Left Forearm Broken. E.R. Doctor Angers Me.

Yesterday afternoon while I was stretching/ranging Ryan I heard a loud snap as I was working on his left arm. Ryan’s pulse shot up immediately (I keep his vitals in real time when exercising). I knew it couldn’t be good. Did his ligament tear? Did his bone break? Did muscle fiber release? What just happened?

Left forearm breaks during stretching

Immediately, I called Dr. Rodriguez. What a great man he is! He stopped everything he was doing and not only walked me through an evaluation, but calmed me. I felt awful! Did I cause this? Could I have prevented it? What did I miss?

We decided the best (and only) course of action was to get Ryan in to the E.R. for x-rays.  I hung-up the phone and called 9-1-1.

Yep. Broken. Both bones in the forearm suffered trauma. The larger was a clean break. The smaller was fractured. I broke down after the curtain was pulled and we were alone waiting for splinting.

About half-an-hour later Dr. Dennis Bernier comes in with all the splinting materials.  We discuss the best approach. He suggests maybe not resetting the bone, since it will cause more pain. I challenge him, feeling it is best to return Ryan to “normal” structure and demand the consult of the resident Orthopedic. Just because he is in a coma doesn’t excuse anyone from doing what’s best.

He leaves the room and I start making calls.  Again, through Dr. Rodriguez’s recommendation, we are able to reach an excellent local Orthopedic.  He agrees with me, reset the bone. This whole sequence takes about fifteen minutes.

An hour later… no doctor.  I hit the call bell. The nurse comes immediately and I tell her to tell the doctor to pick-up the pace. My decision has be reached. Ten minutes later, he pops in.

I ask him if we can get moving on the splinting. He tells me he is still waiting on the Orthopedic. I tell him I spoke with one who practices at the hospital and will go with his advice.  Still, the doctor tells me, he wants to check on his own.  Little did I know he was intentionally stalling.

So, we’re now approaching three hours since arrival. No splint. Ryan is in pain. Can I get some ice? Is anyone planning on repositioning him? Where in the hell did everyone go?

Then, the answer comes walking into the room.

It’s Adult Protective Service! It seems this hack doctor was “suspicious” of the injury. Translate: Suspicious of me.  Now, at the time this whole absurdity wasn’t registering with me. I just thought it might be a service provided by the hospital.  That shows you just how naive I am.

After a few intrusive questions, it clicks. So, I ask, what is his purpose for being here? Now, here’s the crazy irony of it, no matter how angry I am I simply cannot show it. He would see it as some sort of confirmation. My ire bubbles just under the surface, but I play nice. In the end he proclaims everything looks fine and his work here is done. He’ll give me a call on Monday. Great, looking forward to it.

Ryan finally gets splinted after being baptized and blessed by Protective Services. Now we just need to wait for transport home.


Completing a trifecta, Dr. Rodriguez is working behind the scenes.  He called Dr. Bernier and (from all indications) laid into him, in a politically acceptable way I suspect.  You go, D-Rod! The E.R. Doctor comes in to apologize, but still has the aura of arrogance. I’ll have to tend to that.

He ask me “Do you have a moment?”

Me: “Does it seem like I am leaving anytime soon?”

Hack Doctor: “I want to explain everything.”

Me: “Are you sure you want to take me down that path? Ryan is 14 months into this. I am an exposed nerve.  Do you think it’s wise? You will surely get your ego crushed.”

Doc: “It just didn’t strike me as a ‘typical’ injury.”

Me: “Ryan is not a typical patient. Did you notice… he is brain injured.”

Then, the ego-crushing begins. Here are the next ten minutes in a nutshell:

He claimed he was acting on instinct. I claimed he has insanely bad instincts.

He said it was not a good decision. I agreed. But, Doc, explain to me if you will… was this instinct (and said before) or a thought-out decision? No response, I had him cornered. Check and mate! So, with his ego in a heap upon the floor I left him with this to consider: Having either poor instincts or poor judgement are not qualities people want or expect from a trauma doctor. Absent both, as is the case here, perhaps a future in a more task-oriented job would serve everyone better.

