Still Alive with a Side of Frustration

Hello my dear Readers…. I’m still alive!  I assume y’all know that we’ve been busy moving across the country.  We’re at my parents and we’re waiting to close on the house that we’ll be renting from them.  Hopefully this Friday.

That’s not all that’s been going on… The Boy managed to break his thumb about 3 1/2 weeks ago.  He tripped over a root in the backyard and bent his thumb under the palm of his hand.  He fractured the growth plate.  The doctor was cautious about how to proceed.  He said that we could leave it in a splint and hope that it would heal properly and grow straight.  But there was a chance that it would continue to grow crooked and would require re-breaking the thumb and setting it straight.  The other option was to go ahead and do surgery now to straighten it and place two pins in his thumb to keep it straight.  That was the option we decided to do.  Everything went smoothly and The Boy was proud of his camouflage cast.  The only downside to this route is that the appointment to remove the cast and two pins was scheduled for May 10th.  Guess where we were on May 10th??  Yeah, Phoenix.

Not such a big deal if we had insurance here – which we don’t.  That left us with a few options.  Fly back to Roanoke to keep the appointment there – vetoed by my mother.  Find a doctor here and pay out of pocket – vetoed by the hubby.  Leave the cast on forever – vetoed by The Boy.  Remove the cast and pins ourselves.  That option remained on the table for a bit while we tried to find alternate routes.  On Mother’s Day we finally gave up and prayed for the best.  My dad – handyman extraordinaire – just happened to have the proper tool to remove the cast.   My hubby buzzed and buzzed and buzzed around that cast until we were able to take pieces of it off.  The cotton and gauze presented a bigger challenge.  It was tough to cut through and since we weren’t sure where the pins were placed we had to be careful.  The Boy was a trooper and survived – despite having the pins bumped a couple of times.  (oooooh the mother’s guilt!!)  When the last bit of gauze came off and The Boy got a look at the pins he FREAKED out.  I don’t blame him one bit.  They were larger than we expected, they didn’t fall out like we expected, and they were both protruding from the same hole.  My hubby was amazing.  He grabbed The Boy’s head in both of his hands and brought their heads together until their foreheads were touching and he talked him down from the edge.  Once The Boy calmed down he was okay with looking at and talking about the pins.  But there was no touching them.  No way.  No how.  The hubby made a quick call to Phoenix Children’s Hospital to confirm that they would remove the pins – yes, they would, c’mon down.

We loaded up and drove down to the ER.  I have never been admitted to the ER that quickly!  They still had his records in their system from when he was a toddler so that eliminated some time.  They processed us through and plopped him in a bed.  In the hallway.  By the ER Ambulance admittance doors.  I think we saw about four ambulances pull up and run through the hallway with patients on gurneys.  Luckily none of them were as bad as what you see on t.v.  We waited and waited to see the doctor.  Finally he came to take a look and decided that he couldn’t pull the pins…. he needed to talk to the head of ortho to determine how to proceed.  Back to waiting.  When he returned he had not so good news.  He was not going to pull the pins.  Instead he was ordering films and referring us to a hand surgeon.  He said to call them on Monday to make an appointment for either that day or Tuesday- that they would be expecting my call.  After that things once again happened quickly.  The Boy was wheeled off for x-rays and returned to the hallway.  Then the fun began.  Two men came to put on a half splint – which is really half of a cast.  The smaller of the two men was bald with a little goatee, tattoos and just kind of tough looking.  But he was amazing.  The Boy started sniffling and tears started dropping when they started moving his hand around.  The man went and got a box of tissues and said, “My nose is a bit runny (blowing nose) so I’m just going to set this box of tissues riiiiiiight here (next to the boy).”  I love that he didn’t embarrass The Boy by making note of the tears but made him comfortable instead.  They put a sock on his hand, surrounded his thumb with gauze, and put a strip of cast material up his arm and around his thumb.  Then they wrapped the whole thing in a big ace bandage.  I forgot to mention that this whole time The Boy had been keeping his wrist bent backward (like holding a serving tray).  Why?  I don’t know but he wouldn’t straighten it…. for like five hours.  Once the cast material went on they had to straighten his wrist.  They did it quickly and without warning but again, they were awesome at consoling and comforting him.  This is why I love the children’s hospital.  You can see that everyone working there loves kids.  Once everything was finished Mr. Tough Guy brought out three boxes of toys and let The Boy pick out a toy.  He chose a box of Legos.  And, yes, he does manage to play with Legos with one hand.

First thing Monday morning I called the hand surgeon.  They did have our records and notes from the ER, however, the appointment setter said that he didn’t think he could schedule an appointment since the doctor doesn’t assume care for patients – only new patients.  I explained that the ER doctor spoke to the hand surgeon because we were a unique situation; being out of state.  He put me on hold for awhile and when we returned he confirmed that no, he could not been seen.

Let me get this straight.  Urgent care doesn’t remove pins, the emergency room won’t remove pins, and the hand surgeon won’t even see him.  Meanwhile The Boy still has pins in his thumb with a half cast and we’ll have a whopping ER bill.  Greeeeeat.  Back to square one.  I am going to call the Roanoke doctor to see if they are willing and able to find a referral for someone here.  I suppose if that doesn’t work I’ll try the children’s hospital again.

At least we’re staying occupied while waiting for our house…


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