Whew! What a morning. Busy. Busy. Busy. We had Ryan up and at ’em well before 6:00AM to get him ready for transport at 7:00AM. So much goes into just getting ready to take him out. Then, there’s the whole “going out” part. What a pain in the kester (I briefly consider inserting a picture of my butt here, but thought better of it).
Preparation is everything. Like always, the aim is to keep Ryan as comfortable and relaxed as possible. One tactic I always like to use is having the first appointment of the day (or immediately after lunch). Not only does this give us the best chance at not waiting around, it also is less stressful on me. Why me? Well, I just really have a hard time seeing people stare (I call them “gawkers”). Old people are the worse.
So anyhow, we loaded Ryan into the ambulance around 7:15 and we were off. The transport crew was exceptionally good and that helps. We had Ryan at the doctor’s office fifteen minutes early. I did all the paperwork (you know… answering the same questions on five different forms) and he was off to x-ray.
The primary purpose of the visit was to see what could be done about the left forearm (ulna and radius bones broke in January in therapy). Secondarily, I wanted them to get an image of his left ankle (I just kind of popped that on them, but they were happy to do it). My concern was the bones had fused in the ankle and his plantar-flexion foot drop would take some fairly intricate surgery to correct.
After imaging, the doctor came in to talk through strategy to heal the arm. The challenge, no matter Ryan’s mental condition, is this is hard to correct seven months after the fact. Here were my choices:
- Have a rod inserted internally. Recovery would take 6 – 8 weeks. Risk would both include infection and hardware failure internally. The advantage is the arm would be permanently straightened.
- Have a hard cast put on. Recovery would take 4 – 6 weeks. Risk is skin breakdown beneath the cast that we would know until it was removed (and thus give a portal for infection). The advantage is the arm would not risk re-injury. The disadvantage is the arm will not be straightened (but could be sometime down the road).
- Hard splint the arm. Recovery would take 4 – 6 weeks. The risk is Ryan might re-injure it when the splint is off. The advantage is we could keep the area clean and check for skin breakdown. The disadvantage is the arm will not be straightened (but could be sometime down the road).