Avalon's Army of Angels
|August 18, 2008
Casts and Clippers
I will not debate that its rather sad I know the
busy/slow times at our Children's Hospital
emergency room. I will not argue that its pathetic
we know as many people there as we do, or that
our children are so well acquainted with the
system. I don't deny any of it, but sometimes its
rather handy, and sometimes...its downright funny.
A little after 11:00, Ambrosia, Avalon, Anam, and I
headed off to the hospital. Aurora got to miss out
on the adventure, because it was her last day of
the year to volunteer at the Columbus Zoo. She
got to miss out, I got stuck manhandling Anam-zilla
all by myself. Man do I miss her on days like this...
My insider's knowledge served us well. We
checked in at the front desk of the ED, and as
soon as I'd finished giving them beginning info, we
were immediately taken back to a triage bay. Woo
hoo for middle of the day! Here's the weird part.
We were put in the exact triage bay Avalon has
always been put in. No kidding. The bays are
curtained-off mini-rooms, where nurses do vitals
and triage the kids, and clerks do registration. I
believe there's six of them, could be more. Heck, I
have no idea! We've only ever been put into this
one! If we'd only been in ED once or twice, that
wouldn't be too much of a coincidence.
Considering we've logged so many ED nights I
can't actually instantly recall them...I think its
rather intriguing. From Avalon's diagnosis trip, to
last October's shunt clog...we've only seen this
bay. The second they put us there, I knew
Ambrosia's arm was broken. Its kind of the trend
with that space.
The funny part came when the nurse was trying to
ask me questions about Ambrosia. Avalon
answered all of them! Keep in mind, to Avalon,
this is old news, kind of her stomping grounds.
She began telling the nurse all about Ambrosia,
from the second she walked in the bay. "This is
my sister. She hurt her arm. She fell of the
swingset yesterday and we think she broke it. Its
not for me! I'm fine today, my sister is hurt. She
bent her arm like this....." She rolled on like a
freight train on speed.
Every time the nurse would ask a question, Avalon
would answer with not only the correct information,
but how that information differed from hers. "Are
her immunizations up to date?" "Yeah, 'Brosia's
are, but mine aren't. I had cancer so I didn't get
my shots." "Does she take any medicine?" "Yep.
We both take gummi vitamins. I take a little yellow
poopy pill every night, but 'Brosia doesn't need
Eventually, the nurse gave in and started asking
Avalon things, looking to me for confirmation that
everything was correct. We nearly had to muzzle
Avalon to let Ambrosia describe her own injury
though! The nurse was nice enough to thank
Avalon for all her help, and to tell Ambrosia she
knew she'd be well taken care of once she went
From triage, we went to x-ray. In our hospital, the
x-ray department is across the hall from ED.
Ambulatory patients walk themselves across the
hall, more emergent ones are taken. The x-ray
department serves the entire hospital also. You
can be sent there from any number of
departments (just ask us!) This particular space
houses regular x-ray machines, CT scanners, and
is contingent to the interventional x-ray suite. If
you haven't figured it out, we've spent an
inordinate amount of time there. I'd venture to
guess 1/2 to 2/3 of the department know us by
In we go, with the normal 3 kids in tow. The desk
clerk asked who was sending the papers. (the
depts send down orders, or you can carry them)
She couldn't believe it when I said we were from
ED - and it wasn't Avalon! She honestly did a
double take. Little humorous.
While we were waiting, friends of ours, Donna and
Kelsey, saw us through the window as they were
wandering down the hallway. (again, this is one of
those frequent flier things..) They were wonderful
enough to stop in and not only say, "Hi!", but give
us some "baby therapy" as they had a new foster
newborn. Ooooooh was she cute!!! Donna's
other foster daughter, Lala, is friends with
Ambrosia and Avalon (Kelsey is Aurora's age), so
they always love bumping into each other. In fact,
Kelsey was sweet enough to stay with Avalon in
the waiting room when Ambrosia got called back.
What a friend!
