Sunday, January 29, 2012

Broken Arm

My daughter broke her arm when she fell off a horse. Broke it in two places.

It happened yesterday, as this is written, during her weekly riding lesson. She goes with a friend. The friend's parents drive them there and I pick them up afterward. Shortly before I was due to make the pickup I walked up and down the aisles of the grocery store. My cell phone rang. Go straight to the hospital. Dana fell off a horse.

A few months ago. Not the horse she fell from!
Somehow I reached the hospital before Dana. But when she arrived soon after, she was in tears – beyond tears, if there is such a thing; almost as cranked up emotionally as when her pet rat died six years ago.

"Don't," she snapped, in a quaking, shaking voice, as I tried soothing her. She held her arm gingerly, only a degree or so beneath outright hysteria. She had just sat down and had not yet been admitted to the hospital.

"Don't what?"

"Just don't."

An admitting pencil-pusher asked her a few questions about the accident while I filled out a form. Breathe, he commanded. Take deep, slow breaths. She obeyed. Before long her breathing stabilized, but she was still in a hell of a lot of pain.

The stable operator who brought her in had witnessed the fall. She was trotting, he said, when the horse abruptly sashayed to one side. Dana lost her balance and down she went. "It was a good, clean fall," he told me – whatever that means.

We spent a couple of hours in the hospital. A nurse administered a sedative intravenously and it eased a lot of pain. X-rays revealed two breaks: a radial head fracture, which is by the elbow, and a distal radius fracture, down by the wrist.

Dana left the hospital with her arm in a sling and her pocket stuffed with Vicodin. A cast can't go on until the swelling has subsided; probably a few more days. Recovery is an estimated four to six weeks. She is still in some discomfort, but bristles at the suggestion that maybe she shouldn't be riding horses.

"I'm not going to give up riding," she told me, as she sat on her bed in the ER. "No matter what. And if I have to go through this again, I will."

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