Watching my son be helped to our car by my husband, I went over to investigate. My son had tears running down his cheeks, saying it hurt more than last time.
Bafflement ensued as we tried to ascertain what has happened, what hurt, and what last time?
I have no medical training in any medical field, other than being a mom. Which does provide some minimal on the job training. However, I prefer to defer to the professionals in cases such as this.
Of course, we were at our school fall festival with no professionals onsite. (Afterwards, a friend mentioned that his wife, who had been there, had held a previous career as a nurse. If I had known that, I would have asked her to look at my son. She is a dear and gave much-needed hugs when she saw my face was white as a sheet, after we announced we were taking him to the emergency room.)
The bottom line – our 12 year old son, in the interest of speed and laziness, had not properly laced up his hiking shoes (to his credit, I don’t think we ever told him how the little metal tabs on the sides of the shoes should be laced up) and he tripped & fell on concrete, causing a hairline fracture to his right kneecap. (He had fallen almost exactly a year earlier and fractured his left wrist.)
We sorted out the emergency room visit, the subsequent orthopedist visit, the different kinds of braces he could use for his knee, crutches, and what meds he could & couldn’t have. (For the record, no Ibuprofen or Advil for fractures, as the doctors don’t want the patient to bleed into the fracture.)
A week and a half later, my son is crying in my car again. Different kind of tears. Not from a physical injury, but from an emotional one.
Adolescence is difficult on a good day. Having a fractured kneecap makes everything at least a little bit, sometimes a lot, harder. Having a few other adolescents you normally call friends tell you that your injury is pretend is so much worse.
That part is being handled as well, by people who care, thank goodness.
What my question is – which is worse?
The physical injury, or the emotional one?
In this case, I would say the emotional one.
The body is weak.
The spirit is strong enough to overcome almost anything.
My son is getting stronger every day, and promises never to wear those shoes again. (Tying your shoes – hard lesson to learn.)
He inspires me. Watching him overcome the difficulties he has had dealing with the pain as well as every day tasks in the last couple weeks, I am very proud of him.
I am grateful to our friends and family who have been wonderfully supportive.
May your holiday weekend be fun and safe.