EMS is waiting outside the door when the doctor leaves the room. Once we get into the ambulance, the one EMT asks me if everything is okay. I tell him I learned a valuable lesson in how the system works. No, he explains, he thought the doctor looked badly shaken. Good, maybe I got through.

Never, ever, question a devoted parent’s depth of love or length of protection for their child. It doesn’t matter if your a doctor or the flippin’ pope. Nothing good can come from it.


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30 Responses to Left Forearm Broken. E.R. Doctor Angers Me.

  1. Jo Hobbs says:

    Well, I am in tears!! But, thank God, you are so perfectly capable of handling all matters RYAN! You are our hero! But, oh man, this hospital scenario makes me not angry. but mad as h…, that’s hell if someone doesn’t understand periods in place of letters. Hmmm, is there an email address for Child Protective Services, who needs to walk a mile in your shoes? !! This beats all… …!!

  2. Will says:

    I quess you might what to be more careful in stretching/ranging Ryan . I am glad everything worked out in the end. I continue to pray for Ryan and family.

    • Is there a reason you think I’m not already careful? I hope you didn’t intend to imply otherwise.

    • Jo Hobbs says:

      Will, thank you for your prayers for Ryan and his family. Hopefully you didn’t mean this comment to sound like it seemed. Sometimes when I comment, it comes out all wrong and is sometimes taken the wrong way.

  3. Keith (In Morgantown) says:

    I am glad that you showed that Dr! Why would he even called the protective Services! That really ticked me off reading it that Dr needed someone to tell him! As much as You all Take great care of Ryan then someone try to cause trouble! I am glad that Dr Rod. called that Dr maybe he set him straight. I will Pray for Ryans Arm that it heals quick. I noticed also that you knew more than the Dr and You made the decision of the ortho dr. Some Drs i really dont know about but then there are some that really cares! I agree with Jo “Let them walk in Your Shoes!” Have a Great Day Diviney Family and God Bless!

  4. Keith (In Morgantown) says:

    All the care that you are doing for Ryan I think that you know what your doing. Your Doing Great!!!!! I think you know whats the right way and whats wrong. Ryan is So Blessed to have you and the family to take so much Great Care for him! So when people try to tell you different dont listen to them YOUR DOING GREAT!!!

  5. Karen Pekar says:

    Try not to be too offended. Both my boys broke their right foot at the same time. (unintended circus act tumbling down the stairs.) I can’t tell you how many people I had to talk to regarding the accident. You’d cry if you knew how many disabled and elderly are abused by their caretakers. Chalk it up to a stranger (ER Doc) crossing his T’s and dotting his I’s.

    • Paula Yocom says:

      I understand, but I think the doctor should have taken the time to get all the details from Ken, before jumping to such a potentially devastating decision.

  6. julie says:

    Ken, don’t feel this was your fault. His bones are osteoporotic from not moving around like we do. Once it took 3 ER visits,3 days in a row for my brother’s fractures. Caregiver drops him,he hits his head on a stand before hitting the floor. He needs stitches in his head. Remember his body hit the floor. He has some swelling of one knee. He hits the ER,it’s the day before Thanksgiving. The ER doc stitches him does not evaluate the rest of his body..he is paralyzed..he does not feel like you and me. He is sent home. I check him that night. Told my parents he had to have a knee fracture. Day 2 to ER: He has that leg xrayed, and yes the knee was fractured. He is somewhat mobilized in a splint and sent home. His pulse ox drops on day 3 morning.He is having trouble breathing. A doctor is called. WITHOUT examing anything a blood thinner is ordered. it is ASSUMED he has a clot. He is again taken to the ER because I said no way is he starting a blood thinner without further exam. The other leg now is looking suspicious. So… back to the ER. I live an hour away. I reached the ER went straight to the doctor and said sorry you are the one here today. He had a fracture in the opposite femur. Femurs bleed. you are anemic, you are going to have a lower pulse ox and trouble breathing. There was not a clot. I laid into that doctor and said I cannot believe it took 3 trips to determine his injuries. Why was a quad not given a very thorough exam on day 1. Did you not want to take the time to take him out of his chair? ANYBODY that is dropped to the floor had better have a very thorough exam in his condition. He does feel pain. He could not have surgery because his bones are too osteoporotic. I felt so bad for him. Then it gets better. He needed suctioned, a nurse comes in the ER room and is panicing trying to find a catheter to suction him. I said”are you looking for a catheter? They are right there” and picked one up and handed it to her. Now I don’t hesitiate. I am a medical professional. I am not permitted to perform suctioning, IV’s or anything on him in any facility. Guess what.. I do. If he needs care, alot of times it takes forever to get a person to do the job. Ken..you are awesome. Good for you that you handled that arrogant SOB the way you did. Keep a journal. And most of all… hang in there. Ryan is progressing because of your unending love and support. God Bless Julie(Ferguson) Commons

