Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Two X-Rays, One Christmas

The Famous Author and I were hard at work on our fiction this morning when the phone rang. It was 8:45. The call came from his daughter. Even from inside TFA's computer case, I heard fear in her voice.

"Dad?" Jane said. "We all fell down on the ice. Mom says her wrist is broken. She wants you to come home."

TFA collected a little more information, enough to think he didn't need to call 9-1-1, then grabbed his jacket and his computer case and drove home. We arrived in less than ten minutes. Seems Jane had fallen on the steps, holding her baby, hollered loud enough to bring her mother running -- right into space.

Jane had a bruised knee. TFA's granddaughter had been locked inside her car seat, so other than a rude bounce, Wiley Kyleigh was fine. But Barb, TFA's wife, was still on the ground in her PJs, her face a mask of pain and surprise. TFA could see that Barb was in mild shock. TFA got a coat on her. Leveraged her off the ice and into the warm car.

Ten minutes later, we all walked into the local emergency room. Every chair was filled. Standing room only. The admitting nurse took Barb's information with a long, tired face. It was barely 9 a.m. "We're busy," she said.

No kidding. Over the next four hours, TFA personally talked to six men and women with broken wrists, four patients with broken ankles, and a father who's son was headed for surgery. Two broken bones in the same leg. All from slipping on ice.

A doctor told us 43 people were admitted between 7:30 and 9:30 this morning, each one of them a victim of ice. Half of them arrived between 8 and 8:10, another nurse told us.

So Barb's good now. In a big splint with two broken wrist bones, but the docs set the tricky one very well. They showed us on a screen the before and after X-rays. Very hi-tech. She can avoid surgery if the bone doesn't move.

Now TFA says I have to help him cook Christmas Eve dinner for nine.

Have a happy holiday everybody. Be grateful for another day above the ground.

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