Another great spring day if a bit cold so i suggested we walk to Burgess park. So mum dad and I set off.
Gorgeous day driving the Crocus flowers to new heights, we walked to the little cafe. This was such a common walk that Dad even remembered bits of it.
We were almost home when…All fall down! Mum tripped over a kerb and hurt her wrist. A couple of guys in a van pulled over and helped out, a neighbour came past and went to get deb while I was on the phone to emergency services, kindness everywhere you go. Looked like a break or dislocation, was hard to tell
Mum was in good spirits, I told her that this wasn’t the first time we had found her in a gutter, oh how we laughed!! She is as tough as they come.
Dad was very upset at first but I came down hard(ish) and told him I needed him calm while I dealt with mum and he got himself under control quick sharp.
The ambulance arrived quickly. Deb went with mum to kings hospital while I went home with dad. He ended up sleeping, so yeah, another sleepless night but I don’t want him awake and possibly getting distressed about mum. Ho hum!
I will let Deb go into the medical details as she was there at the hospital… (NOTE: Deb has created a small essay!)
To be read in Kiwi accent, easily imitated, just talk in italics!
They were very thorough at Kings with questions about background, medical history, whether she had fallen on any other occasions in the last two years. She said no, not in the last couple of years. I did mention the tumble she took on the escalator maybe three/four years ago, which resulted in stitches above her right eye – although, as I wasn’t there at the time, I wasn’t sure how long ago it was, but I was certain it wasn’t within the last two years and Laura couldn’t remember exactly when either.
They asked how she fell today but she didn’t remember and Simon saw it happen – she appeared to have misjudged the position of her walking stick which slipped off the kerb and caused her to lose her balance.
Of course they wanted to rule out the possibility of it being caused by a fainting spell or seizure of any kind, and I think they were satisfied that it was simply a momentary lapse of attention, or down to visual impairment because of the cataract problems. They said it was optional if she wanted a referral to what they call the “Falls Clinic” just to check things like heart, blood pressure, spatial awareness, and balance. I recommended she go anyway, just to get a full checkup (or MOT, as the medic called it) to ensure we minimise the chances of another fall.
The x-ray showed a dislocation at the top of the ulna (outer arm bone / little finger side) and a clean break just below the head of the radius (the inner arm bone / thumb side). However, the top/head of the radius was sitting down below the site of the break (what they call “stepping”).
I was very impressed with how they proceeded – basically, they laid Laura down and gave her nitrous oxide (laughing gas) to make her drowsy and dull the pain, and then administered a local anaesthetic into the site of the break. I think that was probably the most unpleasant part and I know Laura was quite uncomfortable at that point, but she barely flinched – brave woman! After a few minutes (during which Laura was cracking jokes – now I know why they call it laughing gas!) they made sure it was numb and then pulled it all into alignment with traction – a doctor tugging at each end of her arm.
Then they applied a plaster cast, and x-rayed again when it was set to check the position. Apparently wrist fractures can be tricky to set and this method doesn’t always work, but they did a stellar job and it showed on the x-ray – the head was back in place laterally, although ever so slightly off medially and the doctor said it was within an acceptable range. In any case, an orthopaedic specialist will review it at an outpatient appointment tomorrow, to check that it is satisfactory, but he was quietly confident that it wouldn’t need resetting. Let’s hope that’s the case.
Meanwhile Laura is grateful that it’s her left hand, so shouldn’t affect her ability to hold a teacup – I told her not to attempt too much more than that over the next few days/weeks. Let’s see if she listens! 🙂
Mums in bed now, hopefully sleeping, I’m doing all I can to keep Dad awake to give her some peace and hopefully get a relatively uninterrupted nights sleep. Stuffed him with fish and chips to make him sleepy and will follow up with warm milk and no, the very idea of pouring vodka in the milk did NOT occur to me for an instant!
I tell you one thing that hit home today though; what would I have done if Deb hadn’t been there. How would I look after Mum with a broken wing and Dad without Deb being here. Finding out how much you need other people can be enlightening