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’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.