Friday, April 04, 2008

Blood x 3 and O! My knee

Monday afternoon after Kyle was home from his neurology appointment, while he was napping, I got a phone call. From Children's Hospital.

The lab didn't draw enough blood for the number of tests requested.

There was no way I was driving to Kansas during rush hour traffic that evening - besides, the lab closes at 5:30. Tuesday didn't work because I finally recovered from my short bout of stupidity and made an appointment for myself for my two-week old knee injury.

Chaos erupted Tuesday afternoon.

A trauma specialist physician's assistant ripped me a few new orfacies when I told him I fell down the stairs leading down to my living room two weeks ago. His head jerked back and he did say, "Run that by me again?"

Of all the hundred plus injuries I've had (either colorguard, sports or clumsiness caused), I'd never really hurt my knees beyond a slight tweaker. I mean, come on. You sprain your ankle (3rd degree sprain), go to the ER, they x-ray, tell you that your ankle is sprained, wrap it in an Ace, then tell you to RICE (rest, ice, compress, elevate). ERs don't even give crutches anymore, you gotta go rent them at a pharmacy! Then, you get a monster bill in the mail.

I know how to treat a sprain. Actually, sometimes walking it out if it's not too painful can help heal an ankle faster. And when the great elbow debacle rocked my world, I was required to move that thing.

And I'm the mother of a two year old. Who has time to spend two hours at the clinic for some PA to tell you your knees is sprained. Just RICE and be careful.

Knees are weird joints (not much different than elbows, however not as complex). You hurt your knee, assume it's serious.

Two weeks of gimping around, trying to 'tough it out' created so much swelling, the soft tissue blurs made my X-ray hard to read. No fractures, but MAJOR soft tissue damage. Made much, much worse by my tromping around, soccer ball kicking, and toddler chasing. At the least, I tore my meniscus. I may have torn my medial lateral tendon.

In normal people language - that's bad. Very, very bad. Can we say S-U-R-G-E-R-Y?

Medical trauma nazi commanded me 48-72 hours of bed rest + RICE. No weight, no movement, no un-elevation except when nature called. Yeah. Right. He wouldn't even let me walk to X-ray or out of the building. A crotch to ankle brace made out of logs was strapped on, crutches shoved into my pits, and I was sent out the door to put myself in a vegetable state.

It's my left leg. My car is a stick shift. Oh, and I have a two-year old. Who needed to go back to Children's the following day to have his blood drawn - again.

In the parking lot, I shed the brace, tossed the crutches in the back seat and drove home. I wasn't gonna walk!

I've tried, I really have, to RICE as much as I can (about 1- 2 hours a day). I can't drive. Knee won't bend for me. John took time off on Wednesday to take Booger for blood draw #2. Two and a half hours later, he dropped the Boog off at home and went back to work. He wasn't gone five minutes before I got a phone call.

From Children's.

"Um, Mrs. G, we have bad news for you."

My heart thumped. What did they find? Did Boogie have some ebola-like disease? Did we all have it now?

"Uh, I used the wrong equipment for this particular test. I used a glass tube instead of a syringe. I need you to bring him right back so we can do it again."

"What? Do you realize we live an hour away? And I can't drive! I'm on crutches!"

"I'm really sorry."

"This is the second mistake the lab made."

"I'm really, really, sorry."

Thank God for church friends who are in my opinion, family. Kyle's adopted Colorado Grammie, had swung by to toss stuff in the Crock Pot. She offered to drive us both down there.

Little Booger was fine until Grammie lifted him onto the table. She held him down, I kissed away the tears and stroked the fuzzy little head and his screams filled the room (before any needles showed up). When the nurse pulled out the needle, and opened the Band-Aid, Kyle turned his head toward her and said, "Tankoo." The nurse's eyes welled up with tears.

She was new. Learning the ropes. I think it was her first day on the job solo. The hospital will reimburse us for all the gas and send Boogie another stuffed animal. I appreciate how quick they were to recognize and rectify.

Now, if I can only find a miracle cure for torn menisci (sp?)

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