Monday, June 18, 2012

Boys will be boys!

“Mommy! Mommy!” I could hear my boy screaming, but couldn’t see him. Just seconds before, he had been swinging in a friend’s swing while we grown-ups relaxed on the patio. I looked at my friend. “Where is he?” I asked as we both stood up—and there he was, lying under the swing, on his belly with his arms folded under his body.

Apparently, his friend had dared him to jump out of the swing—on the back swing. (His sister also broke her arm while swinging. She was attempting to tie her shoe—another hard-learned lesson in gravity.) We ran over, brushed him off and all appeared fine. His left arm hurt all over, but he could move it, and there was no swelling, no apparent broken bones, We set him up on the couch with some ice and went back to relaxing.

The next day was pretty busy—church most of the morning and a Cub Scout barbecue in the afternoon. He was favoring the arm but not really complaining of pain, and it still wasn’t swollen. At the barbecue, the boys were to work on their athlete badges. Sit-ups, push-ups, a long jump and some running was involved.

My boy did great on everything but push-ups. He refused to put weight on his arm. So, off to Urgent Care we went, 30 minutes before they closed and—surprise—discovered the poor boy had a buckle fracture of his left radius. The good news? It wasn’t displaced, so surgery wasn’t needed and, once the arm was splinted, he really had no pain. The bad news? We were just 12 days out from his open-heart surgery!

Monday morning, I spoke to his surgical team, and we agreed that surgery could go as scheduled. If he has significant body swelling afterward, we can just have the cast removed. We also arranged to have the arm casted, and he is now sporting a purple “Rockies” cast. I have struggled to keep him grounded over the last week but, in typical boy fashion, he has tried to ride his bike, has been cruising the street on his scooter and has even hit baseballs. Maybe this is a sign of how his post-op recovery will go, and he will just bounce back to being the active little boy he’s always been!

The irony of this story: Last week, I was on call for our clinic, which involves being available for medical advice and approving all urgent-care requests. We are pretty cognizant of not providing care to our own family members. (It can be bad medicine, as providers sometimes lack objectivity when caring for those they love.) So, on Monday morning, I joked with our medical director: “If my kid breaks his arm while I’m on call, can I enter his urgent care referral?"

Yep, boys will be boys!

For Reflections on Nursing Leadership (RNL), published by the Honor Society of Nursing, Sigma Theta Tau International.

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