  7. Boy , I am cheering. Has the doctor even picked up a paper? Does he not know who you are? Go Ken!!!! There is not a more loving father, mother, and sister. Good lesson for that doctor possibly he will rethink his profession. And I hope Will just made a error in comment, I’m supposing this happens to people in Ryan’s situation. My cousin was paralyzed and things happening differently. You are more than Caring and well versed on his exercises. Hats off to you for teaching this doctor more compassion, I think that he will think about this for a long time and would be best for him to join this website to understand really how all this works and the people who care for the victims!! Love to all

  8. Anna says:

    Oh Boy! As a nurse this story is great, been there done that with know it all doctors!! There are of course the arrogant, A-hole, doctors who think they know everything!
    He deserved everything you gave him and MORE! Maybe taking a scrapbook of the newspaper clippings about Ryan and giving it to him might make him think twice before he questions another parent. Keep it on you for future ER visits if needed, just to ward of Adult Protective Services. Maybe sign him up for our facebook. Going back to your take on Dr. Bernier, not sure what job would be suitable for someone with poor instincts or poor judgement. I wouldn’t even want my garbage man to have poor judgement, he might leave BOTH my garbage cans rolling in the street next week.
    I have to admit, reading this story again brings me to laughter Ken, especially with your sarcasm throughout. I love the “Check and Mate”! Keep up your good work Ken, doesn’t this hack doctor know, there are folks who “wouldn’t hurt a fly”.

  9. Mike says:

    You will get doctors like that who obviously have no idea. You handled it the right way while maintaining your original MO…Get Ryans arm splinted and on the road to recovery. Well done, Ken.

  10. Paula Yocom says:

    Ken, it’s taking everything in me right now not to run to your house and hug you!!! As angry as I am, I’m even more upset that you and Ryan were treated this way. What to do…well, at least you were able to impart some serious wisdom to this doctors. I wish all doctors would just lose the arrogance — patients shouldn’t have to tolerate this b.s.!! I am so sorry this happened, it was not something you could foresee or know. While I recognize this doctor may have been following some kind of protocol, your assessment that he has terrible instincts is spot on. I suggest that if you are so inclined, you consider filing a formal complaint with the hospital. I am concerned that if Ryan needs future care there, you may run into this again. I think the issue of the doctor calling protective services needs to be addressed. A qualified physician should understand that coma patients have distinctly different issues that need to be understood. If you decide you want to file a complaint, I will help you. To say that I am furious about how you were treated does not touch it. Please push the thoughts of this doctor out of your head, he clearly needs remedial help on appropriate patient care. Here is a big hug and lots of love from me to you, Sue, Kari and Ryan. You were treated shamefully, and I am very sorry.

  11. Rick Pekar says:

    I have been following your tragedy through my wife Karen keeping me up to date. She and I don’t always agree. Although I understand her point I admire how much restraint you have showed throughout this. Personally I would have punched the ER dr. out clearly not a good solution particularly under the circumstances. But then again I probably wouldn’t be around to have done it, instead probably serving time for beating the hell out of the kids who did this. I pray for you all. My thoughts are often with you.

  12. Jo Hobbs says:

    Wondering if non/Dr. Bernier ever heard of local anesthesia+ for setting a broken arm. I am furious that Ryan had to wait in pain for 3 hours. No excuse for this! Still here, still mad!

