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|I've Got the Orthopedist on Speed Dial
Our orthopedists opened an office literally 4 minutes from my home. Don’t think this is a coincidence. I think God knows something.
I’ve lost count of how many broken bones my children have endured. Seriously, it has been that many. I’m sure they can recount each one in full detail – but not me. It’s all become a blur. If I had to guess, I’d estimate that we are probably looking at around one dozen. Give or take a stress fracture here or a growth plate separation there…
So today I am sitting in the orthopedist office waiting for Son #3 to have an x-ray. There was never a doubt in my mind that he would be casted. I’ve gotten very good at assessing an injury and determining the severity. Not something that most mothers would like to brag about. But what the heck – It is what it is. I wondered how much of that cushy new office I had contributed to…how many doctors’ swimming pools or ski vacations I’ve helped fund over the years. I looked around the waiting room today and thought, “There should be a picture of my family hanging in here with some sort of dedication about our support of this practice.” Yea. It’s been that bad.
I’m not sure why it’s been this way. I can only tell you that my kids are very physically athletic kids. They give everything 110%. They compete at high levels. They are all heart. Well, maybe all bones…
So today after examining Son #3 the orthopedist begins a dialogue with me. We started talking about all of my children’s sports injuries. Then I shared with her that neither myself nor husband have ever broken anything. Not one single bone. She told me that she was getting ready to attend a conference about kids having so many injuries these days. She then asks me – “Why do you think there have been so many injuries to kids?” For a moment, I thought about saying, “Do you mean kids in general or are we talking specifically about mine?” But I let the thought go.
I told her that when we were growing up we didn’t start sports nearly as young as kids do now. Soccer for 3 and 4 year olds is not uncommon. T-ball for preschoolers. In fact, I even know wrestling teams that have 3 year olds rolling on their mat. This allows present day children to play at a much higher level at an earlier age. Additionally, once these kids reach the ripe old age of 9 or 10 – the push for travel or select teams is critical. Coaches start jockeying for kids to participate in their sport year round and devote all of their time and passion to one particular sport.
Years ago, kids began team sports much older. My husband recalls his first little league experience when he was 12 because up until then they just played in their backyards. Organized competitive team sports were for older kids. Not anymore. In fact a couple of years ago my boys wanted to play football on our local junior league team. They were probably between the ages of 10 and 13. We were told that they were too old and they would never be picked up on a good team. Can you even imagine? All washed up at the age of 10?
Just since the beginning of the school year our family has had 3 casts. Broken hand from football. Stress fracture from dance. Now a torn UCL in the thumb while wrestling, resulting in a horrible injury and possible surgery. Apart from the casts, I have another son gimping around with a sore shoulder, swollen knee and a hip flexor injury as a result of his current wrestling season. My oldest is still dealing with pain in his knee from an MCL injury that took place 7 years ago. And let’s not forget my oldest’s tumble down the stairs earlier this year that resulted in a neck injury that he still swears has not healed properly. What the heck?
Before I took my son to the orthopedist, last night I went to my own medical stash – I rummaged through the braces and bandages from the previously triaged. My freezer is filled with ice packs rather than frozen vegetables and I’m convinced that the tea towels that hang on my oven are only there to be used for icing and medicinal purposes. The ibuprofen doesn’t get stored in a bathroom in my home. No it is in the kitchen cabinet next to the salt and pepper. Because that’s how often it is used here. Pass the salt and pepper and Advil…
I managed to wrap his thumb for him to sleep and wait to go to the doctor this morning. Yes it was bruised and swollen and he couldn’t move it. Yes I knew we needed medical assistance. But in this house if the bone has not penetrated the skin or been completely deformed in some horrific obviously mangled way – we fall back on my husband’s standard line –
“We’ll see how it looks in the morning.”
…it doesn’t look good.
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