Thursday, September 28, 2006

Right Diagnosis

One of the most interesting writers of childrens’ stories in recent times is Roald Dahl.

In his book about his own life, entitled “Boy”, he tells how his father, as a young man, slipped and fell off the roof and broke his left arm just below the elbow. Someone called the doctor and when the doctor showed up he didn’t realize the arm was broken and he decided Mr. Dahl had a dislocated shoulder. He said, “Don’t worry, we’ll soon put this back into place.” So he called two neighbors and they held the patient around the waist and the doctor grabbed him by the wrist of the broken arm and shouted, “Pull! Pull as hard as you can!”

It sounds rather painful! The victim screamed but by this time the damage had been done and a splinter of bone was sticking out through the skin.

This happened back in 1877 and because orthopedics then wasn’t what it was cracked up to be, they simply amputated the arm at the elbow.

It is a good thing to have the correct diagnosis before we start into the treatment.

Source: Boy.

Image: Cover of Boy.