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Sunday, August 12, 2007  

Not Walking So Good

Yesterday morning, M. Small came into our bedroom to tell us, "I can't walk so good." Indeed, he seemed to be making his way along on his tiptoes, and did so on and off for most of the day. He blamed it on a "bug bite" on his ankle, a "bug bite" being any tiny injury whose origins he can't remember (i.e., both of them). He did have a pinkish welt on the outside of one ankle, but no matter how we prodded it, it didn't seem to be actually hurting him. We figured that maybe walking with his foot extended normally caused the bit to itch uncomfortably. Or possibly that he simply enjoyed being taller.

This morning, when he started walking with a pronounced limp (but still no apparent pain), we decided it was time to take him to the urgent care center. We hadn't been there in months, so we figured, what the hell?

Getting him in an out of a doctor visit is usually a trial. He has a certain amount of patience with sitting around and waiting, but that's usually more than exhausted by the time we're done. That's because doctors' offices -- even urgent care centers -- move at their own pace, and you can't force these things to go quickly. And also because M. Small's stores of patience are good for about five minutes, total.

Today, however, went very well, thanks to a combination of four items. One was the abridged version of "Richard Scarry's Funniest Storybook Ever," which, while not all that funny, is also not all that abridged and can hold his attention almost indefinitely, especially when we've been keeping it hidden for several weeks because we're sick to death of the thing. The other item was his Tonka bulldozer, which we don't normally let him bring inside the house, let alone to public spaces. The third item was one we didn't even bring, but found there; he has come to expect that during all doctor visits, I will inflate at least one latex examination glove into a five-fingered balloon that he can bat around. The fourth was a single tongue depressor, which held more entertainment possibilities than you might anticipate. Including using it to make a flag with a facial tissue, which I guess means that I lied and actually used five items.

After the doctor's examination, a technician took him and Trash back to the X-ray lab to get some films taken. A bit more waiting later, the doctor showed us what he'd found. Apparently M. Small had become one of the tens of thousands of toddlers per year who, during their growth process, had experienced a less-than-hairline fracture at the base of his ankle bone. It barely even showed up on the X-rays. It's not bad enough for him to need a splint, a cast, or even a boot, but he's going to need to stay off it, more or less, for the next week.

The doctor had to explain this to Trash, because I was busy chasing after our crippled child, who was sprinting off down the hallway. "This is going to be the first of many," the doctor told Trash as I hollered at the little gimp to slow down so I could catch up.

So, yes, if you've ever met our child, you may have some idea of what it's going to be like keeping him "off his feet" for a week. If you've never met our child, imagine trying to get a fly to take a nap.

After we got home, we plunked him right down in front of a few Curious George episodes and then put him down for his nap. After that, I don't know what. Strap him into his stroller for a long walk? Let him sit in the bath for five hours until bedtime?

And that's just today. I don't know what we're going to do the rest of the week. In the next couple of days, we're going to take him to see a doctor who specializes in children's bones -- an orthopediatrician, if you will -- to figure out where to go from here. He may end up in a cast after all. One that's tethered to his bed.

posted by M. Giant 1:46 PM 4 comments

4 Comments:

Aww, get well soon M. Small, and good luck trying to get him to stay off his feet. Libby

By Blogger L, at August 12, 2007 at 2:43 PM  

I'ma be a nosey NICU nurse here for a sec - make sure little man is getting his vitamins. Ex-preemies can be more prone to fractures because of mineral absorption issues.

By Blogger Emily, at August 12, 2007 at 7:05 PM  

Oh, poor little bug! Extra hugs to him from far away.

By Blogger Linda, at August 13, 2007 at 7:07 AM  

Poor critter. Short of a chemically-induced coma, I don't know how you keep a toddler off his feet. Good luck.

By Blogger Bunny, at August 14, 2007 at 5:56 AM  

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