Monday, December 10, 2007

Speaking of Grannies.............

The EMS tones went off just as I was taking a drink of my Diet Coke. "Damn it," I said. I was 2 hours past lunch and my stomach was screaming at me to put some food in it. I didn't have a chance to eat breakfast that morning as I had overslept. In fact, I woke up 15 minutes before my shift began and it's a 10 minute drive to work. Here's how my 5 minutes of prep time went:

  1. Think "OH SHIT!" and increase heart rate to approx 150
  2. Throw covers back to get out of bed
  3. Tangle legs in covers and fall out of bed face first with my legs still wrapped in the blanket
  4. Have pseudo-seizure on the floor trying to untangle myself
  5. Take 2 seconds to yell "Mommy's FINE!" to scared 5 year old who thinks mommy is dying
  6. Finally get untangled and run to the bathroom
  7. Brush teeth in 20 seconds (OK so my dentist will be mad I didn't sing the whole ABC's here for my 2 minutes of brushing but who cares? Is he going to save me from a write up at work? I don't think so!)
  8. Pull hair back in a scrunchie
  9. Look in mirror and think "I look like hell"
  10. Pull on scrubs and pull half of hair out of scrunchie
  11. Redo hair in scrunchie - half of it is still falling out anyway. Think "oh who cares" and leave it alone
  12. Put on deodorant (at least I remembered)
  13. Yell at poor 5 year old for getting in my way
  14. Search frantically for shoes that are in my hands
  15. Grab coat and run out the door
  16. Slip on ice on the porch and land on my ass
  17. Cuss at the world
  18. Get in car and start it
  19. Drive to work - uneventful thankfully
So as I come running into the report room, Lucy tells me "You look like hell." Tell me something I don't know.

The morning was busy. Not overwhelmingly so, but steady enough to keep us all moving along like cattle to the feed lot at the end of the day. I had just grabbed a burger and soda from the cafeteria and returned to the ER to eat it when the EMS tones went off.

"Medic 1, please respond to BLM road ABC123 for an 84 year old female involved in an ATV rollover. Alert and conscious. Complains of hip and leg pain."

WHAT THE HELL? An 84 year year old on an ATV? In the woods? What the hell was she doing? I couldn't wait to get the whole story on this one.

Thankfully, BLM road ABC123 was 15 minutes out so I had time to eat lunch.

40 minutes later Medic 1 called in with report. "Hey Julie, it's Jimbo on Medic 1. We have an 84 year old female with an obvious open fracture of the right lower leg. Complains of mild right hip pain. Was involved in an ATV rollover which appears to have rolled down an embankment about 75 feet. Vitals stable, leg splinted. Pulses palpable. ETA 5 minutes."

Copy that.

Medic 1 rolled in with our patient exactly 5 minutes later. What timing! Jimbo rolls her into exam room 1 and we transfer her to the stretcher. This lady looks about 50 years old. I cannot believe she is 84. When I ask her to verify her birthdate she confirms it - 84 frickin' years old. I start my head to toe assessment, chatting with her the whole time.

Apparently, she and her family wanted a fun day in the woods so they all grabbed their ATV's and headed for the hills. They all ride frequently and each of them have their own rig. All 15 of them. Granny was the oldest of the bunch - the matriarch of the family. She said she's been riding for years and it's great family fun for them. Her son and his wife, her grandson and his wife, her daughter and her husband, their 3 grown children, and 5 additional grandchildren (grown) all make up the crew. They tend to go on a trek about once a month, depending on work schedules.

This trip, Granny had decided she wanted to take a short cut down an embankment to beat the rest of the crew to the break spot. She said she's done it many times before without any trouble, but this time trouble was chasing her back. Somehow, her tire blew out and over she went. She tried to jump off, but her leg got caught under the rear tire as it rolled. This is when it broke. Then she tumbled the rest of the way, following her ATV as it went down the hill.

Her only major injury was her fractured tib/fib. That is it. A few bumps, bruises, and scrapes - but no other major injury. Let's hear a cheer for calcium supplements! This woman was amazing.

She was obviously in pain, but was so calm the entire time. We got her pain under control with some fentanyl and a little versed kicker for the road.

We had no ortho doc available, so we shipped her out to the nearest Level 2 trauma center. I was really sad to see her go as she was a lot of fun to take care of. I saw her about 6 months later in the grocery store in town. She was still doing physical therapy every couple of weeks, but was already back riding with her family.

"I just don't try any shortcuts anymore. I think I might be getting a little too old for that."

1 comment:

The T-Dude said...

Throw in make school lunch and that sounds about right!