Tuesday, 13 July 2010

Another one bites the dust...

Adam is back on the chemotherapy whilst we wait to hear what happens next regarding stem cell collection. They harvested a total of 2.5 million cells last week over the two days. That’s barely enough for one procedure, but it’s sure better than none. The battle to get Adam to take his six capsules that we had last time was seemingly a result of his stomach bug and feeling unwell. Yesterday and today he took them all within a couple of minutes. Job done. The pre-treatment assessment at the Royal Marsden and his IV chemotherapy have also been unremarkable. His weight is back to a steady 23.4 kilos.
Things couldn’t really be that simple for once, could they? Of course they couldn’t. On Sunday Jake went off to a birthday party and less than an hour later we got a call to say he’d had an accident. It transpires that he was having a duel on the ‘Gladiators’ bouncy castle, and in the process of being knocked off his podium he fell backwards over the edge of the bouncy castle. We arrived to find him being attended by the paramedic and having entinox (gas and air) for pain relief. One look at his arm above the elbow and it was pretty obvious it was broken. The paramedic pointed out the clear deformity in it. He’d already called for an ambulance to transfer Jake to hospital. 
So we went to a new destination, St Hellier, the only hospital in the area that we’re not intimate familiar with. I rode with him in the ambulance whilst Alison followed behind in the car. He was in some degree of pain, interspersed with periods of spaced out delirium when he’d puffed too many times on the entinox.  
I must confess this was all new to me, I have no experience of broken bones. Ignorantly I thought a broken arm was a broken arm. I was even a little blasé about it. When we got to the hospital the attending doctor was brilliant with Jake. We couldn’t have asked for better care whilst we were in A&E. The first thing that happened was they stuffed him full of drugs; ibuprofen, morphine and another whose name escapes me. Then two quite unpleasant things happened. 
The first was the x-rays. The A&E doctor stayed with Jake whilst we had to stand behind the protective screen. The screams of pain as they put his arm into the necessary position to get a clear picture were horrible. The second was the orthopedic consultant telling us that it was a very bad break and they needed to operate within 6 hours because they were concerned about nerve damage. At the moment his radial pulse was okay and Jake still had feeling in all his fingers, but the pressure of the misplaced bone and associated tissue swelling risked damaging the nerves that ran through the area. I got a little more worried at that point!
They operated around 10.30pm and he was up on the ward by midnight. They straightened out and realigned the bone and inserted two wires to hold everything in place. It made a change for Alison to be spending the night in hospital with her other son. Apparently he woke up all chatty at 2am, 3.45am and 6am. She gets all the best gigs. The following morning he was discharged with a course of antibiotics as prevention against infection. He’s back on Thursday for another set of x-rays to assess how things look post-surgery. We were warned by the consultant in A&E that it was not uncommon with this type of break to require a second operation in the future.

It’s going to be a long summer holidays for Jake. At least six weeks in plaster. No cricket camp, no football training or in the park, no swimming, no cycling. He is going to be very bored indeed, and probably quite unpleasant to live with as a result. He even has some problems playing the xbox at the moment. That would be a total disaster if it persists!
I suppose some good came out of the whole sorry episode; at least I didn’t have to sit through yet another terribly dull World Cup final. Cheers Jake, mate. High fives!

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