Saturday, March 15, 2014

Now She's Broken Both Arms

Thing 2 broke her arm a couple years ago coming off the back of a horse.  It was her right arm, at the elbow.  She broke it the summer we moved.
Yesterday she broke her other arm.  This time I was right behind her. I was skiing, she was snow boarding.  We were on the mountain with Thing 1 and her friend, they were skiing and had gone off on their own, though on the same run.  We were all having a great time.  It got to be 3:30, the lifts were closing soon, so I told the girls it was our last run.  Thing 2 was zipping along in front of me, heading back to the lift, and she flipped up ass over teakettle and landed hard on her left shoulder.  She was lying on her face, very still, and when I stopped next to her her first words were "It's broken!  I know it!"  A nice man stopped to help, he didn't realize at first I was her mother, and he briskly took over.  He later apologized but when I said he seemed to know what he was doing and I certainly didn't he said he'd been an EMT.  When we tried to turn  her over she started crying.  A girl from the ski patrol came pretty quickly with her sled, and we bundled up Thing 2 and put her on it. Thing 1 and her friend went by overhead on the lift but I couldn't really talk to them, and of course she had left her phone in the car.  We got down to where you meet the gondola, which takes you down to the lodge level.  They loaded Thing 2 up on the gondola, and I asked the ski patrol if there was a way to get someone to keep an eye out for Thing 1 and her friend.  "Of course." She made a quick radio call and asked the radio world to keep an eye out for them, and that was the end of her worrying about it.
There was a golf cart waiting for us at the bottom of the gondola, which took us to the clinic, where we started our wait for the doctor.  I called Thing 1's friend's mom and told her we'd be late.  She offered to come get the older girls, but since I had no idea where they were, I said I'd call her back.

It took Thing 1 and her friend another 45 minutes or so to find us.  They made it to the bottom of the gondola and looked around for us, then borrowed a cell phone from one of the resort workers.  I told her "We're at the Base Clinic! Find a ski patrol and have them bring you to me at the Base Clinic!"
I don't know what she then relayed to the resort guy, or if he just took his phone back and left.  But she and her friend ended up on the tram that takes you back to the parking lot.  From the tram, they rode right past the base clinic, and she saw the bright pink bottom of Thing 2's snowboard leaning in front of the base clinic.  Since she had just been there the year before, she recognized what it was.  In order to get back to us, she had to take the tram to the bottom and then back up to the top, then hike down to the clinic.
We were still in the lobby waiting for the doctor.  I called the friend's mom, but she didn't pick up so I left a message.

I started to think they had forgotten about us at the clinic.  I finally found someone to ask, and they said we were next.  Finally they took us back to an exam room where the nurse and I took off Thing 2's coat and shirt.  I could tell immediately things did not look right, her left shoulder looked swollen and odd.  The x-rays showed a break that even I could see.  It was broken right up under the knob at the top of her humerus. They debated splinting it, then decided it would be good to keep it still.  The splint is holding her arm from just below the break down to her wrist.  So the broken part is exposed.  They put her in a sling and said have your family doctor monitor it.  They said it's not a good location to put a cast on it, so she'll just have a sling.  They gave me a pain prescription, gave her two motrin for the road, and took us to the lobby.  It was 5:45 and the clinic had officially closed at 5:00.  There were a couple of ski patrol people getting ready to close up shop.  Thing 1's friend's mom still hadn't responded to my call or texts.  I asked if I could have a ride to the parking lot.
One of the ski patrol guys pointed to the tram running in front of the clinic and said "If you walk up to where you can get on that up at the top, you can catch that to the parking lot."
Of the whole experience, that was kind of the icing on the cake.
I looked at the guy.  I am in ski boots, two of the girls are in ski boots and already walked down from the top of the tram.  One of my girls has a broken arm, and is wearing my fleece zipped up around her with no shirt or coat on.  You expect us to walk up to the tram, carrying all our equipment?
I think my voice cracked and I said "I will walk up and get the tram down to the parking lot, but I am not making the girls do that."  I told Thing 1 and her friend to stay with Thing 2, and told them if they closed the clinic, to wait in front until I returned with the car.
I think about that time the people at the clinic were embarrassed enough to help me.  The woman at the paperwork window called someone for a courtesy shuttle, but she said they weren't sure if there was one and the woman she called would call her back.  The ski patrol guy who had pointed out the tram to me said he'd go see if he could get the keys to a truck to take me down.
About this time Thing 1's friend's mom texted to say she could come get the older girls, but I had visions of waiting for her for an hour in the parking lot, so I texted her back that I'd just bring her daughter home.
Turns out the ski patrol guy got the keys to a suburban so we all drove together to the parking lot.  He apologized on the way down and said that as he told me to walk up to take the tram that it was probably not the best plan.  YOU THINK?!
Hubby was on a plane going from Japan to India.  I sent him a picture of Thing 2 in the lobby, telling him we had a problem.  Then since I'd already started, I went ahead and texted him it was broken.  I knew it would be a bad way to find out, as he's getting internet coming off a plane, but I didn't know what else to do.

Anyway, we survived.  Because it was late on a Friday I couldn't do much but take her home.  I am going to call the Primary Children's Fracture Center on Monday and get an appointment.  I know it's just a resort clinic, but I was left with a bad taste in my mouth.  When Hubby took Thing 1 to the same clinic last year, he had a much better experience.  Thing 2 and I were not so lucky.

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