I had scheduled an appointment, to follow-up with the orthopedic surgeon, for my mother’s broken arm. The clinic and doctor where we have all been seen so many times, including my mother, called late Thursday to tell us they would not see my mom and to go elsewhere. I was pretty furious. She is an existing patient of this doctor, as are Lauren, Ally and myself. Really? Really bad marks for you STMC! You should take care of your patients when they need you.
I was then forced to wait until Good Friday morning to try to call a brand new orthopedic clinic and make an appointment. The Lord works in mysterious ways! They immediately had an appointment that morning with one of their sports medicine doctors. I felt my almost 90 year-old mother was a long way from team sports, but at least the doc could decide to cast or not cast, and would understand a simple broken arm. Boy was I about to be so wrong.
I had a new sitter, Mary, staying with mom as she was in too much pain and was too confused to be left alone. Mary came along with me as we made the long drive back towards Houston and the new doctor. Thankfully, she did as I could not leave mom alone a second. She would complain the splint on her arm was too heavy and pick it up and move it around. I would cringe at the pain she must have had.
The doctor came in quickly after reviewing her films. He asked me if I seen the x- rays. I said no but understood her arm was broken right above the elbow. He said no that was not the case. Then he told me, “except when he was working on middle Eastern war casualties and in gangland tortures in New York where he trained had he ever seen an elbow shattered as badly as this one. Additionally, she had a displaced fracture (dislocated) of the humerus bone.”
I wanted to cry and I have many times since. The doc went on to tell me they had an elbow specialist but this was so bad they may need the trauma specialist in Houston’s top trauma hospital to repair it. I asked with her age what was the best we could do. He thought it would take a total elbow replacement as there were so many fragments broken off. I asked what if we didn’t do that. He said minimally the dislocation had to be fixed and the bones pieces removed due to a high chance of infection.
Okay, then I was sick again. My poor tiny momma enduring surgery, inpatient stays, risks from surgery and anesthetic all because she was left alone in her room and not put to bed. Apparently, she was left in an armless chair and fell asleep as it was past her usual bedtime. She was found on the floor. She must have toppled over and landed with her full weight on her little left elbow.
I WANT TO SCREAM!!
For now, I have sitters with her about 12 hours a day. We are keeping her pretty sedated which helps with her pain, but increases the risk that she may fall again. Tomorrow Lauren and I will take her to the hospital for a series of CT-Scans. We see the elbow specialist Tuesday.
My horse and dogs are all safely moved to the new place. On this joyful Easter there is no joy in my heart just pain and guilt about my mother and that I should have been there or at least had her in a safe place where she would not
have had such a horrible accident.
Please keep my mother, Midge, in your prayers. If you want to send her a pretty pink card, I can send you the address. Pray her pain is relieved and she lives through this brutal time.