My youngest son is an ER regular. His asthma keeps him going on average three times a year.
On one visit when he was 13 or 14, the nurse noticed his cavalier attitude toward triage and remarked, ‘You must be a vet’. Without missing a beat Joe deadpanned, “I was in ‘Nam.”
Last night his twin came in from skating complaining that his wrist hurt. These complaints are par for the course. A few months ago their older brother came in after a fall and told me his elbow wasn’t ‘as bad as it looks’ which is good because it looked like hamburger with gravel in it.
Well, even after icing the wrist all night, Josh was still complaining and it looked a bit swollen. In the ER the doc showed him his X-ray and pointed out where the fracture is. Josh said to him gravely, ‘doc, how long do I have?’ Without missing a beat the doctor responds, ‘I’d say 6 months….. You should start planning.’
Well played, doctor.
A week later we went to Doernbecher for a second x-ray. When we got there they were having a 'fire drill' which means that every one is expected to go about their business as usual while lights flash and an alarm buzzes loudly about every thirty seconds. You may not realize this but riding in an elevator during while alarms sound is terrifying. Basically a perfect way to create a panic attack in a susceptible person (me). By the time we got to the pediatric check in desk- despite averting my eyes from the flashing light- my heart was racing and I felt faint.This was the perfect time for me to try my Bach's Rescue Remedy. If you don't know, it is made from flowers and has an alcohol base. If you have ever wondered what it would taste like if you kept your cut flowers in a vase full of whiskey, this is the product for you!
After many chats with residents, an attending and Josh's pediatrician (a professor), a new x-ray, a consult with radiology, we learned that the small bone in his wrist was in fact, broken. Josh was anticipating a cast that covered on hand and part of his forearm. What he got instead is a cast that goes almost to his arm pit (we have to stabilize the entire arm to ensure the tiny wrist bone will heal).
Now Josh's right arm (his writing hand, of course) is frozen in a handshake formation. In addition to this stance he can also do 'hitchin' a ride'.
On a positive note, Josh is getting really good at writing with his left hand. Maybe even better than his right.