Adding insult to injury

Now that expression has a whole new meaning for us. We were caught off-guard by child abuse accusations and investigations. Our thoughts were focused on helping Dominic get through the awful pain he was experiencing when he broke his leg, and on helping him get the best medical care to have the best outcome possible. We’re still hoping the cast helps and everything heals appropriately.

Today we were able to speak with Dominic’s pediatrician who has been out of his office throughout this ordeal. He and I spoke on the phone a couple of times this morning and I think he was instrumental in finally getting us released from the hospital. I asked two things of him: that he confirm the appropriateness of the treatment we were receiving in the hospital (i.e., a second opinion), and that he vouch for Dominic’s record of regular check-ups and health (to remove concerns about child abuse).

The hospital failed to make the connection with our pediatrician, assigning us to a generic doctor with our insurance plan. It’s a good thing I made the call to our doctor’s office and informed them of what was going on.

What many of our friends, physicians included, have said was that the signs of abuse were not present with Dominic’s injury, so why involve the authorities at all? True enough. I just think it’s a sad reality of current conditions. It’s unfortunate everyone doesn’t care for a child appropriately.

We have tried our best to be understanding, patient and cooperative throughout this experience. We learned yesterday that the police went to Eliana’s school, pulled her from class and interrogated her, one cop with Ellie behind closed doors. We certainly hope the school followed Clark County School District policy.

One would think that constitutional rights would protect a minor from being interrogated by police under such circumstances. One would also think that the school would take appropriate steps to verify the officer’s status as a police officer, contact the parents to make them aware of what is happening, and accompany the student to be sure she is safe.

From what we know so far, those things did not happen. We’re on a mission to acquire more information about Ellie’s interrogation and will let you know what we learn.

As far as little Dominic is concerned, we are much happier now that he is out of the hospital, and so is he. Since arriving home around 2 p.m. he has not had any instances of jerking, crying, falling off to sleep then going through the whole cycle 5-10 minutes later. He has a good appetite and has eaten several things. He has urinated and continues to ask for drinks. He and Eliana are watching TV and movies and playing computer games and he seems to be doing well. He just had a dose of Tylenol with codeine after going without any pain medication since 4 a.m. today.

Grandma Snow is due in an hour or so. It will be great to have her help for the next few days.

We will continue adjusting to having an incapacitated two-and-a-half year-old and look for things to keep him occupied and in as good of spirits as possible.

The family services case worker called tonight to check-up on us. She said she needs to come to our home to see Dominic tomorrow and that as long as everything meets her satisfaction she can close our case. Hallelujah! (I could never do her job.)

After talking with Grandma Snow last night I began a series of steps to hopefully ensure we were able to bring Dominic home today and to notify Eliana’s school principal that we were unhappy with what we had been told about her school day interrogation.

Most notably, this morning I spoke with our friend who is an attorney, with Dominic’s insurance provider, and with our family’s pediatrician.

I believe the doctor’s office and our insurance company are responsible for pressing the issue of why we were still in the hospital. We felt we were being held there, under surveillance and against our will. We learned there’s a task force of physicians who examine x-rays and test results on all child abuse cases and they had to clear us to go home. Our doctor said he’d be sure they explained to him the medical reason we had to stay in the hospital, or if everything checked out (i.e., no other broken bones or unresolved injuries noticed after the day of x-rays and CAT scans yesterday), that we could go home.

All the tests showed everything else was fine. Aunt Betty pointed out tonight this is probably a good thing because it supports our claim that Dominic’s a healthy kid who had an unfortunate accident.

It wasn’t more than an hour after I spoke with our doctor for the first time that the attending physician at the hospital came in and said everything was fine and we were free to go (never mind that the nurses told us we couldn’t leave until Dominic took all his pain medicine orally…I think they were misinformed or just using that as explanation for keeping us there for three days).

It really is amazing how quickly your life can be turned upside down. I remember a similar toppsy turvy experience in 1987 when my grandfather passed away from a massive heart attack while visiting our family in New York. That changed our reality in the blink of an eye. I’m sure everyone experiences moments like this throughout life. That’s the nature of mortality.

We are just glad to be home and together as a family. Even Tank is less anxious and seems to be happier.

Taking care of Dominic’s diapers is going to be a chore, and probably the nastiest part of all of this, providing he ends up a happy, healthy little boy once we’re through this recovery process. Keeping him occupied and entertained will be another challenge. We’re hoping the cast is reduced as time goes on, that it can be cut down or a new one applied. But if not, I’m sure Dominic will figure out how to get around eventually.

After missing a couple days of work the week after Thanksgiving I really will have a lot to catch-up on next week. Vickey was able to do some Pampered Chef work this afternoon. I guess we’re back to reality after a couple days’ break.

That’s it for now. We’ll keep you posted on Dominic’s progress.

Here’s a photo of Eliana and Dominic, taken a couple weeks ago.

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