Ambrosia was interested to be the patient child for
once. She's been able to watch Avalon get x-rays
a time or two, but usually, she's left in the waiting
room with Aurora. She found the entire thing
fascinating. She was tickled to be able to pick out
a sticker for Avalon, since Avalon's been
hornswaggling stickers for her for years.
From x-ray, we headed back to the ED, and on to
a room. Thank the beans they didn't put us in
"Avalon's room" in the unit, I would have freaked
out. There is a certain isolation room that we've
been in for all of Avalon's worst moments - from
diagnosis, through infections, through shunt
failure. Had they steered us there, I might have
had a coronary. Luckily, we went to #31, leaving
the cursed #16 far, far behind.
When the resident first came in with the news,
none of us were too surprised. Ambrosia grinned
as he said that, yes, she would need a cast. After
he left, she asked me if I thought she was weird
because she was so happy about the cast. Of
course I told her, no - that most kids think casts
are cool. As her mom, its pretty easy to see why
she was excited - she was finally the star attraction!
It didn't take long for the attending to come in for
his look-see. (you have to love the slow-time
thing) The attending confirmed what the resident
had said, then added something. Apparently, my
little over-achiever didn't just break one bone, she
managed to mangle two! The resident had called
it a greenstick fracture, explaining its when the
bone buckles under the extreme pressure of
catching yourself from a fall. The attending said
both radius and ulna had buckle fractures. It
would seem Ambrosia fell with extra finesse.
The attending came in alone, but was shortly
joined by the resident. He explained about
needing to cast, then he said we'd have to follow
up with an orthopaedist in 7 days. They both
gave me the oddest looks when I asked, "Do you
randomly assign the orthos, or can I request
one?" In fact, the attending asked me to repeat
myself. Second time around, he gave me a
puzzled look, and asked if I had a certain ortho I'd
like to see. I answered, "Sure. Dr. Klingele
already sees the other two kids in this room , we
might as well go for the trifecta." At that point,
they outright guffawed, and he answered,
"Klingele it is, then."
The dynamic doctor duo left, and were quickly
replaced by the Casting Directors. (ha ha,
sometimes I crack me up) As you can see from
the series of pictures, Ambrosia loved every
second of the casting process. I'm glad I thought
to grab the camera. I had an inkling she might
want to have lots of "proof" of her "ordeal". ;-)
The casting crew said all kids her age act the
exact same way. They said the younger ones
usually think casts are neat going on, but then
want them taken immediately back off. We'll see
how long Ambrosia thinks this is wonderful...
After we left the ED, we made rounds through the
hospital. After all, if you have a cast, you need to
show it off to people. Its in the rule book. We had
to show Karen, our beloved visitor's desk clerk.
She made the appropriate fuss and muss. We
went to third floor to try to see some of Avalon's
nurses and nurse practitioners. After all, 3
hospitalizations this summer, and Ambrosia feels
like she knows them too. Sure enough, we found
several we knew. Being Children's Hospital
nurses, they'd obviously read the "cast handbook"
and knew the exact amount of attention to lavish
on the broken wing and its owner. From T3, we
headed to the surgery center, a guaranteed place
of pampering. Unfortunately, the center had been
really slow that day, so only one of our friends was
still there. However, Sarah did a stellar job of
fawning over the new cast, and a few other
passersby did their share of sympathizing. All told,
Ambrosia was pleased as punch. (although her
cheeks had to hurt from all the grinning)
We managed to escape the hospital in time to
grab sissy after her day at the zoo. Ambrosia
couldn't wait to "rub Aurora's nose in it." You see,
Aurora is a bit notorious for always being
convinced she's broken something. Oh I broke
my toe! You just nearly broke my arm. I'm just
sure my knee is broken... Four useless trips to
various Urgent Cares and ER's for x-rays through
the years, has left us pretty indifferent to her
complaints. Ambrosia was chomping at the bit to
show Aurora what it's really like to break a bone.
Yes, it was nearly torture to keep a straight face
during her pre-Aurora gloating...
