3/02/2005

Wayback still, yes it's all one day

We lived in a small town about 10 miles from anywhere. My Dad's folks had farms about seven miles south of town. My Mom's people lived in town about 10 blocks away. There was a doctor in town we saw when we needed attention. His office was about 7 blocks from the house. In those days he might set a broken arm but he didn't have any fancy machines. They cost too much money.

Inspite of the panic, Mom and Dad decided I had to go to the emergency room at the hospital in the next town. They knew I would need to have an X-ray. That meant that for 14 miles I kept crying and Mom tried to calm me while she wheeled down the roads like a ridge runner with my sirens reverberating in her ears. I was too short to see out the windows but I could tell by the trees that we were going FAST!

I cradled my wrapped hand next to my chest and protected it with my other hand. It throbbed and tingled and ached. Sobs shook me. I could NOT stop crying. I had reached the point where the tears perpetuated themselves. If I had been a baby I might have fallen asleep but I wasn't tired so I just kept sobbing. I couldn't hear what Mom was saying over my own noise so I could only sit there in my misery and bawl like a lost calf.

When the car screeched to a stop Mom jumped out, ran around the car, un-buckled my lap belt, lifted me up in her arms and ran into the hospital. Being moved made my hand send pain flairs clear to my shoulder. I was back at full throttle, full volumn in under ten seconds. Let me tell you, they don't make you wait in line when your kid is screaming like I was! We were showed right to an examining room and they made SURE the door was closed.

A nurse followed us in. I would guess she asked all the same questions they do now when you show up at emergency. While Mom answered her I huddled in a forlorn pile on the table where she had put me, shuddering with the force of my tears. I had no idea what we were doing. I only knew that I HURT and I wanted someone to make it STOP! When the nurse left Mom tried to hold me next to her and rock me but that hurt, too, and she quickly resorted to rubbing my back and crooning in my ear.

The real fun began when the doctor joined us. He spoke with my Mom a moment then stepped to the table and tried to talk to me. I was old enough to be ashamed to have snot all over my tear soaked shirt like a little kid and my hair every which way. I tried to hear him but I still couldn't stop crying and that was scaring me. I had never cried so much in my whole life.

When I managed to understand he wanted to examine my hand I moved the protective one down about 2 inches and tried to hold my hand out to him. Unbending my elbow sent arrows of fire ripping from my hand all over my body and I burst into a helpless, pathetic repetition of "Ow, ow, ow, owwie, OW!" through my tears. I will give him credit for trying to be understanding but I know he had never been in pain as totally encompassing as I was dealing with that day. I also knew he didn't have any kids.

I knew I had only hurt my hand but I hurt everywhere. My head throbbed, my eyes stung, my nose was swollen shut, my chest ached and my whole arm was frozen from pain.

The Doctor wanted me to let him MOVE the fingers on my hand! Every time he touched it I jerked it back and curled up around it. He and Mom would coax me back upright and I would try to cooperate again only to end up with a fresh scream bursting out of me when he touched that hand. He was getting upset. I remembered he said, "Mrs. P., If you can not control your child you will just have to take her ELSEWHERE!"

Completely stumped and frustrated, they decided to just get an X-ray. A nurse came in and pushed my table and me down to a funny smelling, dark room and left me there with my Mother.

I craved comfort and freedom from pain more than man in a desert craves water. I latched onto the idea that my Teddy Bear would make me feel better. I tried to tell Mom but now I had the hiccups as well as the endless tears. Understanding a little kid is hard most of the time and even my Mother had trouble sorting out the words from between the hiccups and the sobs. I knew she wasn't getting it so I just said it over and over. " I want my Teddy Bear." She finally got it and looked at me like I was nuts.

"Teddy's at home, Val. You can have him when we get home." she told me in an exasperated voice. I wanted him now.

The doctor came back in. He moved my table over by a big square plate and told me he wanted me to put my hand down flat in the middle of it. I understood, I tried, I cried and I failed; several times. I could get my whole arm over it with the elbow still bent, I could lay the whole arm on the plate, I just couldn't get the fingers to un-curl. It hurt too much.

After about five tries he took my wrist and tried to PUT my hand flat and I brought up emergency octave number one to full volumn. That had done it. Finally, I was afraid of him and his supposed to be firm but really mean and scary tone of voice and I curled up on my side and screeched, hiccupped, cried, "I want my TEDDY BEARRRRRRR!!"

He didn't know what to do. My Mom was in tears by this time and completely embarrassed by my behavior. No parent likes to see their child hurt and she KNEW I was in real pain. She also knew we had to have an X-ray to see how badly I had ruined my fingers but she couldn't stand to make me scream. I don't know what she said to the doctor but he went away and, in a little while, a nurse came back in holding a Teddy Bear in her hands. Mom had been rubbing my back and shusshing me again and I was a little calmer, like a tropical storm instead of a hurricane. I looked up when the nurse came in and knew instantly what she was trying to do. TRICK ME!

Did she think I was STUPID!? THAT thing wasn't my bear! It was a brand new, never been hugged PANDA bear. MY bear was a little brown flannel bear! I must have said all these things out loud because the nice nurse looked thunderstruck at my protest when she was trying to be kind.

Mom took the bear and brought it to me. "Here, Honey, here's a bear."

I managed to get one breath clear of any hiccups and shouted in despair, "NOT MY BEARRRRRRRRRR!" I collasped into fresh torrents. I am sure they were all amazed at my stamina and determination. I still had untapped tears that flooded down my face in a white water channel past my nose to run through my saturated shirt and into the waist band of my shorts even though I must have been crying for several hours.

It was almost noon. Stop back for the rest of the story.

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