Caden is free of the cast that was on his left arm. If you missed it, Caden broke his arm just above the elbow back in December when he fell from the steps to the sliding board in our back yard. Caden saw his orthopedic surgeon on Friday the 13th as a follow up. Caden was nervous going into the appointment. His elbow had three temporary steel pins inserted during the surgery last month. Caden’s arm was set and the pins were placed while under full anesthesia during a surgery at the MUSC Children’s hospital a little over six hours after the accident.
The xrays taken of his elbow on Friday were bad enough showing these pins, but when they cut the cast off there these three pins were sticking out of his elbow like porcupine spines. It was probably a good thing that I had seen Caden with his chest open as an infant and with drain tubes running from between his ribs on many occasions or I might have passed out when the nurse completed the cast removal and exposed these pins. Caden looked a almost as alarmed at what he way as I actual was. Then the doctor came in with this plier looking tool and began pulling these pins our as if he were plucking a chicken. Caden expressed from discomfort by crying but the process was nowhere near as traumatic as I had expected when I first saw the pins. Caden was so happy to have his left arm free. He could not wait to show mommy and his brothers that his cast was gone. He is slowly beginning to use his arm a little more.
We have a 4 week follow up appointment with the orthopedic surgeon. At that time they will check his arm and we will have a discussion about Caden’s next back surgery. We are nearing four months since the last back surgery. With the VEPTR rods in Caden’s back he is required to have surgery to lengthen them every 6-9 months until he is a teenager. Then the rods will be removed and they will fuze his spin to keep it straight.
Five days after the surgery on Caden’s arm he was hospitalized due to pneumonia . Caden had begun running a 104 + fever just two days after the surgery. We initially were concerned that the fever might by related to the surgery. That concern took us to the emergency room on the second day after surgery. The doctors answered our concerns and said the fever was not related to the surgery. They checked Caden for pneumonia via a cheat xray and said he was clear. They diagnosed him with a severe sinus infection and sent us home on an antibiotic. Three days later Caden popped 104.6 fever in the middle of the night. His reparations and heart rate when through the roof. His heart rate was hanging just below 170 for a couple of hours between 3-5 am that night. Sherry took Caden into the pediatrician the next day. After listening to Caden’s lungs the pediatrician sent Caden back to the MUSC ER for another chest xray suspecting pneumonia. The chest xray confirmed the pneumonia and Caden was admitted and placed on two separate IV antibiotics. One of the two could only be given via IV. Caden was discharged from the hospital after three nights. This was his sixth diagnosis of pneumonia in 2011 with three of the six requiring hospitalization. Caden also had three other hospitalizations due to surgeries during the calendar year 2011 including the one night caused by the surgery on his broken arm.