Saturday, August 20, 2011

Stanford Excitement

 I went camping with Kelly and five of her girlfriends on Thursday, and have nearly 800 photos of the event.  They went surfing with porpoises spy-hopping in the background, and had a grand time the next day at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk.

But my photo-editing was cut short yesterday, barely an hour after we got back.  I still hadn't unpacked my van when I got a call from Kelly's basketball coach.

"Um, I think Kelly may have hurt herself.  She fell during drills, and is holding her arm kind of funny"

Fortunately, Ken was on his way home, and could meet us at a central location.  With rush hour, I couldn't get to the gym, and we finally all coordinated at the coach's house.  Kelly looked a little fragile, but I wasn't sure if it was an actual injury, or if she was just still run-down from a night of camping on the beach, next door to drunken yahoos, who were up hooting and pissing in the bushes until nearly 4am.

So I deferred to Ken.  He knows all about broken bones, and joint injuries.  And while I took Skip and Nate to an overnight youth event at our church, Ken decided to take Kelly to the ER.

A little while later, after I'd run a few errands, I got a text "At Stanford ER.  It's broken"

So Nate and I headed down to the hospital.

I've gotta say I am MOST impressed with the level of customer care before you even walk in the door at that hospital. I pulled into the ER parking lot, and a security guy came up to my car, and asked if he could help me.

"My husband just brought my daughter in here.  I don't know where she is..."

"Not a problem, Ma'am.  Go over there, see that gate?  I'm going to remotely open it, and there's a secure parking space waiting for you."

And sure enough, ER 'guest parking" was available to me, and I pulled right in.  And when I went into the ER, there was a gate like you'd go through at airport security.  And when I went up to it, he was really kind, almost apologetic that he'd have to look in my purse.  Heck!  Go right ahead.  I like feeling secure.

And then he said "What's wrong?  Is this little guy sick?" looking at Nate.

"No, my husband brought my daughter in.  She broke her arm."

"Oh!  Tall guy?  Really loud shirt?  I remember him." (um, yeah.  Fridays, Ken wears these garish Hawaiian shirts.  It's his work-wear tradition) "Come on in."

And so he gave us masks (everyone wears them in the waiting room.  Just in case).

 And we walked in.  At the desk inside the waiting room, they knew who I was, and escorted me right back into the critical care unit.

And there they were.

Yup.  It was a broken arm.  A Barton's palmar fracture of the distal radius, AND a Smith's fracture.  Go big or go home, I guess.  It would require a reduction, which is a less-scary word for "resetting the bones, by wrestling the arm into submission and pulling it like taffy".

It does kind of look like a banana.  And from this angle, it doesn't look too displaced.  But looking down on it?  That's where you saw the 'things not found in nature' look of the thing.

We opted for conscious sedation, rather than just a little bit of local freezing.  I'm really glad we did.  The procedure to reset the bone was really rather intense.

When it was time for the IV to get put in, Ken knew what to do.  Better to cover one's face with the daughter's sweater and look goofy, than to pass out, and look completely inane.

Kelly was completely fascinated with all the procedures.  She watched the IV, and the blood pressure cuff, and the fingertip oxygen monitor, and asked pretty good questions, which the nurse answered thoroughly, and in a way she could understand.

And once all the needles, and gadgets, and wires and tubes were attached to her, it was time for the procedure to begin.

Just waiting a little bit, for the anxiety to drop a bit...

She used my purse as a bolster, to keep her elbow from sagging.  It helped with the pain.  Or maybe that was the vicodin talking...

Anyways.  The procedure itself was really very intense.  Ken took Nate away, because siblings were absolutely verboten.  It would've freaked him out anyways.  It looked like the two orthopedists were trying to pull her hand off of her arm.  They did it under a fluoroscope, so they could get real-time x-rays of the bones as they were being set.  Fascinating, but kind of creepy.  And add to the fact that Kelly was in conscious sedation, hopped up on Ketamine, which made her look halfway comatose, and it was kind of hard to watch.

But just as quickly as she'd gone under the sedation, she came out of it.  At first, she was pretty loopy, and her eyes didn't move in concert, which was kind of funny.  And then she slowly started coming back to who she was.

(Nate photobombs, at 1130pm.  It's almost like he got slipped a little bit of the happy juice, too.)

We could have sold tickets to the show, as she came out of the sedation.  It was really, really funny.

"Whoa... um... hello... I know you... and you... I don't know you... wow, you have NICE hair... do I know you?  You touched my feet.  You have nice hair, too...Mom, you are petting my head... WHOA!  I have a cast..." (as she notices her arm for the first time)  "... Did you know I have a cast... you have three eyes.  Do you usually have three eyes?  Mom, the nurse has three eyes.  You don't, though... WHOA!  I have a cast!" (as her eyes cast around, and focus on her arm again) "...Where is the guy with the nice hair.  The guy that fixed my arm had really nice hair, didn't he?  I don't remember getting my arm fixed...  WHOA!  I have a cast!  Um.. you have nice hair, too.  But he had nicer hair.  I saw you out in the hallway.  I had a dream, like we were a wii game.  You were there.  And he was there.  And the guy with the nice hair.  And the other guy with nice hair.  WHOA!  I have a cast!"

We could hardly keep ourselves from laughing.  It was COMPLETELY entertaining!

We ended up getting discharged around 1am, and went home to a VERY belated supper at 130.  Ramen never tasted so good.

It's a pretty serious break, and we'll have to follow up with an orthopedist on Monday.  Just in time for school to start again.  Whee.  Until then, Kelly will be riding on the vicodin train as needed.

Oh man.  three of Kelly's friends just showed up at our front door.  They made this fantastic tear-jerkingly endearing i-Movie for Kelly to get well soon, and then brought chocolate covered strawberries.

She has great friends.  If I get a copy of the i-movie, I'll see if I can rip it to youtube, and share it.  You'll all cry.

But I'm not sharing the strawberries.  They're delicious.

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