disabled list

May 17, 2011 Comments Off on disabled list

Oh, there’s a familiar sight.  O came in from scootering the other day bloody and holding back tears.  The former we’re used to, the latter we know means trouble.  She doesn’t cry when she’s hurt, unless she’s hurt.  It took us about five minutes to decide that we had another trip to the E. R. in our immediate future.

“Are you really taking my picture as I’m walking into the emergency room?” she asked.

“Yup,” I said.  No one’s going to believe this otherwise.  The trauma nurse said, and I kid you not, “Oh, you guys again?”  The radiologists joked that O needed her own x-ray room.  The ER doc mentioned maybe she should drink more milk.

All of this was funny, of course, because we all knew exactly what it was.  The doc started in with “well, if you have to break a bone…” and O and I looked at each other and said “radial torus fracture!!!!!”

And, for better or worse, we were right.  Six weeks in a cast, this time.  We got her to the orthopedist early the next morning and she now has this magnificent purple cast to show off.  It’s already covered in silver Sharpie from her softball team and her friends at school.  My co-coach harangued me about letting our star baserunner anywhere near a scooter, but I’m convinced that the girl could break a wrist eating a donut.

I’m thinking of re-paving the driveway this summer.  In Nerf.


new cast!

March 2, 2011 Comments Off on new cast!

The orthopedist’s office called this morning at 8:30, which was a good thing since I’d been up since about 4:00 worrying (and cleaning the fridge, which is now spotless.  I mean you could eat off of it.  Oh, wait…) Nothing struck them as odd or problematic, and they had an opening at 1:00 if we wanted to get the girl’s wrist the official checkout and cast/no cast decision.  YES, I practically shouted.

O managed to mangle her splint in the night pretty good, so this was well-timed.  “I’ll come get you at 12:30,” I said.  “It’ll take an hour, we’ll pick up C because he has an early start, and then we can drop you back off at school for the last hour of the day.”

She shot me a look of cold, hard contempt.  OK.  An afternoon visit to the orthopedist means the rest of the day off.  I’m with you, kid.

The extraction procedure from the middle school is pretty byzantine, and i completely botched it.  Fortunately, O had taken the initiative and managed to find me as I was trekking between offices, trying to find someone who could get her out of class and get her form filled out to leave the campus.  Never mind, Dad, she said.  I figured you’d need help.

The orthopedist was quick and to the point.  Torus fracture of the radius, just like the ER doc had thought.  Super minor, but uncomfortable and three weeks in the cast.  Oh, and he has a daughter O’s age, too.  And she fell off a horse a few years ago, and he hasn’t let her ride since.  Like a sensible parent, he seemed to say.  O pointed out that she’d had four falls, but only (only?) two broken bones.  She showed him her scars from the busted elbow four years ago, and played the punch line perfectly.

“Wow, did you break something in your forearm, too?” the orthopedist asked, noticing the fading but still impressive scars there.

“Nope.  They had to operate three times because I had compartment syndrome.”

The doctor practically fell over.  This, we’ve found, impresses the hell out of medical people, because it’s both rare and exceptionally dangerous.  Then he looked at me and the expression on his face clearly said and you STILL let her ride horses?

Damn right, O would want me to say.

She picked a blue cast so that I’d buy her silver Sharpies for her friends to sign with.  All of them are super impressed, especially K, who has broken or sprained limbs in sequence with O for years.  Her family is, I’m sure, wrapping her in Nerf as we speak.

Both of us went to pick up C, and every teacher who walked by remembered O and was suitably impressed that she’d busted an arm again.  To buck her up and to reward C for being a patient little brother we did homework at Stomping Grounds and they each got sandwiches and Italian sodas.  Spendy but worth it.  And we’re watching Godzilla vs. Rodin tonight.  She’s feeling a bit better now that the wrist is completely immobilized, and other than three weeks of an itchy forearm I think she’ll get through this with her usual aplomb…

busted wrist!

February 28, 2011 Comments Off on busted wrist!

Riding today, and it was another gorgeous afternoon.  That’s Emmett to the O’s immediate right, there.  She’d ridden him before, but this was sort of another introduction, since she’s outgrown her favorite pony, Casino.  Sun shining, new horse, what could go wrong, right?

About halfway through her lesson, while I’m quietly reading in the observation room, C goes “oh, that’s gotta hurt.”  I look up.

“Um, what’s gotta hurt?”

“O just got thrown.”

My stomach knots up.  I jump to my feet.  “Bad?”

“The horse bucked and she FLEW over its HEAD!  It was AWESOME!”

Now I’m about to throw up.  I run out of the room, and she’s walking out of the arena with her instructor, covered in dirt and obviously shaken, holding her wrist, but not crying.

At this point I should mention that in 2007 she fell off a horse and broke her elbow.  As badly as you can break it.  I was the parent on duty then, too, and the frantic rush to the ER was, without question, the worst ten minutes of my life.  She ended up in the hospital for four days and three operations.  K stayed by her side the whole time, and I’m not sure any of us ever really recovered–except, of course, O, whose first question in the car was when she could ride again.

But this was clearly not as bad.  Dana and I figured it was badly sprained, probably, but deserved a trip to the ER.  It was, to put it mildly, an easier drive.  O was in good spirits, she could wiggle all her fingers, and there were even a few good thoughts, like how this would certainly get her out of P.E. for a week or two.  When we got to the hospital and the triage nurse was interviewing her, O said yes, as a matter of fact she’d had several surgeries.  What for?  Falling off another horse.  “Man,” the nurse said, “working here, I can tell you I would never let my kid ride a horse.”  O and I looked at each other and almost asked for a new nurse.

As you can see, it was a little more serious than we’d thought, but not much.  A torus fracture, which if you have to break your wrist, the ER doctor said, is pretty much the best way to do it.  She’s in a splint, she has to go see the orthopedist later this week, and she’ll probably be in a cast for 2-3 weeks.  Bummer, but from the sound of things it could be worse.  We e-mailed Dana tonight to tell her O was OK, and she wrote back to say, basically, good–because she’d heard something snap really loud when O hit.  But some takeout Chinese (with fortune cookies in Spanish–stellar), an ibuprofen, and a hot bath and the girl is resting comfortably upstairs.  She scoffed at the idea of missing school tomorrow, mostly because she wants to show off her latest combat medal to her friends.

One of my Dad’s favorite quotes comes from a graduation speech by one Mavis Lehrer, age 83.  “Life’s journey,” says Mavis, “is not to arrive at the grave safely, in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting “Holy sh*t, what a ride!”

The girl is a big believer in this (minus the s-word, of course).  And my guess is that by the time she’s done, she will be sporting a few more dents.  It’s not every kid that has a favorite X-ray machine in the local radiology department.

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