When Chris left for the hospital with Charlie, I still had my hands full at the house with six kids 7, 6, 4, 3, 2, and 5 months.
Made me think of the old days! (Actually not that long ago...)
While Charlie sat in the front seat of our car moaning with his arm propped up on a coffee table book and couch pillow, Chris sped to the hospital telling Charlie, “Hang in there, bro. It’s gonna be alright.”
Besides the obvious pain, Charlie’s mind was becoming increasingly concerned with the possibility of encountering even more pain at the hospital. “Are they gonna use a needle? Is my bone gonna stick out? Are they gonna take blood?” were some of his concerns.
Fortunately the ER wasn’t very busy at 1pm on a Saturday and Charlie was weathering his ordeal like a champ. No one was in a big rush to get him to a doctor since they see things like this all the time. It wasn’t life or death so it wasn’t that urgent to them.
Until they saw the x-ray.
The x-ray tech said to Chris, “You need to take a look at this.” Chris already knew it wasn’t going to be pretty because of what he had seen when it originally happened.
Both the Ulna and Radius were completely broken (separated) and were significantly displaced (not even close to being lined up.
Chris said that everybody started moving a lot quicker at that point.
Charlie was rushed to a bed, an IV was put in, and an orthopedic specialist was called. They were going to have to put Charlie out and do a reduction (that’s fancy for ‘put the bones back into alignment’).
Charlie remained a trooper and Chris had to assure him that once he was out, he wouldn’t feel anything. He reminded Charlie of the last time they went to the ER together. Charlie was nearly hysterical when they began injecting his hand, which he had ripped wide open on a fence, with a syringe of local anesthetic. Charlie went from tears to laughter as he watched the doctor sew up his hand. Charlie felt none of it.
Of course, Chris was texting me all this and I wasn’t happy about it, but there weren’t a bunch of options.
After describing to Chris what they were going to do, the ortho doc asked Chris if he wanted to watch. Chris said that he wouldn’t be going anywhere.
Any image of doctors working delicately to re-align bones were quickly dispelled as two good-sized men firmly grasped Charlie’s broken arm and began to pull. Horribly bending the arm into grotesque positions, Chris watched and prayed.
He sent me a text: You would not want to be here. When they thought they had it, they splinted it and wrapped it, and wheeled in a portable x-ray machine.
No good. The ortho doc said we need to do it again.
Since Charlie was now waking up, he had to be put to sleep again. The wrap and splint was cut off and they began to work his arm once again.
I texted everyone I knew to pray. I was texting in the Name of Jesus and the doctors were going to get it right this time.
The arm was splinted and wrapped again. The second x-ray was taken and reviewed.
The ortho doc was dripping with sweat from the massive amount of force he was using to pull the bones back into place-- all to no avail.
He left to get a breather and to re-think the situation.
I for one did not want Charlie to have to wait for another day in order to perform a surgery, but I also did not want Charlie to be put out again.