Our church had a social last night. So everything was winding down, the kids are all outside running around like wild Indian, I mean playing, the ladies are in the kitchen cleaning up, and the men are all hiding like they always do when it’s time to clean up. My nephew the drama king bursts in the door screaming “Kenlie fell on the concrete and she’s hurt bad!!!” I went outside expecting scraped knees. She’s sitting on the ground, calmly holding her arm, which made an abrupt left turn right above the wrist, with her hand dangling limply and her fingers contracted into a claw. “I think it’s broken,” she announced. I almost passed out. I said “Come inside and let me see it in the light.” hoping that somehow if I can see it better it won’t look so bad. So we get inside in the light, and um, yeah, it looked worse.
My SIL is turning green. I said “We’re going to the hospital.” to no one in particular. Kenlie asked “Will we be done in time to go trick or treating?” Kids have their priorities. My son asks “How much is that going to cost?” He has his priorities too, which include making sure I can afford a birthday gift for him next week.
We get to the ER, and the adult side is standing room only, but on the pediatric side, there were only two kids, including DD. Other people were surprised about that, but I figure the only way a kid is going to admit to being sick enough to miss Halloween is if they see Jesus coming for them.
They took her back and xrayed the arm right away. Unfortunately by this time it is swollen and twisted even worse, and the perky little xray tech tells Kenlie “Now honey, I need you to straighten that arm for your xrays…” To which Kenlie looks at her and says “Do you think I would be holding it like this if it would straighten?”
The doctor comes in and announces that the arm is broken. Thank you, Captain Obvious. The radius is snapped in two right above the wrist, and the ulna may be fractured but not displaced, they had a hard time getting a good picture because of the swelling and distortion. The ortho said he didn't think it was, but the general MD thought it was. She said she was sending an orthopedic doctor in to see if he could set it there in the ER. She explained the procedure for a setting a fracture in great detail. The nurse came in, started an IV, and explained the procedure again. Then a “Child Life Specialist” came in to explain to Kenlie in a child’s terms what they were going to do to her arm. Then the ortho doctor came in and explained it all again. If any of you break your arm, I could probably set it, provided we had access to an xray machine and drugs.
He also brought a consent form for me to sign, which stated that with any procedure there is a small possibility of complications, including the need for further procedures, heart failure, internal organ rupture, or death. I asked since he was going to be working on her wrist, realistically, what was her chance of internal organ rupture? He said “About the same chance I have of rupturing one of *my* internal organs while doing the procedure.” Kenlie looked at the doctor rather seriously and asked “You do know that you don’t have any internal organs in your arm, right?” She seemed to be getting a little concerned about the doctor’s qualifications. He assured her that this was a blanket consent form, which was the same form someone would sign if they were having heart surgery. She has morphine running in her IV at this time, and is becoming philosophical. She wanted to know why blankets needed consent forms.
They made me leave the room during the actual procedure. When they let me back in, they showed me the before and after xrays. The bone does appear to be a mostly contiguous line now, except for the little piece of bone sticking out at about a 60 degree angle. The actual arm looked like this
So I have to take their word for it that it no longer turns left. This cast is only a temporary one. We have a followup appointment with an orthopedic surgeon on 11/9 to see what he thinks about the bone fragment that sticks out, to have them re-xray to check the ulna, and to get a new cast. Kenlie was greatly relieved about that, because the temporary cast did not suit her fashion sense.
We had to stay for a few hours to make sure she didn’t have any “adverse reactions.” Kenlie asked why “Things are always squarish or rectangularish, unless they’re a circle…or an octagon…” She asked why the animals in the picture on the wall were moving. At least she’s rather mellow on mind altering substances.
They finally sent us home, and this morning, she seems to be doing pretty well, except for being extremely concerned that her arm is going to move inside the cast and we’re going to have to do everything again.