Wednesday, June 22, 2011

A Break from Summer

I haven't been blogging much.  Kinda quiet.  Until this week.

School is over, Hubby was in town for the end of year festival.  The girls had a ball.
The girls had their first swimming lesson last Wednesday, I think they're really going to enjoy it.

Hubby left on June 13th for a European trip - to return tonight.  Since he was going to be out of town for Father's Day, I decided to take the girls to my folks' house, better a grandfather than no father at all.  We took Hubby to breakfast the morning before he left and did a little Father's Day with him.  After we dropped him off at the airport, we went on a quick house hunting trip to Park City and found a house that is kind of likely.  The girls both love it, anyway.

On Friday we drove to my folk's house.  
One of the big draws up there is my sister, who lives nearby, and her horses.  From the minute we got to my folk's, the girls were asking when they could go riding.  Turned out Monday would work best, right after lunch, but she only had the two horses, Annie who's kinda skittish and she could ride, and Chaz, who the kids have ridden before.  They decided they'd ride double and they'd go to a trail that runs along the foothills of the valley.  Thing 2 was in front on the way up, and on the way back Thing 1 would ride in front.
I have to apologize for my pictures being blurry, my real camera is broken and all my pictures are coming from my phone.
I took the dog for a walk along the trail behind them, but they were soon out of sight.  I walked for about half an hour, then turned around and headed back to the car.  The trail wasn't far above the housing developments along the foothills.  And there was a guy just off the trail digging up Dyer's Woad.  All I know about Dyer's Woad is what I've heard my sister saying it's the bane of her life, she has to dig it up out of the hay fields.  It's awful stuff.
The dog and I got back to the car and waited for about 10 minutes.  Then my sister came riding pell mell down the trail, leading the 2nd horse.  She hollered that Thing 2 had fallen off and probably broken her arm, and was down the trail about a mile.  Thing 1 was with her.  My sister was nearly crying herself, leaving the two of them up there on the trail, but she didn't have her cell phone with her and needed to get me and the car up there.  Luckily there was a housing development road dead ended close by.
I drove like a madwoman up the road paralleling the trail, and saw the Woad digging guy running up the trail.  I pulled off and hopped out of the car and ran after him.  He made it to the girls first.  I barely looked at them, I saw a road coming up the hill, closer to where they were than where I'd parked.  I asked if the Woad guy could stay with them for a minute, he seemed much calmer than I was, and I ran back to my car, and careened around to the closer road.
The Woad guy was carrying Thing 2 down the side of the mountain toward my car when I parked.  Thing 1 was behind him, very upset.  Thing 2 was crying a lot less than I would have expected.  The Woad guy had a little nylon bag that he had put Thing 2's arm in, and slung the cords behind her neck, in kind of a loose makeshift sling.  He carried her to my car and put her in the front seat.  My sister had loaded the horses and was behind me in her truck, and told me how to the get to the hospital.  I know how to get to the hospital, but turned stupid for a moment, and had to be told the cross streets.  In retrospect I should have sent the dog with her.  But it just meant he had to sit in the car in the Emergency room parking lot until she could come get him, after she unloaded the horses.

I called my parents on the way to the hospital, Thing 1 needed some different clothes (she'd kinda got hers dirty) and they got to the hospital before the doctors were ready for Thing 2.  After x-rays confirmed it was broken, the doctor told us not only was it broken, but it was broken badly, and we'd need to take  her to Primary Children's to have them operate.   It was what they call a Supracondylar fracture of the elbow.  The little knob right above your elbow on the big bone there just snapped right off, and the two ends of the bone were overlapped lying next to each other.  Not something they deal with at that hospital.  They'd called ahead and so we shouldn't have to wait long for the orthopedic doctor to get to the hospital we were going to.
They gave me the option of driving her, or having her taken in an ambulance.  When I asked if there would be any real problem with me taking her the doctor said no, if it was his kid he'd probably take her himself.  Okay, we'll do that.
We live about a mile away from Primary Children's, but didn't have time to run back to my folk's house and pack up.  The doctor put a splint on her arm, and my dad decided to go with me to the next hospital.  My mom took Thing 1 back to her house with her.
We had gotten her to the first hospital around 2:30 in the afternoon, and at 4:30 they gave Thing 2 a big dose of morphine to get us to Primary Children's.  What she REALLY wanted was a drink of water, but of course they won't give her that because she has to go under general anesthesia for the operation.  

I know a lot of people who drive between where my folks live and Primary Children's hospital fast all the time, but I usually don't.  I did on Monday, though.  I don't know how much time I saved, it's pretty much an hour and 45 minute drive, I probably only took off 15-20 minutes by speeding as much as I dared whenever I could.  I wanted to get her there as fast as an ambulance would.  She slept fitfully most of the way. My dad kept assuring me the 10 minutes wouldn't make any difference.  And sure enough, when we got there we spent 10 minutes in the emergency room waiting room, then another half hour or so waiting for the doctor.

