November 20, 2017

The Deceptive Broken Bone

After 12 days of making my son do his homework and practice piano I felt I deserved the bad mommy of the year award when I found out yesterday he’s had a broken bone the whole time. You see, he fell from a tree almost two weeks ago today and though he cried longer than usual, saying his arm hurt, he was able to move it, it wasn’t swollen, and the next day I checked to make sure it wasn’t black and blue. Never having a broken bone ourselves, my husband and I were sure if his wrist was broken, we’d know it. I thought it would dangle lifelessly, would be excruciating to the touch, obvious.

So my poor little son went about life as usual, riding his scooter, playing football with his friends at recess, starting his first week of swim team practice, only grimacing when it was time to bat at his Little League games. “A sprain,” we told the Coach, and our 7-year-old became the temporary team cheerleader on the bench and delegated Catcher while in the field as we all waited for it to heal on its own.

How often doctors say, “It’s nothing,” so we were surprised when, after 12 days, it still hurt him only to bat, so we got his wrist x-rayed. “It’s broken and he needs a cast,” the Doctor said matter-of-factly. Now I’m hearing story after story of how common it is for people to go days and weeks with a broken bone. I had no idea, but I do now. I also learned waterproof casts are the new norm. Pretty cool!

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