Emergency Appreciation

Yesterday, my 13-year-old daughter, Meg, broke her wrist in two places.  Ouch!  She was playing basketball during PE at school and went to block a shot.  She fell back onto her left wrist, instantly turning it into a lumpy mass.

I got the call from her school around 2:15 p.m. to come and attend to her.  Fortunately, I live close by so Meg didn’t have to wait long for me to get there.   The principal and school secretary were huddled over Meg comforting her as she tried to contain her agony.  She thought she did a really good job, but I knew otherwise.

Once Meg settled into the car, she screamed for a solid 30 minutes while I drove through stop and go traffic, missing every traffic light, to finally arrive at the doctor’s office across town.

Meg with cast

Meg with cast

Meg’s doctor saw her immediately, splinted her wrist and sent us across the street for X-rays.  Even though I had given her four Ibuprofen, Meg’s pain continued unabated.  Soon, the X-ray results showed why.  Her wrist was broken in two places and “angulated,” which meant it needed to be manipulated back into place.  We had no choice but to check into the Emergency Room (ER).  Poor Meg!

The ER docs and nurses evaluated Meg, and determined that an orthopedic doctor was needed.  We were advised to sit tight for two more hours and the orthopedic would be on his way.  In the meantime, my daughter anguished.  I asked for more pain relief, which the ER staff duly provided.  This finally quieted Meg down.

Around 7 p.m., the orthopedic doctor arrived.  I felt hungry and tired and more than impatient, and was prepared to dislike this late arrival.  Instead, the new doctor charmed my husband and me and completely disarmed my daughter’s fears with his friendly and outgoing demeanor.

I sang softly to Meg one of her favorite lullabies as the orthopedic prepared to numb Meg’s wrist in preparation for the “reduction” or correction of her fracture.  The doctor complimented me on my ability to keep Meg calm, which led me to ask him if he had any children.

“Yes, three under the age of seven, “ he answered.   “One of them is sick right now, so I know how hard it can be to take care of them.”

I asked him what his child was sick with, expecting him to say the flu.  Instead he answered, “Brain tumor,” and instantly I sensed he regretted sharing this with me.

“Oh, I’m so sorry,” I said.  I looked across the room at my husband and felt incredibly sad.  The doctor thanked me and moved on, refocusing on my daughter’s  needs.

I did too, but said a silent prayer that Meg had only endured a broken wrist that would mend soon enough.

After about four hours in the ER, Meg was finally released.  She continued to feel scared and uncertain, but was comforted by a stream of messages on her phone and on her Facebook wall from classmates and friends wishing her a speedy recovery.

My husband nicknamed Meg “Sweet Pea” because she truly has the sweetest of dispositions.  She also possesses a remarkable understanding and appreciation for the important things in life, family and friendships and honesty and loyalty.

Right before bed, Meg outlined her numerous concerns and anxieties over her injury, but then concluded by telling me how lucky she felt to have so many people in her life that cared about her.

I agreed and said another prayer of thanks for a healthy daughter, loving and caring family and friends, good health insurance and excellent medical care.   May we all be so blessed.

15 responses to “Emergency Appreciation

  • Katherine Petrin

    Nance, your post is timely with Thanksgiving right around the corner. We all have so much to be thankful for. And look at Meg! Beaming. Hoping for her speedy recovery.


  • Betsy Thomson

    Sorry to hear about your daughter’s injury…but as you noted in your comments…we are truely blessed!

  • Emily

    I hope Meg feels better soon.

  • Julia

    Thank you for this lovely reminder of all we have to be thankful for. I hope Meg recovers quickly and I know she will under your loving care!

  • Sally McDonald

    Nancy, I am glad Meg’s injury wasn’t worse. It is good to be reminded of how very lucky we are. Prayers for all the children who are injured or sick.

    One story comes to mind (are you surprised?). I had to have an MRI on my shoulder last year before the surgery. The MRI COMPLETELY freaked me out. I was claustrophobic and fighting panic. But it was just days after the Haiti earthquake. I had to remind myself that I was safe in a state of the art medical facility freaking out while people in Haiti were lying under rubble hoping for rescue. I needed perspective. But, to be perfectly honest that only helped for a minute. Then I started saying Hail Marys as FAST as I could to get through the procedure. I know I did at least a rosary or two while in there.

    Moral: you can be thankful things aren’t worse, but we still get to freak out that things are hard. Oh, and Catholic school comes in VERY
    HANDY sometimes.

  • Terri Cassin

    Love how you write!
    Happy to know your daughter is doing okay – you never know when or where you will get a big dose of gratitude.
    Your “old” friend,
    Terri (Cassin)

  • Janet Portman Wetter

    Oh Nancy… How agonizing and frightening for Meg!!! I am so glad she was in such good care… though she had to suffer of so long while waiting. We feel so helpless when our children are in agony; your lullaby gave great comfort… to both of you:) Often as we focus our concerns on our families, we are humbling reminded of those with far greater challenges.
    Thank you again for reminding me. I seem often to lose sight of this lesson. I hope Meg mends quickly!!!!! xoxo

  • Janet Portman Wetter

    Humbled again!!! Mt typos!! Need to practice my typing!!:)

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