Friday, January 29, 2010

Tough Nut

In the midst of our flood damage and impending Christmas. Matt drove Damon to one of his hockey practices. I had given them a grocery list of things to pick up on the way home. Matt forgot the list on the front seat of his jeep, so he sent Damon out to get it. As he was closing the jeep door, he must have been leaning on the doorframe with his hand and got his thumb caught in the door. OUCH!

He went into the store to give Matt the list. By the time they got home, his thumb was purple. But he still had movement, so we thought that it must just be a bad bruise. We put a bandadge on, he took some Advil and went to bed. The next morning Damon woke up and his thumb had swelled so much that he could not move it anymore. He was in pain and so I gave him some Advil. The other 2 boys got on the bus and then we waited for the carpenters to arrive to install the subfloors in the lower level. Once they arrived, we left them here while we went to the emergency department.

When we arrived with the 3 little ones in tow, the triage nurse was quite rude. She asked me who the patient was, and she said that she didn't want me bringing the little ones into the triage room and that Damon would be fine by himself. Without giving me any time to respond that while he may look 16, he is only 11, she closed the door on me. An 11 year old may be able to tell her what happened to his thumb, but he is not able to tell her about drug allergies, medical history, etc.! As I waited, my discontent grew. When she sent Damon back out to wait with me, she seemed apologetic. Maybe it was her trying to make up for her mistake, but we were called in very soon after. Damon did indeed have a broken thumb. It was an open and complete fracture, so he was given antibiotics and his thumb was wrapped in a splint. The doctor said that he would need to keep that on for a few days, and that he probably wouldn't be able to play hockey for about 2 weeks. She said that after a few days it would be self limiting.

Damon had a game that night in a city 1 1/2 hours away. So I emailed his coaches to tell them the bad news. He went to the game to support his team. The next day he went to school. On the third day, he woke up, ran up the stairs with his thumb unwrapped, saying, "I can play hockey now." We thought he was being optimistic, and expected that once he had a hockey stick in his hand it would feel differently. Now if it was a broken leg or arm, my response would have been different, but being a thumb, I wasn't too worried about re-injury. I emailed the coaches, telling them that he would like to play if that is okay, but to be prepared for him to stop playing if it caused pain. They said that would be great if he wanted to try.

He did. He played the entire game, and he played well!

Damon is so tough, it is sometimes confusing for me when I try to help him when he is sick or injured, because I always have to wonder if things are worse then he lets on. For example when he was having difficulty waking up in the mornings, and he was complaining about fatigue at night. I threatened him that if he was going to give me such a hard time about waking up for school, I was going to take him to the doctor's office. He gave me a hard time, so I took him one afternoon. The doctor sent him for bloodwork which revealed that he has low iron levels. The doctor feels that it just because the tremendous growth he has had in the past year has used up his reserves and he advised me to make extra efforts to give him foods that are high in iron. He isn't a fan of spinach or liver, but Damon was very happy that his very favourite food, cereal, is fortified with iron. He is delighted that he can now eat as much as he wants. He has been feeling a little bit better since we've made those extra efforts.

I don't understand why his tough resiliency leaves me with a sense of pride and awe.