I’m pretty sure Children’s Hospital Express Care should know our names by now. If you’re parenting three boys, you’re just going to be engaging the health care system…a lot!
Looking around the waiting room on a Friday night, it felt good to be getting out of the fever, cough, cold, respiratory stage of needing a doctor. But we seem to have moved into the “accident” stage of life. Last week, it was a 1 inch dog bite under The Little Guy’s eye from his aunt’s busy-with-my-bone dog. We spent the next ten days with some antibiotics.
Two weeks before that it was a painful swollen ankle of Super Tall Guy after he twisted it jumping on a bounce-house type jump pad. Not wanting to deal with crutches and school the next morning, I finally convinced him to go with me to get it checked out. Expecting an ankle aircast for a “sprain,” we walked out with a boot and an appointment for orthopedics.
A couple days later when the orthopedist suggested a cast instead of the walking boot, I agreed whole-heartedly. I know boys. Anything removable will be removed. Clothes. Soiled diapers during nap time. Seat belts in the middle of a long highway journey. And velcro-fastened walking boots.
I also know that there’s no stopping my boys. Two days after the cast was applied, my sister texted to ask if Super Tall Guy could jump on the trampoline with the cast. “Um, no.” “That’s what I told him, but he said his mom said he could.” He still rides a bike and a scooter through the neighborhood. I’ve called him down off the roof of the tree-house. Other than maybe shortening the trick or treat time from 2 hours to one hour and forty-five minutes, I haven’t seen much change in this boy (except to ask for glasses of water and dinners to be brought to the couch!).
Injury only has two days of “coolness,” though. The first day is an opportunity to show off the green-casted foot to all the kids in the neighborhood. Ohhh. Ahhh. The next day is the sympathy at school and the offer to be at the head of the lunch line.
But on day two, the anger sets in. The annoyance at the itch down deep inside (“you must go buy me a hair dryer now, Mom. She said to use a hair dryer.” It’s nine o’clock at night, buddy. We’re going to bed.). The frustrated tantrum of wanting it off and banging the cast against the wall in an effort to shatter the plaster. I consider the $85 cost of replacing the waterproof liner if we have to redo this cast and the damage to the wall as I angrily respond; that is, until I pause and remember that it’s day two. Day Two is nightmare zone, whether it’s during vacation at the beach or the start of a long recovery process. Day Two is when the excitement comes to a screeching halt. Always be prepared for Day Two.
And yet, two days moved into two weeks and then three weeks and the cast came off. The nurse practitioner smiled and said, “Keep it in the walking boot for 3 weeks and then see how it is.” See how it is? The kid just took off the walking boot off 10 days later to “skate” at the indoor slide-skate park!! Remember, “removable” splints and bandaids and velcro boots and so much more are, in fact, removable!
I’m not sure who is more miserable when a kid breaks a bone, but I can assure you that we’d all like to get out of the “accident zone” of medical visits.