  13. Linda says:

    Although annoying, the doctors are responsible just like teachers to be “on the look out” for injuries. They need to protect themselves also. A friends child broke their arm and CPS was called. My neighbor had the school report their family to CPS as the child had excessive bug bites. Since there are so many cases of child neglect and abuse that is what needs to be done. If they don’t, you will hear about the case that was not reported and the child ends up beaten to death.

    • Kathleen says:

      This call to APS should never have been made, but once it was ,the doc should hve treated Ryan and found another way to hold him in the ER or sent APS to their home. This Dr should be investigated for withholding care! Ken, I also believe you should file a formal complaint.

    • Milissa Simonsen says:

      It’s called being a “mandated reporter”. I am a teacher, and if I don’t report somthing that I may see as suspicious, it’s my butt if the child is hurt or injured.

      • Milissa Simonsen says:

        I was just reading the comments, and I noticed that someone gave me a “thumbs down” for my mandated reporter comment. No big deal, but those who do not work in fields that deal with such sensitive issues need to understand what those of us do go through. I went through 5 years of college to earn my triple major to become a teacher (which took 8 years to pay off), and I have 3 minor children. If someone else decides to abuse their child, and I do not “see the signs” or report anything abnormal, then I can also be cited as a accomplice to the abuse for not reporting (failure to protect). However, if I do report, and there is no abuse, the parent or caregiver will certainly be able to explain any injuries, etc. In addition, if I do not report, I could lose me job, and my own children would not have someone to put food on their plates. At our training from DCF that teachers take, we are taught not to create our own opinions or even discuss with parents what we might see as abuse of neglect. We cannot make decisions. We can only report objectively what we might see. Now, if a child is in need of immediate medical attention (like Ryan was), that is a different circumstance. I understand that this family is well known in the area (I also am very well known in my town, but I still went through a report), but put yourself in a professional’s shoes that could lose everything for not reporting something suspicious. Would you risk everything your family has or has worked for just so someone else doesn’t have 10 minutes of questioning from a DCF rep? I don’t think so.

      • Paula Yocom says:

        It’s best to find out the facts first, rather than jumping to conclusions.

      • Miranda Yocom says:

        A lot of people accidentally click the “thumbs down” button, I would say that there is no need for concern over just one (possibly accidental) individual 🙂 As a teacher myself, I know and understand the policy for injuries in the workplace, however, most people here can agree that under Ryan’s conditions it was both unnecessary and inappropriate to contact APS.

  14. Michele says:

    INOVA Loudoun never ceases to amaze me. I have heard countless stories of Loudoun County pursuing innocent people because they have nothing better to do and follow-up on. I could go on and on. I am glad to hear Ryan is home again and you are back home where you belong and Ryan is getting the BEST care there is. We pray for all of you daily! Of course Ryan is at risk for these injuries, but don;t think for a moment you caused it. YOU have kept him from countless more serious things by all your ongoing efforts. For the person who commented for you to be careful, obviously they are clueless and have never done a days worth of PT in their life!!! Hang in there Ken!!

  15. Carla Liberty says:

    Ken –

    I was so upset to read of this latest trial for you and Ryan. I know how painstakingly careful you are to keep Ryan in the best possible shape as he recovers. Obviously this insensitive hack with a God complex has no business being in the ER. My husband John was also really upset after I read this to him. He said, “My God, even if this whack job doesn’t know who Ken and Ryan are with all the media attention surrouding them, he has a MORAL DUTY to do what is right by the patient and re-set the arm.”

    I’m hoping that the doctor just had an error in judgment and you get a written apology. Unfortunately I’m still waiting on the apology from the ER doctor who crushed the hopes of my dying mom by saying very loudly, “Sorry about the diagnosis, do you need a psychiatrist?” Insensitive ba**ards have no business practicing medicine.

    Chin up, Ken
    ❤ Carla (and John)

  16. deb okane says:

    oh Ken – that was the last thing you needed. The only good that may come from this is maybe this dr learned a valuable lesson. Sadly, I am sure there will be many other trips to Loudoun and they will eventually all know what a hero you are.

