Thursday, March 22, 2007

Like Mother, Like Son

Anyone who has ever seen Jiro in action will not be surprised to learn that he broke his leg on Monday night. No, he wasn't playing roller derby--he was climbing on the fence at our old house with Satchel. He jumped down into a pile of leaves that were masking a pile of big rocks. He landed funny and well that was that. I didn't see it happen as I was wandering up and down our old street looking for a recycling bin. (We took ours to the new house, Al.) Warren saw it all happen and knew right away that it was bad. Jiro was shaky and cried a lot longer than usual. I couldn't get him to stand up or walk or really even let go of me. I instructed Warren to take Satchel home while I drove Jiro to the minor medical just a few blocks away.

I held Jiro's hand and tried to soothe him as we headed down Union. It became obvious pretty quickly that the minor medical was no longer there. I had a moment of what the fuck do I do now. I called my brother, a doctor, to ask his advice, but only got his voicemail. Next, I considered calling Kristy because she is the mother of four and usually knows how to help no matter what the situation. But, Jiro needed my cellphone hand to pet him (I haven't gotten one of those spacey ear attachments), so I put down the phone and simply drove to the LeBonheur Emergency Room.

I actually didn't get lost on the way and thanks to my *ahem* handicapped tag, I was able to park right away and rush in my freaked out baby. It was 6:30pm on a Monday and there were about a million families in the waiting room. I signed in and asked the receptionist if she had any idea how long we'd have to wait. "Let's just say there are a lot of people in front of you." I briefly considered whether I should have lied when asked if Jiro vomited or passed out after the fall in order to get bumped up.

I found two seats away from the mob so that we could attempt to avoid catching something new while we waited. My brother called and I gave him the scoop. "It's not swollen or bruised," I reported. "No, it doesn't seem especially tender anywhere," I answered after poking around Jiro's foot as instructed. My brother suggested taking him home to monitor him rather than sitting in the emergency room all night.

"If he isn't walking by morning, take him to the doctor," he said. "I'll come by and take a look later this evening."

That night Jiro was restless, waking up several times to whimper, "Ooow, oow, ow." At 7am I called our new primary care doctor to get an appointment.

"Do they have an X-ray machine there?" Warren asked.

"I don't know," I said. "I hope so."

We got right in to see the nurse practitioner at 8:15. She felt around Jiro's foot and ankle as he sat calmly in my lap. He was so calm, I started to wonder if he was just faking. "Well, let's get an X-ray," Nurse B said.

"Great," I said expecting to walk down the hall.

"You'll need to take him to the LeBonheur Diagnostic Center downtown," she said.

"Oh," I said. "Then what?"

"Then they'll send us the X-rays and if necessary, we'll recommend an pediatric orthopedist."

"So, basically I have to go to three different places if it is broken," I said in my lovable I detest inefficiency tone. "I guess I should have just waited it out at the ER last night."

Nurse B shrugged.

Then I confessed that I forgot to finish my antibiotics in a timely fashion and got retested and remedicated for strep.

Since it seemed like we were going to have a long day, I took Jiro across the street to Miss Cordelia's for some chips, orange juice, and bubble gum. We drove over to the Diagnostic Center, again scoring a nice handicapped spot. Still limping myself, I carried my 35lb baby in for his first ever X-ray.

Jiro ate three pieces of strawberry Bubblicious as we watched the Disney channel and waited to be called back. When we were, the X-ray technician said, "I'm going to need him to spit out his gum. If he gets too upset he might choke on it."


He must have heard her because he didn't make a peep during the X-rays. In fact he chewed right through it as though it was nothing. Again, I wondered if I was being taken for a fool.

"Can you tell if it's broken?" I asked as the tech checked the film.

"Oh no, you need a doctor for that. We have a 24 hour turn around time, but if you call around three or four you may be able to find something out."

If I didn't have a brother who was a radiologist at Methodist I might have started cussing. Instead I just smiled and thanked her for the Beanie Baby turkey (??) and Spider-man sticker. As she walked us out she told everyone we passed how good Jiro was. "Two years old and didn't fuss one bit!" she boasted.

As we drove to Ike's to fill my precription, I called my brother and left a message asking him to track down Jiro's X-ray. About an hour later he called me at home. "We've been duped," he said.

"Are you serious?" I said assuming that nothing was broken and that I had just spent my much needed rest time lugging a 35 pounder around town willy nillily dropping co-pays.

"It's not his foot or his ankle, but a buckle fracture in his tibia," he said.

