It was a long night. A knock on the bedroom door at 2:20 a.m. announced that my youngest son, Ryan, 19, had a dislocated shoulder.
He’s had this before. Many times. But shoulder surgery four years ago all but eliminated the dislocations. We headed to the UPMC Hamot ER where docs all but instantly put his shoulder back in place … after the shot of fast-acting painkiller that relaxed Ryan enough for Jonathan Miller, M.D. to manipulate his shoulder back into place.
With the memory fresh in my mind (and a lack of sleep), I am cringing as I write this.
After Ryan was upright, that cute little devil asked how much the ER visit cost, and said that we didn’t have to buy him a Christmas present. Oh, Ryan, don’t make me cry. We have bonded over a lot of injuries: Head wounds and stitches, a hernia, a broken ankle that resulted in several visits to the ER — including getting the cast sawed off and replaced. A broken thumb, numerous illnesses and toenail removals followed. And then there were the surgeries, but let’s just stop right there.
During the visits, regardless of pain, Ryan is a champ. And we have chats about just about everything under the sun. In fact, that happens with my older son and daughter too. Like most parents of athletes, I have been on a lot of emergency visits to docs, docs in the box and dentists.
In spite of a stressful situation, we usually find something to laugh about, and this time was no different. Usually a dislocation results from some sports-related activity, but this one happened in Ryan’s sleep — kind of funny in itself. Fortunately for us, the security guard at Hamot shared that the same thing happened to him.
You can bond with a lot of people in the ER in the middle of the night. I’m hoping I get a break from that though. I hesitate to use that word break, you know what I mean?