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Broken

Broken

July 28, 2008

Today I brought my son to the orthopedist. It seems that he broke his finger playing football last week. That would be the very first week of the football season. I didn’t realize that his finger was that injured. I mean he said it hurt, but then the very next day pitched a baseball game and hit a 400ft homerun. Clearly my definition of I am broken and in pain is not the same as his.

Then he went to football and baseball practices for the rest of the week. For football we taped up his finger to the one next to it. My husband, who was a football player back in his day, said that often he would “jam” his fingers and after taping them up for a day or two they felt better.

Yesterday I noticed his finger was bent at an odd angle. When I asked why his finger looked like that he casually mentioned that was how his finger has been all week.

He is in a cast that will have to be removed weekly. And he needs to have his finger x-rayed every week to make sure that it is healing properly. Otherwise, surgery.

Also, there is nothing sadder than seeing the crushing disappointment on your son’s face when he realizes that he will not be playing sports for the next 6-8 weeks, effectively ending the baseball season. Not sure about the football season. Seeing the tears well up on the bottom lid of your man-child, while he tries unsuccessfully to blink them back is heartbreaking.

When he asked the doctor about playing sports she patronizingly said maybe it was time to pursue other interests, like reading and mathematics. OH YES SHE DID!

He told me not to tell his baseball coach. Because I guess showing up wearing a cast wouldn’t tip him off that something was BROKEN on you.

*****
Updated:

I started writing this earlier in the day and never managed to hit publish. In the end my son did go to football practice tonight, with his cast, which I wrapped in gauze and tape so that it didn’t get filthy. Hey, no one had better accuse me of not being an attentive parent. Oddly, or not, none of the coaches questioned him about it. They are still in “training week” and mostly doing running drills which don’t require using your hands, just a whole helluva lot of running. I was exhausted just watching it.

Once again was reminded of why I am not athlete. The effort! The sweating! The hair glued to your forehead! Not to mention the possibility of grave bodily harm.

Posted by Chris @ 10:48 pm  

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Comments

  1. Christie says:

    I’m still trying to figure out why a ‘former’ reader told you she couldn’t relate to you anymore. I love reading your blog. Your life makes mine (I only have 5 kids) seem so… normal. Thank you!

  2. Jules says:

    Oy. That’s just crazy. I’d be home on the couch having people bring me things. Ice cream things.

  3. suburbancorrespondent says:

    Not an athlete here, either. They always seemed like a different species to me. My 8-year-old can actually throw a ball, but I don’t know where he got that from. In this household, it’s as if he grew up knowing how to speak Swahili.

  4. Lindsay says:

    Heheh, my bro played hockey with a cast on his arm. He wore mismatching gloves since his hands were effectively now two different sizes. How disgusting. I was an athlete too and there is nothing sadder than having to miss due to an injury (your son seems to feel the same way). I hope he heals quick.

  5. Kate says:

    When my brother was ten he broke his finger the second week of baseball season. (Generally one wants to catch the ball with the hand wearing the glove, not the other one.) He might have gotten to play one game. He was crushed because this was Alaska and one broken bone is pretty much the entire season of any outdoor team sport.

    I, on the other hand, was greatly offended that I had to tie my older brother’s shoes for a month.

  6. Jamie AZ says:

    I’m sure your son breaking something wasn’t how you wanted to get out of the rest of his baseball season! Hopefully it will heal fast and he can still be physically active. Bleh on the reading and mathematics - we know you make him do that already!

    I need to get in shape myself, but gah, Exercise - I hate you! How am I ever supposed to exercise while hating it so darned much?!

  7. Jen says:

    Gosh. Has that doctor not HAD a child? Because my kid is only four and not even in organized sports yet, but being told to pursue only quiet and passive interests for two months would not sit well with her either.

  8. Colleen says:

    I hope he heals soon, and straight.
    I buy vetwrap to cover casts with, which is easier than gauze and tape and comes in cool colors which pleases children. It sticks to itself but not to anything else, so it is easy to use to cover casts with (and my daughter could cover her cast to match her outfit of the day, which pleased her very much). You should be able to find it in a tack / feed store, or cheaper online, and it is much better than facing a cast worn by an active child in six weeks.

  9. Dianna says:

    Poor guy. Hope it heals well and surgery is out of the question. And the shame! Math, reading…what was she thinking?!

  10. Claudious says:

    I’m far too vain, the thought that I’d go through life with a permanent deformity because of not giving something enough time to heal really reigns me in.

    At least he always has the chance of looking at the chess club… oh the fun and excitement.

