Monday, November 21, 2016

Our Little Girl's Clavicle

A little over a year ago (May 2015), sweet pea fell while getting out of the car. She managed to land on her shoulder in such a way that her (left) clavicle was fractured. We were so blessed at the time to know a visiting family (both husband and wife are doctors) who was living above the newest hospital/clinic. They personally escorted me through the whole process, including x-rays. With their help, we were able to find her fracture and sew up an adult sized sling to fit her.
The left side of the photo is normal and the right side
(G = gauche = left) shows the stress fracture.
Fast forward to October 2016 - sweet pea comes home from school crying. The driver told me that she fell at school (while playing with another child). I took one look at the way she was holding her arm and knew just what had happened. I left baby boy with my worker and drove sweet pea to the hospital/clinic I visited before with her the year prior. We got lucky. There was a nurse on call who spoke English and helped me to translate correctly to the pediatrician what I thought was wrong. He walked us down one floor to the x-ray room and helped us get set up for x-rays. As soon as the film pulled up, the doctor called me into x-ray technician room and pointed to the x-rays. Here is what I saw...
The left side of the screen shows a normal clavicle.
The right side clearly shows a clavicle that is broken.

When her arm is lifted, the two broken pieces overlap. 
Yep. Broken. The exact same side as before. After waiting 10 additional minutes, we walked around the corner and met a Middle Eastern orthopedist who also spoke English. We talked about the x-rays. Sweet pea definitely broke her clavicle and it will heal. The only concern is if it will manage to heal straight. Kids are resilient but also quite active. So we are to keep her arm immobilized in a sling while she heals. (Coincidentally, they only had an adult size small which I had to sew to fit just like the year prior). 

I was once again completely blown away by my medical experience here. I was able to walk into a hospital, speak to a pediatrician, get x-rays, speak to an orthopedist, get a sling, and be home within 2 hours all for less than $200. There are many things lacking in the health care system here, such as medication and appropriately sized slings for children. But since this is the week of Thanksgiving, I will say I'm thankful for the medical care and options that we do have!

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