Day Writing by Heather Hamilton-Maude: A broken arm
A couple months back, my son broke his arm. It was the night before we started chopping silage, and we were in the middle of adding the necessary pieces to the silage hauling truck with when he emerged from a hay stack in tears.
I took him to the house, settled him on the couch, started a movie, and eventually asked if it was alright if I went back to help his dad finish up. He said he was fine, and off I went. Fifteen minutes later he arrived at the truck in tears – he had come outside to check on us, slipped on the concrete, and caught himself with his sore arm.
Just in case that didn’t finish him off, the following morning when we came in from the garden he fell on the steps, and you guessed it, caught himself with the same arm.
At that point he had a bump just above his left wrist. I called his doctor’s office and was surprised to find them open on Sunday. In we went. When the doctor asked where it hurt, my son tapped the side of his arm to show her, and otherwise acted like he was in very little pain. The x-ray technician seemed slightly unimpressed she had been called in as he walked by her swinging his so-called bad arm. But, her work revealed that he had indeed broken the larger of the two bones in his forearm.
It was bad enough they recommended we go to an orthopedic specialist, which by that time was closed. So, a temporary cast was put on, amid much discussion as to why the pediatrician had the same semen tank we have. Come to find out, they just store liquid nitrogen in theirs. We went home only to turn around and go back to town first thing the next morning. I was told that if he needed surgery it was best to be there bright and early so it didn’t take all day. We checked in, and managed to get him all the way to the back of the building without harming any other patrons. He tends to wander as he walks, always swinging his arms and gawking at something, which had several older folks sporting various injuries cringing and hugging the far wall.
The orthopedic doctor stated he was in the grey area regarding surgery, and suggested casting the arm for a week, then reassessing. My relief knew no limits in those moments. So, my son got a bright red, full arm cast, with a funky twist at the wrist to help the misplaced bone move the right direction if it moved at all, and home we went.
That same morning my Father-In-Law was kind enough to fill in on our delivery to a butcher shop. It was a load of beef and hogs we had sold to people, most of them repeat customers. I spent most of the remainder of that week trying to remember what I had sold to whom, as my mom brain conveniently forgot everything, and everyone I had spoken to that wasn’t directly related to my son’s arm.
Several folks were praying the arm didn’t require surgery, and God answered those prayers! We swapped out of the full arm cast a few weeks after it went on. His sister got to go with us that day – after all, her brother had gone with her to get her leg cast off when it was broken. The doctor’s appointment was directly after a bank meeting during which both kids managed to procure multiple suckers. The two of them bounced off all the walls, and just started crashing off their sugar high as we left with a new, short yellow cast, and two stickers each from the x-ray gal.
Our third appointment showed great healing. The short cast was removed and a soft brace was brought in. The brace was only needed when my son might be doing something that could cause him to tweak his arm. I pointed out that the most dangerous thing he does is walk, and there were several patients he had met in the halls who would attest to that as truth, and the doctor agreed that maybe he should just wear the brace for a few days.
Throughout the appointments, my son and his doctor had some great visits. Discussing all manner of farming and ranching, driving various vehicles, and shooting raccoons and other varmints. Come to find out, the doctor’s mom had a strict rule for her boys that if they shot it, they ate it. My son replied that his job was just to drive his dad around and hold the flashlight.
This week marks the end of needing to wear the brace, thank goodness. My son seems completely healed, and the x-rays from two weeks back showed his arm already building new bone to straighten and eventually cover where the break occurred.
I eventually got my load of beef and hogs sorted out, the silage was chopped, and I plucked what I think was a grey hair out of my part.
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