Ella Takes Another Trip to the Emergency Room

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by Michael Casten |

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social distancing, e-learning, puppy, busy

We rolled up to the emergency room for the second time this month. The first time, Ella had broken her left foot. Now we were there for the other foot.

This particular afternoon, Ella had been playing with her brother, Henry, and his friends. She asked if they would push her around on her bike.

Ella has an adaptive bike she received through Easterseals. Designed for kids in wheelchairs, it has straps around the seat and large footplates where her feet are strapped into place. Although it’s an adaptive bike, Ella is not strong enough to power it herself.

Everything was fine until the right strap got caught in the chain. The boys didn’t know it was caught and kept pushing. The footplate rose up while the chain was pulling on the strap. Ella screamed when her foot bent more than she could tolerate. The boys stopped pushing as Ella began to cry. Henry called home and told me to come down the block to where they were standing with Ella.

Ella was still crying when I approached the group. They had gotten the strap out of the chain, but she was in pain. I released her foot from the strap and placed it over the middle bar as I pushed her home.

At home, we iced her ankle. Ella continued to scream in pain, and we gave her ibuprofen. Her crying dissipated a bit, but she continued to complain about her ankle. She wouldn’t let us touch it, and when she tried to move it she would wince and cry in pain. 

After an hour, we decided to take her to the hospital for X-rays to make sure her brittle bones hadn’t suffered a fracture. Our accessible van is still in the shop while we wait for insurance to approve a claim. We have a loaner van that has two rows of back seats. The second row is folded down to accommodate her manual wheelchair. Ella sits in a booster seat in the first row of back seats. I gingerly put her in the booster seat and we were off to the emergency room.

We have been there a few times, so the doctors are somewhat familiar with her disease. They took X-rays and we waited. About half an hour later, they told us that it was a severe sprain. There was no fracture. With that news, we drove home and continued our nightly routine.

Ella’s foot is still tender and we are careful as we dress, bathe, toilet, and transfer her. It feels better each day.

Never a dull moment here.


Note: SMA News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of SMA News Today, or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to spinal muscular atrophy.


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