Sunday, May 22, 2016

Poor Alli

It's one thing being the doctor.
It's a totally different thing being a father.
I learnt this the hard way a few days ago. Allison had learnt how to use the monkey bars at school, and so wanted to show us she could do it.
Inevitably, when you wage a battle with gravity, gravity always wins. And so she fell, and suffered a distal radial fracture.
While it was not life threatening, it breaks the heart, seeing her cry, and knowing even before the X-rays that the radius was fractured. After all, there was an obvious body deformity.
The X-rays and fluoro told us all we needed to know.

I've seen perhaps 20-30 fracture reductions during medical school and residency. Not a whole lot, since my career path was destined for a nonsurgical route. While I've always felt for the patient in pain, I've never experienced anything like this.
Seeing your own daughter, in so much pain, in so much fear, looking at the foreign white lights of the ER. Seeing the strangers in white coats (not something she is used to, since neither mom nor dad wear white coats to work), poking and prodding.
And then, despite the sedation and pain medication, seeing the orthopedic surgeon reducing the displaced fracture. Despite the sedation, she was somewhat whimpering. And it was sickening, nauseating even, to see your child's distal forearm manhandled, and twisted in abnormal ways to reduce and reposition the fractured fragments. I'm glad I sent my wife and other child out- even I could not keep my eyes dry.
Thankfully, that did not last too long. And so, after a 4 hour ER visit, she went home. With a cast that she will wear for the next 2 months, right into summer vacation, right into her birthday.
She's not happy that she has to miss swim class, or skip gymnastics, or riding her bike, or jumping on the trampoline. But she's being a trouper so far. And perhaps even finding things to look forward to, like how she wants to decorate her cast, or her sling.
Hopefully, this will all be over soon.
But it has me thinking wondering if playsets with monkey bars are secretly sold by companies owned by the American Orthopaedic Association?