As soon as we retrieved the wayward teen, we
motored home so she could shower, and we could
meet up with Dad. As if our day hadn't already
been exciting enough...we had Clippers tickets!
When we picked up the Hope Street Kids event
tickets from KNK, they kindly asked if we'd like to
use the last few Clippers passes they had.
Luckily, the passes were good for any game, so
we got to pick our day. It was a unanimous
decision..."Dime A Dog Night!" OK, nearly
unanimous. Ambrosia wouldn't dare eat a stadium
dog, she'd spend the rest of the game in the
BTW, I should probably say that the Clippers are
our local baseball farm team. They used to be the
minor league team for the Yankees - but I think
they belong to someone else now. I don't have
the foggiest idea, nor do I really care! All I know
is, going to a game is fun and guaranteed to be
interesting with our brood.
We had hoped to be able to pay the $3 each and
upgrade our "reserved" seats to box seats. The
girls and I did that one time this summer, and it
was a blast! We sat through rain, mere feet from
home plate. We rated the batters' rear ends while
they warmed up, and cheered like we had no
sense. It was a hoot!
Unfortunately, because it was Dime A Dog Night,
and one of the last few games to be played in the
old stadium - there were no box seats available.
Rats. But that's OK, our reserved seats ended up
being really good, because we'd arrived so early.
Besides, how can you complain when the tickets
were free, parking was only $3, and hot dogs were
a dime?! You can't, at least we couldn't.
We stopped at the concession stand, loaded up,
and headed to our seats. The girls argued, Anam
griped, and Nick and I got frustrated...all before
the game ever started. Pretty standard stuff. ;-)
The great thing about minor league ball, is that
they really appreciate the fans. The team comes
onto the field before the game and signs
autographs. Ambrosia couldn't wait to go down
and get her cast signed. Since you're not
supposed to sign them for the first 24 hours, the
Clippers pitcher was the first signature she got.
Too bad the pitcher that signed it never hit the
field... Oh well, he was adorable!
The game was spent constantly answering
little-girl questions, trying to keep Anam happy,
and reminding the girls when to cheer. Anam
didn't get his groove on until the 6th inning. We're
pretty sure he only got excited then, because the
Clipper Mascot (a giant green parrot) began
dancing in front of our part of the stadium. No
matter the "why", Anam ended up doing an
admirable job of yelling, "Go!" and "Ba!" (ball) with
lots of clapping thrown in for good measure. Oh,
and he insisted on poking each of us in turn and
pointing at the "Bir! Bir!!!" (bird) I'm pretty sure
we were all shown the bird a few dozen times. He
was a huge fan of the magic green birdie.
As with most events, Avalon ended up on Daddy's
lap. She loves going to things, but tires so easily.
Eventually, she just kind of melts, needing a big
person's lap for support. She's always ready to go
home long before anyone else. Thank heavens
for handi-capped parking. We have no way of
taking her wheelchair in the stadium so she has to
walk in. Those few yards back to the van after a
game, are sheer torture. As per norm, she was
fast asleep long before we got out of the parking
Don't worry though, tired or not, Avalon always
enjoys things. Sure, I wish she could bounce out
of the stadium like Anam or Ambrosia. (Aurora's
too sophisticated to bounce now - she's a teen)
But, she's here to be "sleepy-tired" (her
description) and that's all that matters. We could
stay home and control her every move, making
sure she never gets tired. Or, we can help her
learn to conserve her energy during the early
parts of the day - so she has reserves available
for fun things like this. Life is all about the choices
- and we choose to poop her out occasionally,
rather than bubble wrap her in boredom.
I'm pretty sure we're making the right decision.
|The mummification begins...
|Nurse practitioner Corey making a
fuss. Any wonder why we love her?
|Getting that first signature.
|Too cute for words!
The cast is HOT in this picture. As
it cures, it gives off a lot of heat.
|That's a switch. Avalon standing
next to Ambrosia's hospital bed!
|Bored Anam trying to drive the
gurney. "Bored baby brother"
|A 600# piece of limestone had done
a number on Nick's back. The metal
seats and his hug-buddy didn't help.