• Cindy

Quint Breaks An Arm

Updated: Feb 1, 2020


When Eliot was 5 years old, a very unusual thing happened in her household. The formerly only child became a sister to five babies. Overnight. Yes. Mom was one of the few women in the world to give birth to quintuplets

The 'Fab Five' as mom and dad called them with Eliot in the background.

From that day forward, Eliot's life changed. She was immediately a second mom to five babies needing constant attention. Eliot helped with feeding, diaper changing, and stroller duty.

In 2015, at the age of 11, Eliot broke her arm. You can imagine the chaos that must exist in a house with an 11 year old and five active six year olds. Eliot was doing a cartwheel off the sofa in the family's playroom when she snapped both bones in her forearm.

After a few brief screams which are largely ignored in a house with six kids, mom and dad realized the severity of Eliot's injury. The arm looked like a 'Z'. Dad rushed Eliot to a nearby hospital.

In the ER, Eliot was drugged although the doctor warned the setting process would be painful. Screaming would be likely.

Eliot after her little setting session. Mom made it to the hospital minutes after Eliot's arm was set.

Here is an account of the setting process according to Eliot's father.

"I learned something that night:  the science of setting a bone in 2014 is much like I’m guessing it was done in the year 2014 B.C.  This is not a good thing.  While the doctor wrenched and pushed and pulled and jerked and all other manner of things you would never, ever, ever do to a person’s broken arm, four of us (I was recruited for the effort) held Eliot down (girl is strong!) while the anesthesiologist kept pumping the meds (and she metabolizes pain medicine fast!).  When they were done, she had given up the fight and was sleeping soundlessly while they put on her splint and took another round of x-rays."

Eliot after the application of her first cast. Tough kid considering she was screaming in pain minutes before

A week after the accident, Eliot was placed in a full arm purple cast. Because of the severity of break, Eliot's arm was once again manipulated during the casting process. This time without drugs. That evening, Eliot's fingers turned blue and began to swell. Eliot's arm was throbbing.

Eliot and her cast cut and taped. That's a lot of stockings on the mantle. Santa my need and oversized sleigh to get all the presents down the chimney

Back at the ER, the cast was cut to reduce the swelling and secured with tape.

Eliot getting her second hard cast

Eliot went through a series of casts until she was finally cast free in early February.

Current day Eliot. Tremendous kid with a maternal instinct to kill for

The Story

Lila in the ER. Waiting to have her broken forearm set

When you have five kids the same age, broken bones will happen. Of the five quints, Lila was the one who took charge and broke the first bone.

Last year, she was using the same 'sofa of death' that Eliot did cartwheels off as a trampoline. She did a back handspring, missed the sofa, and made Eliot proud by snapping both bones in her forearm.

This time, mom and dad were more calm about the entire event. Once again, dad drove Lila to the ER. The anxiety level was much lower this time around. By the time the 4th or 5th kid breaks a bone I bet they will be dispatched to the ER by UBER.

Being a good, big sister, Eliot accompanied dad and Lila to the ER. Even though she had broken an arm before she had little conscious memory of the setting process. According to dad, she became a bit unsettled when she was asked to join the six adults who were going to hold Lila down during the setting process. Eliot became shaken when she watched the brutal fashion the orthopedic surgeon manhandled her sisters slender arm. And Eliot passed out when Lila began to scream and writhe like a wounded animal. Fortunately, Eliot did not break anything during her slow fall to the examining room tile floor.

Lila recovered like almost all 10 year olds do. The real question is not if one of the other quints will break a bone - but when?

A recent picture of mom, dad, Eliot, and he qunits at an ice scream store. Eliot center; Lila far right

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