Laura Rennie

clavicle fracture

Laura R.1 Comment
Andy walks into the bedroom and says, "babe, I need you to take me to the hospital."

I'm fast asleep - or at least, I was. My body propels upward at the word "hospital" and my blurry vision is imagining blood everywhere. My eyes slowly adjust and I see him clenching his jaw in pain. He thinks he dislocated his shoulder. His Under Armour is drenched with sweat from playing soccer, so I suggest we take it off. You're going to have to take it off eventually, I say. Getting his left arm out of the shirt is a delicate maneuver that I'm not trained on. He cries out, and I feel like I'm going to throw up - seeing him hurt and not being able to help is miserable. I take a deep breath and pull on clothes, grabbing a long sleeved shirt and a book on our way out the door. I'm no stranger to the emergency room. Still, I manage to forget a bottle of water, gum and Andy's ipod. My breath is hot and stale, and the only thing that distracts me from Andy's pain is thinking about how bad my breath smells. He tells me how he got hurt - colliding with a teammate - and he asks about my day. We make each other laugh, trying not to think about the fact that we're going to the hospital.

The hospital is just down the road. We don't wait long for triage, but even a few minutes in the ER waiting room feels like hours. A girl across from us is in a wheelchair, crying. Her boyfriend (I'm guessing) stares at the wall looking helpless. In triage Andy is asked to rate his pain on a scale from 1 to 10, 10 being the worst pain imaginable. He says "4" and I laugh out loud. "Really, babe? A 4?" I ask him. At least say over a 5... I've described mine as a 6 or 7 - once as an 8. I guess I don't have as good of an imagination as I thought I did.

We get a nice room at the end of a hallway. I don't feel too bad about leaving the ipod at home once I see the flat screen above Andy's bed. He watches "Man versus Food" and I read my book. He doesn't feel any pain when the doctor pinches different parts of his shoulder, but his whole face changes the second he lifts his arm out. The x-rays don't take long, but they cause Andy a great deal of pain. He comes back in the room white as a sheet. He accepts the barf bucket, but doesn't use it. The color in his face has just come back when the doctor arrives with the results and immediately puts pressure on Andy's clavicle. "Now, what about here? Does that hurt?" "YES. OW." "You've got a fractured clavicle."

4-6 weeks of recovery. Peachy.

Drying him off, dressing him, getting his sling on, anticipating his needs -- having coffee made, having cereal already poured in the bowl and having toothpaste on the toothbrush -- this is all new to me. He waits patiently while I struggle to button up his shirt, and kisses me when I bring him snacks. He's a model patient, but for his sake, I'm praying for a speedy recovery. Will you pray, too?