Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Impaction Fracture ... what's your function?


Anyone else remember School House Rock?

I got to visit the lovely nurses of our emergency department last night. According to one of my 3-year-olds, I "feel down and went boom!" It is a story I am reluctant to tell as it was stupid :) I tripped at the gas station on the gas pump line - whoops! I landed on my elbow so as not to hit my head on the concrete. OUCH! My elbow and hip are black and blue and hurt like hell! I took some ibuprofen liquidgels and grabbed some frozen peas. (I fell about 4pm) We ate dinner at about 6:30 - I promptly got sick - I hurt too much. I talked to my Mom (also a nurse) at 8:3o who asked me if I could pronate? I told her "of course I can pronate - I have twins, remember!" She laughed and explained the rotation of the lower arm she was talking about - I put my arm out palm up and half-way over I thought I was gonna pass out from the pain. Oh goodness! Mom says go to the hospital.

Now, a side note about having a Mom who is a nurse. I NEVER stayed home from school. She could smell feigned sickness and insisted on "muttering" through quite a few illnesses. Having this same mother sound worried and ask when you are going to the ER is quite unnerving. Especially when you are 7 weeks from finishing an ADN program that will not let you on the clinical floor with any sort of cast or splint on ... talk about anxiety attack.

So I drove to the ER and left my hubby with the twins. My vitals in triage were alarming. BP of 128/104 - wow ... pain can do that, right? I was seen pretty promptly and taken to xray after I was given a shot of toradol in the rear. Xray was torture - "can you give me a thumps up sign while bending your elbow?" Well, actually, NO if I could do that I wouldn't be here! Anyhow ... she was nice and it was quick if not painless.

The good doctor comes in with my xrays and says, "I need you to look at this" - uh oh. I have a "funky elbow" he tells me. No radiologist here tonight (remember small rural hospital - 25 bed) and I think this half-moon thingy is a impaction fracture of your ulnar head but I am not sure - your elbow films aren't like any I've seen before. Huh? Okay ... so what's the plan?

The plan is I am going to ice it, elevate it, rest it, take ibuprofen and wear a sling - until we find out if it is really broken at which time I'll see another doctor to find out the plan. I know the plan includes a splint and time to heal ... this makes me nauseous.

So I am here ... RICEing my arm and typing slowly. Hope and pray it is not broken ... I don't know what I'll do about school - probably just take of the splint for 10 hours a week during clinical and not use it ... but I'll cross that bridge when I come to it. This was a lucky week for this to happen. I don't do patient care this week on clinical. I am team leader (student charge nurse) on Thursday and we have evaluations on Friday as we are switching rotations next week.

Think good healing thoughts for me ...

1 comment:

gmcountrymama said...

Late comment: I love School House Rock, I wish I could remember how some more of the songs went.
Hope you are feeling better by now.