Wednesday, September 01, 2010

9/1/2010 The Cast

Julian got his cast today, but that wasn't the biggest event.

This morning, he tripped and fell on his way into the CDC, and bonked his head good. So he started off the day with a massive goose egg on his forehead. This kid is by far the most accident-prone of the three.

Then Dave and I both got calls from the school around 9:30. Julian was complaining about his head and a lump in his throat, and got himself sent to the office. I was in the world's most annoying and consuming meeting at the time and didn't get the message, but Dave did.

Dave went to the school with skepticism, knowing that a head-bonk doesn't mean he has to leave class. When he arrived to pick up Julian, Dave told Julian he'd take him right to the doctor. "Wait, Dad!" Julian tugged on him, then motioned to whisper in his ear, "I forgot to put on underpants today!"

So that was the reason!!

Dave had to bring him home and check him out though, and I suggested he try to get the cast done today too. But Julian was just fine, wanting to work on science experiments and drinking without any problem (despite his supposedly lumpy throat), and after some time Dave said "this is silly" and brought Julian back to school.

Dave's efforts in making an appointment with the orthopedist paid off though, and they got a 3:00 appointment for a proper cast. We asked for a waterproof cast, which is one that can get wet and that itches can be addressed by pouring water down the cast. It comes in colors, but when "gold" wasn't available, Julian opted for white.

Buckle fractures, I've learned from some basic Googling, are very common in children and relatively minor. They happen because children's bones are softer, and it's really just a compression of the bone, with no angulation -- that is, not a real break. A large percentage of kids' fractures occur in the forearm, and a large percentage of those occur in the wrist, and are simple buckle fractures.

This makes me very, very glad we saw a pediatrician, who said that many doctors miss these fractures because the usual symptoms aren't present in buckle fractures. She recognized it right away, minutes after the nurse who weighed Julian (44 lbs) commented that it probably wasn't a fracture because of the normal way he swung his arm as he walked. Buckle fractures heal more quickly than other fractures too.

They're so minor and common that there's even controversy about whether or not they need a real cast. A splint could probably address it, but kids tend to remove splints if they're removable. Other than the cast removal, casts are actually very convenient and easy to live with.

It was a struggle getting him to finish some of his schoolwork tonight; he was fussing and complaining about not being able to write, but he wasn't trying. I wanted to see what his real impediments were, and if we could address them somehow (e.g. a pillow to elevate his elbow). As soon as he really tried, it was clear that he can learn how to write if he practices. In a few days, he won't even notice he has the cast. Until he figures out what a great built-in weapon it is, that is.

No photos today; it was a very very hectic afternoon and day. Not as hectic as this morning, which was apparently so hectic that even underwear as forgotten!


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