  17. conrad says:

    The strenght you showed to hold it together enough to not let the “evaluation” go the worng way was amazing! The courage and stamina and self control you displayed I can only imagine. At a time when you felt like your nerves would erupt and the emotions of feeling that you were being “tested”, you held back the tendency (at least I would have had) to lash out because all you want ios for them to help your son.
    The ER is a tough place to enter……I recall lat year we were in Outer Banks and Patrick got food poisoning. We were 45 mins from the only hospital, and after driving in the middle of the night there not knowing if he had an appendicitis attack or what (violent abdominal pain)…..I admit I exceeded the speed limit. I’m pull in the ER lot, help him out of the back seat of the car, only to have the police pull up with lights flashing. Seems I was going 65 in a 50 at 3am! They let me take him in, then I had to go back out and explain my emergency and plead for no ticket! Then inside, he couldn’t even stand up, and it seemed like they asked me questions for 30 mins about what caused this, etc. took almost 45 mins (and we werree the ONLY patients in there) to get any medications started on him!
    Nothing like what you experienced, but I can empathize……..I’m so glad it all turned out ok in the end for y’all, eben though he’s got the arm in a cast now!
    Miss you guys……we want to bring dinner over soon!

  18. Milissa Simonsen says:

    Hey Ken,
    I posted above about being a “mandated reporter”, but I am also a former caregiver that had DCF called on me. My ex-husband has a TBI, and I took great care of him for 2 years. His mother tried to gain control by calling DCF. She said he was exploited, medically neglected, and to top it off, she said I was having intercourse in front of him (I wonder where my 3 young children were supposed to be at that time). Anyway, DCF said that the claims were unfounded, so what does she do next? She goes to court and petitions for emergency guardianship with the above claims. I was never informed, so I did not go to the hearing. What does the judge do? He grants the order (never even asks my ex-husband who is very verbal), and my ex goes from living next to me, seeing his kids almost every day, and becoming more and more independent to now living in assisted living with most of the residents being about 85 years old (he is 39) or over and losing everything he ever had or cared for. He is now a “ward” of the state and has a state-appointed guardian who doesn’t even let him spend $1 of his own money at Dollar General on his children. What is my point to this rant, you ask? My point is…. watch out whenever a finger is pointed at you, never allow the state to take control of your son, and never ever take him out of your home as long as you can care for him. Good luck, and sorry about the rant. I wish I would have created a site like this to “vent” a little and get some support. I know how difficult it is to care for someone else’s needs.

  19. Jill in Morgantown says:

    I am SO proud of you for not punching that arrogant a**hole in the face!!!! I am a healthcare worker and unfortunately I’ve seen my fair share of abuse cases. None of those poor elderly patients or children were taken care of the way Ryan is. My God, anyone could tell by looking at Ryan that he’s not abused!!!! And, if this hospital is right in your HOME TOWN, how has this moron NOT heard of your family???? I think we all agree he is an a**hole, but not only that….he’s incompetent. How about the hippocratic oath….1st do no harm?!?!?! RYAN WAS IN PAIN!!!!!….whether or not he though Ryan was “abused”, he should’ve given him pain meds and treatment WHILE he was being an a**hole and plotting his next move. Still here, still praying, and still furious in Morgantown

  20. Lisa Svendsen says:

    How does a doctor in Ashburn not know who the Diviney family is, why Ryan is in this condition, or the amazing, all-consuming love that Ken shows every single day in caring for Ryan? Let’s write to INOVA’s CEO, and make sure that every doctor, nurse, tech, and Janitor in that place knows that when Ryan comes in the door, Ken is the #1 source they should rely on. Still here, still praying.

  21. Alex says:

    I admire you, Divineys. I dont believe their is anyone in the world who has better interests/intentions for a child than that child’s parents. I also don’t think there is ANYONE who wants whats best for ryan more than you, mr. and mrs. diviney. No one should be allowed to question the judgment of a parent in this situation. stay strong divineys, god is watching over you and ryan everyday-

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