Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Cast on *clapclap* Cast off

Probably one of the most infuriatingly wasteful doctor visits I've ever experienced on Monday. It started off great. We got there, signed in and were called almost immediately. We were shown to the dreaded exam room #2 by a smug nurse who then left us there to rot for the next 45 minutes. Bea spent the majority of the time asking what was taking so long and kicking me in the shins as she sat on my lap. I seriously thought it was a joke. Then I thought, this ain't no joke, they forgot we're here. Just as the rage began to spread in my brain a gold-chain Murse comes in to take Bea to the xray room. Great, things were finally moving along. We get xrays by this guy who's Obviously got better things to do than talk to a 5-year-old who's curious about xray machines then we're shown back into our cell...I mean, the exam room. We wait another 20 minutes, the Doctor comes rushing in with no chart and says to me "How long has it been now?" I said "2 weeks" He said "Since the fracture?" I said, "No, since the casting. 3 weeks since the fracture." (reminder: we are here to have the cast removed) He says "Oh, ok, the cast can come off then."

...What do you mean "the cast can come off"? Isn't that why we made this bloody appointment 2 weeks ago? Did you even glance at the chart in the last hour before you came in here?

I breathed. Collected the bit of rage the leaked out and stuffed it back inside. After 5 minutes of Bea scooting around the room on the rolling doctor stool and almost tipping over twice (probably resulting in a cracked head which I diplomatically let her know...twice) the Murse came back with a little Dremmel-looking thing with a big circular blade on it.

He put Bea on the exam table and covered her lap with a cloth. ("To catch the falling fiberglass," I told myself, "not to catch blood from the huge gash he's going to accidentally put in her arm.") He told her it would tickle a little bit and that she shouldn't look at it.

The tiny machine roared to life as I stood dumb-struck with my camera. "Is this safe?" I asked myself, "How many times has he actually done this? Does he realize that she's only FIVE??" I managed to smile at Bea for her peace of mind, swallow the huge lump in my throat and snap a couple of priceless pictures. She, on the other hand, giggled and snuck peeks of the beastly blade spinning just millimeters from her tiny precious arm.

When it was done Bea cradled her little shriveled arm and lamented the fact that it hurt to bend. I reassured her that it was just as if her arm had been asleep for 2 weeks and now just needed to wake up and stretch before it got back to normal. She cried. I guess I should have prepared her better for the limitations of a freshly de-casted limb.

Murse said "Did Doctor say you could go?" I snapped "He didn't say much of anything, actually." Murse left to get the doctor. 10 more minutes of Bea saying "I don't want to stay here ALL DAY!" and the doctor pokes in and says, "Ok, come back to see me in 2 weeks and we'll make sure everything's okay." Bea looks at him earnestly and says "I need to work my arm out, it's stiff." He grabbed the chart and said "Let's go to the front and schedule your next appointment."

We got home and I put Bea in her first real bath since the day before the incident. She played happily for 20 minutes. When I took her out and dried her off I noticed her arm seemed to be peeling a bit, not exactly like sunburn but more like skin flaking off of a large abrasion. After an hour it was pretty gross and began to remind me of a molting snake so I slathered lotion all over it and that seemed to help. By morning she had 80% range of motion and after another lotion application the peeling looked better.

I laid her removed cast on the hallway table when we got home from the doctor and it has been there for the last few days. Every time I see it laying there it looks so tiny and empty. I think it's just the first in a long line of cast-off childhood memories she'll leave lying around my house now and in the years to come. Hopefully they won't all be so traumatic for me.

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