Spending half of Christmas in the ER is not something every parent envisions their Christmas to be but unfortunately, that was us this year!
It started off as a normal Christmas morning; Andrew got to open and play with his presents, Grandma & Big Daddy came over to watch Andrew’s reaction when we surprised him with his new power wheels. After Andrew drove the power wheels around, we were getting things ready to go to Grandma’s to open presents over there.
Then it happened.
Andrew was playing on the arm rest of the couch, lost his footing and fell smack dab on his side on our natural stone tile. I didn’t see it as my back was turned but from what I heard before the ear-piercing, blood-curling scream was a large CRACK. I literally thought my baby cracked his head open.
As I rushed to him, so many thoughts filled my mind
and I had absolutely no idea where he was hurt or how severe it was — he was crying hysterically. Did he break his neck? Did he crack his ribs? Is it just a bruise? Did it just really scare him?
We comforted him as best we could and eventually calmed him down. We put on a movie and luckily he was laughing through it and talking — no signs of a concussion or anything but if we tried to lift his left arm up or touch the left side of his body he would let out a shrieking cry of pain.
He eventually took a nap and Scott and I decided we would let him sleep and see how he was when he woke up before we took him to the hospital. We were hoping it was nothing serious. An hour and a half later, before his eyes were even open, that blood-curling cry filled our home along with sweating and shaking.
We packed up our things and headed towards the hospital.
Luckily, because it was Christmas there weren’t very many people so the wait was short– Andrew was in serious pain. Once we saw the nurse (who really rubbed me the wrong way from the moment she came out to get us and told Andrew, “Why are you crying? There is no reason to cry!” — excuse me!?) he was given a dose of Motrin. Although I cringed when he took it, I was thankful it gave him a little bit of relief.
I am so thankful for my husband because he was my rock. I think without his strength this mama would not have had the strength to keep from busting up in hysterical tears. The last thing any mama wants is to see their child in any kind of pain. I’m sure you can relate when I say if I could have taken his pain away, I would!
Anyway, someone was looking down on us because it only ended up being a minor fracture — no surgery required. We were told he would need to be in a sling for about 2 weeks and then have another 4 weeks of complete heal time. They ordered us to give him Motrin every 6 hours for the next two days for pain and limit mobility for the first week or so.
As we left the hospital, we were counting our blessings because of how minor his injury was and felt hopeful for a speedy recovery. Being a firm believer in the power of healing from food, I knew I had to get my detective glasses on and do some reading.
I began to research what took place after injury so I could better understand the healing process, I looked up the types of vitamins and minerals that were needed to help the bone-healing process and what types of foods offered anti-inflammatory effects.
No parent wants to see their child in pain but I personally wanted to get him off of Motrin as quick as possible.
Please note: I am NOT a doctor nor do I give medical advice. I only share what I personally find and if there is something you have a concern about, I encourage you to ask your doctor for precautionary measures.
The Problem With Anti-Inflammatory Drugs
Anti-inflammatory medicines like Motrin slow down the natural healing process of bone-repair and healing especially in the first phase of bone healing. Inflammation is important in bone healing because it is part of the cleaning-up and rebuilding process. Medicines like Motrin inhibit crucial enzymes cyclooxygenase (COX) enzymes COX-1 and COX-2 from doing their jobs. So basically, the pain goes away but it slows the healing process down. (source)
From what I read, bone-healing goes into three phases.
- Inflammation phase
- Reparative phase
- Remodeling phase
During those phases, the body needs different types of vitamins and minerals to help rebuild the bone, muscle tissue and everything else included in the process.
Below you’ll find key nutrients that help heal bones
It is extremely important to fill the body with high quality, nutrient-dense foods that are also calorie dense as the body needs energy for healing.
Protein is required to help build strong calluses around the fractured area. Lysine, in particular is known to enhance calcium absorption, increase the amount of calcium absorbed into the bone matrix, and aid in the regeneration of tissue. (source).
When a bone breaks or fractures, free radicals are sent out into the body. Free radicals, or pro-oxidants, may cause oxidative stress on the body’s antioxidant reserves. Because anti-oxidants help repair free radicals, it is important to increase the anti-oxidants in the diet. Vitamin E and C, lycopene, and alpha-lipoic acid have been suggested to help fight free radicals.
Anti-inflammatory nutrients also help relieve pain. Taking adequate amounts of vitamin C, quercitin and other flavonoids, omega‐3 fatty acids, and proteolytic enzymes such as bromalain and trypsin are helpful in minimizing the pain felt during inflammation. (source)
Increase Mineral Intake
Since our bones are made up of roughly 70% minerals, it is extremely important to get a good boost of mineral intake when healing bone. It’s important to take note that many vitamins and mineral work synergistically with one another and will not be readily available without other nutrients. For example, calcium absorption is entirely dependent on vitamin D. In fact, human studies have been conducted that concluded adequate amounts of calcium and vitamin D are one of the best ways of healing bone.
Important minerals in healing bone include zinc, phosphorus, magnesium, calcium, copper and silicon. These minerals all work together to help rebuild and build stronger bone formation, callus formation, collagen formation and move the healing process along. For other minerals and vitamins important for healing, you can read this article I found here.
Increase Vitamin Intake
In bone healing, there are four specific and crucial vitamins that are necessary for speedy bone healing; vitamins C, D, K and B6. Vitamins are pretty much the catalysts of making things happen in the body — remember when I said vitamins and minerals work synergestically?
Vitamin C: Essential for proper synthesis of the bone collagen protein matrix, it can be considered one of the most important anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory nutrients. Since vitamin C plays a vital role in bone collagen formation, adequate amounts of vitamin C really impact the speed of healing.
Vitamin D: As I mentioned above, without vitamin D, calcium cannot be absorbed properly. This makes vitamin D a critical nutrient to obtain. Lack of calcium absorption can result in suboptimal fracture healing and bone repair.
Vitamin K: Similar to vitamin D’s function, vitamin K actually plays a role in binding the calcium to the bone. Interestingly enough, vitamin K preserves calcium which helps prevent the loss of calcium in urine.Vitamin K has been noted for it’s healing properties dating back to 1960.
Vitamin B6: In an animal study conducted, they found that lack of vitamin B6 resulted in a significant delay in the maturation of callus in rats. (source)
I think it’s important to keep in mind that a variety of all these vitamins and minerals are essential in speeding up the healing process. Nourishing our bodies with important bone- repairing and building nutrients can really make a difference on how well the body feels and recovers.
Stay tuned for tomorrow’s post on a DELICIOUS kid-friendly, bone-healing, anti-inflammatory smoothie recipe that can converted into a popsicle for those really finicky ones (like mine).