The door flung open, and I heard a cry I heard many times before. It was my son, screaming, “OW! OW! OW! OW!”
This time he was holding his hand close to his chest.
I get these calls from him a lot. Not that he’s a hypochondriac. But rather, because he is a boy, and is prone to put himself in situations to get hurt on a regular basis.
A few of them have required medical attention: A cut knee, a broken thumb, and, my personal favorite, a magnolia branch to the eye, just to name a few.
But normally these wounds heal up in due time. A little ice, maybe some Neosporin and a bandage, and he’s ready to go back out and injure himself again in no time.
He had been playing on his slackline in the front yard. For those of you not familiar with a slackline, it is a thin strip of fabric made out of trampoline material. You attach the line between two trees, and can then bounce along several feet off of the ground. The amount of time you can stay on the slackline is very much dependent on your balance and slackline skill.
Parker has been working on a fancy move in which he stands on the slackline, drops to his bottom, and then bounces back up to his feet. Pretty nifty trick, actually.
I asked him what happened. He told me he was working on his trick, and he somehow got his hand in the way of the bouncing slackline, which smacked his hand when it bounced back.
He held his hand out for me to examine. “Ah, you’ll be fine,” I said. I’m a GREAT doctor.
He reiterated to me that it hurt. Bad. I told him we would ice it down. After a good three seconds of having the ice on it, Parker established that ice was cold, and that now his hand was both hurting and cold. I tried to reason with him and explain that ice was necessary. He reminded me that. IT. WAS. COLD. We were at an impasse. “I wanna call Mom,” he said. My wife was out shopping, and I figured I had this under control, so I told him that wasn’t necessary. “Call Mom,” he said. I told him I was not going to call mom, but then realized he was not talking to me, but rather Siri, who was happy to make the call.
My wife was home in short order. Apparently, she is a way better parent than I am.
She came in and examined the hand. She walked over to me in the next room. “Yeah, I think it’s broken.” I was unaware that my wife had X-ray vision, an observation I am sure she appreciated. I told her he was fine, and it would be way better the next day. “Not so sure about that,” she said.
Hey, guess who had a swollen hand and was still in a whole bunch of pain the next morning?
We made our way to the doctor’s office that day. As the nurse was getting his vitals, I asked her if he could get a shot just for fun. “Oh, dad,” the nurse said in a manner that indicated she was used to dad humor.
The doctor checked him out and then sent him for x-rays. A few minutes later, the doctor came back in the room. My son was on his phone playing some game. “I’m impressed you can play on your phone with a broken hand,” he said, breaking the news to us. The doctor said that it was a “greenstick fracture,” and that had the break been in an adult, it would probably require surgery. We are heading to an orthopedist next, and hope that since he is young and still awaiting his final form that will not be necessary.
He is in a brace for now, but will probably be graduating to a cast very soon. Kids heal quickly, so hopefully it won’t be for too terribly long. My hope is that he will be back in action in no time, finding new and exciting ways to injure himself.
Mike Gibbons was born and raised in Aiken, S.C. A graduate of the University of Alabama, he now lives in Mt. Pleasant. You can e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @StandardMike.