  11. Fold My Laundry Please says:

    Fingers are tricky devils. When I was in high school, a boy I had a crush on pushed me into our pool fully dressed. On the way in, I tried in vain to grab on to something to prevent my imminent soaking. All I managed to do was crush my hand into the side of the pool. I started complaining about my finger right away, but it looked fine. My mom looked at it and said to stop whining and go upstairs and put on dry clothes. You know what’s fun? Trying to pull off a pair of wet, skin-tight jeans with a only one hand! By the time I came downstairs, my hand had swollen up and my mom popped me into the car and we headed off to the emergency room. Later that same night, my brother got hit in the face with a baseball during his game and ended up with a broken nose. And back to the emergency room my mom went! I remember my teenage self ignoring that my little brother was badly hurt and focusing on the fact that my mom had to spend about 8 hours in the ER that day and how it served her right for not believing me about my finger!

  12. Gem says:

    Over in my little corner of the planet our equivalent of baseball is hurling, and I have a 14 year old who is just as passionate. I know EXACTLY the pain your son is in. I hope is copes with it a bit better than mine, who would upset the whole house with his frustration in this situation! You (and your son) have all my sympathies!

  13. Brigitte says:

    Hee hee, I’m always dreading that my child will break a bone and I’ll think she’s just complaining excessively, then I’ll feel like a dreadful parent (yes, I worry about dumb stuff for no apparent reason all the time). Now that you’ve crossed that bridge and survived, I feel a little better. ;-)

  14. Naomi says:

    I’ve just found your blog, and love it.

    We have the same thing in our house, and the coaches not batting an eye at the cast isn’t unusual, I don’t think!

    Shoot, in fact, we had kids playing in casts this past lacrosse season too!

    . . . a cast that has to be removed weekly? As if you have nothing better to do than visit with the doctor once a week for cast removal/replacement??

  15. Stacy says:

    My brother actually played baseball on summer with a broken arm. Granted, it was Little League, but he managed to hit with one hand. Also, I hope you had an appropriately snarky response for that doctor, what a mean thing to say.

  16. jody says:

    Awwww. Poor guy! I hope the finger heals well and does not need further intervention!

    When Cody went in to have his removed, and instead they put him in another cast for 3 more weeks, he held it together until we got to teh car, and then the poor little guy cried silently for 30 or so minutes as we drove home.

    Here’s to no more broken bones! (clink)

  17. Mert says:

    Do you see a sports specialist orthopedist? You might try that next time. We see one (frequently! I have three teenage, male athletes) and the only way they would suggest taking up a nonsport is if you’ve replaced both ACL’s twice and had your arms amputated. Maybe not even then. I hope his hand heals soon. Is he QB or a receiver? My son broke a couple bones in the palm of his hand last year (also with weekly xrays and the threat of surgery) and continued to play FB, but he blocked and could get away with not using his hand so much. This happened in the preseaon also, so by the time games started he was cleared to play. without his cast.

  18. Jess says:

    It is something that we mother’s probably will never understand, wanting to play a game no matter what. Thing 1 is like that. He could be bleeding from his eyeballs and still want to play baseball/football/basketball. He does not want to miss out on a game for anything.

    I hope your son’s finger heals quickly.

  19. MelissaS says:

    First, off let me say that I’m constantly surprised by the bed side manner of some doctors….”Hello, we’re people not cattle. If we’re seeing you, more than likely it’s NOT a happy occasion, so please don’t get too sarcastic.”

    Second, tell your son we hope he heals quickly. My youngest daughter just had her cast removed from her arm yesterday.

  20. Terri says:

    If it makes you feel any better, 2 of our 3 boys have broken their legs and we didn’t figure it out until the next day. The three-year old’s foot slipped off the pedal when my husband was helping him ride his trike. He cried, but we attributed it to sleepiness and gave him a bath and put him to bed. His crying the next AM tipped us off. He spent the rest of the summer responding to the question: “How did you break your leg?” with “My daddy did it.” That took some explaining!

  21. Erin says:

    Um, yeah, football coaches don’t believe in injured. My 11yo son got a concussion that left him kind of goofy for an entire day last year but he didn’t tell them when he got hit. He refuses to come out of a game, ever, unless an official notices he’s hurt and kicks him out. The coaches still ribbed him for not practicing because he was “hurt”.

    No, he wasn’t “hurt,” he was hurt.

    I’m sorry your son will miss so much of what he likes to do but he will be back before football season is over.

  22. Sue @ My Party of 6 says:

    Ohhhh… we are a baseball household here too and I can only imagine how sad it is for him to miss the end of the season.

    I hope it heals quickly and correctly and he is able to play most of football season.

  23. deb says:

    Hey, I broke the knuckle on my left hand, then played 3 hours of tennis the next day. Every time I served the ball, I dislocated the finger.

    kept me from doing housework, but not playing! Completely understand where your son’s coming from. (and I missed the ortho appt. that would have told me I needed surgery. Finger eventually healed just fine. That’s what rubber mallets are for, right?)

