Not something happy to be added to the list of Matt’s first but I guess we have to live with it. Easier to say when you wrote the post 30 days after the grueling hours of tears and confusion.
It was just another weekend and after lazing the day at home Matt wanted to visit Joshua and since Joshua’s dad was travelling to Selvapuram I wanted to send across the sofa cushions to mom in the car. Prema had a pair of T-shirts of the same design bought for both Matt & Mark and as always they had a great time with Joshua. We left around 7pm and while we cross 18th street, Anna Nagar my cousin Helen called me and wondered why I was not at their house and I was quite surprised as it was not on schedule. Anyway we though of dropping in and while we wanted to buy Kenneth and Eathan the return gifts they missed while they came to attend Marky’s Birthday a few days earlier and so we dropped Matt at Helen’s place so he can play with Kenneth and we went to Santhosh to buy the gifts.
When Prema & I returned we saw Matt in bed crying of pain in his left hand and I thought he was just playing the fool and when I went near him and told him as usual “Matt, let’s get going” he replied “No dad, it is paining a lot. I can’t lift my hand. Kenneth pushed me”. Both kids pushing each other is not unusual and knowing Matt & Kenneth they do play a little rough but we ignore as boys will be boys. Meanwhile I kind of guessed he had a broken bone but I waited a few mins to see if there is a swelling. Whom ever knows Matt would know that he is a tough nut and would not be crying for more than 5 mins for anything. So Prema and I decided to take him to Dr.Mehta’s emergency to just check it and we left Helen’s place.
We reached Dr.Mehta’s hospital around 8.45pm and took him to the emergency and was informed that he might have a shoulder dislocation and a elbow fracture and they put in a temporary splint and informed us to take him to either Apollo or Kanchi Kamakoti Child’s trust hospital. I had no clue where KKC was and punched it in google maps and while the maps came in, I also had a glimpse of their telephone number and decided to call them and after the maze of the IVR reached their reception who informed us that there was no Ortho at the emergency and advised us not to come. By this time we were in College Road and now had to take the call on whether we head to Appollo on Greams road and having done a surgery in Appollo earlier I had no inclination to head out there. Matt being a brave kid as always was chatting with me through the drive asking me questions on how they will fix back the bone and has already christened the arm as “Twisted Hand”. He also broke me down by saying “Dad, am no longer a brave kid with a twisted hand” It just started to rain and then it just poured and with all this getting on my head I was hardly seeing anything. I decided to pull over and call Dr.Ram Mohan Rao whom has been more of less my family physician for the last few years and he advised me to take him to Soundrapandian Bones & Joint Hospital in Anna Nagar and even offered to send in a ortho if none was there. We called the hospital and thankfully being an ortho specialist hospital had an ortho on duty and we headed back to Anna Nagar. It was 10.30pm, with rains subsiding we reached the hospital and was asked to wait at the reception as the duty doc was away for his dinner. Matt was holding strong and Mark was too confused to know what was hapeneing. The fish tank at the hospital kept Mark occupied with Prema nad I was having a conversation with Matt waiting for the doctor while the receptionist was having a chat with someone on the hospital phone :-
Finally the doctor was there and Matt was examined, advised an X-ray and x-ray was done in 10 minutes. The entire hospital was connected with internal networking with swanky Mac systems for everyone and the x-ray was to be on the doc’s system but for whatever reasons it did not show up. So the doc went in to the x-ray room, examined the x-ray, came back to us and broke the bad news that the fracture is serious and required immediate surgery. Matt was exhausted by this time and all he wanted was to head home. Since the surgery was at 8am I advised the doc that I will take Matt home and rest him before bringing him back for admission and he was fine with it. Was advised that Matt should stop taking any water or food after 12.00mid night and his hand placed above his chest so that he is prepared for the surgery. The last meal Matt had that day was his breakfast and interestingly when he refused to take lunch I ignored it as it was a weekend and it was okay if he missed a meal but it turned out that the poor kid was unable to take any food till 11.30pm. We reached home around 11.30pm, forced him to take a glass of milk and he slept off on my chest as always just the difference being he had a splint on his shoulders. He had stomach craps the whole night as he did not have food but he assumed that the stomach pain was due to his arm.
Prema & I spent the night planning the next day and had our things packed. We broke the news to Joshua’s dad and he was home by 6.15am and by 6.30am we were off to the Hospital. It was a cool Sunday morning with the rains the earlier night and we had slow drive to the hospital. Matt needs to be prepared for the surgery and I had to tell him what he will go through and explained that they will take a few blood tests and take him for surgery. Matt did not believe that surgery means cutting his hand but rather a procedure where the doc can magically fix the bones.
The lab nurse took a blood sample but as always screwed up and lots of blood just spilled on the floor and scared Matt further. Also took a few more x-rays and was told that they need to take another blood sample as the earlier one was not sufficient. I felt like punching her on her nose and see her bleed. Holding my thoughts we put Matt through the crap again and this time managed to take the sample and Matt was throughly disturbed. He did not want me to leave him alone a minute longer and I spent the remaining hour talking to him and we were moved to the ward right outside the operation theatre. Matt was all ready and we were waiting for the Doc and the anesthetist and Dr.Parthiban came in and had a quick chat on the procedure and what he intends to do and what implications we are to foresee.
Matt wanted me to be to inside the operation theatre but I had to explain why I cant be and he seems to be understanding or maybe he was just tired and say whatever you guys say. But from what I know of him, I guess Matt started to realise that something was serious only from the point he had to go in to the theatre. Surgery started around 8.15am and was done by 10am with cutting his elbow 6 inches long, punching two pins and a wire across his bones. He was in ICU and he was happy to see us and he was drowsy. On and off he would talk to me and at times to Prema and then doze off. He was at the ICU under observation till 3pm and we moved him to the room around 3.30pm and he was happy to start watching TV in the room. Spent the nights with him and it was a different experience to see Matt in the hospital bed but realized how much we missed having long late night and early morning conversations.
Few weeks later stitches were removed and while he cried inside the dressing room, I did outside. The nurse was pretty hard on him and cared less. Not sure if he brought the hospital down but the doc was out of his room and he wanted to do the remaining stitches and Matt was quite happy with him. Once he came outta the room the first question he had for me was in his Matthew style “Stupid dad, where did you go? I wanted you inside” and my answer was just to give him a hug and smile.
Four weeks he is now ready for physiotherapy and was advised for 7 sessions for two weeks. Glad that the physio is working good and he is recovering fast.