In her usual nonchalant way, Namine informed us that she thought she had a broken leg. I was on the other end of the house when she called for Jessica to come to her.
“Mom, I think my leg is broken.”
Namine was transitioning herself from her wheelchair to a different chair. It being summer (maybe not technically, but it’s still warm out), she was wearing shorts; her knee got stuck on the chair mid-transfer. Rather than call to me for help, she tried to push with her foot to force her leg forward.
Doing so resulted in her lower leg (tibia and fibula bones) moving forward, while her upper leg (femur bone) stayed still. Namine later described this feeling as being similar to when she broke her leg going down a slide (that’s another case of one part of her leg pushing against another part of her leg that couldn’t move) and again when she was doing nothing more than boosting herself up in her wheelchair.
It was already evening, so going to the hospital now would mean going straight to the ER. We didn’t want to do that for a few reasons, not the least of which meant possible exposure to Covid. Namine understood and agreed that it would be best to wait until the following day. In the meantime, Jessica emailed the Critical Care team at Children’s Hospital to let them know.
We received a call from the Critical Care team the following morning. They would get us in straight to radiology, bypassing the ER and waiting in line. The waiting would come later: since we live farther away, we would stay at the hospital until the X-rays were read by a doctor.
Namine wasn’t in an immense amount of pain — it was manageable with taking a single Advil — so we left for the hospital after she finished her day of school. We weren’t waiting too long before a radiology tech came to bring Namine back. I went with to help; this is something with which we have plenty of experience by now.
It was a longer wait for the results of the X-rays, but even so, perhaps an hour at the most. The nurse came to find us and told us that we were free to go. Those were her exact words: “You’re free to go.” She said it at least twice before we could pry from her the actual results of the X-rays.
The analyzing doctor could find no evidence of breaks or fractures, but he also noted that there were no comparison X-rays, which couldn’t possibly be true. Namine has had so many X-rays at Children’s Hospital, there should be a plethora of comparisons with which to make.
It’s at this point where under normal circumstances, we’d go to Namine’s orthopedic doctor. Unfortunately, she no longer has one. Her longtime ortho doctor and surgeon (the very same that saved her foot from being lost) has moved. Since then, the clinic where she used to be seen has transitioned to no longer serve as an orthopedic clinic at all.
We were sad to see Dr. Black go, but at the same time we had felt no rush in finding Namine a replacement orthopedic doctor. We’re especially feeling his loss now, though, since if he were still her doctor we’d have gone straight to see him, instead of radiology at Children’s. Now, of course, we do feel the urgency. We’ll be coordinating with Namine’s nurse in Critical Care at Children’s Hospital to find a new orthopedic doctor, and one we’re comfortable with, as expediently as possible.