked and talked for about an hour straight :)! It was so fun to hear what he had to say (without being interrupted by his siblings :))!. The same thing the next day at the hospital while we waited to go back. It really was a positive in the whole experience!

When we went back Cannon started to get scared. They kept asking if it hurt and I kept saying No he is just scared. We got settled in the bed and watched a movie while we waited.

Waiting for surgery.
Waiting for surgery.

They came in to give us the Versa (A drug to make Cannon kind of out of it) so that he would be more relaxed going back for the surgery. He DID NOT want to take it! He never takes medicine at home so he isn’t use to having to drink something he doesn’t want. I was talking to him and trying to convince him and he just didn’t want to take it. I DID NOT want to force him to take it. I could tell the nurse was getting annoyed. But I was not going to make this harder on Cannon then I had to. Eventually he took it and gagged up most of it. When they came to get him he was not out of it at all. I told them he wasn’t ready and they waited and came back in about 5 minutes. At that point he had to go the Dr. was waiting.

This was the worst time. He was reaching for me and crying and screaming for me as they pushed the bed away. It is BS that they won’t let the parents go back there until they put the mask on and they are asleep. Seriously what is the problem? I just wanted to hold his hand and comfort him until he was asleep and then I would leave no questions asked. I was able to stay with him in the ER when they sedated him. It has never made sense to me why they are so uptight about it!

I had to leave to go out to the waiting room and that of course was the worst time! It seemed like the 75 minutes he was back there was 75 hours! I just wanted to know everything was ok!!!!

Finally the Dr. came out and talked to me and everything was fine. He ended up with 3 pins in his arm and a cast from his knuckles to his arm pit. Light Blue – the color he picked! He will be in the cast for 4 weeks. Next week when we are in the Keys we have to find somewhere to get an Xray and then have it emailed to the Dr. Then we will be going back to a different Dr. in Orlando (that our current Dr. recommended) to get the cast removed. Then 3 more weeks with a splint and wrap on it. Where we will eventually start going nights with nothing on and taking it off a few times a day to work on his movement. They said in most cases kids don’t need physical therapy because they naturally just start moving it and flexing it and doing what they need to do to get range of motion back.


About 20 minutes later I was able to go back to see him. He was crying for me and I couldn’t wait to get by him! I just stood there and hugged him and then got in bed with him to just snuggle him to settle him down. We were able to get him dressed and head down to the pharmacy for his pain medicine. After eating some chips and a cookie from Subway all he wanted to do was get going to get his new toy and movie!

We were finally able to get in the car and head out – at this point it was 7pm. Our Dr. appointment was at 10am so we had been gone all day! We headed to Target and Cannon had fun picking out some new toys and movies for him and a new toy for Carson, Melia, and Knox too! And of course CANDY :)! When we got home they had a perfect bed set up for Cannon on the couch.


Thank goodness everything was done (for now) and we were heading home! We can only hope that everything goes smoothly and everything heals properly! Cannon was a trooper and even now he is doing so well adjusting to having this huge cast on. Not being able to swim for the next 4 weeks will be a challenge . . . but we will figure it out!




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