Thursday, April 30, 2009

An ER visit during a Pandemic....

So the day was quite uneventful until this evening....
Our oldest had baseball practice, and the rest of us hang around and play at the park with friends...it's a weekly ritual, with rare casualties.

However, tonight while we were packing up to go home our middle son FLEW down a hill on his Razor.
That's nothing new.....but apparently hitting the rubbery playground flooring stopped him dead!
He took a dive off the scooter and lay there twitching in pain!

We checked him out for scrapes but I guess that rubber saved him from losing any skin....
Then I noticed his right arm. It was bent.....yes BENT above his wrist. Gnarly....that's really the best word to describe it!

I tend to be ultra calm during times like those....but even I knew he had to go straight to the emergency room.

And if you're a germaphobe, like me, you can cringe now.......
So I stalled momentarily......called our Ped. Dr. to see if they had an after hours clinic but it was inevitable...we were off to the hospital.

So my hubby and my son went straight there...and I calmly went home to fix dinner. That probably sounds weird, but I went into survival mode. I knew he was in capable hands with Daddy, and since the menu was super easy (chili dogs and corn on the cob)..it was ready in a jiffy! I managed to get the rest of the family fed, bathed and in pjs before I dropped them off with their grandparents.....All within an hour.

But I was NOT prepared for what I would see at the ER!

There were triage tents outside for anyone who thinks they might have the Swine Flu......complete with an armed guard and caution tape.....um can we say Freaky!

Thankfully I bypassed the tents, and walked into the main lobby where the boys were waiting. They had given him a sling already and he was asking for food........even in pain he has his priorities!

So I sent them outside with GermX wipes and they ate their dinner in the car while I waited in their place. Can I just say there were more than a dozen surgically-masked people coughing and sneezing around that place. I took my wipes and sanitized my chair before I sat down.......seriously it was like being in a war zone! In my mind I kept saying...."I'm in a bubble, I'm totally immune...."

You can probably imagine that my 20 minute wait was filled with sideways glances everytime some one sneezed. And I'm ashamed to say that I was COMPLETELY antisocial! So unlike me, and yet, SO believable....sometimes I actually think I SEE germs in the air!

Fortunately the boys came back just as we were given a room....Lord, knows, I might have asked for a mask for my son next!

Now that the Lobby-trauma was over I could focus on replaying the accident in my mind. Was there anything that could have happened differently? I was amazed that we could spend over 2 hours at the park and NOT have an injury until the last 30 seconds of our time there! And really, there weren't buckles in the sidewalk, or scary changes in elevation......and when he fell he was atleast 50 yards from the hill he had just come down.....So there came a point where I just felt REALLY grateful it wasn't worse. He could've landed on his face, or hit someone else when he tripped.....I became SO thankful for the protection that is afforded our family! Surely it would extend to our ER triage exposure!

So back in our private room, our boy was being SUCH a trooper....with an amazingly high pain tolerance! He was moving his fingers and his wrist around like crazy....the Dr. was baffled....he had broked TWO bones just above his wrist! She said most kids would cradle their arm and drop it at their wrist with this much pain. Instead, he was more enthralled by the Immunity Challenge happening on Survivor! (Jarrod and I laughed that he was just hopped up on Codeine by then!)

If I could find a positive about this night it would be about school. We've been studying our Skeleton......so he actually knows a lot about the bones and what they are made of, etc. So when the Dr. showed us his x-ray, he could see many of the 27 bones he had heard were in his hand! That and now we can officially label his broken Radius and Ulna bones on the skeleton diagram we have on the door.....

Ah, talk about learning by immersion!

As an aside, can I mention that the entire hospital staff thinks the Swine Flue is a farce?!?!......(One tech said that 3,500 people die in the U.S. each year from flu-related symptoms. This is nothing new....just highly publicized)

Hmmmm.....exaggerated or not, I'd like to keep our family FAR from the ER, for any reason, thank you very much!

1 comment:

dusich crew said...

Even without pictures, you have certainly conveyed a great story! Merrick - calm and collected - now that's a blessing!! :)

So, is he in a cast?