Monday, October 15, 2012

Uncle Douglas and the Broken Arm

 courtesy photobucket.
Boys will do stupid things at times; they will rough house, and jump off high places. 

How it happened, was not exactly a mystery, but Douglas came into the house with an arm that was swollen.   It didn’t take an expert to recognize that his arm was broken.

Hastily I gave him a large heavy magazine to support his arm, and we bundled him into the car after phoning the Dr that we were on our way.

This was the early 1960’s and in those days they usually put a Plaster of Paris cast on broken bones after setting them.   The doctor carefully moved his arm into place and then covered his arm with gauze.  Next went on the soupy mix of “cement.” 

It hardened quickly and soon Doug was ready for his friends to sign his cast and draw goofy pictures on it.

The Doctor gave me instructions to call him if there were any problems and to return in six weeks to remove the cast.  “Pay the receptionist at the front desk as you leave,” he added 

In those days we did not have insurance, but Doctor Bills were reasonable and considerable cheaper than they are now.

Time passed – not so quickly and Douglas would tell me his arm itched.  At least he was not in pain, and he could insert a pencil up his wrist and into his cast to scratch his arm.

Eventually six weeks went by and we could view the calendar where I had marked a big X and a note to return to the Dr to have his cast removed.

Honestly, I was and still am a money saver where ever I can squeeze it. 

I knew a return visit to the Dr would be another $25 that we could use it somewhere else better; like maybe a trip to the grocery store...

Douglas offered a good suggestion.  “Hazel, why don’t you get those big scissors that Bob has and cut this thing off for me?  It is already six weeks, and I am sure my arm has healed by now.” 

(You may remember that Doug was my young brother-in-law who lived with us.  He was the same age as our son Steve, and our children enjoyed calling him “Uncle Dougie.”)

So it was that I got the scissors, and carefully cut and snipped until the cast was gone.  Then we washed his arm and put some hand lotion on it - - Good as new !!

He was happy, and so was I.

This post is shared at:  “Tell Me a True Story”

And at Sharing His Beauty Monday



  1. We have four sons and have done the whole cast and stitches routine. Which just seems to come naturally with boys. :)

    Thanks for the story. I can relate.

  2. Ah...memories of childhood! (And affordable medical care! ha ha). Thanks for sharing this story!

  3. That seems logical to me! Then again, everyone seemed to have more common sense back then. People don't even realize it's the insurance, their lawyers, and the lawyers of people who in majority want something for nothing that have made medicine cost what it does today. Since Nixon helped create HMO's nurses have increased by around 100%, which doesn't keep up with the population. In that same time the administrative positions in healthcare have raised by over 2,500%... Proves we were a little smarter and were a country of moral character back then.

    The one thing that hasn't changed is that boys are still prone to do dumb things... even old ones...

  4. Ah yes...the scissors. I had the cast but I didn't have the courage to let anyone but the doc take it off. Guess it didn't matter since I wasn't the one paying....

  5. What you chose to do is so logical. Back then it was perfectly OK. Today? They'd accuse you/us of interfering with the official "rules" of the Dr. [I'm in the midst of that now, b/c I'm not taking my meds b/c the side effects are too crazy. The Dr. could be pretty upset when I finally tell her at my next appt. Since an appt is in the $1200 range for this "disease", she can nail me for not following through as told. Oh, well.] Glad you took the time to help and saved the money. Good thinking.

  6. I love your stories, Hazel. They always put a smile on my face! This one included!


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