Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Breakable

Late yesterday afternoon, my mum was getting on the bus to go home after having a wander around the shops, and her legs suddenly just gave way. Over the phone, it sounded like she just keeled over on the steps. She wanted to get x-rayed, though she didn't seemed to be hurting enough to have broken anything.

A visit to the after-hours doctor and a few x-rays later (I had to translate for her and then swiftly remove myself from the room before my womb got zapped by the rays), it turned out that she'd managed to fracture and impact her upper arm. After the first hour or two of being shocked and stunned, I think she took it pretty well. I was told to take her to the hospital, just down the road, to see the orthopaedic registrar for an expert opinion. Apparently, there was a chance she'd go "into theatre". My mum isn't the singing and dancing type, so I took it to mean that there was an alternative to throwing her arm in a sling and letting the bones heal themselves.

My infamous navigation skills (i.e. none), the vague directions given by the doctor and the worst fog I've seen since Guy Fawkes' Night in a Edinburgh on a very foggy night, meant that the five minute drive to the Fracture Clinic took about half an hour. Out of four possible hospital entranceways, I managed to find the three wrong ones.

Anyway, by 9pm we'd seen the orthopaedic registrar's assistant and there wasn't going to be any "theatre". A nurse put a little foam sling on mum's arm and made it clear she was going to need a helping hand with showering and stuff, for the next few weeks. Oh, and some very strong painkillers.

I got mum back to her house, with a diversion to the after-hours pharmacy for Voltarin on the way, fed her the tablet, was refused help with getting her ready for bed, and left without remembering to tell her that sleep may be less painful if she sits upright in bed instead of lying down.

It was well past my bedtime by the time I got home, and I'd been on the go for about six hours with only a nasty muesli bar to keep me going. So I was hideously disappointed to find that I just could not fall asleep.

Isn't if funny (well, funny as in peculiar) that when you get insomnia, you tend to finally drop off to sleep only about an hour before the alarm goes off?

I don't do well without enough sleep (yes I know, I'm going to be in trouble in a few months' time), so I let myself sleep in and went in to work mid-morning.

I was still worried that mum might not have had much sleep herself though, so I called her to check in. Apparently that Voltarin is pretty hot stuff. She'd slept like the proverbial baby.

8 comments:

EB said...

Sending healing vibes ... :-) :-) :-) :-). What an eventful 6 hours! It's hard enough finding a) the entrance and b) the right department when I'm not under pressure during broad daylight for hospitals. There ought to be runway lights and a sky tower.

Happy and Blue said...

Hope she heals up fast. In the mean time you can practice the mothering skills..

hazel said...

sorry to hear about all that, it sounds like a rough day for both of you. hospital visits, and clinics for that matter are the same chaos in Montreal, its like you have to be grateful for any kindness you get during the experience.

Jon said...

What a good daughter you are! But, um, are you going to help with the bathing? That would be a blog post to read ;)

flying kiwi said...

I once helped my nana shower when she had a broken arm - it wasn't a barrel of laughs for either of us. I hope she gets better and that you get more sleep!

small one said...

Voltarin is good. Very good. I've discovered that it can be "be careful with that" good.

I hope your mom's arm is better soon.

Desiree said...

How awful - hope she (and you) are OK.

At least your mum wanted to do something about it - when my fellah broke his wrist in (what turned out to be) three places, he said "it'll be OK, it's just like getting a rugby injury" - after an operation to fit external plates and rods (kinda like mobile traction) I made him eat those famous last words!

Did they get you to fill out ACC forms, etc? If so, make sure you contact the case manager to see what your mum is entitled to. If she needs home help, they should be fronting up for it. This might take some of the pressure off you.

http://www.acc.co.nz/claimscare/entitlements/

Let me know how you get on and if you need any help.

Violet said...

eb: A public car park right outside the building would've been nice...as it was, it's just as well it was after hours so I could stop in the staff car park.

happyandblue: yeah, but infants don't try and make you do things their way.

hazel:everyone was nice, except for the woman on the other side of the locked glass door at my second attempt to find the Fracture Clinic, who told me to push a button for assistance and then disappeard (and the help never came either).

jon:It was a choice between being a good daughter and a very neglectful daughter, and the latter was unthinkable. I'm not sure people actually want to read how I helped an 80-year woman have a shower...

flyingkiwi: being asked to towel down the unreachables was probably the least fun bit.

grrrr: yeah, the boy told me that stuff is really strong and that mistakenly taking two could kill her.

desiree: yeah we did that - she got a big discount off her x-ray bill, and is booked in for subsidised physiotherapy next week. Thanks for the offer, but btwn the brother and I we should do ok.