One year ago today, I got a phone call every mother dreads. . .
2:45pm – about 40 minutes after school got out – my phone rings with a number I don’t recognize but something compels me to answer.
It’s one of the football coaches. He casually tells me he thinks Nathan may have a broken arm. We chat for a few minutes and then he says they had already called an ambulance.
“Oh! You were serious!” I say.
Coach: “Yes, I can’t legally say his arm is broken but let’s just say it doesn’t look normal, just below his wrist.”
I ask whether it’s his left arm or right arm and coach tells me it’s his left. I breathe a small sigh of relief as Nate is right-handed.
Fast forward 30 minutes – I reach the hospital and he’s already there. The ambulance, which must have driven quite fast, had gotten there about 15 minutes ahead of me.
I hadn’t left that long after I got off the phone with the coach but time tends to stand still in these kinds of situations and it felt like an eternity before I arrived at the hospital.
The ER folks direct me back to his room and the nurse tells me they’ve called a children’s orthopedic surgeon, who comes in shortly thereafter.
He takes one look at Nathan, orders x-ray’s as quickly as they can get him in and says to me “Oh, it’s definitely broken, probably in multiple places, hopefully NOT in the growth plate, and we’re going to schedule surgery as soon as I know what we’re dealing with.”
A whirlwind of activity begins happening – taking him to get x-rays, sedating him so they can manipulate his arm and set it, and a myriad of other stuff.
The x-rays come back and it’s confirmed he’ll need surgery to repair the bones as both the radius and the ulna are broken clean through so that gets scheduled for the next morning and he’s admitted to in-patient and to his own room in the children’s ortho wing.
His surgery was at 7:30am the next morning and although it took a bit longer than they anticipated, it went really well. He was in the hospital for 3 days then home from school for a week and had a soft splint-type cast for 6 weeks then a regular hard cast for 6 more seeks.
He’s now got 2 plates and about 10 screws in his arm and a year later, it’s healed very well. Doc cleared him for basketball and other sports but NOT football and for a few months, he was rather mad about that but I think he’s made his peace with it now. And trust me, mom is definitely ok with that!
We were very blessed to have such a great coaching team who was able to get his arm immobilized before the ambulance got there and a great team of nurses and doctors at the hospital who made treatment for such a horrific accident as smooth and successful as possible.
And today, he has full use of his arm with no lasting damage, thanks to everyone’s quick responses and excellent care.