Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Proximal Tibial Fracture

It sounds like it ought to be the beginnings of some grand metaphor, doesn't it? Proximal Tibial Fracture. It could be a sad saga of regret and woe that ends with the legs (if you will) being knocked out from under a once loving relationship. Or maybe a cautionary tale of a toxic crack in the foundation of an already rocky friendship. Or, more boring, but perhaps more apropos of my actual life and leisure, a sudden derailment in the current kitchen remodel.

Happily for you, the story I have to tell today is strictly literal, so you need not suffer any further strained and pitiful attempts at literary gravitas. It's a medical thing, see. The diagnosis is my little Missy's.

It happened Sunday night. She was *cringe* jumping on a trampoline **gasp** with her *cower* brother and sister **shake head disapprovingly**. Although there were four arguably responsible adults on hand, including *bite lower lip* myself, we were all *cover face in abject humiliation* sitting on the patio--just out of sight--drinking a glass of wine **exhale, mutter "My God, what kind of mother are you?"** toasting the long awaited, official engagement of my little brother and his blushing bride-to-be **ahhhh**.

I can only assume (because I didn't actually see it, and neither Elder Miss nor Boy have been very forth coming with an accounting of their actions) that what happened was this: Missy either fell down or was purposely lying prostrate having the shit bounced out of her (as is her wont), and Elder Miss--jumping far too close, as usual--came down, both feet landing hard on Missy's shin and ankle.

I knew immediately that something was very wrong. Like most toddlers Missy has a wide repertoire of wails and howls, but I had never heard anything quite in this ear piercing, soul seering range before.

We all assumed it was her ankle that was the trouble since it was visibly bruised, scraped, and swollen by the time we fished her off the trampoline. My future sister-in-law, who is a nurse, did some poking and prodding. She moved Missy's foot this way and that, then confidently declared it a sprain. I very much wanted to believe this benign diagnosis, so we gave her some ibuprofen, put some ice on it, and commenced with the tut-tutting and shush-shushing. After an hour and 40 minutes of uninterrupted sobbing, I let the frantic mother in me take over and insisted that my dad drive us to the after hours clinic.

To their credit, no one there so much as raised an eyebrow when I explained that my 2 year old had been jumping on a trampoline with my 4 and 6 year olds, and somehow managed to hurt her foot. I was, and still am, completely mortified despite their discretion.

It wasn't until the doctor examined her whole leg that it became clear that the real problem was closer to her knee than her ankle. X-rays were taken. A diagnosis was made. Missy finally stopped crying (four hours later) when they put the splint on.

My poor dad was flabbergasted when I told him that her leg was actually broken. He had bought the tramp for the kids at the beginning of the summer, and I know he was feeling partially responsible.
The next morning, after a fairly horrible, sleepless night, Elder Miss gently petted Missy's Ace bandage and said, "I did this. And I'm very sorry." I, of course, made it clear that it was an accident and that it certainly wasn't her fault. That we, as the adults, should have been watching more closely and that we never should have allowed Missy to jump with the big kids. Elder Miss readily absorbed everything I said and hasn't mentioned it since, but it was still sweet to see her acknowledge her part in the drama that way.

Missy's current status is stable. She's more or less used to the splint now. She's clearly bored and frustrated at not being able to move around at will. But she doesn't fight it. And she's not in much pain anymore other than a few twinges now and then when it gets bumped or moved too quickly.
Life goes on
She'll get a cast put on early Firday morning. I'm told it will take 4 to 6 weeks to heal. I'm hoping against hope that the cast is off by the time we have to leave in August.

So you see, in the end it was a sad saga of regret and woe, as well as a cautionary tale, and of course, it's all very apropos of my life and leisure as having a gimpy baby means I don't have much of either. Still no workable metaphor in there, but it all makes for a pretty good story.

*actions to be preformed by me, the narrator*
**exclamations to be made by you, the reader**
***and, just in case any of you are as ignorant as me, and don't know what proximal means, I looked it up: situated near the point of origin or attachment, as of a limb or bone. So basically there's no displacement, just a tiny crack in the tibia just below her knee. The doctor explained that it's a small crack, but it's a big bone, so it hurts a lot***

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