Friday, December 28, 2012

Judah's Leg

I was really scared.  More than I realized.  And when I go into the pediatrician's office and say "I'm a little bit worried" and he says to you "then I'm a LOT worried if YOU are worried because you're so laid back about things!", it doesn't give you a warm fuzzy feeling.  Let me back up.

On Christmas day at some point, Mom was changing Judah's diaper and I was down the hall in Callie's room.  I heard him cry out and went in to see if everything was okay.  Mom said that he was fine until she bent his leg while changing his diaper - and then he just screamed out.  I got him settled back down, looked at his leg (looked fine), touched it (he was fine), stood him up (he put weight on it) and was a little perplexed.  Told Mom that he had his shots the week before and that maybe he just still had a tender spot on his leg that she bonked during the diaper change or something.  Mom said she heard him cry like that earlier when David was putting him in the high chair - that his leg had gotten stuck underneath him, bent, and he screamed like that.  Very strange, but his leg looked fine!

The next day (Wednesday), I watched him throughout the day and it looked like he was holding his left leg straight - not wanting to bend it.  But again, leg looked totally normal. Not red. Not hot. Not swollen.  I would stand him and he was totally fine.  I put him in the bath tub that afternoon and watched to see.  Normally he kicks his feet all around during a bath.  He kicked his right leg, but his left leg he was definitely holding straight.  He was moving his foot, but his leg was straight as a board.  Not bending the knee at all.  Now I was worried.  When I got him out of the bath, I put him jammies on.  I looked at his leg again - touched and poked all over. No reaction.  But when I tried to force it to bend, he started screaming.  I called the pediatrician the nurse was perplexed too.  I told her that he had shots the week before, but I had never seen anything like this.  Red or swollen around the injection site maybe, but nothing like this before.  The nurse didn't really know either, but said they could get me an appointment the next afternoon (Friday).

So after David's family left, Judah and I headed to the pediatrician.  I was getting more and more worried. My mind started to race.  What in the world was possibly wrong with him?  It was so strange. So unexplained.  My pediatrician was worried when I told him I was worried.  He saw exactly what I was talking about.  Asked if he had a fever at any point (nope, no fever), asked if his leg was ever red or hot (nope, never).  He left and then came back in and said I needed to go to the orthopedic at the children's hospital for them to do an xray and evaluate.  UGH. My heart sank.

I called David and let him know we were going over there.  I was thankful that they were getting me in - knowing it was late on a Friday afternoon - but a little alarmed that the pediatrician didn't have an easy answer for me.  

As we waited in the waiting room, I just prayed and prayed over this sweet boy.  Prayed that the doctor would see exactly what he needed to see.  Prayed that there were not any broken bones or dislocated joints.  Prayed that there would be a simple answer and simple response. We waited a long time.  Over an hour (and this was after 1.5 hours at the pediatrician). He finally fell asleep on me, and as he did and his body relaxed, I looked down and saw his precious little leg bent...
It was such a relief to see - I felt like if it were something serious, he would never bend it.  But this is what I had seen over the last day or so.  When he was totally relaxed (sleeping, nursing), he would slowly relax his leg and bend it.  

We finally headed in to the see the doctor after we did the xrays and we heard good news! No broken bones. No dislocated joints.  Just a reaction to his shots.  Called toxic synovitis.  The doctor said generally when you see something like this it is one of three things.  1) Trauma. There has been a break in a bone.  The Xray crossed this one off because the XRay was fine. 2) Reactive arthritis. The body is reacting to something causing a sort of arthritis where it sends extra fluid to joints.  In this case, extra fluid on his knee causing it to be painful to bend. 3) Infective arthritis.  Caused by infection of some type.  Would require surgery to correct.  Because Judah had not ever run a fever and his leg had never been red or hot, the doctor felt confident it was not this type.  I told him that was part of why it was so perplexing - 95% of the time, Judah was happy as could be!!  Like this:

So the doctor assured me that he thought Judah was going to be just fine.  That in a few days I should see improvement and there was no treatment or anything that was needed.  If anything changed (fever, red or hot leg, etc), he gave me his card and said I could call him at any time. I was relieved.  And thankful. 


Courtney said...

wow...that's so scary!!! i'm so thankful they were able to get him in and give you an answer so quickly!

sandi said...

i agree with courtney, what a scary situation. glad things were answered quickly and you did not have to wait and wonder very long. those long waits for test results are not easy!

Judy said...

Wow...that is quite a story. I was worried just reading it. I've never heard of that sort of reaction to shots . I'm so glad you got it checked out. Praise God he's ok!

Judy said...

Wow...that is quite a story. I was worried just reading it. I've never heard of that sort of reaction to shots . I'm so glad you got it checked out. Praise God he's ok!