Last Thursday night, three years to the damn day that the child broke his ankle the first time, we got a phone call, set down our wine glasses, collected insurance cards and crutches, and drove quickly to the gym, where the child had attempted a “webster” from a 12 foot high platform, missed his rotation and landed squarely on his ankle. The two teenage girls in charge of the gym that night (srsly, amirite?) were pretty freaked out about the sound it made (POP) and the immediate distortion of his anatomy (ankles don’t typically have weird knobs on the side the size of baseballs) and that it was purple.
As is so very, very typical for healthcare here in our corner of the world (but we don’t have tornadoes or hurricanes or much earthquakes), we arrived at the ER at 8:00 pm, and at 1:00 am someone confirmed that his ankle was broken. But we knew that. The answer(s) to questions like “how bad” were less clear. The ER physician was certain that we would be seen the next day by an orthopedic surgeon. I recount the exchange and subsequent exchanges here:
We got up very early to corral child and head to the appointment, which was with a doctor whose name is Dr. Doctor and I cannot take that shit seriously AT ALL and each time I hear or say it my brain finishes it with, “Can’t you see I’m burning, burning?” Dr. Doctor (can’t you see I’m burning….) himself is like, way over 6′ tall and has the standard kind of odd manner of a surgeon. The upshot, though, is that the child requires surgery to pin the ankle back together. This has been scheduled for Friday afternoon. The child and I returned home and once I had him parked in front of the XBox I set to work cancelling our upcoming vacation.
With great sadness I requested a refund for the sunset, Georgia O’Keefe landscape trail ride at The Ghost Ranch. I contacted the trip insurance company and requested a claim packet for the vacation rental fee. I corresponded with the charming owners of the vacation rental about our shift from paying for our own vacation to helping fund one for the orthopedic surgeon.I cancelled the lovely pet-sitter I had finally found to care for the remaining population here at Casa de Pets Die In the Summer. I did a lot of dramatic sighing. I even called a left a message for my mother-in-law, since the man to whom I am married has not yet even called his parents about their only grandchild’s lower extremity.
I’ve also realized that I do not know the answers to some questions. Will they take the hardware back out when the ankle is healed? Um…I don’t think so? But….Huh. Can he have a spinal instead of general anesthesia? Are you thinking that we will meet the anesthesiologist more than five minutes before they wheel him back to the OR? Because that’s not going to happen. The doctor sent us for a CT scan and the chatty tech (who initially thought the child was a girl, leading me to giggle to him later, “Are they saying to themselves how sorry they feel for that poor girl with the mustache?”) said, “Oh, my. He broke it good–don’t do anything halfway! You taught him well, mom!”
I am not sure if I was being insulted or not. My hair is a perfect shade of citron so maybe.
Meanwhile, the much-anticipated and frequently re-started summer break has finally ground itself to a halt and all hope is lost. Now we are on house arrest, waiting hand and foot on a child who can’t put any weight on his right leg, and who isn’t so much a reader. Buy stock in GameStop, kids.