"Oh!" I said. "Wow. The tibia, huh? Do you know any pediatric orthopedists?"

"Uh...I can ask around," he said.

Then I remembered the kids area at Dr. Palmieri's office and the little baby with a cast on her arm that I saw on one of my many visits. I hung up with Dr. Dave and called Dr. P's office. She fixed my leg up nice, why not get her to fix up Jiro too? Besides, who can pas up a chance to drive to Collierville??

Dr. P was in surgery all day, but I got a 2:30pm appointment with her partner, Dr. Linderman (who also just happened to see my teammate, Cleo Bones, who broke her tibia and a few other bones just the day before). Dr. L's nurse said it would be nice if I could bring Jiro's X-rays with me, so I went on a wild goose chase trying to get someone to fax them to C'ville. My PCP called at 1:30 to say that they hadn't heard anything from LeBonheur but they'd check again in the morning.

Warren came home from work and the three of us headed east. Despite Warren's fears of over-radiating our offspring, I knew that Dr. P's office had an X-ray machine and that Jiro would be fixed up in no time. I packed a pair of shorts and one shoe imagining him in a brightly colored cast up to his knee. I figured it wouldn't slow him down much and that he'd been running across streets and into parking lots in no time.

We ended up waiting for over an hour at Dr. P's, but I couldn't really complain considering we'd still be waiting on X-ray results without family connections. As Jiro and I sat in the kid's area watching Cars and playing with the small toy collection, we befriended two young boys, one of whom was in a baby blue cast. He detailed his injury for me and explained how he could take a bath in his cast as long as he held up his leg and let all the water drip out of the top.

"Cool," I said.

We were eventually called back and Jiro again calmly had some X-rays taken. Dr. Linderman showed us the break and informed us that he would need a cast with bent knee up to his thigh so that he could stay off of it for two weeks.

"You don't want him to walk on it?" I asked wondering how on earth I was going to carry him around for two weeks.

"Nope," she said. "Sorry. If he can figure out how to crawl around that's okay."

A nice old man came in and asked Jiro what color cast he wanted. He picked out blue like the boy we met in the waiting room. I was instructed to put on rubber gloves and assist in the casting. Jiro sat quietly as the man and I worked. I tried not to picture this becoming a routine thing for my wild boy.

Once the cast was on I looked at Warren with my puppy dog eyes. "What are we going to do?" I asked.

"Get a stroller, I guess."

"A stroller! That's brilliant!" I said relieved. Why didn't I think of that?

We went by my sister's house on the way home and got one of the strollers we had given her last year.

"Do you think they'll let him come to school?" I asked Warren.

"We'll see."

We went by to get Satchel and carried Jiro in hoping for the best. The curious kids swarmed around us and immediately started asking questions. Ms. Feathers, the director, was totally nonplussed by the situation and said, "Just bring him with his stroller tomorrow and we'll work it out. I guess he'll just do a lot of table work!"

The next day, we wheeled Jiro in like a king. Satchel and the other kids took turns pushing him around. Ms. Alma looked a little wary. "He'll need help going to the bathroom," I said as nonchalantly as possible. "Ms. Feathers said he'd be okay."

At noon I called to check on him and Ms. Alma cheerily said he was doing fine. When I picked him up, he was covered in crumbs, sitting next to the teachers watching the kids play outside. "We're curing him with snacks," Ms. Tina reported.

I took the boys to the playground thinking I could push Jiro in the swing at least. He wanted nothing to do with the swing, but enjoyed being pushed around. We discovered the Dodge Ball league inside the Skinner Center and went in to watch for awhile. Jiro loved it!

By this afternoon Jiro's cast had been decorated by all his friends and teachers at school, he had figured out how to hop a little on one foot, and was making his way around the livingroom almost unassisted. He even swung in a "big boy swing" at Peabody Park. A woman at Cici's Pizza said, "She'll be crawling around in no time. Put a big sock on her cast so it doesn't get all nasty."

Big socks? Striped ones? No problem. She'll love that


Stephanie said...

I do sense that this is just the first of many broken bones in Jiro's future.

Secret Agent Mom said...

Two words for you people: calcium supplements.

Cathy White said...

It's probably a good thing you went through it first. Jiro obviously thought this was no big deal and knew the food patrol was on its way. Haha!! Poor bunny!

Kristy said...

For future reference, if anyone;s kid breaks a bone, go to the ER at Baptist East. Trust me.

And in no way doesthat child look like a girl!

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