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Old 04-18-2013, 02:38 PM   #1
Earning My Ears
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 32

Thank Goodness for Child Life Specialists!

We had a very rough afternoon and night. DD13- GAD, Panic disorder, sensory integration dysfunction- jumped off a small step and dislocated her knee cap while hanging out with friends. They called an ambulance and then called me. She let them get a splint on her before I arrived and went in the ambulance to the local clinic with me following- amazing!

The local clinic was awful- just horrible. I explained over and over about her anxiety and sensory issues but they just acted like she needed to be sedated and then she could handle an IV- no explanation to her about what they were doing. It was horrible. The nurse actually told me she didn't want to seem harsh but as a mother sometimes it's better to step back so kids don't play up their anxiety

Finally they agreed to call a transport ambulance and transfer her to Yale Children's hospital. I got to ride in the ambulance with her. Before we left I requested that a child life specialist be there when we got there.

The doctors there didn't seem to understand either although the nurses did. We agreed that we needed to use an IV after they gave her Versed so she was calm enough to put it in. Before they did that the 2 doctors came in, said they were just going to take the splint off (that had been on for about 5 hours at this point) and look at her knee. Then the doctor said he was just going to touch it- then he grabbed her knee cap and tried to put it back in place! No warning no pain meds nothing!!! I almost went across the stretcher!

As he was doing this the Child Life Specialist came in. She had a look of shock on her face. After I got the Dr to stop and leave she explained to us what she does and talked so nicely to DD that she calmed down. DD asked if she was a nice person, not like the mean man who just hurt her.

Anyway, with her assistance and support DD had an IV inserted and her knee cap put back in the right position (they gave her ketamine, amazing stuff- she was loopy! Dreaming about unicorns ) had a follow-up xray, learned to use crutches and got to go home happy and feeling safe and cared for. That wonderful woman walked us out to the car and helped DD get in and buckled. She was amazing. I think we'd still be there if she hadn't come and taken charge of HOW DD was treated.

Thanks for listening.
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Old 04-19-2013, 08:34 AM   #2
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Join Date: Oct 2007
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Sometimes doctors boggle me. My kneecaps don't generally fully dislocate, but they partially dislocate regularly. For me, luckily, it's common enough that it doesn't hurt to relocate (and even the relocating of dislocation is something I can do at home without too much pain). I couldn't imagine not at least trying some sort of pain killer for a kid who wasn't used to it the way I was! All I can think, since ketamine is also not that common of an early-use pain medication, is that they were worried about some pain medications making her too loose for the relocation to definitely hold on. It's still stupid and ridiculous for the doctor to not at least talk through what he was doing and ask her. I have to admit, I have much lower standards for the clinic so there it doesn't surprise me, but it's really [words I can't use here] that it happened at Yale. You might want to see if you can get the doctor's name and write a complaint. It may not do anything, but if it was a resident or fellow, it could be something that ends up in their file. You never know. If you don't have the name of the doctor, you might be able to get it from the CLS.

As a side note, I'm hopefully moving to your area in a couple months. Maybe we should think about having a mini-disAbilities meetup ;-) I have family in NH, but that's about it and I'm moving due to public transportation access to fun and interesting things. And the food. ;-)
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Old 04-19-2013, 09:40 AM   #3
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Location: New Hampshire
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Those Child Life Specialists really are the best, aren't they? They've helped my kids through some really rough tests. I can't even begin to tell you how grateful I am for this profession.
Me DH DD(16) DD(14) DSD(32) DSSil (41) DGD (newborn) DSD(30) DGS(4)

Multi-Allergy & Autism Dining Reviews: February 2014 * DL & LA July 2013 * February 2013 * August 2012 * February 2012 * August 2011 * August 2010

February 2014 AKL: me, DH, DD15, DD13 * July 2013 DL offsite (Tropicana): me, DH, DD15, DD12, DSD30, DSSil * February 2013 WDW Poly: me, DH, DD14, DD12
August 2012 WDW FW Cabin & AoA Nemo: me, DH, DD14, DD12, DD12's BFF11 * February 2012 WDW Poly CL: me, DH, DD14, DD11 * August 2011 WDW YC: me, DH, DD13, DD11
February 2011 WDW Poly CL: me, DH, DD13, DD10, DSD28, DSSil * August 2010 WDW POFQ & Poly CL: me, DH, DD12, DD10 * June 2010 WDW Pop: me, DH, DD12, DD9
December 2009 WDW POFQ: me, DH, DD11, DD9 * February 2009 WDW Pop: me, DH, DD11, DD8 * August 2008 WDW SSR: me, DH, DSD25, DSD24, DD10, DD8
September 2007 WDW Pop: me, DH, DD9, DD7 * April 2002 DLR offsite: me, DH, DSD19, DSD17, DD4, DD1.5 * June 2000 DLR offsite: me(pregnant), DH, DSD17, DSD15, DD2
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Old 06-13-2013, 02:15 PM   #4
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Location: Mooresville (Race City), NC
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My son is headed in for his 26 surgery in a week and a half - and he cannot wait. This is due in very large part to the Child Life staff at the hospital. His 16 year old sister is planning to job-shadow a Child Life specialist and other hospital staff during the stay because she want to pursue this as a career. There are schools that offer a Child Life major.
Dave (NCConch) Conklin

1st Disney Cruise - Dec 26-29, 2013 on the Dream

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Old 06-22-2013, 12:39 AM   #5
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I'm sorry for my ignorance, but what is a Child Life Specialist?

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