  24. Ashley says:

    At least you wrapped it in gauze! I tried to convince my Mom to let me play soccer when I broke my ankle at age 13. This was after I’d already had surgery and been lying in bed for months. She eventually caved and the team let me play defence. I couldn’t run but I could hobble very fast.

  25. Barb says:

    My heart hurts for him. It’s no fun being sidelined when your heart is in the game. And also, what a callous thing for the doctor to say to him. Witch.

    Sending healing thoughts your way…

  26. Patti says:

    I completely understand. My 9 yo daughter was diagnosed with a swimmng-related ear infection two hours before her champion meet. She begged me for ear-plugs for the meet and promised to even wear them in the shower all week and skip swimming at day camp. You know what, she (so far) is. Athletes just have different priorities.

  27. Cara says:

    Geesh - I’m still stuck on the doctor’s comment. The fact that he loves sports automatically means he’s not a good student? And school work should be a replacement for missing out on something else? Its not like he won’t be doing math and reading books anyway. She could have at least suggested… poker or something.

  28. Maggie says:

    Out of our 2 boys - one would drop to the ground with every injury claiming a broken body part. We’d say get up and get back in there. The other one would say, at the most, my arm hurts and we would take him to urgent care and it would be a broken body part (collar bone (K) elbow (1st grade). However, once they both got older, nothing would stop either of them from playing their sports of choice. Stitches in the chin, get be back before football practice ends. Poke in the eye, I’ll play wide receiver with just one contact in. Here, when playing on a high school team, if they see a doctor for injury/illness they need a note from the doctor before they can participate again. I’ve had a few reluctant notes written, but they did write them.

  29. Heidi says:

    I am definitely not one to condone playing while hurt, but hot damn that shows dedication and determination and those are GREAT qualities!

  30. Barb says:

    I am so excited you have become a football Mom. I love football. If he continues to go to practice and participate as much as possible, he’ll be playing the minute that cast comes off. That’s what footballer’s do. If you think baseball got chilly sometimes…. :)

  31. Stephanie says:

    I thought what the doctor said was funny…but then I read again and realized you prefaced her words with the phrase “she patronizingly said” and then I realized she was being a shrew.

    As an accident-prone athlete myself (currently sitting here in a cast as I write this) my own mother ended my high school sports career driving me home from the hospital for the third time that season, saying “that’s it, I’ve had it…you can’t do this to your body anymore…you’re done.”

    So I had to stop playing (my season was already over due to that particular injury, anyway, so I rode the bench for the team and then never played as a teen again.)

    But I’m a full grown adult now, with my own daughter. And I’m still hurting myself in sports. And I have a graduate degree…one would think I would have learned by now.

  32. Angie says:

    Dr’s who talk like that need to get a life! I feel his disappointment. I hope he heals quickly.

  33. Lisa Lisa says:

    My husband just broke his finger while at work a 400 lbs pallet drop on top of it. Luckily it was only the tip of his ring finger so they just gave him a removable splint and sent him back to work. Doctors can seriously be A$$ holes sometimes. He was told that he was fat and had to loose some weight and when he said that he had already been losing weight and is going to continue because he has been having trouble with his back the doctor then said “Now don’t you think that it’s stupid that you we’re handling a heavy pallet with back trouble?” WOW!!! I couldn’t believe she said that.

  34. gorillabuns says:

    If the doctor said no sports for my kid, i would secretly pump my fist in the air - because i’m lazy.

  35. joyce says:

    I just found your blog through arduous, and I’ll certainly be back1
    We had one son who ran for a month on a stress-fractured leg during cross country season, because there was a girl on the girl’s team he was very interested in, and he didn’t want to miss all those bus rides to meets with her!

  36. Jerri Ann says:

    My little tots are much younger, like this was our first year in t-ball and I can’t bring myself to let the 5 year old play football…oh the pain it will cause me to watch someone hit my baby…

  37. Tina says:

    My daughter broke her hand in the last 2 weeks of softball All-Stars, so I can totally relate to what you’re going through. She still went to practice even though she couldn’t play. It sucked for her.

  38. Amanda says:

    I was an athlete, so I can sympathize with your son’s pain. I hope you gave that doctor the eye of “Die a thousand deaths” when she mentioned “other pursuits.” The kid broke his finger for cryin out loud. He could’ve done that playing in the back yard.

  39. Jackie says:

    My 14 year old had a green stick break in his arm last season in football, told the coach his was fine and finished the game. Right before that, he snapped the tendon in the tip of his pinky finger on his right hand, but didn’t show us until the arm incident. By then, it was too late to do anything, and he will have a bent tip of his pinky finger forever! I guess it’s something interesting to show his kids one day.

  40. Dee from Tennessee says:

    I just can’t get past the dr’s comments….I mean, come on….(and I like the comment about “Die a thousand deaths.” Gonna remember that one). You really can’t convince me that she didn’t know better….