My 13 year old daughter who has ADHD, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and is profoundly deaf, was riding her bike near our little vacation home in New Hampshire. Our “neighborhood” has dirt roads and the cars drive very slowly. One afternoon, a neighbor whom we barely knew came to the door. He indicated Marie had been in a bike accident. I ran out to follow him and learned she had hit a gravel patch and the bike slipped and fell out from underneath her. Many people had gathered and she was screaming dramatically as she tends to do. Because she is deaf and non-verbal, if she wants something she screams loudly and the neighbors mistook this for pain and had called an ambulance. I got there just as they were putting her in the ambulance and she was screaming blood curdling screams. One would think she was severely injured. She was, however, petrified! With her ADHD and Post Traumatic Stress disorder she becomes completely unhinged any time she is restrained, and they had her restrained on a back board with a neck brace.
I followed them to the hospital where she continued to scream. I requested they give her a dose of Ativan, which lessened the screaming a little. I asked her where it hurt and she signed back in ASL alphabet with her restrained hand
that her neck hurt badly. They did x-rays. Then they did more x-rays at her bedside because even though she was still fully restrained, she had moved enough so that the first x-rays did not come out clearly. The x-rays showed no sign of neck injury. She still complained tearfully that her neck hurt. They sedated her further in order to do a CAT scan. That came back showing no sign of neck injury. The doctor finally thought it was safe to take the restraints off. Off came the neck collar. The crying stopped. “Good!” she signed, “Now my neck does not hurt anymore.” The doctor looked at her neck and noticed that a too small child’s collar had been put on her and there was a huge red mark where the collar had been pinching her skin. This child had not been hurt at all in the bike fall! She was injured by a too small neck brace! Although frustrated at what we had been through, I was at least glad it was over and she was okay. However, I was not very glad when the bill for the emergency room came. I have been paying in installments on the $3200 bill uncovered by her state Medicaid insurance program. That is a lot of money for a bike ride!