Matan breaks his arm, again
Same arm, same place as the last time. Radius and Ulna. This time he was running on the sidewalk with Karen, tripped, fell, and had a lower arm the shape of a banana when he stood up. DH and I both freaked, but Karen seemed calm and actually helped me stay focused. We quickly drove him to the emergency medical center, but after taking a look at his arm, the trauma doctor said it appeared to be a complex break, and he sent us to the ER where they can set bones under an imaging machine that allows them to ensure exact placement of the bones.
We drove to the children’s ER at Ichilov Hospital. It’s nice that Ichilov has a separate ER for children that has all kinds of play areas to give the kids something to do while they wait to be seen. We had to wait a bit because, despite the severity, Matan wasn’t crying, and remained fairly active, chattering away at me all the time, asking, “what’s that”, at everything.
When the initial triage pediatric doctor examined him, she immediately referred us to the adult ER where they have more advanced orthopedic capabilities. So now I’m running around this huge hospital complex with various buildings, wings and departments, trying to find the right place, get his xrays done, and return to the orthopedist to set the bones. Except the orthopedist didn’t want to set Matan’s arm, at least not while Matan was awake and conscious. He suggested we put Matan on a six hour fast, and then set the bone under general anesthesia. He said while it was possible to set it with only a painkiller and a local anesthetic, it would still be very painful. On the other hand, Matan hadn’t eaten more than a cookie in hours, and the cookie meant he now had to wait another 6. I wanted it done, so requested the painkiller (2 mg. oxycodone) and a local.
Big mistake. First, for the painkiller, they had to send us BACK to the children’s ER, in a separate building, and so I’m again traipsing all over this huge medical complex just to get him his 2 mg of oxy, and then back again to wait in line yet again to see the orthopedist and perhaps even have it set, finally.
The orthopedist didn’t appear thrilled to see us, and it was obvious he would have much preferred to have Matan anesthetized, but he called in his colleague, and together the two doctors managed to set Matan’s arm. First they injected a local, that got the screaming started. From then it was a continuous, pulsing screaming for what seemed like at least 10 minutes.
The second orthopedist who came in to help was an Arab, and to his credit, he kept his cool and was able to engage and speak to Matan throughout the procedure. The Jewish doctor seemed to lose it under the pressure of Matan’s screams. In the end, he almost flipped the imaging machine while trying to move it to get a better view of the arm. The Arab orthopedist managed to finish the job and even did the fine tuning, of presseing two of the bones into place after the full cast was on, because the imaging machine showed there was still a small gap between two of the bones. All in all, I think we did the right thing to have the arm set at Ichilov. There was a big difference in being able set the arm under an imaging machine. Maybe a mistake not to wait and do it under general, but it seemed like the best option at the time. We ended up hospitalized overnight for observation to ensure he didn’t have too much swelling. Had I known we’d be there all night anyway, with nothing to eat, I may have chosen differently.
I mention that there was an Arab doctor and a Jewish one only because some people don’t realize that Israeli Arabs are very active in the medical professions. We have many Arab doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and other medical professionals. All whom I’ve been in contact have been excellent, and in some cases more empathetic than their Jewish colleagues.
Now we have to slog out the rest of the summer with no pool, our normal, almost daily activity during July and August. From Matan’s point of view, even worse, no sand. Can’t get sand into his cast….He has all these tractors and his absolute favorite activity is to move sand from place to place with the tractors. Hey, I don’t get it, but he just loves it.