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?
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.