Monday, May 18, 2009

Poor Ethan

On Thursday I was all excited because it was the only evening we didn't have baseball or soccer. In fact I planned on making stuffed pork chops and a cheesecake for dessert. When we all got home from school, the kids wanted a snack, I told them "no, because we are having a big supper." Ethan went over to the neighbor's house to play and Noah went to the park with Scott. While I was making supper, there was an urgent knocking at my door. Through the window I saw Ethan, and thought it was weird that he didn't just walk in. I opened the door and Mark, the (dad) neighbor came in with Ethan saying, "I think Ethan broke his arm." It was in the shape of an S. These are the thoughts that raced through my mind and a few of course slipped out my mouth, "oh my God, I'm gonna throw up, thank God it's his right arm, where are my shoes? I am wearing a tank top with sweatpants. My hair is sweated to my head because I walked/ran on the tread mill. That teaches me to exercise. At least it happened at the neighbor's house who is a social worker, so when the social workers ask me what happened, she'll have my back. " After I announce my impending vomit and that we are headed to the hospital, Ethan holds up his arm and says, "I think it's better" and his arm flops over at a 45 degree angle. Mark asks if I want his wife, Gail, to go to the hospital with me. I tell him no and usher Ethan to the garage. Not thinking I let Ethan climb into his carseat alone, which resulted in him using his arm to boost himself up and it bending at a 90 degree angle. Quite sure I am going to be sick, I started to back out onto the driveway and Gail came running across our yard (thank God). I've never been very good about asking for help, but I am so glad they just took over and helped. I got out and let her drive, and climbed into the back seat with Ethan. I tried to call Scott, but since his ears don't pick up my ringtone, he didn't answer. I tried three more times, thought I should have left a note, but then left a message telling him, "you may notice we aren't at home. That is because Ethan broke his arm and we are at the hospital." We get to Meritcare at 6:00. Gail thought to call Mark and have him go to the park to get Scott. Genius idea! I never thought of that! We check in with the receptionist and it is sooo obvious that Ethan's arm is broke. There are exactly 6 people in the waiting room. Two groups of three. Only two people ahead of us, and by the looks of it, I couldn't see any distress or what is wrong with them, I was SURE we'd go right in. An HOUR later, we saw the triage nurse. She determined in fact we are at the right place, but does not usher us back. We go BACK to the waiting room AGAIN. Another half hour later we get a room. I ask for pain meds for him, but they said not until he sees the doctor. At that point I think Ethan went into shock. He started shaking. I told the nurse and she gave him a blanket. He immediately fell into a deep sleep. An hour later they came in to take him to x-ray. It was next to impossible to wake him up. The only real time he screamed or cried was during the x-rays. After the x-rays I asked for pain meds- for Ethan not me. Still, no. It's been three hours since we came in. Finally my cousin (who works at the ER) brought Noah and Scott back to Ethan's room. I asked Noah if he was hungry and he burst into tears because he was starving. Scott took him to the cafeteria to get food and he called his mom to come and get Noah. Finally the nurses came in to give Ethan pain meds through an IV. While the nurses were setting him up, the doctor came in and said, "we are waiting for the orthopedic surgeon to call back and let us know if he needs surgery or if we can set it." Surgery never even entered my mind until then. He ended up not having surgery, but had to have it set twice (which means being sedated twice) to get it set correctly. Right before the first time they were going to set it, I left the room to call my mother-in-law to tell her they were going to set it and not have surgery. Noah answered the phone. I told him what was happening, then I said I had to go because they were about to put Ethan asleep. Noah instantly got hysterical and asked if they were going to put Ethan asleep. I told him yes, it's OK. He informed me that when they put kitty asleep... I felt so bad for scaring my little boy. I explained that it's different for people and it's just so Ethan doesn't feel the pain while they move his arm around. I tried to talk him down and tell him to get some sleep. To make a long story short, we FINALLY got out five hours after we arrived. Ethan is really a tough cookie. He hardly cried or complained at all. Today he had his follow up appointment to find out if he had to have surgery and it's healing perfectly! So perfectly, in fact, that they didn't want to take the "soft cast" off yet because it's healing so straight. If they did, they'd move his arm around and that could wreck the alignment, so they are waiting another week to put the hard cast on. He'll have it on for a month. When we got in the car after his appointment today, Ethan said, "Did you know when you poop and have a broken arm it makes your arm stop hurting? So when my arm hurts a little, I just go poop." Who knew? Certainly not me, but I've only broken my pinkie finger, and I can't recall a correlation.
I also included a photo of Max because he is so damn cute.


Lydia said...

ok, I almost got sick just reading your story. I honestly can't believe they made you wait in the waiting room. But- that is what MeritCare does. What an awful experience.

Anonymous said...

All because you said yes I have Insurance.
mes always says I ants got mes no insurance and I get right in without having to pay my $25.00

ssne said...

I'll have to try that if there is a next time. As well as practice bad grammer. :) Maybe blacken out a few teeth...

Anonymous said...

Poor Ethan is right. As always I couldn't help but chuckle at your telling of the story. I can't imagine how tramatic it must have been for both of you. Give Ethan our wishes for a speedy recovery.


Katja mit Fabian und Florian said...

Hi from Germany,

I found your blog by chance.

My son, Fabian, age 10, is wheelchair bound since he fell from a tree two years ago.

It was a very hard time for all of us after Fabians accident. The moment when the doctor told us, that Fabian is paralyzed and the moment when we must told him that he never walk again, was so terrible. Especially terrible was the day, when Fabian got his first wheelchair. I still cry when I saw him sitting in his wheelchair at the first time.

But Fabian is so brave! I am so proud of him.

Since his accident Fabian visits a school for special needs kids. All other kids in his class are disabled, too. The most kids must use a wheelchair, tree kids can walk with a walker / quad canes.

Every Saturday Fabian visits a sport group for children in wheelchairs. Two hours they play together in their wheelchairs. It is so funny for the kids.

Two month ago he got a new “Spidermann”-wheelchair.

If you are interest I will send you some photos of him in his new wheelchair.

When Fabian was 5 years old, he broke his left arm. In hospital he get a full arm cast for nearly six weeks. All his friends signed his cast.

When the cast comes off, Fabian had a mulit colored work of art.

I hope all friends of Ethan sign his new cast and he will become a mulit colored work of art, too.

Pherhaps you can post some photos about Ethan and his new cast.

I will be glad about a short answer mail.

Best wishes Katja