Monday, October 08, 2007

Happy 2nd Birthday! Welcome to the ER!

It is 5 in the morning and I am at least temporarily up due to a horrible cold that has rendered me unable to breath through my nose. And, of course, the joy of pregnancy is that one can’t take anything for a cold that would provide any kind of actual relief . . . if I read about the benefits of Vitamin C, steam and echinacea in my pregnancy books one more time I might scream. I want Sudafed Triple Extra Strength followed by a Nyquil chaser or something! Anyway, I thought I could take this opportunity to share the Fringer Family’s recent expedition to a mediclinic and later an ER in our fair city.

A few days following D Jr’s second birthday, he decided to drive his “Pluto on Wheels” down the stairs. Long-time viewers will remember Pluto from a previous episode of Momily. Fortunately, he only made it down a landing of 3 stairs and I had the baby gate up to block him from surfing down the 15 or so stairs to the basement. Unfortunately, he landed upside down, wedged between the metal of our back door’s doorframe and the dastardly Pluto.

He was very upset and crying a great deal, but having inherited “the right stuff” from his father he basically just shook it off after a few minutes and got back on the horse, er, Pluto. We didn’t think anything of it, and in our defense, this is certainly not the worst that has happened lately as my child has truly morphed into a “boy” lately and does things like regularly jump off furniture, run quickly down hills, fall off slides, go backwards and head first off slides, etc. These stunts usually result in similar falls and crying fits. It really is impossible to be on top of him all the time and protect him all the time and, trust me, the ever-vigilant Momily tries.

The day following his stair surf, we noticed that D Jr was not using his right arm at all. He was not crying or complaining, he just would not use it! He would wince and complain if we touched it, dressed him, etc. but he was not upset. We decided to bring him to our local mediclinic “just in case.” Well, knowing that I am a neurotic mess in medical situations and not being able to be in the same room as an x-ray being pregggers and all, poor D Sr brought him in alone. The end result being that after 3 hours of waiting around and a round of x-rays that apparently traumatized my child, D Jr received a clean bill of health. Each day that passed saw D Jr. stronger so that within a few days he was back to using his right arm and would only occasionally wince when he did things like fall down on it.

Imagine my surprise when 5 days later at 6pm this same mediclinic calls me back to say D Jr’s arm is broken and we need to come in immediately to have it “immobilized.” What the #$%$#%?

By 7pm we all made the trek to the clinic and although D Sr had mentioned that he had previously found this particular establishment sketchy to say the least, I was not prepared for the following interaction. The doctor walks into the room and the first thing he asks us is, “So, where are the x-rays?” What the @#$%#? How the hell should I know? Aren’t they here as the x-ray facility is in the same building? Things went downhill from here as the doctor and staff could not locate the x-rays anywhere, yet still wanted to put a plaster cast on my kid’s arm. Momily and husband of Momily expressed in no uncertain terms that we were going elsewhere, specifically the ER of our university hospital which happens to have an excellent on-site pediatric facility. The doctor said, “Really?” as if this was some kind of crazy decision. When he realized it was for “really” he wrote us a letter of explanation and we were off.

At the university hospital, we waited in the ER for about 2 hours. It felt very weird as our child was running around, wreaking further havoc, etc. Again, to look at this kid you would not think anything was wrong. Unfortunately, to look at the other people in the room you could see that things were very wrong. I saw a gentleman who looked like his residence is normally a bridge or a box roaming around the waiting room very happily . . . wearing one of those hospital-issue paper masks. My neurotic, germophobe self kept thinking, “Are you wearing that to protect you from us or us from you?” followed by “Please don’t breathe anywhere near my precious angel.” Amidst hacks and groans and whiffs of booze (we’re approaching 10 pm by now), we saw very sick babies and sick older kids and happily loads of hand sanitizer which I kept bathing myself and my kid in. Look, I’ve never said I’m easygoing and ever since I saw pictures of monkeypox , well . . .

Anyway, we eventually saw a very competent and nice and trust-inspiring young pediatrician who had our kid quickly x-rayed and showed us that yes, indeed our kid had broken his arm – the ulna to be exact – and it was something called a “green stick” fracture. Because 2 year olds heal quickly and have bones that are different from us decrepit old people, the x-ray showed an amazing rate of calcification/healing in just 5-6 days. He said that he did not see a point in putting a cast on the arm, but that had he seen D Jr 5 days earlier he likely would have put a cast on him then. We left cast-free and relieved and are taking the good doctor’s advice to keep an eye on it and bring him back ASAP at the first sign of anything odd. So far, so good!

Lesson learned: Always go to the best place first even if it seems unnecessary.

Gossip overheard: When I told one of my coworker’s all this she mentioned that her own experience at the mediclinic from hell was as such, “When I noticed that the doctor I was seeing had filthy fingernails I thought, How can I trust you?”

Not having a two year old in a plaster cast: priceless.


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