Tuesday, April 24, 2012

752. X-ray Starts With "X"

We didn’t actually start with the x-ray, we finished with it.  “Yes, it’s broken,” verified the doctor, proving that Short was, in fact, not being overly dramatic after all when he was screaming in agony.  “His collarbone is broken.” 

I had been with him.  Short was merrily running down the sidewalk with me following along just five feet behind him, like we do every day of our lives.  He tripped on something (a branch? a bump in the cement?  his own two feet?  nothing?) and then next thing you know, he was crumpled on the ground, gripping his shoulder in pain. 

I'd heard the bone break.  (It's a chilling sound, it haunts me even nowa decisive "snap.")  Time stood still while I prayed that Short's face would not be covered in blood.  There was no blood, not a drop.  I scooped up my wailing child and carried him two blocks home.  We made a frantic call to a neighbor so we could drop off Tall, then The Husband and I drove Short to the ER. 

“Well, hello, MOV, back so soon?” greeted the girl at the check-in desk. 
“Hi, Denise, nice to see you again,” I nodded at her.

A nurse brought us back to a small exam room where we waited for the doctor.  Short lay his head on my lap and whimpered.  After what seemed like four hours but was most likely 20 minutes, he came in. 
“MOV, how’ve you been?  Which kid do you have with you today?”  the doctor asked.  “Oh, and did you remember to bring your frequent patient card with you this time?  You know the 10th visit is free.”   

I handed him my keychain, where I had wedged the frequent patient card through the loop next to my car key.  “I never leave home without it,” I forced a laugh. 
Short sat up.  “Am I going to get a cast?” he inquired. 

“Let’s just take a look at what we’ve got here.”  Next, a technician took Short into the x-ray room.  A few minutes later, the doctor and I were looking at the x-rays on the light screen.
“See that?  That’s the break.  We’ll put him in a sling and he’ll be good as new in six weeks.” 

Six weeks?  The bone could repair itself in just six weeks?  There was to be no cast, no surgery … just Children’s Tylenol, rest, and a sling.  The doctor gently touched Short's shoulder as he adjusted the small sling across his chest; Short cried out unexpectedly, his loud scream piercing through the hospital chaos.   
It’s a good thing they didn’t x-ray my heart at that moment:  there’s an irreparable fracture from me being helpless while witnessing my child endure such pain. 



  1. This is the worst - and I think nothing leaves a parent feeling more helpless! My daughter broke her nose & eye orbital when she fainted in class and hit the table and floor on her way down. I felt helpless and stupid. sorry for Short - and a special sorry for Mom and Dad.

  2. ActuaLLy, X-ray starts with ">" foLLowed by ""<" ><-ray


  3. The story was really scary - it really was. It wracks with a parent's feelings.

    BTW, gave ya a little shoutout in my post. Cheerio!

  4. This is beautiful: "there’s an irreparable fracture from me being helpless while witnessing my child endure such pain." If I were a writer, that's what I would want to write.

    Boy 1 fractured his arm at the start of the school year (monkey bars) this year and it was painful watching him deal with that. But, he did get a cast (camo colored) and he LOVED it! Go figure.

  5. Yeowch! I am sure the sling was super helpful, but did you just let him wear the same clothes and go,unmatched for those six weeks?

  6. Ohhhhh...(shiver runs up spine) - kids! They scare the pants off us sometimes.

  7. Oh man. That is awful. I broke my arm at five by rolling down a hill and cracking the elbow on the sidewalk. My mom didn't want to go to the emergency room (it was near five pm), so I had to tough it out til the next morning. She still feels guilty.

  8. I pity the person who has to get a collar bone cast. Would have to be the most uncomfortable thing in the world. Well, second to having a face cast, I guess...
    Hope he's on the mend...

  9. That is a sad story. You are right about the broken heart as well. I only had two children (now grown) but the bad accidents like the time my son cut is finger off in a slamming sliding door, was tramatic for him and beyond heart break for me. (the finger was reattached and went on to serve him well).

  10. I know that feeling... Hope you're all doing better now!

  11. My wife got in a fight with a sidewalk last year, and the sidewalk won. Broken arm.

  12. I'm very lucky, no one in my family of 4 has broken anything, ever! Thanks for dropping by my a- z. I'm following you on both your blogs now.

  13. Don't worry about it too much, broken bones build character! I've broken several and look how awesome I turned out ;) Besides, remember how cool we felt as kids showing off our battle wounds and telling our war stories? I'm guessing in Short's version he didn't trip on nothing though. Loved the tale!

    Dr. Em

  14. Ugh, you made me shiver with your description of the snap.

    I don't know if I feel worse for Short's collar bone or your heart.

  15. My son broke two of his toes once. They were there, just dangling and I laughed so hard all of the way to the hospital, I had to pull over to the side of the road just so he could find something to cover them with to help me keep my laughter under control.

    Parenting is not my greatest skill.

  16. I am so sorry! Poor baby--so funny, though...great take on the story!

  17. Your love for the little guy shines through in this post.

  18. Hi Good to be here.
    I missed it. so sad.
    All the best.
    Keep inform


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