Not an Exact Science

Youngest Son has had a rough week. Actually it started a couple weeks ago. He and Middle Brother were outside playing soccer, or basketball, or whatever. Apparently there was a disagreement over the scooter. Youngest Son won. Middle Son got even. Youngest Son landed on his right hand and started complaining he thought his finger was broken. Being the overly protective mother I am not I said, “Put some ice on it and take some ibuprofen.” The next day I told him the same thing.

The following day he came home from school complaining his left wrist hurt. Apparently there was a bit of a miscommunication with the two kids who took his hands to help him up off the floor. He thought they were just standing him up. They thought they would give him a little fling. He landed with his nose inches from the ground, saved by his hands. Again, I told him to ice it and take ibuprofen.

Being a Mom requires a cursory knowledge in many areas. Medicine, psychology, child development, dietetics and  forensics just to name a few. You must be a Jack-of-all-trades, and hopefully a master of some. No one tells you this before you have children, so much of the training is hands-on. You are bound to make a few mistakes.

When Youngest Son was still complaining five days later, after asking countless times to go to the doctor, I decided we could take him, just to rule out anything serious. {Lest I have Child Protective Services paying me a visit, let me explain a bit. I figure a broken bone should be floppy. Otherwise it’s just a sore wrist/finger/etc that will take some time to heal. I love my children and want to care for them in the best way possible. This is juxtaposed to my disdain for being put in a tiny room, told I cannot use my cell phone and being made to wait for an indeterminate amount of time to be told, you’ll have to go to a different doctor/office/clinic/etc.}

Hubby takes him to our pediatrician who recommends x-rays. Unfortunately, the x-ray shops are all closed for the day. So the next day I get to take him to the imaging center. It was actually a quick and painless {for me anyway;)} visit. Except for the receptionist’s comment about one of us looking like Justin Bieber. That is not perceived as a compliment. We wait for a few minutes during which I explain we won’t know anything, because the tech never tells you the results of the x-rays. That isn’t their job. Moments later the tech comes out and cheerfully tells us no broken bones. Both the wrist and the finger look good. We leave surprised, but happy.

Me, surprised they told us anything and happy that there are no broken bones. {And maybe a bit vindicated that I knew there was nothing seriously wrong.}

Gage, surprised neither was broken and happy to be away from the lady that thought he looked like Bieber.

Fast forward three hours. I’ve taken Gage to school and made my way to work attempting to get caught up when I get a call from Hubby. The doc called and his finger is broken and the wrist might be. He needs to go to a pediatric orthopedic surgeon to get a CT scan of the wrist and he will take care of the finger there as well. Thanks to the tech at the imaging center for that false sense of security and pride. I quickly call the school nurse. I think he has gym today. I can’t let him participate in gym with a broken finger and wrist. {Don’t mind the irony in the fact that he has played two soccer games, been to gym class 3 times and done countless other risky activities since he told me there was something wrong.}

He was a little perturbed when the nurse called him to the office and taped his broken finger on his right hand and wrapped his possibly broken left wrist. But, better safe than sorry right? Ya, whatever Mom!

The next morning we head off to the specialist. We are greeted with 30 minutes of paperwork where I have to recall not only Youngest Son’s medical history, but mine, his father’s, and all his grandparents’. Checking all those boxes makes me question my belief that I come from hearty stock. Several times I had to scribble out the NO checkmark when Youngest Son reminded me of something. I’m sure they wondered if I really knew this child at all. Eventually the Physician’s Assistant came in to see us. I’m expecting to be told we need to go to another office for the CT scan. Instead, she tells us the finger is not broken. She can see what the other doc was thinking, but she disagrees and gives me a plausible explanation for the difference of opinion, which I buy. The wrist however, she believes is broken in at least one place, possibly two.

We’ve had a cast on Youngest Son’s left hand before. We can handle this. I’m pretty excited we’re only going to have a cast on one hand. I had some pretty terrifying images of what it was going to be like to have both hands in casts. Then she proceeds to give us some details. No water proof cast – it allows too much play and this bone may not heal correctly which is a really bad thing. It will be on for 4 weeks, followed by x-rays and a probable 4 additional weeks. At this point there are a lot of things going through my mind. I remember the horrible stench that developed in the last, waterproof cast. The one where water could run down the inside cleaning the boy smells off of him in the shower. I have smelled a lot of horrible things, having three boys in the house. This smell is so vile. I’m thinking, if he goes 4 weeks without being able to wash that arm or cast, with all that sweat and boy smell. I don’t know if he will be able to sleep in the house. My second thought goes to our calendar. I quickly whip out my phone to check when 4 and 8 weeks from today puts us. Four weeks takes us through the end of the school year. Bummer. The four weeks after that takes us through Boy Scout Camp and the Youth Mission Trip. UGH.

Gage’s question is a quick, “I’ll still be able to play soccer right?”

“No. No running, no climbing, no jumping, no competitive sports, no going on anything with wheels.”

Ouch! You just hit Youngest Son where he lives. I feel for the guy. It’s gonna be a long 4 {or 8} weeks.

The moral of the story. Parenting is no more exact science than medicine. We’re all making it up as we go, using our knowledge (or lack thereof) experience and instinct to guide us. And hoping that with a healthy dose of good intentions things turn out well.

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3 Comments

Filed under Advice, Health, Parenting

3 responses to “Not an Exact Science

  1. haha… this story reminds me very strongly of the time I broke my arm. We actually got to the hospital the second day after it was broken, but after three hours in the waiting room, my hospital-phobic father glared at me and said, “You’re fine, we’re going home!”. We eventually made it back to the hospital, though. And nearly repeated the same process when I broke my foot in my teen years, but at that point, I actually couldn’t walk out of the hospital.
    Good luck with keeping him out of sports and outdoor fun. I hope he only has to have it on for the four weeks. On the plus side, casts are an instant status symbol at school 🙂

    • Ha that makes me feel a bit better…we’ve done the same with other broken bones in our house. Guess I’m not a doctor:). Just a week into it and he is hating it already! But yes, definitely got him some attention for a while!

  2. Pingback: Thankful Thursday – Doctors and PAs | Considering the Options

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