Do you every get to a place and think to yourself, "How in the world did I get here?" I found myself asking that question as I was standing at my grandmother's funeral service rocking my mom jeans and trying to answer Erica's question as she was taking off the ER bracelet off of her wrist.
We had another one of those days a couple of weeks ago. My son had hurt his hand on the first day of fall baseball practice. Ball against finger- ball won. He broke it right on the growth plate, of course, and had to go in for a cast. This was scheduled for the morning of my grandmother's funeral. She had died the weekend before, peacefully. It was very hard on the kids as she lived close and they saw her quite a bit. This was their first funeral that they lost someone so close.
Anyway, I was driving CJ back to school and heading home when I got a call from Chuck that Erica's school called and said that her arm was hurting, had electric shocks down to her fingers and she could not put her shoulder back in on her own. I told him that I was close to the school and I would drop by to "pop her back in place." (Why do I think it will be just and easy fix?) I got to the school and realized that I could slide her shoulder back in place easily, however, it would not stay in place. So I called the orthopedic surgeon and said, "I can get her shoulder to slide back in place, but it will not stay there." (Remember these words, you will see them again. It is called foreshadowing, I think, in literary terms). I was told to bring her down to the ER to the main campus right away.
Okay, so we are off to the worst place we can think of in a 300 mile radius, the emergency room. Not that this particular ER is bad, it is just all ERs are stressful for everyone, but especially hard for kids with a rare orthopedic syndrome. We call it the "Horse and Pony Show" because the residents, med students and such want to come in and see the cool party tricks she can do because of the EDS.
Erica endures the poking, prodding, questioning and x-ray pretty well. The chief of the ER comes in who happens to be a friend of our regular pediatrician. He takes one look at her and we were shown the forms for permission for sedation so they can put her shoulder back in place. The next minute this very young ortho resident comes in and says that she needs another x-ray.
The x-ray he orders is one that required her to put her shoulder in a position that she thought would hurt her. The x-ray techs did not help by pushing her and yelling in her ear. I stopped the whole thing saying that her pain was not addressed and until she got something for her pain, we would not proceed. The medical student was trying to hurry her along so she would not miss her great-grandmother's funeral so he runs out of the room to tell the head of the ER about the resident. I guess they have a big fight over what to do, but the ortho resident is now calling the shots. I just love it when a resident pokes his nose in where a 40 yr vet of the ER has it under control!
The doctors give Erica her medicine and the ortho resident comes back in to explain that the x-ray is not that big of a deal. He promised that he would go in and talk to the x-ray techs on how to do it. Well, he lied, of course, and she and the techs screamed at each other until the pictures were taken.
After 6 HOURS this is what the orthopedic resident said to me, "I can get her shoulder to slide back in place, but it will not stay there." REALLY? "What are you going to do about it?" "Nothing, I can't do anything in the ER." You mean to tell me that after 6 hours, potentially missing my grandmother's funeral, painful x-rays, screaming and all the other fun we have had and this is all you can offer her? I told you this hours ago!!! I thought the top of my head was going to come off!!!
"Can't you even tape the shoulder in place so she can get out of pain at least temporarily?" He said he didn't know how to do that. Don't they have guys without med school educations that do that next to the football field every Sunday? "Yeah, but I don't know how."
Fabulous!!! Out the door with a girl that wants to rip off her arm it hurts so badly to try to make it to at least a little of the funeral. I was supposed to read one of the scripture verses during the service for her and I am in jeans, no make-up and I was pretty sure I remembered to brush my hair this morning...not so sure about my teeth. I can't remember the last time I took a shower because of course I would have time before the funeral.
We get there at least 15 minutes into the service. "Mommy, I am WAY under dressed for this funeral!" says Erica as we take our seats. "I know Sweetie, so am I, but Nana doesn't care anymore."