When the doctor came in she said they had called the orthopedic surgeon, and that there were two other broken elbows that had come in about the same time as us, one with the same break as Thing 2.  So it was going to be a busy night for them.  She asked about Thing 2's pain, she hadn't been crying but she said it hurt pretty bad, 6 on a scale of 1-10.  The doctor asked when she'd last had morphine...  4:30.  It was now nearly 7:30.  The doctor's eyes popped and she said let's get her some morphine!! I think I took this picture before they even gave her the shot.  She was a real trooper.
Thing 2 is my kid who screams over a paper cut.  We have learned that despite her inability to handle small amounts of pain, she did amazingly well with a broken arm. 
The people at Primary Children's are truly wonderful.  Thing 2 kept asking very politely for a drink until the doctor told her she couldn't have one until after the operation.  But then she could have a slushee.  The nurse said she would make sure there was one waiting for her when she woke up.  Then a "children specialist" or some other name for it came in with lots of pictures showing all the rooms where Thing 2 would be taken, and explained in gentle kid terms everything that would happen to her. She gave Thing 2 a little doll, a hospital buddy to decorate up.  Thing 2 couldn't use her hands, one was at the end of a broken arm, the other arm was stiff because the people at the other hospital had put a line into it opposite her elbow, so I put a face on the doll, and the child comfort lady put a name tag on her and a cast like Thing 2 was going to get.  There was someone in there either comforting her, or checking on her nearly all the time.  They told us that they hoped they could operate that night, but it depended on the doctor and the other surgeries.
My mom and sister and Thing 1 back at my mom's house were very anxious to know how things were going.  The doctor said I could call, so we put Thing 2 on speaker phone so she could talk to Thing 1.  However all our efforts to assure Thing 1 that everything was okay just ended up making her jealous.  "I am watching Madagascar 2!  They gave me a doll to paint up!  We put a cast on it!  Oh, they said I can have a slushee!"  Thing 1 was saying "LUCKY!!"  That backfired.  Thing 1 was very lonely and sad that Thing 2 was having all this fun and attention... She couldn't wait to get home.

Finally it started looking like the operation might really happen.  Around 8:30 the resident came in and explained to my dad and me what would happen, and answered all our questions.  They were going to put three pins in her elbow.  There would be a splint for a week, to allow for swelling, and then they would put the cast on her for three weeks.
They came and got her for surgery around 9:00 pm, we found out later that she was the first of the three.  The doctor was a truly lovely man, with red hair and a bedside manner that would win him bedside manner awards.  By then, any time anyone would ask Thing 2 how she'd hurt her arm the story was getting longer and more detailed, with descriptions of the horse's personality, and the Dyer's Woad guy, and how a stranger on the trail offered her a drink of water but she had politely refused.  (The woman had assured her it was a brand new bottle of water, but Thing 2 was embarrassed to contaminate the lady's bottle.)  She sure wished she had taken the lady up on her offer!  When was that slushee coming?  She had all the hospital staff gathered around laughing and beaming at her before we kissed her good-bye and they wheeled her off for her "nap."

The operation took about an hour...  Everything went beautifully.  Shortly after the doctor came in and told us it went very smoothly and that he wanted to keep Thing 2 because she is so cute and funny and wonderful, I texted Hubby that I needed to talk to him.  He's in Switzerland and was just waking up.  He called me right before the nurse came in to take us to recovery to see my baby, so I was the completely annoying person talking on the phone while this terribly important thing is going on, but her daddy was on skype to my cell phone, and he had to go to work soon, and he was pretty freaked out by the news, so I couldn't really just brush him off.  Thing 2 wasn't really waking up very fast, and since it was 11:30 at night they decided to let her sleep and take her up to her room.  So my father and I followed her up there, me filling Hubby in on the cell phone all the way.  We got to the room and a nurse followed us into the room carrying a bright red slushee.  Thing 2 would have hollered Hallenoonjah!  She did start opening her eyes more after she got settled in.  Hubby had to go to work, and Thing 2 woke up enough to realize there was a slushee waiting for her and started opening her mouth like a little bird for it. 

She drank three little cup things of cranberry juice, and ate the slushee down to the melty part at the bottom which she took with a straw.  She was VERY thirsty!

She stayed up watching The Incredibles - I had the DVDs in the car from our trip- and eating and drinking until finally I asked her around 12:30 if she wanted to go to bed.  She agreed.

They came in periodically of course to do hospitally stuff, but everything went smoothly.  Around 6:00 a.m. they checked her fingers, then told us after she had taken some Loritab with breakfast and we saw how she handled that, she could go.
We got home around 9:30 this morning.
Thing 1 and my mom and sister are going to drive down with the dog.  Thing 2 is busy watching TV, and keeping her arm elevated.

She is the one who needs to recover, but I'm the one who needs to sleep.

1 comment:

  1. WOW! Awesome scar? She gets to tell a really great story for the rest of her life! I can hear it now... We'll have to come see her.


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